How to Safely Overclock Your CPU for PCs & Laptops

How to Safely Overclock Your CPU for PCs & Laptops



Overclocking of computer is to increase the operating frequency of CPU, graphics card and other hardware by artificial means, so that they can work stably in a state higher than their rated frequency. Take Intel P4C 2.4GHz CPU as an example, its rated operating frequency is 2.4GHz, if the operating frequency is increased to 2.6GHz, the system can still run stably, then this overclocking will be successful.

The main purpose of CPU overclocking is to increase the operating frequency of the CPU, which is the CPU's main frequency. The CPU's main frequency is the product of the external frequency and the multiplier frequency. For example, if a CPU has an external frequency of 100MHz and a multiplier of 8.5, we can calculate its main frequency = external frequency x multiplier = 100MHz x 8.5 = 850MHz.

You can increase the CPU's main frequency by changing the CPU's multiplier or external frequency. If you are using an Intel CPU, you can ignore the multiplier because Intel CPUs use a special manufacturing process to prevent modifying the multiplier. AMD CPUs can modify the multiplier, but modifying the multiplier does not improve the CPU performance as much as the overclock.

And the speed of the external frequency is usually closely related to the speed of the front-end bus and memory. So when you increase the CPU's external frequency, the performance of the CPU, system and memory also increases at the same time.

There are two main ways to overclock a CPU:

One is hardware setting and the other is software setting. The hardware settings are more commonly used and are divided into two types: jumper settings and BIOS settings.

1. Jumper settings overclocking
Most early motherboards used jumper or DIP switch settings to overclock. In the vicinity of these jumpers and DIP switches, there are often tables printed on the motherboard that record the functions defined by the jumper and DIP switch combination. With the power off, you can set the frequency according to the table. After rebooting, if the computer boots normally and can run stably it means our overclocking is successful.

For example, an Intel 845D chipset motherboard used with Celeron 1.7GHz uses a jumper overclock. Under the inductor coil, we can see the table of jumper instructions, when the jumper is set to 1-2, the external frequency is 100MHz, and when it is changed to 2-3, the external frequency is increased to 133MHz. (133MHz, the original Celeron 1.7GHz will be overclocked to work on 2.2GHz, isn't it very simple :).

Another VIA KT266 chipset motherboard used with AMD CPUs uses a DIP switch setting to set the CPU multiplier. Most AMD multipliers are not locked, so overclocking can be done by modifying the multiplier. This is a group of five DIP switches, which can be combined to form more than a dozen modes through the different on/off states of each serial number switch. There is a description table printed on the top right of the DIP switches, which explains the different frequency changes brought by the DIP switches in different combinations.

For example, if we overclock an AMD 1800+, we must first know that the main frequency of the Athlon XP 1800+ is equal to 133MHz external frequency x 11.5x. If we increase the multiplier to 12.5, the CPU main frequency will become 133MHz x 12.5 ≈ 1.6GHz, which is equivalent to Athlon XP 2000+. If we increase the multiplier to 13.5, the CPU main frequency becomes 1.8GHz, and the Athlon XP 1800+ becomes Athlon XP2200+, a simple operation in exchange for a big performance increase, very interesting, right?

2. BIOS setting overclock
Nowadays, mainstream motherboards have basically abandoned the jumper settings and DIP switch settings to change the CPU multiplier or overclock, instead using the more convenient BIOS settings.

For example, the SoftMenu III and EPOX PowerBIOS belong to the BIOS overclocking method, which can be set in the CPU parameter settings for CPU multiplier and overclocking. If you encounter a situation where the computer does not boot properly after overclocking, just shut down and hold down the INS or HOME key and reboot, the computer will automatically return to the default CPU state, so it is better to overclock in the BIOS.

Here is a combination of Boost Technology NF7 motherboard and Athlon XP 1800+ CPU solution to achieve this overclocking in action. There are two main BIOS brands on the market today, one is PHOENIX-Award BIOS and the other is AMI BIOS, here is the example of Award BIOS.

First boot up your computer and press DEL to enter the BIOS setup screen of your motherboard. From the BIOS, select Soft Menu III Setup, which is the SoftMenu overclocking feature of the Ascendant motherboard.

After entering this function, we can see that the system automatically recognizes the CPU as 1800+. We have to enter here to change the default recognized model to User Define mode. After setting to manual mode, the original gray unselectable CPU external frequency and multiplier now become optional.

If you need to overclock by boosting the external clock, enter here at External Clock: 133MHz. There are many external clock options available here, and you can adjust it to 150MHz or higher. Since increasing the external frequency will increase the system bus frequency and affect the stability of other devices, it is important to use the method of locking the PCI frequency.

Multiplier Factor is the place to adjust the CPU multiplier, enter and enter the options area, you can choose the multiplier according to the actual CPU situation, such as 12.5, 13.5 or higher multiplier.

3. Overclocking with software
As the name implies, it is overclocking through software. This kind of overclocking is much simpler, and it features a set frequency that will recover after shutting down or restarting the computer. Rookies who are afraid to implement hardware settings overclocking at once can test the overclocking effect with software overclocking first. The most common overclocking software includes SoftFSB and the software developed by the motherboard manufacturers themselves. They are similar in principle, all by controlling the frequency of the clock generator to achieve the purpose of overclocking.

SoftFSB is a more general-purpose software that can support dozens of clock generators. Just select the model of the clock generator used on the motherboard and click GET FSB to gain control of the clock generator, then you can set the overclock through the frequency puller and press save after selection to let the CPU start working at the newly set frequency. However, the downside of software overclocking is that when the frequency you set is too much for the CPU to handle, it can lead to a crash or system crash at the moment you click Save.

CPU overclocking secret techniques:
1. CPU overclocking and the CPU itself "body" related
Many friends say that their CPU is still unstable after overclocking with pressure, which is the "body" problem. For the same model of CPU in different cycles of production can be different super, these can be reflected in the processor number.

2. Low multiplier CPU good over
We know that increasing the CPU's external frequency is faster than increasing the performance of the CPU multiplier, if the CPU is not locked multiplier, the masters will use the method of increasing the external frequency to reduce the multiplier to achieve better results, resulting in a low frequency CPU has an inherent advantage. For example, the overclocker AMD Athlon XP1700+/1800+ and Intel Celeron 2.0GHz, etc.

3. The more advanced the production process, the better the overclock
The more advanced the production process of the CPU, the higher the frequency can be achieved when overclocking. For example, Intel's new Intel Celeron D processor, which has won widespread attention, uses a 90nm manufacturing process and Prescott core. Already some users will be a fast 2.53GHz Celeron D super to 4.4GHz.

4. Temperature has a decisive impact on overclocking
We know that after overclocking the CPU temperature will increase significantly, equipped with a good cooling system is a must. Here not only refers to the CPU fan, but also the case fan, etc. In addition, it is also important to apply a thin layer of silicone grease on the CPU core to help dissipate heat well from the CPU.

5. Motherboard is a powerful tool for overclocking
A motherboard that can support overclocking well generally has the following advantages: (1) supports high external frequency. (2) Have a good power supply system. The motherboard with a three-phase power supply or a motherboard with a single single CPU power supply. (3) A motherboard with special protection. Such as the CPU fan can immediately cut off power when it stops, some motherboards call it "burn-in technology". (4) BIOS with special overclocking settings for the motherboard. (5) Excellent workmanship, preferably with a 6-layer PCB board.


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