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Data Recovery Engineer
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Code:
Code:
This is what I have so far:

Newbie Guide to Overclocking

What is overclocking?

Overclocking is a process of making various components in a computer to go faster than their stock speeds. So if you buy a processor (lets say an e7300 2.5GHz) and make it go faster (lets say 3.6GHz), that can be deemed as an overclocking.

HALT! Do not proceed any further until you have read this:

Dell, Gateway, eMachine, etc... do not overclock, so it is not even worth trying.

A little bit more of some explaination:

This guide is intended to explain how to overclock and its uses. It was made for those who have computers (moreover, motherboards and other components) that support overclocking. If you bought a brand of computer like Dell, Sony, Gateway, HP, eMachine, or any other crappy PC (not saying all of them are) that comes for a store like Walmart, Best Buy, or Circuit City, then this guide does not pertains to you. This guide is meant for anyone who has a motherboard made by ASUS, GIGABYTE, Abit, DFI, (sometimes Intel), or any other well known brand know for their boards and overclocking abilities. But be forewarned, not all boards made by these companies are made to overclock. Check and see if yours does for going any farther than this final line.

Note: There are ways to bypass hardware overclocking via software, but it is not recommended and can make your PC unstable, even rending it unable stay stable. Overclocking software is made for boards that supports overclocking so that changes can be made without having to restart.

Further notes:
-Motherboards not designed for overclocking will not go as far in overclocking, become unstable sooner, and heat far quicker and do not have adequate cooling
-If your computer uses a Celeron, Sempron, or equivalent processor, then no matter how much you overclock, there is no way around their crappiness. They are great for learning how to overclock, but other than that, there is not much of a yield in performance that you may be looking for in gaming or benchmark (or measuring how well your computer performs).

[B]
Disclaimer for my own protection:[/B]
[B]WARNING!!! READ THIS DAMN WARNING!!! I DO NOT WANT TO HERE YOU WHINE YOU BROKE YOUR COMPUTER, SO READ THIS WARNING!!!!!![/B]
[I][B]
Overclocking can really mess things up, and it wares down your hardware and its life-expectancy. In other words, the more you overclock, the short your computer will live (like how an F1 car's engine must be replaced after each race). [/B][/I]

If you attempt to overclock, then I, Lord Xeb, of this forum and its inhabitants are not responsible for any damage or destroyed hardware when using this guide. Follow at your own risk.

[B]Why would you want to overclock if it could be damaging?[/B]

Simple, to get more out of what you payed for. Overclocking is similar to going and upgrade a car's engine by boring out its piston chambers and adding better fuel enjection, air intake, transmission, etc..., but there is always a risk in doing so. But it all boils down to one thing: performance. It is hard to fry your system if you are careful and know what you are getting yourself into. If you are careful about what you do, then it is rather hard to do any kind of permanent damage to your system by pushing it to its sheer limits.

As with any kind of performance enhancement, there is a level of risk involved. The first and foremost danger is heat. Heat will degrade and damage your components beyond repair if left unchecked and will most definitely lower your system's life span. When you overclock, you are making your computer do more work than it is used to, thus it is going to generate more heat, so having a good cooling system is essential. If you do not have sufficent cooling, then your system could and will overheat. Overheat by itself cannot kill your computer though, the only way for that to happen is to repeatedly overheat it time and time again past the recommended temperatures. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TRY TO STAY BELOW 60C!

And as luck would have it, you do not have to be overly worried about your system overheat as there will be signs before you system becomes a fried potato. Random crashes are probably the most common sign. Overheat is easily prevented by the use of thermal sensors which can tell you how hot your system is getting. If you see temperatures that you think is too high, then either run at a lower speed, or get better cooling, which I will cover later on.

The other danger of overclocking is voltage. Too much, and you can significantly shorten your components' lifespan. A small boost will not do much, but if you plan on a rather hefty overclock, you may want to be aware that it will decrease the lifespan of your computer's components. But this is usually not an issue since most people who will overclock do not use their components for more than 4-5 years and there is a good chance your components will not fail before 4-5 years regardless of the voltages running through it. Most processors are designed to last in upwards of ten years. So most of of the time, loosing a few of those years is worth the performance gained for overclocking.

Please note, much of this first part of this guide is based off (but not plagiarized) of this other guide, thus credit should go to it: 
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=79266
Tell me what you think
 

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It does a good job at simply explaining and introducing overclocking. Maybe you should go into one detail at a time like I - intro II - methods and then go into dangers at the end to keep your thoughts more organized.
 

