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A Laymans Guide To What Overclocking Is

[Article] A Layman's Guide to What Overclocking is..

Hi Guys..

Sometimes it's embarrassing to ask questions about things that you think everyone else knows..*
So a wee guide of things I had to learn and kinda wish i'd known.. but y'know it's all part of the journey!

*Nay fancie pants boastin' here! terms I would *actually* use in my head!

Okay, so, your CPU has a 'Wall' a top boundary of how hard you can push it, based on your cooling and motherboard and how well you adjust your settings.. complicated already?? no sweat, we'll take it slow..

The idea is *not* to cobble parts together, but to have an idea what the comp will be used for from the start.. and so a [Purpose] I imagine most on here built their rigs as Gaming computers, as Gaming rigs are a kind of 'do it all' affair, they can do everything from Media Encoding and Streaming to Image Manipulation to Audio Production, although the RAM for AuP might change.

Air is lowest form of cooling, but even air can be more effective than water cooling, if the water cooling is done badly and the air cooling is done well, but air is super noisy regardless, note my rig..I was trained as a muso, I love sound, this is why my rig is the way it is. silent.

But we're starting with the basics, say you've just built your first rig, and want to know what all this 'Overclocking' fuss is all about..

So you made a rig for around £$ 300 or so, cheapo PSU hoping it won't blow up*, cheapo Biostar £$20 motherboard off ebay or such, AMD dual core, RAM and bits and bob's to fill the MIDI case (how do i know this?.. i did it too!).. but you want a faster computer for free! free is good! and lots of guys on here know how to do that!

Well, depending on your motherboards ability to adjust the Front Side Bus, FSB, which is the speed of that the Motherboard 'Talks' to the CPU, relies on whether you can Overclock at all! if your motherboard doesn't have the option to adjust this setting then you cannot do it at all!*

There are lots of scary settings in your BIOS*, that can harm your computer and make you lose the work you have already done, but getting into OverClocking also known as 'OC'ing' is a kinda of thing where, while there will be losses, you cut your losses and try again, if not, then think hard of what you value more, ..data and work, or growth and personal experience.

Firstly, hit whatever key takes you into the BIOS, just have a look around, you don't need to do anything except look and absorb the information that your seeing, the terms you are seeing are very ''coke and pepsi'' meaning they vary depending from one manufacturer to the next. One company calls something this, and another calls it that, but they are all the same thing. Don't worry though, when you ask around using those terms, people on here will know what you mean.

The ''FSB'' of the motherboard, is like the speed of a motorway, imagine you have a transit system, and on the transit system there are buses, the buses go around picking people up and dropping them off where they need to be, the people are data, and the Front Side Bus is the top speed of the motorway. If you tell the Motherboard the speed can go up, then it will send the buses faster around the system, and so the people/data will get there faster, but too fast and all the buses will crash and all the people/data will be lost.

So ..we don't get silly with the FSB. The guys on here prolly been OC'ing for years, they know their stuff, but ..they didn't start out that way from day one, and you shouldn't feel intimidated if you don't know something, remember they did the silly things too, made all the mistakes you're about to make, ..but hopefully this article will speed up your understanding of what's happening inside your computer and your understanding of overclocking.

The BIOS has more than one place it can tell the buses to speed up on the transit system, it can tell the buses to speed up at certain places, think of a posh village called 'NorthBridge' if you tell the buses to move fast there because the people/data is needed quickly, then this is what will happen.

The RAM is like the bus depot where people/data waits until needed.

The CPU is like a factory where all the people work, and the CPU Multiplier is like a work-shift in the factory and you can set how many hours they all work.

Lastly for this, A thing that chokes many a PC unnoticed, is 'Drive Bandwidth', the more harddrives you have, the more the your bandwidth can ease up and deliver data quicker and more orderly.

A few of *RULES OF THUMB* for PC building in general..

1. if something goes wrong it's *usually* the RAM.

2. The more you pay for your parts the more reliable the computer *usually* is as a whole. reliability is essential for OverClocking!

3. When Windows fails, and it will*, make sure you have your docs and pics and music backed up on another drive. drivers wouldn't hurt too.

4. Linux is HARD. it's like a whole separate hobby. not always but sometimes and often. Ubuntu is your best bet for Mac on PC.. go Intel and you should be fine. like Hackintoshing without the Hacking or the Toshing.

5. Finally, PC Gaming is an experience, but more than that, because you picked the parts yourself, waited for them to come, did your build, install after installed a huge variety of things, and now you get what other people were talking about.. performance. Your Computer that YOU built, prolly faster than anyone's computer you know, because you thumb.gif built it. well done! biggrin.gif



Notes (Click to show)
*xd knows everything, so i guess he's the exception lolol wink.gif @ xd .. but for the rest of us..

*am Scottish n'sometimes it jist comes oot.

*NEVER cheap out on a PSU!

*I know about 'Software overclocking' but since canard took SetFSB off the radar, i think we're stuck. just IMO.

*not used an EFI yet personally.

*got a lot better over the years to be fair, but y'know.. it will happen :/

Comments (3)

UEFI is "awesome", intead of clicking your way down a list you can use the mouse wheel.... thats all I've noticed lol
:-) ill see if finances allow, maybe upgrade my mobo to one with UEFI. but saying that, this has been a good wee mobo especially for a mATX.
it is such a nice!!
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