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Encyclopedia > Overclocking
AMD Athlon XP Overclocking BIOS Setup on ABIT NF7-S. FSB frequency (External clock) has increased from 133 MHz to 148 MHz, and clock multiplier factor has changed from 13.5 to 16.5.
AMD Athlon XP Overclocking BIOS Setup on ABIT NF7-S. FSB frequency (External clock) has increased from 133 MHz to 148 MHz, and clock multiplier factor has changed from 13.5 to 16.5.

Overclocking is the process of forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate than it was designed for or was designated by the manufacturer. Image File history File links Overclock. ... Image File history File links Overclock. ... Athlon is the brand name applied to a series of different x86 processors designed and manufactured by AMD. The original Athlon, or Athlon Classic was the first seventh-generation x86 processor and, in a first, retained the initial performance lead it had over Intels competing processors for a significant... For other uses, see Bios. ... This article is about the machine. ... The clock rate is the fundamental rate in cycles per second (measured in hertz) at which a computer performs its most basic operations such as adding two numbers or transferring a value from one processor register to another. ...

Overclocking is usually practiced by PC enthusiasts in order to increase the performance of their computers. Some hardware enthusiasts purchase low-end computer components which they then overclock to higher speeds, while others overclock high-end components to attain levels of performance beyond original specifications. A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals. ...

Users who overclock their components mainly focus their efforts on processors, video cards, motherboard chipsets, and Random Access Memory (RAM). “CPU” redirects here. ... A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Scheme of a chipset A chipset is a group of integrated circuits, or chips, that are designed to work together, and are usually marketed as a single product. ... “RAM” redirects here. ...



There are several considerations when overclocking. Overclocking boosts the performance of a computer system by increasing clock frequencies, which requires certain precautions. The first consideration is to ensure that it is supplied with adequate power to operate at the new speed. However, supplying the power with improper settings or applying excessive voltage can permanently damage a component. Since tight tolerances are required for overclocking, only more expensive motherboards—with advanced settings that computer enthusiasts are likely to use—have built-in overclocking capabilities. Motherboards with fewer settings, such as those found in OEM systems, lack such features in order to eliminate the possibility of misconfiguration on behalf of an inept user and cut down on the support costs and warranty claims to the manufacturer. International safety symbol Caution, risk of electric shock (ISO 3864), colloquially known as high voltage symbol. ... Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, is a term that refers to a situation in which one company purchases a manufactured product from another company and resells the product as its own, usually as a part of a larger product it sells. ...


Main article: Computer cooling
High quality heatsinks are often made of copper.

All electronic circuits discharge heat generated by the movement of electrons. As clock frequencies in digital circuits increase, the temperature goes up. Due to the excessive heat produced by overclocked components, an effective cooling system is often necessary to avoid damaging the hardware. In addition, digital circuits slow down at high temperatures due to changes in MOSFET device characteristics. Wire resistance also increases slightly at higher temperatures, contributing to decreased circuit performance. Computer cooling is the practice of relieving heat, a potentially damaging byproduct of operation, from electronic computers. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2288x1712, 1529 KB)[edit] Summary Author: Charles Gaudette Description: copper heat sink with heat pipes, installed in an Apple Power Mac G4 Mirrored Driver Doors computer. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2288x1712, 1529 KB)[edit] Summary Author: Charles Gaudette Description: copper heat sink with heat pipes, installed in an Apple Power Mac G4 Mirrored Driver Doors computer. ... A large copper heatsink. ... For other uses, see Copper (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Electron (disambiguation). ... The metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET) is by far the most common field-effect transistor in both digital and analog circuits. ...

Because most stock cooling systems are designed for the amount of heat produced during non-overclocked use, overclockers typically turn to more effective cooling solutions, such as powerful fans or heavy duty heatsinks. Size, shape, and material all influence the ability of a heatsink to dissipate heat. Efficient heatsinks are often made entirely of thermally conductive copper, but these are often expensive.[1] Aluminum is more widely used material for heatsinks. Cast iron is the least expensive, but it should be avoided for its poor thermal conductivity. Many good-quality heatsink coolers combine two or more materials to maximize thermal conductivity while minimizing cost. Household Electric Fan A mechanical fan is a device used to produce an airflow for the purpose of creature comfort, ventilation, exhaust, or any other gaseous transport. ... A large copper heatsink. ... For other uses, see Copper (disambiguation). ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (alloys with less carbon are carbon steel by definition). ... In physics, thermal conductivity, k, is the intensive property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct heat. ...