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Some have had success with overclocking a brand name computer using software instead of fiddling with settings in the BIOS I believe, so I wouldn't say it's impossible.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #4
K. I will change that to "more difficult"
 

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2 words: SPELL CHECK

Well, maybe more check for syntax.

You used:

"it wares down your hardware and its life-expectancy. In other words, the more you overclock, the short your computer will live"

Should read:

"it wears down your hardware and its' life-expectancy. In other words, the more you overclock, the shorter your computer will live"

Other than little nitpicky things like this, it's not bad!
 

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I made a 12 page overclocking guide last year complete with graphics, charts, disclaimer, etc. as a final for my technical writing class, but now it's not in my computer anymore.
I was going to post it up here for you to see.

I had an almost complete HDD failure a while back and was able to get most of my data back off the drive, but I lost a lot and I guess that was part of it. I have never really been able to tell what I lost. That really sucks because I worked on it for the better part of three weeks.

Well, good luck on yours and it's looking pretty good so far (except for the overabundance of opinion, slang, poor grammar, and misspelling). I found that making one helped me learn more about overclocking than I was able to convey in the paper itself, but to me the experience of writing it was invaluable.

OT: Hey Illusion, is that Boxxy in your avatar?
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #7
Dude that sucks. My 500GB failed not to long again if that helps.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #8
I know this is a double post but whatever.

I will be adding a another part of my guide here for a proof read. Let me know if there is anything I need to do to fix anything. Grammar errors, spelling and whatnot.

Also, is it bad for me to be adding my guide in parts here. I feel as if someone could steal it and make one before I can e_e
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Lord Xeb
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Also, is it bad for me to be adding my guide in parts here. I feel as if someone could steal it and make one before I can e_e

Judging from the first part, I wouldn't worry much about that.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #10
What do you think. I am only to the beginning for explaining RAM, but so far so good. I have been using this guide as a reference and template to mine (and adding things were they need to be added and take things out were they need to be taken out):

Teh Link

Newbie Guide to Overclocking
Intel Processors Only

Please note, this guide can be modified to help with overclocking of an AMD based processor.

What is overclocking?

Overclocking is a process of making various components in a computer to go faster than their stock speeds. So if you buy a processor (lets say an e7300 2.5GHz) and make it go faster (lets say 3.6GHz), that can be deemed as an overclocking.

HALT! Do not proceed any further until you have read this:

Dell, Gateway, eMachine, etc... do not overclock, so it is not even worth trying.

A little bit more of some explanation:

This guide is intended to explain how to overclock and its uses. It was made for those who have computers (moreover, motherboards and other components) that support overclocking. If you bought a brand of computer like Dell, Sony, Gateway, HP, eMachine, or any other crappy PC (not saying all of them are) that comes for a store like Walmart, Best Buy, or Circuit City, then this guide does not pertains to you. Even though it is possible to overclock these systems with software, it is not recommended nor advised. This guide is meant for anyone who has a motherboard made by ASUS, GIGABYTE, Abit, DFI, (sometimes Intel), or any other well known brand know for their boards and overclocking abilities. But be forewarned, not all boards made by these companies are made to overclock. Check and see if yours does for going any farther than this final line.

Note: There are ways to bypass hardware overclocking via software, but it is not recommended and can make your PC unstable, even rending it unable stay stable. Overclocking software is made for boards that supports overclocking so that changes can be made without having to restart.

Further notes:
-Motherboards not designed for overclocking will not go as far in overclocking, become unstable sooner, and heat far quicker.
-Computers with boards that do not support overclocking do not have adequate cooling
-If your computer uses a Celeron, Sempron, or equivalent processor, then no matter how much you overclock, there is no way around the crappiness. They are great for learning how to overclock, but there is not much of a yield in performance that you may be looking for in gaming or benchmark (or measuring how well your computer performs).

Why would you want to overclock if it could be damaging?

Simple, to get more out of what you payed for. Overclocking is similar to going and upgrade a car's engine by boring out its piston chambers and adding better fuel injection, air intake, transmission, etc..., but there is always a risk in doing so. But it all boils down to one thing: performance. It is hard to fry your system if you are careful and know what you are getting yourself into. If you are careful about what you do, then it is rather hard to do any kind of permanent damage to your system by pushing it to its sheer limits.

