Learn How To Overclock CPU easily and Efficiently

Most of the CPU and motherboards available through retail computer manufacturers cannot be overclocked

If you want to learn how to overclock CPU of your computer you may need to go with a custom built PC.

At the very least you will need a motherboard that allows its values t
o be changed.

The culprit is usually the motherboard. The motherboard you own may not be capable of overclocking, if it cannot overclock you have no choice but to upgrade the board to one that can.

The supplied motherboards that come with most store bought computers are junk. So one way to upgrade your PC is just to replace this key component; meaning replace the motherboard.

The CPU you choose will determine the options available through your BIOS overclocking features almost as much as the motherboard will.intel.web.720.405

Do you have an Unlocked CPU

Many of the CPU and RAM combinations cannot be overclocked independent of each other (the CPU
determines if independent overclocking is possible). If you bump up the CPU frequency the RAM speed will also increase as well. This can be both good and bad when learning how to overclock CPU.

If you can find or obtain your motherboard manual get it and read it. Having the manual will make your life easier.

Accessing BIOS; How to overclock CPU

To access the overclocking features of your motherboard; while your computer is posting hit “delete”, “F2”, or “F12”.

One of these commands should get you into your BIOS system.

If it just boots into your operating system you will need to restart and try again. Some obscure motherboards may have a different command to get into BIOS.


Once in BIOS take a look around in the different menu systems. Try to find your PC health where you’re CPU and system temperatures are located.

You will need to know where these are later.

The HT link or Hyper Threading Link

Common on some AMD processor and motherboard combos… this is the tool to bump up your CPU operating frequency. HT link will raise the RAM speed at the same time it raises the CPU frequency on AMD chip-sets.

This is bad if your RAM peters out significantly before your CPU runs out of steam. Your system will begin to crash because the RAM cannot handle the additional speed.

Voltage; is the measure you take to create stability at a given megahertz or speed of your overclock. By adding voltage you can force the CPU and RAM to operate stable where they could not otherwise. Just make sure to stay within their acceptable voltage parameters of your RAM or CPU.

Example: You may be able to achieve a 3.4MHz overclock on the CPU but your RAM does not like to operate at the frequency necessary to hold this speed. You have two options; place a divider on the RAM so that for every 5 CPU cycles your RAM operates only 4 cycles.

Or, overvoltage the RAbest home theater speakers and surround sound speakersM until it is stable at the overclocked frequency. If you decide to overvoltage your RAM just remember that it will produce additional heat that you will need to deal with. It may be necessary to place a cooling fan close to the RAM in order to keep temps down to a reasonable level.

Also remember that most RAM do not offer a temperature reading so who knows how hot they are getting. If they get too hot they may cause your system to ‘blue screen’. Not a big deal; you just need to keep down the heat, lower the voltage, lower the megahertz operating speed or some combination of these.

Some processors have completely unlocked multipliers. Meaning that; you can run a multiplier on the CPU which will not push the RAM speed up as well. This is a huge benefit as you can simply run both the RAM at its maximum stable speed and also the CPU at its maximum stable speed without them limiting one or the other.

Intel Processors

The overclock settings for Intel are a bit different. Intel’s overclocking feature is often called the FSB or front side bus. The FSB also bumps up both the CPU and RAM speed at the same time. You will have the same problems with needing to add voltage the higher you try to go with the Megahertz speed of CPU and RAM.

If your Intel CPU has a completely unlocked multiplier you can use this to increase the frequency of only the processor and the RAM will run at the same speed or can be overclocked separately.

Start Overclocking now, will you get free performance?

Whether you have an Intel or an AMD processor is of no consequence. They use slightly different terminology to achieve the same thing.

You are looking for something to do with your CPU frequency. If it is set to “Auto”, change it to manual. This will often allow a different setting to be changed now.

To change the CPU frequency, start with the current number multiplier; it may be a number like 200 or 260. Bump this number up by five points and hit enter.

Look at the speed of your CPU now; it should be higher than it was before. If your processor was a 2.5 GHz it may now read as a 2.6 GHz or whatever. This action alone will not change anything. You need to exit while saving changes from BIOS in order for the new CPU speed to be taken.

Go into your PC health or Status Screen within BIOS; you are looking to see if your temperatures are still low enough to continue overclocking further. You will want to check these temps each time you make an overclocking change.

Often you can download from the motherboard manufacturer a utility that lets you see what the temps are while in the operating system. This can be especially helpful to monitor while running a torture test like Prime 95 or RAM test.

Find a safe copy of Prime 95 and download it

When you have found some overclocked settings that you like make sure that –

1. Your computer will boot into the OS

2. Seems to be running pretty smoothly, without constant surging and spiking. Use a widget on your desktop to see the CPU usage.

3. If the above 2 check out then start Prime 95 and make sure you have a test running for each core of your CPU.

Run Prime 95 for about 15 minutes. The CPU load should be at 100% as seen on your desktop widget. You will run it longer later but for now we will just see if your PC is stable at the new speed.

If it is stable, try to take your speeds up a bit higher. Continue to do this until you either can no longer boot into windows or until your system crashes while running Prime 95. Go back into BIOS and push up the voltage by .25 volt increments, test with Prime 95 after each voltage increase. When you get it stable, try a to increase the frequency a bit more.

You will reach a threshold where the CPU cooler cannot keep the CPU temps low enough to stop the crashing.

When you reach the heat threshold, back the frequency back down until you reach stability using Prime 95. This is a constant back and forth process and can take several hours or even days to figure out the best settings.

Also remember to check your temperatures. I usually try to set my CPU overheat alarm in BIOS to 60 degrees Celsius (for an AMD CPU chip). This will tell me if my CPU reaches 60 degrees while running Prime 95. And AMD will not run much hotter than this anyway. Much over 60 degrees C and it will crash in my experience. Intel will run much hotter, but also heats up quicker under the same stress.

Some motherboards include a temperature checking utility that allows you to monitor your temps from within windows. When I am confident I can keep the temps in check I may set the CPU warning beeper to 70 degrees just to push it a bit further, like pushing the temps into the low 60’s. But I monitor my temps very carefully to make sure I don’t overheat or get too close to 70 degrees Celsius.

When you have found a stable setting; try running Prime 95 for a few hours. If it is still stable- either; try to push your settings a bit further or if you are satisfied with the overclock run Prime 95 overnight or for 24 hours.

If your temps stay consistent and your system doesn’t crash you have a very stable overclocked computer. Nothing I know of (no games even) runs a PC as hard as Prime 95 so this is a torture test that will weed out any problems you may encounter.

Dust buildup on computers and PC fans:

Dust is a problem for any computer.

But if you are overclocking it can be even more of a problem. You have to allow the computer parts to breathe easy. Make sure to remove dust with some compressed air from your heat sinks and fans. Be very careful around the CPU base and other chipsets as you can spray the thermal compound out from under the heat sinks.

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