Water cooling and passive liquid coolant carrying waste heat to a radiator which is similar to an automobile engine's cooling system provide more effective cooling than heatsink and fan combinations when properly implemented, because liquid is denser than air and therefore offers greater thermal transference. Watercooling is a method of heat removal from components. ... Many components in a computer system unit produce large amout of heat during operation, including, but not limited to: the CPU, chipset, graphics card, and hard drives. ... Waste heat is the by-product heat of machines and technical processes for which no useful application is found. ... A colorized automobile engine The internal combustion engine is a heat engine in which the burning of a fuel occurs in a confined space called a combustion chamber. ...

Thermoelectric cooling devices, also known as Peltier devices, are becoming more and more popular these days with the onset of high TDP processors from both Intel and AMD. TEC devices create temperature differences between two plates by running an electric current through said plates. This method of cooling is extremely effective, but is very inefficient, which leads to a lot of excess heat. Because of this, it is necessary to supplement TEC devices with a beefy convection-based heatsink or a water cooling system. Companies like Vigor Gaming offer all-in-one units that combine the advantages of TEC cooling with easy installation. One major drawback of TEC is that they have a large power overhead, sometimes drawing more than 60 W. Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. ... The Thermal Design Power (TDP) represents the maximum amount of power the thermal solution in a computer system is required to dissipate. ... Electric current is the flow (movement) of electric charge. ... Vigor Gaming is a privately-held manufacturer of enthusiast level personal computers based in City of Industry, California, USA. The company was founded in 2004 by several former employees and the former owner of competing company, Vicious PC. Vigor Gaming Computers are designed specifically for gaming enthusiasts, and are broken...

Liquid nitrogen may be used for cooling an overclocked system, when an extreme measure is needed.
Liquid nitrogen may be used for cooling an overclocked system, when an extreme measure is needed.

Other cooling methods are forced convection and phase change cooling which is used in refrigerators. Submersion, liquid nitrogen and dry ice are used as a cooling method in extreme measures, such as record-setting attempts or one-off experiments rather than cooling an everyday system. Submersion method involves sinking a part of computer system directly into a chilled liquid substance that is thermally conductive but sufficiently low in electrical conductivity. The advantage of this technique is that no condensation can form on sensitive electronic components. A good submersion liquid is Fluorinert™ made by 3M, which is expensive and requires a permit to purchase it. Another option is mineral oil, but if it has impurities like water or scenting agents it will conduct electricity. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1040x1983, 476 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Nitrogen Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1040x1983, 476 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Nitrogen Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... Convection is the transfer of heat by currents within a fluid. ... In its most common usage, the term phase change indicates that a substance has changed among the three classical phases of matter: solid, liquid and gas. ... “Freezer” redirects here. ... General Name, Symbol, Number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... Dry ice is a genericized trademark for solid (frozen) carbon dioxide. ... Electrical conductivity or specific conductivity is a measure of a materials ability to conduct an electric current. ... For other uses, see Condensation (disambiguation). ... Fluorinertâ„¢ is the brand name for the line of electronics coolant liquids sold commercially by 3M. It is an electrically insulating, inert perfluorocarbon fluid which is used in various cooling applications but is mainly for cooling electronics. ... 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company until 2002, is an American corporation with a worldwide presence. ... Mineral oil or liquid petrolatum is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. ...

These extreme methods are generally intolerable in the long term, as they require refilling reservoirs of coolant or are noisy. Moreover, silicon-based MOSFETs will cease to function ("freeze out") below temperatures of roughly 100 K, so using extremely cold coolants may cause devices to cease functioning.