As with any kind of performance enhancement, there is a level of risk involved. The first and foremost danger is heat. Heat will degrade and damage your components beyond repair if left unchecked and will most definitely lower your system's life span. When you overclock, you are making your computer do more work than it is used to, thus it is going to generate more heat, so having a good cooling system is essential. If you do not have sufficient cooling, then your system could and will overheat. Overheat by itself cannot kill your computer though, the only way for that to happen is to repeatedly overheat it time and time again past the recommended temperatures. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TRY TO STAY BELOW 60C!

And as luck would have it, you do not have to be overly worried about your system overheat as there will be signs before you system becomes a fried potato. Random crashes are probably the most common sign. Overheat is easily prevented by the use of thermal sensors which can tell you how hot your system is getting. If you see temperatures that you think is too high, then either run at a lower speed, or get better cooling, which I will cover later on.

The other danger of overclocking is voltage. Too much, and you can significantly shorten your components' lifespan. A small boost will not do much, but if you plan on a rather hefty overclock, you may want to be aware that it will decrease the lifespan of your computer's components. But this is usually not an issue since most people who will overclock do not use their components for more than 4-5 years and there is a good chance your components will not fail before 4-5 years regardless of the voltages running through it. Most processors are designed to last in upwards of ten years. So most of of the time, loosing a few of those years is worth the performance gained for overclocking.

Disclaimer for my own protection:
WARNING!!! READ THIS DAMN WARNING!!! I DO NOT WANT TO HERE YOU WHINE YOU BROKE YOUR COMPUTER SO READ THIS WARNING!!!!!!

Overclocking can really mess things up, and it wears down your hardware and its life-expectancy. In other words, the more you overclock, the short your computer will live (like how an F1 car's engine must be replaced after each race). If you attempt to overclock, then I, Lord Xeb, this forum and its inhabitants are not responsible for any damage or destroyed hardware when using this guide. Follow at your own risk.

Please note, much of this first part of this guide is based off (but not plagiarized) of this other guide, thus credit should go to it:

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...ad.php?t=79266

Now onto the basics:

Like all other tech out there, you must understand how things work before you can fix them. The processor is the most common component to overclock, so we will start there.

Any time you buy a processor (a.k.a., CPU or Central Processing Unit), not matter what brand it is, or where it came from, you will see and speed on it (now-a-days in GHz), this speed is its operating speed. To give you better understand of what this measurement means, I must first tell you what its speed stands for. The speed of a processor is how many clock cycles, in a certain alloted period time, in which it can carry out a given amount of instructions. So, as one can think, the more clock cycles the better. The same would go for a car, the more horsepower, the more power it has to do its job. One MHz (megahertz) is 1 million clock cycles per second. 1 GHz (gigahertz) is 1 billion clock cycles per second. So if a processor is rated at 2.66GHz, then it can go through 2,660,000,000, or 2 billion, six-hundred sixty-six clock cycles in EVERY SECOND! Mind boggling eh? The latest processor (AKA Core i7), can do more work than a Pentium 4 ever could. So speed means more than just muscle. It means bragging rights and the ability to get things down faster!

The primary goal of an overclocking is to raise this said speed of a processor so that I can do more clock cycles per second, this more instructions, and ultimately, more data. This is how your processor's speed is calculated:

FSB (Front Side Bus, in MHz) x Multiplier = speed in MHz

The FSB (AKA Front Side Bus), is the channel through which your system communicates with the your CPU, Common sense would tell you that if you make this faster, they entire system would run faster as well (which of course it will).

Now for a little bit of history:

Over the years, CPU manufacturers (like Intel, AMD, VIA, etc...) have found ways to increase the effective (or working speed) of the FSB of a processor. Simply, they send more instructions in every clock cycle. So instead of send more than one instruction per clock cycle, they have ways to send 2 per clock cycle (which is the AMD way), or even better yet, 4 instructions per clock cycle (the Intel way). So, so when looking at a processor and you see its FSB speed, there is one thing you must realize: IT IS NOT ACTUALLY RUNNING AT THAT SPEED. In Intel based CPUs, the FSB is “quad pumpedâ€, mean they send 4 instructions per clock cycle. If this doesn't connect with you, think of the FSB running 4x faster. So if they FSB is running at 1600, it is really running at 400. The same would go for an AMD processor, but instead is double pumped, or 2x. So if the FSB is running is running at 400, then it is really running at 200.

knowing this VERY important because while overclocking, you will be deal with the real FSB of the CPU, not the effective speed of the CPU.

