Nowadays every organisation uses computers to accomplish their work at a faster rate since time is an important factor in this 21st century. We cannot imagine business without computers. Such is our dependence on them. If we can increase the speed at which the processor of a computer works then it becomes more conducive to accomplish our work faster and therefore we get quicker business solutions.

Through this article let’s learn as to how we can break the barriers and “overclock” hardware(CPU in our case) so that it runs at a speed more than its designated clock speed. Before we get to the procedure of overclocking let me brief you about clock speed, why the manufacturers do not sell at high clock speeds when hardware can be overclocked and what is needed, for us to overclock.

CLOCK SPEED: Also known as clock rate is the speed at which a micro processor executes instructions or the rate at which a processor executes a cycle. It is measured in MHz or GHz. Every computer contains an internal clock that synchronizes various components and regulates the speed at which information is processed. The speed of processor also depends on the computer architecture. Two processors designated with same speeds but manufactured by different manufacturer need not necessarily work at similar speeds. Other factors that contribute to the overall performance are speed of RAM, CACHE size etc.

Why manufacturers do not sell at higher speeds when they can be overclocked??

Chips are usually manufactured as wafer of hundreds or thousands of them. They are then fabricated by slicing off the individual ones. After this process they are tested for their speed to designate and classify them based on their speed. During this testing for example if there is a chip which runs at a speed higher than 3GHz and the base speed fixed by the manufacture is 3GHz then all of them are commonly classified under one category of 3GHz even if their speed is more than 3GHz. Therefore, providing an impetus for the enthusiastic technocrats to overclock.

Requirements for overclocking: The most important requirement is to remember the fact that overclocking is an unwarranted action and if executed properly users can enjoy enhanced speeds but if execution goes astray then there is every possibility that the other system components may fail to function causing acute damage. For overclocking we require a good processor with number of cores and CACHE size as per requirement and the one with lower graded speed. Secondly, we need a motherboard BIOS that allows us to control as many parameters as possible to execute overclocking operation comfortably. Usually it allows us to control voltage and bus speeds. We need to equip the CPU with an extra cooling system. Since, we are enhancing the speed possibility of excessive heat generation is high. We need a processor with slower FSB(Front Side Bus) to make our job easy. FSB is the component that connects CPU with RAM and other peripherals. CPU speed is obtained by multiplying FSB clock rate with CPU multiplier. For example a processor with FSB speed of 333MHz and an 8X multiplier yields a speed of 2.67GHz. Lastly, we will need clean power supply.

Now it’s time for us to learn the art of overclocking and let’s go step by step to execute it efficiently. Follow the procedure outlined as follows to overclock your CPU.

  1. Download software called prime95 and start what is called as torture test. Initially the indicator will glow red followed by yellow which means that the system is unstable. Run the test for three hours to ensure that the system becomes stable.
  2. Download BIOS software containing tools for overclocking from your motherboard manufacturer site. Install it and lock all the clocks except the one for CPU.
  3. Increase the FSB speed either by adjusting it in BIOS or by downloading software called ClockGen that accomplishes the above task.
  4. Increase the speed at 10 units per iteration and run the torture test to ensure that the CPU is stable. If it is stable further increase is possible.
  5. If clockgen software is used boot the speed into the BIOS to set FSB speed to required level permanently.

Once the above actions are performed your CPU can run at a faster clock speed and you can enjoy enhanced performance.

Hence, overclocking is a tool that can be used to enhance the speed of your CPU and make use of every penny you paid to buy it. HAPPY OVERCLOCKING!!!!!!!

- Harish.R.


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