Stability and functional correctness

An overclocked component operates outside of the manufacturer's recommended operating conditions, and as such may operate incorrectly, leading to system instability. An unstable overclocked system, while it may work fast, can be frustrating to use. Another risk is silent data corruption—errors that are initially undetected. In general, overclockers claim that testing can ensure that an overclocked system is stable and functioning correctly. Although software tools are available for testing hardware stability, it is generally impossible for anyone but the processor manufacturer to thoroughly test the functionality of a processor. A particular "stress test" can verify only the functionality of the specific instruction sequence used in combination with the data and may not detect faults in those operations. For example, an arithmetic operation may produce the correct result but incorrect flags; if the flags are not checked, the error will go undetected. Achieving good fault coverage requires immense engineering effort, and despite all the resources dedicated to validation by manufacturers, mistakes can still be made. To further complicate matters, in process technologies such as silicon on insulator, devices display hysteresis—a circuit's performance is affected by the events of the past, so without carefully targeted tests it is possible for a particular sequence of state changes to work at overclocked speeds in one situation but not another even if the voltage and temperature are the same. Often, an overclocked system which passes stress tests experiences instabilities in other programs.[2] IBM originated, mainly computer hardware engineering term. ... A status register is a collection of flag bits for a microprocessor that indicates the status of various mathematical operations. ... fault coverage = detected faults / detectable faults ... Silicon on insulator (SOI) is a layered structure consisting of a thin layer of silicon, from 50 nm to 100 µm, which is created on an insulating substrate, which is usually sapphire or silicon with an insulating layer of silicon dioxide(SiO2) 80 nm to 3 µm thick on its... Hysteresis is a property of systems (usually physical systems) that do not instantly follow the forces applied to them, but react slowly, or do not return completely to their original state: that is, systems whose states depend on their immediate history. ...

In overclocking circles, "stress tests" or "torture tests" are used to check for correct operation of a component. These workloads are selected as they put a very high load on the component of interest (e.g. a graphically-intensive application for testing video cards, or a processor-intensive application for testing processors). Popular stress tests include Prime95, Super PI, SiSoftware Sandra, BOINC, Intel Thermal Analysis Tool and Memtest86. The hope is that any functional-correctness issues with the overclocked component will show up during these tests, and if no errors are detected during the test, the component is then deemed "stable". Since fault coverage is important in stability testing, the tests are often run for long periods of time, hours or even days. Prime95 is the name of the Windows-based software written by George Woltman that is used by GIMPS, a distributed computing project dedicated to finding new Mersenne prime numbers. ... SuperPi is a Computer program that is used for calculating a specific number of digits of Pi. ... SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a benchmarking, information and diagnostic software utility for the Windows operating system. ... The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a distributed computing infrastructure intended to be useful to fields beyond SETI. It is being developed by a team based at the University of California, Berkeley led by the project director of SETI@home, David Anderson. ... Memtest86 is a piece of software designed to stress-test an x86-compatible computers random access memory for errors. ... Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. ...

Factors allowing overclocking

Overclockability arises in part due to the economics of the manufacturing processes of CPUs. In most cases, CPUs with different rated clock speeds are manufactured via exactly the same process. The clock speed that the CPU is rated for is at or below the speed at which the CPU has passed the manufacturer's functionality tests when operating in worst-case conditions (for example, the highest allowed temperature and lowest allowed supply voltage). Manufacturers must also leave additional margin for reasons discussed below. Sometimes manufacturers have an excess of similarly high-performing parts and cannot sell them all at the flagship price, so some are marked as medium-speed chips to be sold for medium prices. The performance of a given CPU stepping usually does not vary as widely as the marketing clock levels.

When a manufacturer rates a chip for a certain speed, it must ensure that the chip functions properly at that speed over the entire range of allowed operating conditions. When overclocking a system, the operating conditions are usually tightly controlled, making the manufacturer's margin available as free headroom. Other system components are generally designed with margins for similar reasons; overclocked systems absorb this designed headroom and operate at lower tolerances. Pentium architect Bob Colwell calls overclocking an "uncontrolled experiment in better-than-worst-case system operation".[3] Robert Bob P. Colwell (? –) is an electrical engineer who worked at Intel and is now an independent consultant. ...

