This post will show you a rough idea on what is overclocking and how to overclock your computer. We will not be held responsible for any damage done to your property from following the guides in this article. This is merely a guide for geeks who know what they are doing and want to learn more about how overclocking enthusiasts like us tweak with our machines. Please proceed at your own risk.
Which computer part you can overclock
Processor – The most common overclock component. Difference can be very significant if your hardware and cooler’s capabilities are on par.
Graphic card – Not recommended. The result will be very slight considering the amount of exceeding heat it produces when you increase just a slight amount of core clock. Graphic cards that are built to be clocked usually comes with very decent Fans (as it’s significantly more expensive) and software that automatically clock to its highest recommended potential.
RAM – Not recommended. Requires expensive RAMs to clock. Might as well just buy better RAMs. This requires advanced overclocking experience. Overclocking RAM is the most common cause for system unstable even if it’s able to boot.
We will only talk about CPU overclocking in this post.
What do you need to start overclocking
Hardware – You will need a motherboard that are compatible with overclocking, in other words, the ability to change the processor voltage etc. You will need a good quality of processor cooler as well as your rig casing cooler.
Software – Intel Burn Test for maximum heat test. RealTemp to monitor your CPU cores temperature. Prime95 to test your newly clocked CPU’s stability.
How to overclock correctly
When you read on the overclocking community forums or on any of the blogs talking about overclocking, no one will recommend you to overclock using any software provided by the mobo’s companies such as Afterburner by MSI. It’s always better to clock step by step from your BIOS.
To start experiment with overclocking your CPU, go to your BIOS. If you have no idea what a BIOS is, no offense but please forget about overclocking.
For simple overclocking, there are only 2 settings you should touch on – CPU Clock Ratio and CPU Vcore. Before we go on, let us make it clear what we called an unstable boot. If the system can’t boot, show errors, hang, or whatever abnormal reactions occur, it means that the overclocking result is unstable and you will need to either reduce the “CPU Clock Ratio” or increase the “CPU Vcore”.
Overclocking 101: CPU Clock Ratio gives you higher core speed while CPU Vcore supplies the number of voltage you’ve set to be given to your CPU. By increasing CPU Clock Ratio, you increase clock speed. In the meanwhile, if the CPU is not given enough voltage to run at the set clock ratio, your system will go unstable. That’s the time when you should increase your CPU Vcore. By increasing your CPU Vcore, your CPU will go hotter.
For Intel Processor, the maximum temperature before your cores go dead is usually around 105 Celsius. As for AMD, it varies and usually much lower than Intel. Please check it yourself if you have an AMD processor. Usually for safe practice, we will only max out at 80-85 Celcius (Intel only) which is -20 from the death zone. That should be the maximum temp your core should ever reach.
First, look for “CPU Clock Ratio” or anything similar. Increase 0.1 GHZ each time and boot your system. Open up RealTemp. Run Intel Burn Test for 10 tests and set it to High or Very High. If it successes, go back to the BIOS and increase another 0.1 GHZ. Repeat until burn test fail. When you burn test fail, increase your CPU Vcore by 0.01 V each time. Monitor your Realtemp while running burn test. Repeat the process until you bottleneck your CPU temperature and that will be your CPU’s maximum overclocking potential. If you want to go higher, the only way is to invest on better cooler.
This is merely a short simple summary of how to overclock a CPU. For in depth learnings and explanations, we recommend you to read more on overclock communities forum such as overclock.net.