OK Basic Overclocking Guide 101 for the novice overclocker: Intel and AMD
First things first:
To make sure that you can even begin to overclock your computer, make sure you have a custom built PC, and not an OEM prebuilt PC, please refer to the following link to see if you have a prebuilt PC, and see the pros and cons of Both: http://www.overclock.net/off-topic/1...l#post13900478
Now on to requirements:
-A motherboard that supports overclocking
-A good CPU cooler
-A well ventilated case
-Benchmarking software like Super PI or 3Dmark Vantage
-all the latest drivers for your components
Now an explanation of what overclocking is and how it works:
Overclocking is basically the process of making your processor run faster than it is specified for at the factory. These speeds are today measured in Ghz, and Mhz (GigaHertz and MegaHertz) An example of an overclock is taking an intel core i7 860 CPU, which runs at 2.80GHz, and overclocking it to 4.1GHz. to calculate these speeds, there are 2 numbers to look for in your BIOS (basic input Output system). your base clock, and your CPU multiplier. You take the base clock, and multiply it by your multiplier to get your frequency. Sounds simple right? well it is once you get the hang of it. But there are a few other things to know, and we will soon go into the details.
OVERCLOCKING WILL IN MOST CASES VOID YOUR WARRENTY, WE AT OCN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PART DAMAGE THAT MAY OCCURE DURING YOUR OVERCLOCK!
NOT ALL CPU'S ARE CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING THE SAME SPEEDS, ALL CHIPS ARE DIFFERENT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, SOME PEOPLE MAY BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE CERTAIN SPEEDS AT LOWER VOLTAGES THAN YOU, AND SOME MAY HAVE CHIPS THAT OVERCLOCK FURTHER THAN YOURS.
Please disable any power saving features, like Speedstep Technology, and disable any CE1 support.
Now that may seem a little scary, but if you follow basic cautions and rules, your hardware should survive, and you will soon have a free performance boost. Now on to the Guide.
AMD and Intel processor types:
AMD has been a very respectable microprocessor manufacturer for many years, and have long come to make today's processors, an amazing value, and compete with intel to make faster processors. Intel is also a very respectable manufacturer, and a leading manufacture in high end chips and server grade components.
Generally there are 2 different types of CPU's that overclockers look at. CPU's with locked and unlocked multipliers. A locked multiplier means that you can only change the frequency of the CPU by altering its base clock, which means that it is much harder to overclock than an unlocked processor. with an unlocked multiplier, your CPU can be overclocked by bumping up the multiplier, and then bumping up your core voltage. however when you have a locked multiplier, you are forced to overclock via the base clock, which means you have to tinker with PLL voltage, and RAM Speeds and timings, and all those nasty things. however it really isnt that difficult after you get to know them.
On the AMD side, you can identify an unlocked CPU by the naming scheme. All of the AMD processors with the name "Black Edition" in its name are unlocked and ready to role. So an example of this is the AMD Phenom II x6 1090T Black Edition. Black edition is also called BE for short. AMD tends to have more unlocked processors at a consumer level price range (100 -300 dollars) than intel, and they have much more value oriented products than intel, which give AMD an edge over intel.
On the Intel side, things get a little more complicated. Intels processors can be identified as unlocked with its name scheme as well. All of Intels chips that are Extreme edition, are unlocked and ready, however they used to be typically in the $1000 + price range, and were very unpopular to the mainstream user. however recently, intel has release a new naming scheme, and adding a "K" to the end of some processors names. Those are the mainstream priced unlocked processors, and are ready to role. This give Intel the ability to provide an unlocked multiplier, and all the incredible processing power of intel at a reasonable price range, which give Intel an edge over AMD as well.
Overclocking an unlocked CPU:
You have either an intel Extreme or K series processor, or a black edition processor from AMD. Congratulations, you will have an easy time overclocking your chip, and are more likely to be limited by temperatures than instability.
to overclock an unlocked multiplier, go to the performance section of your BIOS and bump up your multiplier. than go to windows and start a stability test for 30 minutes, if it sails smooth, then go into the BIOS and repeat, until you have reached a point where the system is too unstable to run Prime 95 for 30 minutes, or you cant get into windows. Now bump up your core voltage by 0.25V at a time until you can get stable for 1 hour of prime 95, keep repeating until you notice your core temperatures on your CPU while running prime 95 go past 70'C ( measured using CoreTemp).
after you've reached a point where you have a nice overclock, and want to keep it, run your stability test for 24-48 hours, to ensure stability. if it fails somewhere in between, simply give it more power with a core voltage bump.
Locked CPU Overclocking:
You have just bought a CPU with a locked multiplier, now worries, you can still overclock, but it will be a little more challenging.
To overclock a locked CPU, increase the base clock of your CPU, by 100MHz at a time (after being multiplied) and test for 30 minutes, until you have hit the temperature mark. then test for instability with prime 95 for 24-48 hours, or run Intel Burn Test. Now when you change the base clock, your RAM speed also changed automatically. so you will also need to increase your CPU PLL voltage, and your DRAM voltage, to compensate for the increase in RAM speed. Sometimes RAM also cant handle higher speeds, on account of the RAM timings, so if your RAM timings are really tight (7-7-7-24) you may want to increase it to a higher timing (9-9-9-24).
For further details on your processors overclocking, refer to the overclocks of other people, and see what numbers they got, and what they did to get the system stable, as it may help you as well.Edited by Pentium4 531 overclocker - 6/17/11 at 12:28pm