Simply put, overclocking is the action of increasing the clock rate of your CPU (central processing unit) and increasing its speed to more than its default factory settings. Overclocking is generally popular among gamers where they increase the clock rate of the CPU and/or GPU (graphics processor unit) in order to get better frame rates (performance) when playing the latest and most demanding games. When you increase a component’s clock rate, you basically cause it to perform an increased number of operations per second at the expense of generating more heat. Because of that, you also need to make sure the component you decide to overclock is properly cooled.
Why Overclock a Computer?
The main benefit of overclocking components lies in the fact that you don’t need to spend extra money in order to get higher clocked components. In some cases, overclocking can save you up to a few hundred dollars, especially when we’re talking about the top of the line CPUs. However, even though it does sound very enticing, there are quite a few drawbacks that may make some people think twice before overclocking their system.
First of all, if you do it, then you’re basically going to void the warranty for the component you’re overclocking, and that’s because you are forcing it to run beyond its rated specification. Secondly, by doing so, you also decrease the component’s lifespan or may even damage it permanently. Because of these risks, you’ll find that each overclocking software and guide you find online always comes with a disclaimer where it states that the author is not responsible for any damages that your machine may incur as a result of following his overclocking guide.
Proper Cooling Is Mandatory
If you want to overclock your system, including your CPU and GPU, then you need to make sure that they are properly cooled. Air cooling may not be that effective in this case, so that is why you should either opt for liquid cooling solutions or even nitrogen cooling if the overclock is meant to be temporary. While air cooling solutions may work just fine, you need to make sure that the cooler/s you get can effectively circulate air in your computer’s case.
Myths Surrounding Overclocking Your CPU
There are of course a few myths about overclocking your CPU and GPU that have stopped many people from trying it. The myth is that to overclock your system, you need to have a high-end motherboard. Well, that’s not true at all, since your motherboard doesn’t actually influence the overclocking process that much. Likewise, unless you plan on overclocking your DRAM memory to very high speeds, you can rest assured that using standard DRAM sticks is not going to cause any problems.
All in all, by keeping these things in mind, you’re going to be able to overclock your CPU or GPU properly, without risking damaging any of them.