How To Safely Over Clock Your CPU

CPU overclocking has its advantages but it can also be risky business. Here is a safe way to overclock
your CPU
. Most processors allow overclocking only to a certain extent. Others, by virtue of their design, allow it a little more. Most processors today have their clock multipliers locked and this prevents them from being tweaked through that component. In such cases, the bus speed needs to be used, but you need to take care when you do this so that the rest of the system is not adversely affected.

Keep in mind that your warranties will not cover any damage cause by over-clocking; so be very sure of the extent to which you can push your system safely. The first by-product of a tweaking experiment will be the generation of heat in your critical components. So before you embark on this task, ensure you have adequate cooling for components like the processor, RAM and motherboard chipset.


Steps To Safely Overclock Your CPU

Consult the manual to  make sure that your motherboard supports overclocking through jumper settings or BIOS tweaks. Only when you are sure that you can change the  CPU’s core voltage, clock  multiplier or bus speed, should you go about pushing your system harder.

To overclock:

  • Enter the BIOS by rebooting your computer and hitting the [DEL] or the [F2] key. The exact steps will vary according to your BIOS type and version. Refer to the motherboard manual to help locate the FSB frequency and the CPU voltage settings.
  • Increase the CPU FSB frequency in small increments of, say, 2 MHz. Change the CPU Speed/Voltage Settings to ‘Manual’ to let you change them.

                    changing the CPU FSB frequency     changing the CPU voltage
Note: Throughout this exercise, monitor your system temperatures and voltages very closely. It is critical that they remain within limits for your system to run reliably. Failing to do so will result in shortening the life of your processor or even failure. It is important to start out your overclocking at the rated settings and work your way up in small increments.

  • Save your settings and reboot the machine. The PC should boot normally. Check for any signs of instability. Run a CPU-intensive program or game like Half-Life 2 to stress the CPU and make sure it is working fine.
  • Reboot and enter the BIOS again. Increase the CPU voltage, again in small increments. Restart and repeat the previous steps. Continue till you feel the machine has been pushed to its limits.


A stable over-clocked system is one that has the right balance between CPU FSB, voltage and bus speed settings. Overclocking is achieved by trial and error and we cannot over emphasize the importance of safety.


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