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Monday, November 15th, 2004 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

Martha from MI asks:
What is over-clocking? Is this okay to do to my computer… I mean it won’t hurt it, will it?

Overclocking is a popular way to get a little more performance from a system. It is often called pushing or speed margining. Sometimes you can force your CPU to run faster than intended, but it does carry some risks such as over-heating, so you should become familiar with all the pros and cons before you attempt it. You don’t want all your crucial data going up in smoke!

Overclocking is possible because reputable companies are conservative in their speed rating. Chip manufacturers want to be sure that the chip will run safely at the advertised speed. Overclockers attempt to exploit this conservatism, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

Attempting to operate hardware in a way that it was not designed to is very risky. Your PC’s Circuit timing is very delicate and you can cause subtle problems by messing with it. The average person may not even notice the small performance improvements. You may get a 6-10% speed improvement, but will it make any difference?

If you use your PC primarily for games and graphics, then you might benefit from overclocking. However, I don’t think overclocking is necessary or recommended for the average user. It should definitely NOT be attempted by a novice.


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