Advanced computer users and enthusiasts often overclock their computers to get maximum performance. But that said, it’s a risky maneuver. So before jumping into that, ask yourself, Is Overclocking worth the risk? The answer depends on whether you are willing to put up with the risks. If done right, you’ll get a significant speed increase. If done incorrectly or are overdone, your system can overheat and be damaged beyond repair. The key is knowledge; the more you know, the less likely you are going to make a mistake.
The easiest way to overclock is to buy an unlocked multiplier chip. With an unlocked multiplier you can modify the CPU frequency and multiplier easily. This will make your system faster. By upping the CPU frequency, other components like GPU and memory are also enhanced. Intel chips with unlocked multipliers have an “X”, while those for AMD are labelled as “Black Edition”. With these, you can make adjustments without having to worry about chipset, frequency or other issues.
For many enthusiasts, the speed/performance benefits outweigh the risks. The most noticeable improvements are in resource hungry applications like 3D rendering, animation and gaming. For this to work though, you need to make sure the hardware is up to the task. You also need to have a quality heat sink to combat the heat.
First of all you risk voiding the warranty. Although it is legal and manufacturers offer ways to do it, it comes with a strictly not recommended tag. If you push it too far, the CPU, motherboard, RAM and other devices might overheat and get damaged. There is also the chance that they might become unstable. The higher you clock it, the quicker the CPU lifespan will end. If you plan on using that computer for five years or more, the answer to the question “Is Overclocking worth the risk” is NO. But if you are going to upgrade in two or three years, by all means jack up the speed. It doesn’t matter if the lifespan is shortened; you will have replaced it before that time arrives.
The simplest way is to do it is to increase the Front Side Bus (FSB). The procedure is the same for Intel CPUs and those running AMDs. Start your computer and go to the BIOS setup. Look for the FSB setting and bump up the value. The FSB is also called the System Bus or Memory Bus. Basically what it does is link the CPU with the other components on the motherboard. The CPU speed (GHz) is determined using this expression: FSB x multiplier = CPU speed. If you have a 10x multiplier and an FSB of 133MHz, your CPU is going to be 1.33GHz / 1330MHz. You can find more information on the user manual for your computer.
There are programs ( Desktop Control Center, AMD OverDrive, AI Suite II, tweakers.fr, nTune, Riva Tuner ) that can increase the clock speed without requiring you to go into the BIOS. These may be simpler to operate, but often require a purchase. More crucial though, is the fact that they may not be compatible with certain motherboard brands.
So yet again, Is Overclocking worth the risk? If you really want to do it, learn as much as you can about your system. Performance gains will vary depending on the hardware. Second, you must have knowledge about the internal workings of a computer. If you do not have the time for this, it’s better to just stick with what you have or get an upgrade.
This is guest post by Charlie, a freelance writer and content builder for many technology sites and has written many useful genuine articles.