Some basic tips before you overclock your PC

By | March 25, 2008

Overclocking means to speed up your processors speed by its ratings to some higher values so as to make it run faster. This is always a bit risky, and more or less related to hardware aspects. But for PCs, overclocking is a relatively safe way to get more out of your machine.

The CPU multiplier and the Front Side Bus speed are the 2 aspects to manipulate, when you do overclocking. As for the components, the motherboard is likely the most important component of all. Only good motherboards can support overclocking, so before you embark on any overclocking, try and determine the motherboard’s capacity and age.

For benchmarking, you may want to try using a chess software program. By this, I mean using chess programs with artificial intelligence. Most chess software programs nowadays run at very high speeds and have specific benchmarks which correspond to the CPU and processor speed. A faster processor will enable the chess program to evaluate more positions per second as opposed to a slower processor.

So what’s the most important things to remember for someone starting out in overclocking? Here are some easy ones.

Heat management

As overclocking makes your PC run faster than the rated speed, heat is the first thing generated. The whole CPU can get hot really fast, without proper heat management. So before going for overclocking, check your heat sink efficiency which was provided to you by the vendor. Aluminum or copper heat sinks are the best. However, nothing beats thermoelectric cooling methods (expensive).

Power supply unit

Power supply is usually overlooked by PC users, but it’s one of the most important considerations of all! Power supply units are like the beating heart of your PC; it’s better to have slight excess levels than too little of it. A high wattage power supply unit by CoolerMaster or Acbel can last a couple of years at least.

BIOS knowledge

Hardware knowledge is essential, as you are going to have to reset your BIOS settings around every time you do an overclocking session. It is not recommended to keep your PC on permanent overclocked mode, so that means adjusting the BIOS in between each session.

The top downside to overclocking is reduced lifespan of the processor. Just below that, I would rate money being blown on many other supporting components as another major downside. But, since processors are pretty cheap these days, and most that get overclocked are the slow ones (old ones), you may not really burn a hole in your pocket at all. Although till today, I still can’t figure out all those overclock forums and what gets them so excited, after all is said and done 🙂

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