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Overclocking Processors

Overclocking is changing the front side bus speed and/or multiplier to boost CPU and system speed. Overclocking has some issues:

  • CPU speed ratings are conservative.

  • The processor, motherboard, memory, and other components can be damaged by overclocking.

  • Applications may crash, the operating system may not boot, and/or the system may hang (lock up) when overclocking.

  • The warranty may be void on some CPUs if you overclock.

  • When you increase the speed of the CPU, the processor’s heat increases. Extra cooling, using fans and larger heat sinks, is essential.

  • Input/output devices may not react well to overclocking.

  • The memory chips may need to be upgraded to be able to keep up with the faster processing.

  • You need to know how to reset the system BIOS/UEFI in case the computer will not boot properly after you make changes. This process is covered in Chapter 4.

Many motherboard manufacturers do not allow changes to the CPU, multiplier, and clock settings. The changes to the motherboard are most often made through BIOS/UEFI Setup. However, CPU manufacturers may provide tuning tools in the form of applications installed on the computer for overclocking configuration. Keep in mind that overclocking is a trial-and-error situation. There are websites geared toward documenting specific motherboards and overclocked CPUs.

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