Some of what appears to be spare margin is actually required for proper operation of a processor throughout its lifetime. As semiconductor devices age, various effects such as hot carrier injection, negative bias thermal instability and electromigration reduce circuit performance. When overclocking a new chip it is possible to take advantage of this margin, but as the chip ages this can result in situations where a processor that has operated correctly at overclocked speeds for years spontaneously fails to operate at those same speeds later. If the overclocker is not actively testing for system stability when these effects become significant, errors encountered are likely to be blamed on sources other than the overclocking. Semiconductor devices are electronic components that exploit the electronic properties of semiconductor materials, principally silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Electromigration is the transport of material caused by the gradual movement of the ions in a conductor due to the momentum transfer between conducting electrons and diffusing metal atoms. ...

Measuring effects of overclocking

Benchmarks are used to evaluate performance. The benchmarks can themselves become a kind of 'sport', in which users compete for the highest scores. As discussed above, stability and functional correctness may be compromised when overclocking, and meaningful benchmark results depend on correct execution of the benchmark[citation needed]. Because of this, benchmark scores may be qualified with stability and correctness notes (e.g. an overclocker may report a score, noting that the benchmark only runs to completion 1 in 5 times, or that signs of incorrect execution such as display corruption are visible while running the benchmark). In computing, a benchmark is the act of running a computer program, a set of programs, or other operations, in order to assess the relative performance of an object, normally by running a number of standard tests and trials against it. ...

Given only benchmark scores it may be difficult to judge the difference overclocking makes to the computing experience. For example, some benchmarks test only one aspect of the system, such as memory bandwidth, without taking into consideration how higher speeds in this aspect will improve the system performance as a whole[citation needed]. Apart from demanding applications such as video encoding, high-demand databases and scientific computing, memory bandwidth is typically not a bottleneck, so a great increase in memory bandwidth may be unnoticeable to a user depending on the applications they prefer to use. Other benchmarks, such as 3DMark attempt to replicate game conditions, but because some tests involve non-deterministic physics, such as ragdoll motion, the scene is slightly different each time and small differences in test score are overcome by the noise floor.[citation needed]-1... This article is about computing. ... Scientific computing (or computational science) is the field of study concerned with constructing mathematical models and numerical solution techniques and using computers to analyze and solve scientific and engineering problems. ... Memory bandwidth is the amount of data per second that can be read from or stored into a semiconductor memory by a processor. ... In engineering, bottleneck is a phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is severely limited by a single component. ... 3DMark is a computer benchmark by Futuremark (formerly MadOnion) to determine the DirectX performance of graphics cards. ... The term deterministic may refer to: the more general notion of determinism from philosophy, see determinism a type of algorithm as discussed in computer science, see deterministic algorithm scientific determinism as used by Karl Popper and Stephen Hawking deterministic system in mathematics deterministic system in philosophy deterministic finite state machine... In signal theory, the noise floor is the measure of the signal created from the sum of all the noise sources and unwanted signals within a measurement system. ...


The extent to which a particular part will overclock is highly variable. Processors from different vendors, production batches, steppings, and individual units will all overclock to varying degrees.

Manufacturer and vendor overclocking

Commercial system builders or component resellers sometimes overclock to sell items at higher profit margins. The retailer makes more money by buying lower-value components, overclocking them, and selling them at prices appropriate to a non-overclocked system at the new speed. In some cases an overclocked component is functionally identical to a non-overclocked one of the new speed, however, if an overclocked system is marketed as a non-overclocked system (it is generally assumed that unless a system is specifically marked as overclocked, it is not overclocked), it is considered fraudulent. In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. ...

Overclocking is sometimes offered as a legitimate service or feature for consumers, in which a manufacturer or retailer tests the overclocking capability of processors, memory, video cards, and other hardware products. Several video card manufactures now offer factory overclocked versions of their graphics accelerators, complete with a warranty, which offers an attractive solution for enthusiasts seeking an improved performance without sacrificing common warranty protections. Such factory overclocked products often demand a marginal price premium over reference-clocked components, but the performance increase and cost savings can sometimes outweigh the price increases associated with similar, albeit higher-performance offerings from the next product tier.

Naturally, manufacturers would prefer enthusiasts pay additional money for profitable high-end products, in addition to concerns of less reliable components and shortened product life spans impacting brand image. It is speculated that such concerns are often motivating factors for manufacturers to implement overclocking prevention mechanisms such as CPU locking. These measures are sometimes marketed as a consumer protection benefit, which typically generates a negative reception from overclocking enthusiasts. CPU locking is the process of permanently setting a CPUs clock multiplier. ... Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects the interests of consumers. ...


