1. What is overclocking?
A CPU’s (Central Processing Unit) performance, or in other words, processing power, is determined by its number of cores and their clock speeds. Clock speeds are measured in hertz, usually in MHz or GHz. A fast processing speed is essential as your computer can interact with whichever application quickly.
Overclocking is increasing the clock speed of a computer processor beyond its factory-rated speed. This is usually done to boost performance; a similar process called Underclocking is also used to decrease power consumption in some cases. Overclocking is most commonly associated with desktop processors, although it can also be done with GPUs, memory modules, and other types of computer hardware. Overclocking a CPU can increase its clock speed from 3.5 GHz to 4.0 GHz or higher. Since you can’t simply change the number of cores your CPU has(besides buying a better one), the only other way to improve its processing power is by Overclocking.
2. What are the benefits of overclocking?
- Most Overclockers will start by Overclocking their CPU. Overclocking can boost performance for specific tasks, particularly ones that require a lot of processing power. It also provides the most significant performance boost for their systems.
- Gamers also overclock their gaming computers to get an edge over the competition. Overclocking improves gaming performance by increasing frame rates or decreasing loading times.
- Overclocking can also breathe new life into an old computer. For example, if you have an older computer with a CPU that is no longer fast enough for the games you want to play, Overclocking it may be just what you need to get back in the game.
- Overclocking can sometimes extend a processor’s lifespan by running it at lower temperatures. Overclocking can also reduce power consumption in systems that don’t require high-performance levels.
3. The risks associated with overclocking and how to mitigate them
Overclocking is the practice of pushing a computer component harder than what is recommended by the manufacturer to achieve a higher level of performance. While it can be tempting to overclock a CPU or GPU to gain an extra edge in gaming or other graphics-intensive applications, you must consider several risks before taking the overclocking plunge.
The most significant danger of overclocking is overheating. When a component is pushed beyond its limits, it generates more heat than it was designed to handle. This can lead to thermal damage, which can, in turn, cause stability issues and potentially shorten the component’s lifespan. Additionally, overheating can cause system-wide instability, leading to crashes, freezes, and data loss.
Overclocking components often voids the warranty, making it difficult to get repairs or replacements if something goes wrong. To mitigate the risks associated with overclocking. Carefully monitoring temperatures is essential, as is using quality cooling solutions. In addition, it’s important to use only reputable Overclocking software and to back up data regularly. By taking these precautions, enthusiasts can avoid overheating and enjoy the benefits of overclocking without putting their hardware at risk.
4. How to overclock an Intel K series processor?
There are a few different ways to overclock a processor. The simplest method is to use the software available for both AMD Ryzen and Intel CPUs which are AMD Ryzen Master and Intel eXtreme Tuning Utility(XTU). The other method involves entering the bios to adjust the multiplier, which is a setting that determines how much the processor’s clock speed is increased. Another approach is to change the front-side bus speed, which is the speed at which data is transferred between the processor and other components in the system. Finally, some processors can be overclocked by changing the voltage levels supplied to the chip.
We will be going through the more straight forward method of overclocking, which is to increase the core ratios and voltage. We will use 2 methods: the new and more user friends Intel XTU and the old traditional BIOs method.
When you run Intel XTU, open the “Advanced Tuning” page which will display the current settings for your CPU.
The ones which we will focus on here are: core voltage, core voltage offset, and Active-core tuning.
There is also a special speed optimiser setting included by intel, which allows you to overclock your pc by simply clicking a button. This is nice for new users but lacks the customizability of conventional overclocking which is done via the BIOs.
Each motherboard brand has specific instructions regarding overclocking which are worth going over to ensure you get the most out of your overclock.
In the images below, the things that we changed are similar to that in Intel XTU, which is the voltage to the CPU and the core-ratios. Another thing we did was to disable any other throttling setting but that is highly risky and we only advise you do that when you are more comfortable with overclocking!
To make sure that your overclocked CPU runs smoothly and is stable as to minimise disruption and cause potential damage to your PC, you shouldn’t overclock it too much and do it progressively. All these can easily be done via Intel Extreme Tuning Utility( Intel XTU) which we will go through another time!