The multiplier is just like it sounds. It is used to multiply the FSB to give you your processor speed. So if you have a processor running at 400Mhz FSB with a multiplier of 9, then you will have a processor speed of 3600MHz, or 3.6GHz.
So the equation is like so:

400MHz (FSB) x 9 (multiplier) = 3600MHz CPU speed, or 3.6GHz (note, most processors do not run at this speed even when at stock).

Now for a little bit of background:

On some CPUs, such as Intel processors since 1998, the multiplier is locked, or cannot be raised above what is stated. On others, they multiplier is “top locked†or it cannot be raised or lowered than its original speed. On some of the other CPUs, like the Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme Edition and the AMD Phenom II Black Edition, the multiplier is unlocked. Processors like these are an overclockers dream, since you can just raise the multiplier for a higher CPU speed. But processors like like these are uncommon and really expensive (like $1000+ for an Intel processor, and nearly $300+ for an AMD Phenom II), thus not widely used.

So, in other words, it is much easier to raise or lower the multiplier on a CPU than the FSB. This is because the multiplier only effects the CPU speed and the FSB effects the overall speed of all the other components in your system that communicates with the CPU, thus, overclocking all of the other components in your system. Doing this though can bring around many other problems which would not come just the multiplier was changed. These other components that you didn't intend to overclock are pushed too far and can fail to work; but once you understand how overclocking works, then, you will know how to prevent such issues.

Just a note: AMD processors do not have a FSB per se because the FSB is integrated onto the chip (like the latests Intel processor, the godly Core i7). On an AMD processor, the “FSB†is called the HTT, so you can think of the HTT as the FSB. They pretty much function in the same way.

From here on, this guide will be about overclocking Intel processors only.

How to Overclock:

If you understand how a processor gets its speed rating, then you may proceed. If not, ask a few questions and I, or someone else will try and help you.

Where do I begin?

Hmm, that is a toughy. Lets just start by going into the most common way of overclocking, which is through your motherboard's BIOS (or Basic Input/Output System). In order to reach your BIOS, you need to push delete, F1, F2m or any other F button when your system first boots (you will see a splash screen at right as soon as you turn your PC on). Most of the time there is a screen that that will tell you what button to push to access the BIOS (sometimes also referred to as Setup).

Once you are in the BIOS (you will know because it will be a blue screen with white text options for you to choose and no, it will not look like the BSOD), assuming you BIOS do support overclocking, you should access to the necessary settings to overclock you system. They most common settings that you will be able to adjust are as follows:

Multiplier, FSB, RAM Timings, RAM speed, and RAM Ratio.

Basically, you are trying to get the highest FSB x Multiplier formula that you can possibly achieve (within reason). By far the easiest way is the raise the multiplier (which I have stated before), but this will not work on most processors unless they are an EE (Extreme Edition, released by Intel), or a BE (Black Edition, released by AMD). It is pretty self explainatory, but there is one issue you may encounter: RAM issues. I will cover this in a bit, so be patient.

Once you got your CPU to were it cannot go any faster (either because of heat or because you have hit a “wallâ€), you still have one more option.

This one is for those of balls of steel (not really) and requires a little bit more tinkering sometimes. You can try to lower the Multi. and raise the FSB even higher. Just to give you an Idea. Lets say that you are OC (overclocking) your computer and you have hit a wall at 360FSB with a Multi of 10 (or 3.6GHz), you can drop your multiplier from 10 to 9 and increase your FSB to 400 (400 x 9 = 3.6GHz). Both of these combinations will give you the same result. Now you are thinking to yourself, “So, both combinations give me the same speed, so that would mean I have the same performance?†I am sorry to bust your bubble and ruin your cloud of glee, but WRONG!

Since the FSB is the channel at which your entire system communicates with your CPU, then you would want it as high as possible. So, if you your FSB is running at 360 instread of 400, then your CPU is running at a higher speed, but your system is running slower.

Now, ideally you would want to lower the multiplier and increase the FSB to as high of a speed that you can get, but this can cause problems in the chain of command (or so to speak) since your system depends on the FSB (and most notibly, the RAM). This concluses my lecture on this tidbit and leads me to the next, the RAM (or Random Access Memory, but don't worry, you do no need to know what every acronym means).

*Please note: Retail computers use motherboards with rather crappy BIOS which contain no overclocking support at all. The only way to overclock these system is to softer like SetFSB. Since I have never used this before to OC, I do not recommend using (unless you can find someone on OCN that can help overclock with software).

What does RAM have to do with Overclocking?

Before I go any further, I would like to give you a like to the RAM Information Link of AWESOMENESS! RAM Information Link of Teh AWESOMENESS!