  • The user can, in many cases, purchase a slower, cheaper component and overclock it to the speed of a more expensive component. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 ($189), for example, can be overclocked to speeds of over 3Ghz with performance comparable to the Core 2 X6800 (£500 or $975).
  • Faster performance in games, encoding, video editing applications, and system tasks at no additional expense, but at increased cost for electrical power consumption. This means that systems can become more "future proof" in that performance is of such high standard that an upgrade may not be required for some time.
  • Some systems have "bottlenecks", where small overclocking of a component can help realize the full potential of another component to a greater percentage than the limiting hardware is overclocked. For instance, many motherboards with AMD Athlon 64 processors limit the speed of four units of RAM to 333 MHz. However, the memory speed is computed by dividing the processor speed (which is a base number times a CPU multiplier, for instance 1.8 GHz is most likely 9x200 MHz) by a fixed integer such that, at stock speeds, the RAM would run at a clock rate near 333 MHz. Manipulating elements of how the processor speed is set (usually lowering the multiplier), one can often overclock the processor a small amount, around 100-200 MHz (less than 10%), and gain a RAM clock rate of 400 MHz (20% increase), realizing the full potential of the RAM.
  • Overclocking can be an engaging hobby in itself and supports many dedicated online communities. The PCMark website is one such site that hosts a leaderboard for the most powerful computers to be benchmarked using the program.

Core 2 Duo brand logo Core 2 Extreme brand logo Core 2 is an eighth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor produced by Intel based on an all-new CPU architecture called the Intel Core Microarchitecture, which is the successor of NetBurst microarchitecture that has powered most Intel processors since 2000. ... Sony Playstation motherboard A motherboard, also known as main board, logic board or system board, is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a computer. ... The Athlon 64 is an eighth-generation, AMD64 architecture microprocessor produced by AMD, released on September 23, 2003. ... MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ... The CPU multiplier is one way for processors to run much faster than the clock speed that the motherboard or RAM allows. ... The integers are commonly denoted by the above symbol. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Many of the disadvantages of overclocking can be mitigated or reduced in severity by skilled overclockers. However, novice overclockers may make mistakes while overclocking which can introduce avoidable drawbacks, and potentially result in damage to the overclocked components.

General disadvantages

These disadvantages are unavoidable by both novices and veterans.

  • The lifespan of a processor is negatively affected by higher operation frequencies, increased voltages and heat. Overclockers argue[citation needed] that with the rapid obsolescence of processors coupled with the long life of solid state microprocessors (10 years or more), the overclocked component will likely be replaced before its eventual failure. Also, since many overclockers are enthusiasts, they often upgrade components more often than the general population, offering further mitigation of this disadvantage.
  • Increased clock speeds and voltages result in higher power consumption.
  • While overclocked systems may be tested for stability before usage, stability problems may surface after prolonged usage due to new workloads or untested portions of the processor core. Aging effects previously discussed may also result in stability problems after a long period of time.
  • High-performance fans used for extra cooling can produce large amounts of noise. Older popular models of fans used by overclockers can produce 50 decibels or more- however, most modern fans are overcoming this problem by designing fans with aerodynamically optimized heatsinks for smoother airflow and minimal noise (around 20 decibels). Some people do not mind this extra noise, and it is common for overclockers to have computers that are much louder than stock machines. Noise can be reduced by utilising strategically placed larger fans which deliver more performance with less noise in the place of smaller and noisier fans, or by the use of alternate cooling methods, such as liquid and phase-change cooling, or by lining the chasis with foam insulation. Now that overclocking is of interest to a larger target audience, this is less of a concern as manufacturers have begun researching and producing high-performance fans that are no longer as loud as their predecessors. Similarly, mid- to high-end PC cases now implement larger fans (to provide better airflow with less noise) as well as being designed with cooling and airflow in mind.
  • Even with adequate CPU cooling, the excess heat produced by an overclocked processing unit increases the ambient air temperature of the system case; consequently, other components may be affected. Also, more heat will be expelled from the PC's vents, raising the temperature of the room the PC is in - sometimes to uncomfortable levels. This is especially true during summer periods, and in geographical locations near the equator.
  • Overclocking will not necessarily save money. Non-trivial speed increases often require premium cooling equipment to avoid unacceptably high temperatures, and an 'overclocking friendly' motherboard which is costlier. It can also become an expensive pastime. Most people who consider themselves overclockers spend significantly more on computer equipment than the average person[citation needed]. However, recent innovations in CPU manufacturing technology means that significant gains can be made from certain processors. This is shown clearly in the Intel Core 2 range: any chip in the E6x00 family, including the lower end E6300 model, can be overclocked to almost X6800 speeds with a marginally small difference in performance[citation needed].
  • Overclocking has a risky potential to end in component failure ("heat death"). Most warranties do not cover defunct units that result from overclocking activities. Some overclocker friendly motherboards offer safety measures that will stop this from happening (eg limitations on FSB increase) so that only voltage control alterations can cause such harm. It could be argued, however, that incremental voltage changes have very little chance of damaging components as any signs of instability would manifest themselves beforehand.

