You can get more performance out of your PC without spending any money by overclocking your CPU. Most CPUs have some additional headroom, which you can use to get better frame rates in games, quicker renderings in Adobe Pro, and everything in between provided you know how to overclock your CPU.
Although overclocking may appear to be a challenging task, it is not difficult and does not represent a significant risk if you know what you’re doing. We’ll go through the fundamentals of Intel and AMD CPUs in this article. But keep in mind that overclocking your CPU is just half the fight when it comes to optimising your PC’s performance. Memory may also be overclocked.
A few of things happen when you overclock a CPU. The chip is hotter to the touch and consumes more power. If you’re utilising the CPU’s standard cooling, both of these variables might cause issues. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of overclocking, but your potential overclocking headroom is significantly reduced compared to a PC with a more sophisticated air or liquid cooling system.
When you overclock your CPU, you’re pushing it beyond its limitations, which might shorten its life. After all, higher power and heat will accelerate the deterioration of most PC components. However, most modest overclocks will have no discernible effect on the longevity of your processor.
You’re probably out of luck if you try to overclock a laptop CPU. Few people accept it, and even fewer have the thermal headroom to make it work. Even if you can, we advise avoiding it for your first attempt at overclocking.
Finally, overclocking your processor will violate its warranty. Overclocking is usually not covered by AMD or Intel, however they would have a hard time proving it destroyed your CPU unless you pushed much too much power through the chip.
Because overclocking raises your system’s operating temperature, it puts more strain on your CPU and cooling system. Give your PC a spring cleaning if this is your first try at overclocking. Remove all hardware and wipe down every surface inside to clean the dust filters on your front intake fans.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that dust clumps aren’t obstructing airflow into and out of your computer. Also, check sure your CPU cooler isn’t clogged with dust. The majority of the extra heat condenses in this area.
Turn off the computer and put on an anti-static wristband before cleaning. We also don’t advocate vacuuming to eliminate dust because of the risk of static accumulation. If dust is difficult to reach, use compressed air.
The BIOS may be used to overclock Intel CPUs. We recommend Intel’s Windows-based Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU), which you can download here, because this is a beginner’s introduction to overclocking. It’s a free software package dedicated to overclocking your Intel processor.
The Intel XTU, unlike other third-party software, is stable, dependable, and unlikely to create issues on its own. It provides a thorough overview of your CPU’s present state. It’s a wonderful little application that provides a lot of information about your system even if you’re not overclocking.
Baseline temperatures and performance
Take a few baseline readings the first time you run XTU to ensure your CPU is ready to overclock. Start with Stress Test, which can be found on the left-hand menu. Run the above test for at least an hour.
You have the option of sitting and watching the test or doing anything else. Return at the end of the hour and look at the system information in the window’s base if you depart.
Keep a close eye on the Package Temperature. You don’t have enough thermal headroom to overclock if your CPU is hotter than 80 degrees. Before going any further, we recommend that you improve your cooling.
From the left-hand menu, go to the Advanced Tuning tab and then to the Multipliers section.
Multipliers (also known as CPU ratios) represent the pace at which the CPU operates. It’s a multiplier of the BCLK or reference clock frequency. A turbo frequency of 3.2GHz would be expected with an x32 multiplier.
Increase your multiplier by one (in our case, x33) across all cores. Although individual core frequencies may be adjusted, we’ll opt for an all-core overclock to make things easy.
Now it’s time to see if the overclock is stable. Rerun the test by selecting Stress Test from the left-hand menu. You just need to run the test for 10 minutes in this scenario. If everything goes smoothly, raise the multiplier by one step. Rinse and repeat as needed. The test will eventually give a fail result or force your machine to crash. Return to the previous multiplier setting if this occurs.
If you’re satisfied with the final overclock, repeat the stress tests and play a few games for several hours to ensure that the overclock remains stable. If not, decrease the multiplier by one step and repeat the stress testing process.
Many voltage factors can affect a CPU’s performance, but core voltage is likely the most significant and influential (VCore). Similar to changing the multipliers, you may alter the voltage using Intel’s XTU. This procedure may distinguish between unstable and stable overclocks, as well as between modest and extremely high overclocks.
When altering the CPU voltage, you must be more cautious than when increasing the multiplier. If you force the CPU to operate at an absurdly high multiplier, your system will crash and restart. It’s possible to destroy your CPU if you try to pump too much voltage through it, so continue with caution.
Anything over 1.4 volts is hazardous, according to a common rule of thumb. However, because it is highly reliant on the specific chip in your PC, more study is recommended.
When you’re ready, go to the XTU’s left-hand menu and choose the Advanced Tuning option, then boost your core voltage by about.025. If you’re starting at 1.250, for example, increase to 1.275. Apply should be selected. If the system doesn’t crash, repeat the stress test to ensure that you’re still in a safe temperature range.
Adjust, test, repeat
You now have all of the tools you need to discover a reliable overclock for your CPU. Maintain your composure. Only make modest adjustments to your settings. After each change, do at least one brief stress test. After a thorough stress test, make sure your CPU temps do not surpass 80 degrees. Finally, make sure your voltages aren’t too high.
If your computer crashes or restarts, it’s an indication that you’ve pushed it too far. Return to the drawing board and make some changes. The most essential result is that you discover a CPU frequency that is safe and reliable.