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What is Overclocking?
Overclocking simply means running the processor at a higher speed than it is marked.
eg:- It is sometimes possible to run a Celeron 300a Processor at 450MHz, a Pentium II 266MHz at 350MHz, an Athlon 700MHz at 800MHz, etc.
Many CPU's (Processors) can be overclocked by simply altering motherboard jumpers or BIOS Setup settings.

How fast can I clock my Processor?
Most chips will overclock by a few percent though there are instances of chips running twice as fast as the rated speed though this is very unusal. It all depends on the chip and on the motherboard and how far you are willing to go.


Overclocking my PC?
The two most important factors before attempting to overclock your CPU is that you have an efficient cooling system and a full set of specifications for the processor, memory and motherboard and a bit of common sense. The safest and easiest way to overclock any CPU is to increase the speed of the front side bus (FSB). Another option but not suitable for all processors is to increase the clock multiplication factor which will enable the processor to run at a faster speed internally while communicating with main memory and the motherboard chipset at the standard speed of the FSB (For the processors that cannot be clocked in this way the alterations are simply ignored by the processor which is "Locked" to the correct multiplication factor).

Some systems will simply run faster without any more alterations. For example, if you have say a pentium III 650 (which normally has an FSB of 100) and your motherboard allows a bus speed of 112 (12% faster) then your processor would run at 728MHz. Now provided the system boots and runs without crashing and the processor temperature doesn't rise too high (a common warning temperature is at about 70 degrees Centigrade though some go as low as 55C and others as high as 95C) then that is all you need to do. Now you can effectively keep on increasing the settings until any of the start to give problems (or indeed sometimes the system won't boot at all !!).

At this point then you have a number of alternatives. You can increase the cooling to reduce temperature which may help. Serious Overclockers have been known to go to quite extreme lengths to cool processors even using liquid nitrogen (more than 200 degrees below zero) Another option is to vary the core voltage of the CPU (normally by increasing it but sometimes decreasing it can work too but for different reasons). When you are overclocking it may be that the processor lacks sufficient power to work at the higher speed and so increasing the voltage will give it that necessary power. But this also of course will increase the heat output and therefore the processor temperature which means you may need more cooling. Now it may also be that your particular processor has sufficient power to operate at the faster speed, but running at this speed it generates too much heat and this causes the processor to fail. In these circumstances a reduction in voltage may increase processor stability.

However be VERY CAREFUL whenever you vary the voltage and only increase in small percentages as too high a voltage may possibly damage your processor.

Adjustments to voltage can be made either by the jumpers or dipswitches on the Motherboard (refer to your motherboard manual), or by software core voltage control which is a function certain Motherboards provide in the Bios. Note that not ALL Motherboards allow you to adjust the software core voltage as it can be dangerous.

Memory Speed is also an issue. Older PC's will probably have older memory based on the PC 66 standard, which only supports bus speeds up to 66Mhz, which might make things unstable at higher Bus Speeds. If you are considering overclocking your PC then you should consider buying faster Memory (RAM) based on the PC 100 and PC 133 Mhz which is designed to operate at a maximum of 100 MHz & 133 MHz System Bus-Speed respectively. Of course just like processors you will find that some memory will overclock quite satisfactorily where as others will not. As mentioned above, by overclocking the processor at 112MHz which would be overclocking PC100 ram its still well within the capabilities of PC133.

How do I know if I can clock MY Processor?
The simple answer is that you don't without trying. The only thing that I have found is that the processors you buy Retail Boxed seem to clock better than the ones you get unboxed (OEM).

If you are looking for PC Hardware and Overclocking tools or information, then try these links below.





The OC Shrinks FAQ

Overclocking may possibly cause serious harm to your PC and may void any warranty available with your manufacturer. It is possible it may make your computer unstable leaving it prone to crashing. Bear in mind that extreme caution should be taken when proceeding to overclock your PC. We take no responsibility for any damage caused should you proceed to do so.

Click Here for Core Voltage Settings for some older Processors


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