The decibel is a dimensionless unit (like percent) that is a measure of ratios on a logarithmic scale. ... Processor can mean: A central processing unit of a computer. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... Core 2 Duo brand logo This article is about Intel processors branded as Intel Core 2. ...

Disadvantages of overclocking performed incorrectly

  • Increasing the operation frequency of a component will increase its thermal output in a linear fashion, while an increase in voltage causes a quadratic increase. Overly aggressive voltage settings or improper cooling may cause chip temperatures to rise so quickly that irreversible damage is caused to the chip causing immediate failure or significantly reducing its lifetime.
  • More common than hardware failure is functional incorrectness. Although the hardware is not permanently damaged, this is inconvenient and can lead to instability and data loss. In rare, extreme cases entire filesystem failure may occur, causing the loss of all data.[4]
  • With poor placement of fans, turbulence and vortices may be created in the computer case, resulting in reduced cooling effectiveness and increased noise. In addition, improper fan mounting may cause rattling or vibration.
  • Improper installation of exotic cooling solutions like liquid or phase-change cooling may result in failure of the cooling system, which may result in water damage or damage to the processor due to the sudden loss of cooling.
  • Sometimes products claim to be intended specifically for overclocking and may be just decoration ("rice"). Novice buyers should be aware of the marketing hype surrounding some products. Examples include heat spreaders and heatsinks designed for chips which do not generate enough heat to benefit from these devices.

In the field of information technology, data loss refers to the unforseen loss of data or information. ... See Filing system for this term as it is used in libraries and offices In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ... Watercooling is a method of heat removal from components. ... A refrigeration cycle describes the changes that take place to a refrigerant in absorbing heat and subsequently radiating it as it is circulated around a refrigerator. ... Interior of part of a damaged home in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. ... A riced Dodge Neon, including clear taillights, an overly large spoiler, Fart cannon tailpipe, non-functional hood scoop, body kit, despite having no performance modifications to the engine. ... A large copper heatsink. ...


The utility of overclocking is limited for a few reasons:

  • Personal computers are mostly used for tasks which are not computationally demanding, or which are performance-limited by bottlenecks outside of the local machine. For example, web browsing does not require a very fast computer, and the limiting factor will almost certainly be the speed of the internet connection of either the user or the server. Overclocking a processor will also do little to help speed up application loading times as the limiting factor is reading data off of the hard drive. Other general office tasks such as word processing and sending email are more dependent on the efficiency of the user than on the speed of the hardware. In these situations any speed increases through overclocking are unlikely to be noticeable.
  • It is generally accepted that, even for computationally-heavy tasks, speed increases of less than ten percent are difficult to discern. For example, when playing video games, it is difficult to discern an increase from 60 to 66 frames per second without the aid of an on-screen frame counter.

A word processor (also more formally known as a document preparation system) is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting, and possibly printing) of any sort of viewable or printed material. ... Frame rate, or frame frequency, is the measurement of the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames. ...

Overclocking graphics cards

The BFG GeForce 6800GSOC ships with higher memory and clock speeds than the standard 6800GS.
The BFG GeForce 6800GSOC ships with higher memory and clock speeds than the standard 6800GS.

