How to Overclock Your CPU – The Ultimate Guide For Newbies

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What if I told you that you can get more performance out of your PC without even spending a single buck? Well, then you might think that I am joking but I am not and in this guide, I will show you how to overclock your CPU which will give you 10 to 30 increase in performance. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into explaining what overclocking is all about.

What Is Overclocking?

Overclocking is a process of tweaking your PC components like CPU and GPU to make them run at a higher clock rate than that intended by the manufacturers. This action makes your hardware component work even faster, the manufacturers restrict the clock speed to a safe level to ensure the reliability and to make it last longer even in worst scenarios.

Is Overclocking safe?

Before you jump into overclocking a CPU there are few principles and terminology that you need to consider. First of all, not every chipset can be overclocked, you will only be able to overclock a processor if it is ‘unlocked’ by the manufacturer. Also, you need to have a motherboard that supports overclocking and a decent CPU cooler to keep your PC stable.

The stock heatsink and coolers that ships with the processor are decent for a little bit of overclocking but if you want to get some serious increase in performance you should have a better performing aftermarket cooler such as those from Corsair.

Also, you must know that the same model processor will need different volts to achieve a specific clock rate, this is because not all chips are born equal and some can tolerate higher operating speeds better than others. It all depends on your luck, even small imperfections in the application of silicon on the processor can vary the performance. This is known as “silicon lottery” for a reason!

There are some risks of overclocking like it will void the warranty of your component  – although some are built with overclocking in mind. You can also end up damaging the processor if you go too crazy but if you follow our guide carefully you are not going to ruin anything and will be able to safely overclock your CPU.

  • Step 1:

First, you will need to install some third-party programs on your computer that will allow you to monitor your CPU. For temperature monitoring, I would recommend you to download the Core Temp software which is completely free. This software will inform you about the core temperatures of your processor and also the maximum temperature your processor can handle before it shuts off.

Then you will need to download Prime95 to stress test your processor to ensure that the CPU is stable at both idle and max load. If the test fails then it means that you have an unstable overclock and you will need to adjust your settings.

  • Step 2:

Once you have downloaded all the software you need to shut down your PC, then restart it and press the Delete (or F2) key to enter the BIOS, and get started

  • Step 3:

Once you have accessed the BIOS, go to the Advanced Frequency settings and open up the CPU Clock Control option. This setting is going to be a little different on every single motherboard but they are all going to have same features so you might need to refer the manual little to find out what they call it but basically the CPU Clock is what you need to find and it will be set to auto by default.

  • Step 4:

The way overclocking works is basically a CPU and motherboard run at a specific speed of 100 megahertz multiplied by your CPU clock ratio, so the CPU clock ratio tells how fast to run For Example; in our case, it is multiplied by 32 to give a 3.2 GHz speed.

Image by Tweak Town

So all we need to here is change the clock ratio multiplier to increase the speed but in most cases, if you are going to up the GHz you will also be needing to increase the CPU voltage. You can get some amount of overclocking without increasing the voltage, so if you are satisfied with that amount then you don’t need to mess with the voltage settings.

  • Step 5:

Next, head over to the CPU voltage settings and find the CPU Vcore option. This is the voltage settings option that you will need to increase if you want to achieve a higher overclock. Here increase the voltage in very little increments For Example; if it is on 1.22 volts you can increase it to 1.3 and then increase Clock ratio.

Also, make sure to enable CPU Vcore Loadline CAlibration to the max possible and also disable any power saving options that you might find in your BIOS.

Image by Tech Powerup

Step 6:

Once you have slightly increased the settings exit the BIOS and boot up the Windows to check the stability. Launch the Core Temp program to monitor the temperature and then start up the Prime95 and open up the options tab, select “Torture Test” and finally “Blend Test” to see how your chip performs at maximum load.

If it is stable for at least five minutes and the max CPU temperature is also around 60-65 (the max temperature should not be more than 70)  then you can begin to increase the Clock Ratio even more to achieve a higher clock.

Step 8:

You can repeat the process from and increase Clock Ratio to get even more speed but once you get the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) or your CPU starts to throttle then it means you have crossed the limit and you need to set the last known stable configuration. At this point, it is all about learning how your processor responds to the different amount of clock speeds and voltage.

So this is how you overclock your CPU, I know this is not for everyone but if you like messing with your hardware or you want to squeeze some more performance out of your PC then definitely try overclocking. However, still do some research around your motherboard and processor and then proceed, just to be extra-safe.

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