Now let me repeat what I have said before (sorry for beating a dead horse): The FSB is the way your system talks to your CPU (and the way it talks back and screams information to your data hungry processor). So increasing the FSB will overclock the rest of your system (most notably your RAM).

Here is a little list to give you an idea of your RAM speeds (in MHz).

DDR2 533 â€" Max FSB: 266.5
DDR2 667 â€" Max FSB: 333.5
DDR2 800 â€" Max FSB: 400
DDR2 900 â€" Max FSB: 450
DDR2 1000 â€" Max FSB: 500
DDR2 1066 â€" Max FSB: 533
DDR2 1200 â€" Max FSB: 600

These are the most common DDR2 RAM speeds on the market and the maximum FSB you can go to before you top out the max speed your ram likes the FSB to go. Any higher than the MFSB (my version of Max FSB), then you could encounter some stability issues (and in some cases your system will just cycle on and off or you will get the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). If you get the BSOD, just reduce your FSB till you are at your ram's maximum (or below maximum) FSB. If it cycles on and off, you and reset your CMOS (either by putting moving using a jumper [Consult your motherboard's manual for this] or by removing the button cell battery on your motherboard) and start over. It will take you a few tries before you get things right, but hey, practice max perfect, so why not?

Now then, to understand this, you must know roughly how your RAM works. RAM, or Random Access Memory, serves as temporary storage of files that the CPU needs to access quickly. For instance, when you load a level in a game, your CPU will load the level into RAM so that it can access the information quickly whenever it needs to, instead of loading the information from the relatively slow hard drive.

If you still do not understand, think of the RAM as the work bench that has all of your tools and necessities to complete a job. The bigger the table, the more work space your have to work with and the more space you can put stuff out that you may need for your project. Also, the faster your RAM is, the faster you able to access the stuff on that table. Now think of your hard drive as a garage that has all of your stuff packed away in boxes and on shelves. It is relatively slow to go and look through the hard drive to find stuff (as it would be look though all those boxes), so you lay your stuff on a table. Making any sense yet? If not, then sorry, but this is not for you. If yes, then you may now proceed.

Most DDR2 RAM runs at a speed between 533MHz and 1066MHz (sometimes higher). Since this considerably slower than your FSB (well, unless your FSB is 1066 or 800).

I will not go into any detail as to why this is so, or the history of the RAM. Just know that your ram runs a half the speed of what is rated at (because it runs on a multiplier of 2x). Thus you need to look at things in this perspect.

So what does all this have to do with Overclocking?

Good question. As I have said before (sorry), when you raise the FSB, you overclock everything else on your system. This applies to RAM as well, RAM that is rated at 800, is rated to speeds up to 400MHz FSB. For a non-overclock, this doesn't mean much. But for those of use that are, it means a world of difference.

Now in laymen (lol, I fail) terms, if you raise the FSB above the Maximum FSB, then you will have some problems. And the biggest problem you will have is that your system will crash. There are ways around this though. And of which, you have 3 options:

Buy faster RAM (which means $$$), using a FSB:RAM ration (also know as FSB
RAM), or overclocking your RAM.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #12
<.< Anyone care to read what I got so far?
 

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OOF
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I suggest making the beginning sentence a little bit complex to make sure you are a professional talking.

Something like "Overclocking is the term to increase the speed of any component or item in a computer or electronic device to run at a speed that is greater than the fixed or rated speed of the original item." would suffice, but whatever floats your boat.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #14
<.< I like your suggested *used*

I FREAKING HATE RAM!!! I HATE RAM I HATE RAM I HATE RAM!!!! Writhing out this part of the guide is taking forever!
 

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skimmed some of it. I think the biggest hurdle for new people to this hobby would be the vocabulary. That is true in almost any specialty.

I think you should probably focus less on the history in a beginners guide. Cover what is relevant to the last few generations of CPUs: S939/AM2, C2D/C2Q/i7 for example. Yes it's interesting to know that the first OC's came by replacing crystals that effectively doubled the clock speeds but it is only relevant for trivia. Information overload perhaps but I call it low attention span. IMO you could be much more helpful by describing/naming the relevant parts and providing links to much more detailed information. With that thought in mind you could produce the "beginners" version focused on introducing concepts/vocabulary and a "2.0" or intermediate version with examples and more in depth looks at them.

Nice of you to put one up and good luck with it.
 

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Data Recovery Engineer
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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for you insight. I will definitely take that into account. +1 for you
 
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