Graphics cards can also be overclocked, with utilities such as NVIDIA's Coolbits, or the PEG Link Mode on ASUS motherboards. Overclocking a video card usually shows a much better result in gaming than overclocking a processor or memory. Just like overclocking a processor, sufficient cooling is a must. Many graphics cards overheat and burn out when overclocked too much. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 520 pixelsFull resolution (1531 × 996 pixel, file size: 600 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) BFG GeForce 6800GS overclocked, in its box I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 520 pixelsFull resolution (1531 × 996 pixel, file size: 600 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) BFG GeForce 6800GS overclocked, in its box I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) (pronounced ) is an American corporation specializing in the manufacture of GPU technologies for video cards, graphics cards, workstations, desktop computers, handhelds and more. ... Coolbits is a Windows Registry hack for NVIDIA graphics cards Windows drivers, that allows tweaking features via the NVIDIA driver control panel (including overclocking). ... PEG Link Mode (PCI Express Graphics Link Mode) is a feature available in the BIOS of some ASUS motherboards, which automatically overclocks the video card by a small amount. ... For other uses, see ASUS (disambiguation). ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Look up Burnout in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Sometimes, it is possible to see that a graphics card is pushed beyond its limits before any permanent damage is done by observing on-screen distortions known as artifacts. Two such discriminated "warning bells" are widely understood: green-flashing, random triangles appearing on the screen usually correspond to overheating problems on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) itself, while white, flashing dots appearing randomly (usually in groups) on the screen often mean that the card's RAM (memory) is overheating. It is common to run into one of those problems when overclocking graphics cards. Showing both symptoms at the same time usually means that the card is severely pushed beyond its heat/speed/voltage limits. If seen at normal speed, voltage and temperature, they may indicate faults with the card itself.

Some overclockers use a hardware voltage modification where a potentiometer is applied to the video card to manually adjust the voltage. This results in much greater flexibility, as overclocking software for graphics cards is rarely able to freely adjust the voltage. Voltage mods are very risky and may result in a dead video card, especially if the voltage modification ("voltmod") is applied by an inexperienced individual. It is also worth mentioning that adding physical elements to the video card immediately voids the warranty (even if the component has been designed and manufactured with overclocking in mind, and has the appropriate section in its warranty).

Alternatives to Graphics Card Overclocking

Flashing and Unlocking are two popular ways to gain performance out of a video card, without technically overclocking. A graphics/video/display card/board/adapter is a computer component designed to convert the logical representation of visual information into a signal that can be used as input for a display medium. ...

Flashing refers to using the BIOS of another card, based on the same core and design specs, to "override" the original BIOS, thus effectively making it a higher model card; however, 'flashing' can be difficult, and sometimes a bad flash can be irreversible. Sometimes stand-alone software to modify the BIOS files can be found, i.e. NiBiTor, (GeForce 6/7 series are well regarded in this aspect). It is not necessary to acquire a BIOS file from a better model video card (although it should be said that the card which BIOS is to be used should be compatible, i.e. the same model base, design and/or manufacture process, revisions etc.). For example, video cards with 3D accelerators (the vast majority of today's market) have two voltage and speed settings - one for 2D and one for 3D - but were designed to operate with three voltage stages, the third being somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned two, serving as a fallback when the card overheats or as a middle-stage when going from 2D to 3D operation mode. Therefore, it could be wise to set this middle-stage prior to "serious" overclocking, specifically because of this fallback ability - the card can drop down to this speed, reducing by a few (or sometimes a few dozen, depending on the setting) percent of its efficiency and cool down, without dropping out of 3D mode (and afterwards return to the desired full-speed clock and voltage settings). For other uses, see Bios. ... Stand-alone is a loosely defined term used to sort computer programs. ...

Some cards also have certain abilities not directly connected with overclocking. For example, NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT (AGP flavor) features a temperature monitor (used internally by the card), which is invisible to the user in the 'vanilla' version of the card's BIOS. Modifying the BIOS (taking it out, reprogramming the values and flashing it back in) can allow a 'Temperature' tab to become visible in the card driver's advanced menu. The new GeForce logo. ...

