A Beginners Guide To Overclocking

A Beginners Guide To Overclocking


If You are into PC gaming you’ve probably heard the term overclocking and for good reason as it’s relatively simple and straightforward way to get more performance out of your computer for free.  There’s always definitely a lot more to it than that but don’t worry that’s what this article is for. It’s going to show everything you need to know about overclocking. What it is. What it does. How to do it. But most importantly the performance difference it makes to your computer and whether it’s wort it in the first place.

How to Overclock CPU


Why exactly do you want to overclock your PC in the first place? Well, it’s to gain extra performance in any application that really taxes your computer. Everything that runs a bottleneck so to speak this will cap the speed of execution. This could be the time it takes to open up photoshop or maybe it’s in games and then it’s frames per second.

The main thing to remember is that there are loads of different components in your computer and they’re all strained in different situations so overclocking your processor might help in serious workloads or in games. But it’s unlikely to make your computer turn on any faster.

The most common component to overclock is the CPU and that’s why we’re going to focus on today. I have in hand an Intel i9 9900K PC which you can learn more about it. We’re going to overclock it, post it stock settings and see the exactly what the real-world changes are and whether the process was actually worth it in the first place.

Asus Rog Maximus XI Hero gaming motherboard is a great example of a motherboard that been built with overclocking in mind. You’re of course need a seat that unlocks and then ready for overclocking. But also, a motherboard that will allow for it. They are typically more expensive but have better power delivery for a more stable overclock.

rog maximus motherboard

The process of CPU overclocking is pretty straightforward. It’s simple. It’s mainstream but it does carry an element of risk and ultimately will probably void your warranty on your CPU and if you do proceed do so with caution because if something goes wrong you could ultimately irreversibly damage of your hardware and unfortunately I can accept no responsibility if this happens. So proceed with caution and I guess do so at your own risk.

The basic fundamentals are as follows your processor has caused and these are used for executing operations with the more cause the better. You certainly can’t change this number four. You can change this paper. They run at the quicker the speed the faster will be in games and applications. As a processor runs faster however it gets thirsty and requires more power to function properly. Therefore, as we increase the clock speed, we also need to boost up the voltage or the V core to keep everything stable.

The theory then is pretty simple; increase the clock speed and increase the V core and everything will be perfect. As you see there are problem as we add more power, we’re also generating more heaves and it is bad if the temperature hit 100 degrees Celsius on the processor. Your computer’s in trouble and it’s likely going to shut down to prevent damage and this is exactly why there are so many CPU coolers on the market is the better more efficient ones. Allowed you to overclock further as they can displace more heat away from your chip.

So generally speaking, it’s up there with some of the better ones. Putting this into practice requires you to hit restart button and then match the delete key to hit the motherboard BIOS. I’d highly advice that you take some baseline benchmark first though to get an idea of any performance gains. So, grab a copy of Cinebench and core temp both of which are available for free online.

Cinebench

Run the tests and then note down your figures. You should make sure that the RAM is running at maximum possible speed. This is very simple on Intel platform as achieved with a single click by enabling MP then if you haven’t already navigate to the overclocking section and you’ll find a lot of settings. You don’t have to worry if you don’t know what most of them. Mean as we can leave pretty much all of them on auto and the motherboard will take care of the rest for us.

The first setting you’re going to want to change is the core speed. So, select this and change it to single core. You can adjust each one individually but now we want every core to max out at the same speed. The Maximus Hero Motherboard has already looked at our 9900K and it’s given us some suggested overclocking values that we can use to start with. Most motherboard won’t do this though so simply Google the name of your processor and then suffix it with overclocking settings. This will give you a good idea of places to start.


It’s definitely not a good idea to jump in with the highest possible values. You can find though as every chip is different. So, I’ve started with 5 GHz overclock. The total speed that the chip will run is calculated as the base clock times the multiplier and here is the best clock is 100 megahertz. Therefore, I enter 50 is the core multiplier and pop in suggested core voltage of 1.25 volts. But do it very careful when entering these values as they’re very small. This is the bit that if you get wrong could potentially cause you some damage. Either immediately or over time so do be sure to actually double – check these as you don’t want to enter too much.


After saving the settings Is time to boot back into windows and open core temp in Cinebench. We’re testing to see if the system crashes or if the processor gets too hot. Unfortunately, after mere seconds we’re hit with a bluescreen. We’ve made a mistake.


It’s for a time to go back into the BIOS and ever so slightly increase the voltage in a small increment to get things nice and stable. After we’ve upped the voltage is time to go back into windows and try again.


This time Cinebench ran successfully and the temperature were way below 100 degrees. So, we’re all good on that front and we can actually push our chip a little bit more so it’s time to go back into the BIOS. Yes, this process gets very monotonous and increase the speed to 5.1 GHZ. It took quite a few cycles to get this stable and I ended up check out the temperature at 89 degrees which safe but a little too hot for my liking. The perfect balance would have the lowest possible voltage for a completely stable system.


My key is to test for stability is to run three successful runs of Cinebench and a five-minute resolve render. But if you’re using you PC for work, I would seriously advise much longer tests as you don’t want a blue screen when you’re working on something important. As for performance gains this vary wildly as your chip overlock and graphics card will dictate the in-game frame rate. My Cinebench score increased by around 9%.


The video test only shaved a couple seconds of render times which in practical term isn’t really that useful. As for the gaming numbers with a 2080 and 3200 MHZ ram frame rates increased across the board with games high as 22 frames a second in far cry 5.


The thing to bear in mind here though is that it’s dependent on the graphics card you’re running out as well as the resolution is that 4K you’re unlikely to see any big games but high refresh rate monitor and the difference could be huge. The main takeaway here is that if you are prepared to tweak a bit you can get more performance out of your processor. But this doesn’t actually make it free as you’re going to need more expensive cooler in the first place and you’re end up with a louder and more power-hungry PC when you finally get there.


I guess it’s all about balance as well normally overclock my computer but not normally to the limits as long as it’s fairly quiet with temperatures that peak under 80 degrees, I’m quite happy. But as overclocking can degrade your chip faster than when it’s running it’s stock. I’m someone that likes to maybe rest on the side of caution.

I’ll leave links to everything that has been featured in this article. Including the processor, the graphics card everything I’ll leave it all. Let me know, are you an overclocker? I think this is actually a really interesting one because its something I think we’re all told to do. But I would wager most of us probably don’t. I don’t know, I interested to hear your thoughts. Let me know down in that comment section.

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