What is Overclocking in computer processor?

What is Overclocking in computer processor?

Overclocking might be a very familiar word for computer gamers, but still many of you hear it for the first time. In this geek story you will learn all about Overclocking. Though overclocking is a complex topic, we'll to keep the discussion here as simple as possible.

So, let’s get started-

Clock Speed

Before start talking about Overclocking, let me first tell you about clock speed. All microprocessors like CPUs and GPUs are executed each instruction at a fixed number of clock cycles which is regulated by the processor’s internal clock. The number of clock cycles is performed per second is known as clock speed of the processor. The faster the clock means more instruction execution per second. Clock speed is expressed in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz) which you might hear when you purchasing a processor.


Overclocking refers to pushing your computer components harder and faster than the manufacturer designed them to go. Overclocking can certainly speed up your system (and save you some cash in the process), but only if you do it right.

Current microprocessors are capable to execute at higher speed than manufacturer certified speed. When you increase the processor clock speed beyond the speed it was certified to run is called Overclocking. Overclocking can usually apply to the CPU or GPU, but other components can also be overclocked. Overclocking will increase your computer performance 25% and more which help you to run high graphic games or perform a huge amount of scientific calculations with your current processor.

Now, you might think that why manufacturer made under-rated the processor clock speed. That because of reliability. When you overclock your CPU or GPU, it consumes more power and also generate extensive heat. If they get too hot, signals get interrupted which leads to instability and crashes. Even worse, too much heat can also lead to the part burning itself. So, before Overclocking you should have a better heat sink with faster fan or liquid cooling system.

Overclocking can create a big problem for you if your processor under warranty period. Manufacturers are strictly maintained that if you overclock CPU or GPU then you will void the warranty of the device because it is not running within its rated speed.

Processors don't instantly melt when you overclock them because a modern CPU's speed rating specifies the speed at which every processor in the same manufacturing batch cano run--a number that's likely to be considerably lower than the maximum speed that your specific processor is capable of.

The Benefits of Overclocking

Overclocking is, essentially, using the settings present on the motherboard in order to have the CPU run at higher speeds than what it’s set to run by default.

Overclocking allows you to basically get ‘free’ value from your hardware, potentially letting the CPU last longer before it needs an upgrade, as well as just generally increasing performance in high demand applications like gaming and video editing.

A successful overclock can grant as much as a 20% performance increase or more, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.

These days, Intel and AMD don't frown on overclocking as much as they did a few years ago. Both companies now ship CPUs equipped with core multipliers unlocked, and even CPUs that have locked multipliers are fairly easy to overclock.

What should do when overclocking the CPU?

If you're planning on doing extreme overclocking then following points should be remembered.

It requires expensive liquid cooling

Heat is the main concern of CPUs, and too much heat can lead to a shorter lifespan for the chip. Generally speaking, once you’re CPU is constantly running at above 86 degrees Celsius, you’re starting to get into the danger zone. Temperatures like that certainly won’t kill your CPU immediately, but it could overall lower the functional lifespan. A better cooler can extend the life of the product at those higher clock speeds.

What to expect from your overclocked processor

Before starting the physical process of overclocking, think about what you're trying to accomplish. If you use your computer to run standard desktop applications - office productivity apps, Web browsers, and so on - overclocking is not worthwhile, since the higher clock speeds won't deliver noticeably better performance.

On the other hand, if you run system-intensive applications such as games that hit all of the different subsystems in your PC - hard drive, graphics, memory, and CPU -you'll see some gain by juicing up the CPU clock, but don't expect too much.

Basic knowledge about processor

We won't dive deeply into individual CPU architectures, but you do need to know some basic stuff. All CPUs have a fundamental clock rate, from which all of the other clock rates inside the CPU are derived. Various sections of the processor take this fundamental clock rate, which acts as a kind of standard timekeeper, and multiply it to get an internal clock speed for a particular section of the CPU.

Stress Testing

If you overclock your system, it makes sense to run a stress test to confirm the system's stability. You can generally get by with the free software for most stress testing.

Overclock in the BIOS

You’ll need to go into your computer’s BIOS and increase the CPU clock rate and/or voltage. Increase it by a small amount, then boot your computer.


Overclocking is a method to increase the performance of your standard computer components to their potential speeds beyond the specified speed. The performance gains that can be obtained through Overclocking are substantial, but a lot of consideration must be done before taking the steps to Overclocking your system. You must aware of the risks that involved in the Overclocking. Those who are willing to take the risks can get some great performance from their systems without spending on the expensive hardware. Good Luck!

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