Unlocking refers to enabling extra pipelines and/or pixel shaders. The 6800LE, the 6800GS and 6800 (AGP models only) and Radeon X800 Pro VIVO were some of the first cards to benefit from unlocking. While these models have either 8 or 12 pipes enabled, they share the same 16x6 GPU core as a 6800GT or Ultra, but may not have passed inspection when all their pipelines and shaders were unlocked. In more recent generations, both ATI and Nvidia have been laser cutting pipelines to prevent this practice.[citation needed]. In 3D computer graphics, a shader is a program used to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. ... The GeForce 6 Series is nVidias newest series of graphics processors. ... The GeForce 6 Series is nVidias newest series of graphics processors. ... The GeForce 6 Series is nVidias newest series of graphics processors. ... The Accelerated Graphics Port (also called Advanced Graphics Port, often shortened to AGP) is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a graphics card to a computers motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. ... “GPU” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Graphics cards in the same series all share a processor based on the same architecture. For example, all 7 series cards have the 7 series GPU architecture. The differences between cards are the number of transistors in the processor and the speed at which it is clocked. A higher number in the series will have a higher transistor count, for example an 8800 will have more transistors than an 8600. A processor with a higher clock speed is one that has been thouroughly tested at that speed, with the output being checked by ATI or NVIDIA to ensure that there are no silent errors. These are small errors which would go undetected without examining the output for them. Lower models of the processor have not been certified at higher speeds, but can be run at a higher than speed than specified.

It is important to remember that while pipeline unlocking sounds very promising, there is absolutely no way of determining if these 'unlocked' pipelines will operate without errors, or at all (this information is solely at the manufacturer's discretion). In a worst-case scenario, the card may not start up ever again, resulting in a 'dead' piece of equipment. It is possible to revert to the card's previous settings, but it involves manual BIOS flashing using special tools and an identical but original BIOS chip.


  1. ^ Wainner, Scott; Robert Richmond (2003). The Book of Overclocking: Tweak Your PC to Unleash Its Power. No Starch Press, p. 38. ISBN 188641176X. 
  2. ^ Chen, Raymond (April 12, 2005). The Old New Thing: There's an awful lot of overclocking out there. Retrieved on 2007-03-17.
  3. ^ Colwell, Bob (March 2004). "The Zen of Overclocking". Computer 37 (3): pp. 9-12. 
  4. ^ Kozierok, Charles M. (2001). Risks of Overclocking the Processor. The PC Guide. Retrieved on 2007-03-17.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Robert Bob P. Colwell (? –) is an electrical engineer who worked at Intel and is now an independent consultant. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

Wikibooks How To Build A Computer has a page on the topic of
Optimizing and Overclocking

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... CPU locking is the process of permanently setting a CPUs clock multiplier. ... CPU-Z is a freeware system profiler application for Microsoft Windows that detects the central processing unit, RAM, motherboard chipset, and other hardware features of a modern personal computer, and presents the information in one window. ... In computers, the front side bus (FSB) or system bus is the physical bi-directional data bus that carries all electronic signal information between the central processing unit (CPU) and the northbridge. ... Overvolting is an arm of overclocking where the voltage flowing through computer components is increased slightly as to increase their overclocking ability. ... The Pentium OverDrive was a marketing brand name used by Intel, to cover a variety of consumer upgrade products sold in the mid 1990s. ... UNIVAC I Central Complex, containing the central processor and main memory unit. ... SuperPi is a computer program for calculating decimal digits of π. It is used as a benchmark program for measuring the speed of a CPU. In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. ... Underclocking is the practice of modifying a microprocessors speed settings to run at a lower clock speed than the manufacturers specification. ...

External links

Overclocking/Benchmark databases

  Results from FactBites:
EXTREME Overclocking - Tweaking PC Hardware To The Max (2689 words)
I was pleasantly surprised to see a budget offering overclocking like some of the better known hardware on the market.
In no way was I expecting the overclocking results that I pulled from this board.
Every module is hand-tested beyond its rated specification for superior reliability and overclockability.
How to Overclock - Overclocking Tutorial (3596 words)
Overclocking has become common with all of the newest hardware devices having the ability to reach overclocked speeds of over 50%.
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Overclocking is accomplished by adjusting the frequency of either the CPU multiplier or FSB (front side bus) speed in the Bios of the motherboard.
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