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Is Overclocking Safe and Worth it?

Written by Dawn Richard

Hello everyone!

Overclocking has been a matter of dispute since the very beginning. Overclocking suits many of the people, but still, there are a lot of talks about Overclocking in the world. Let’s make everything easy for you by discussing and discovering each and every aspect of Overclocking, its pros, its cons, everything.

Overclocking does not concern only to a gamer, but also every other regular user wants to know the advantages and disadvantages of Overclocking. Let’s get the gist of Overclocking by first defining the meaning of Overclocking. What is Overclocking? 

The exact word to word definition of Overclocking is to run the processor of a computer at a speed higher than that intended by the manufacturers. It means to run your CPU or GPU at a faster rate than its actual clock speed. Overclocking generally refers to the boost of performance. Hence, you might expect your CPU/GPU to work efficiently than before.

Overclocking is simply increasing the multiplier or frequency of your component, either a graphics card or CPU.

Hearing of this you might think that Overclocking is the best thing to make your CPU or GPU works faster and efficiently, but sorry to pop your bubble, Overclocking is not only a piece of cake. Along with all the advantages it provides, there are some serious threats also. Let’s discuss everything.

Why do people Overclock? 

The answer is simple, to make the performance better. When you are into 3D, AAA or video rendering, then Overclocking works the best for you. You get to enjoy on a whole new level after Overclocking. You get to extract all the best performance from your device.

Many overclockers simply enjoy playing around with their devices and see how their systems work after pushing them to the limit.

And that is the reason why Overclocking attracts most of the people. It enables to execute more tasks per second and therefore serves well for your needs.

Now that you know what is Overclocking and why do people need Overclocking, I think you might be interested in the components that are overclockable. That’s pretty much good news for the people who like the idea of Overclocking because the following are the components that can be overclocked. What components can be overclocked? 

So the components that can be overclocked include CPU, GPU, monitor, and RAM. Let’s discuss these with you.

• CPU 

CPU is overclockable only if the manufacturer allows it to. When you overclock CPU, you will notice a lot of change in it. The performance will be much faster and better. It is not easy to overclock CPUs, but once you overclock them, you will see the clear difference in the performance.

However, not all manufacturers allow overclocking. AMD allows Overclocking in almost all their CPUs, while Intel restricts us to K series or X series only.

• Graphics Card 

Graphics card is the most famous component that can be overclocked. But the thing is, it is not always in our favor when we overclock it. Bad things might happen. The first thing is, when we overclock, we cannot always expect the performance to boost up. The second thing is the results we get might be inconsistent.

You can have two graphics cards from the same manufacturer but still one can get a higher boost of performance after Overclocking and the other remains the same.

That is the downside of Overclocking graphics card, but sadly there is nothing you can do about it.

• Monitor 

Your monitor is also overclockable. You can get a higher refresh rate when you overclock a monitor. You are easily able to try any refresh rate you want. You can also play with the resolution. After Overclocking, your resolution might be upgraded a little bit and you will start feeling fresh all again. But do not expect the resolution and refresh rate to boost to a level it can’t reach and is impossible for it.

• RAM 

RAM is absolutely overclockable. However, talking about the Overclocking process of RAM, it is not really easy. And performance? Well, it also varies. The DDR4 is likely to show more effective performance when it is overclocked. But some applications do not tend to perform well after Overclocking even in the case of DDR4. While the AMD tends to show greater performance when it is overclocked.

So again, in the case of RAM cannot say that Overclocking is always a better idea. Sometimes you can get the wrong result too. And wrong does not mean that the actual memory will be affected, only the Overclocking would not do anything beneficial.

After knowing all the facts above, some people will want to know the software which helps in Overclocking. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Software that helps in Overclocking 

The following software is not only used for Overclocking but can also be used for underclocking, undervolt and 

monitoring the temperatures of your CPU and graphics card. The list here goes;

• Sapphire Trixx Utility 

• EVGA Precision X 

• CPU Tweaker 

• AMD Overdrive 

• CPU-Z AND GPU-Z 

• Intel Extreme Tuning Utility 

The above software also has some of the most helpful features that can help you in many other situations.

How long will it take to Overclock? 

Overclocking might take a longer time than you expect in your head. You have to give time to it. Just be patient. Doing it all quickly is not worth giving a shot. If you want to overclock properly, then you might need to read and do proper research before. And those studies might tell you that you need some other parts before Overclocking. After that, you have to go run some tests, for example, the stress test. That might take up to an hour or so.

You need to take care that your computer does not overheats, crashes or fails. If so, you need to start from the very beginning.

You need to calm down and give it all the time it needs for a more powerful result of Overclocking.

Now let’s talk about the things you need for Overclocking. What do you need for Overclocking? 

• A windows Machine 

Besides windows, you can have a Hackintosh or Linux with a window partition.

• An Unlocked K series Intel Processor 

The intel series are designed for Overclocking. The computers that support for Overclocking are really worth it. However, if you have Gen Core I series, then Overclocking is a difficult task to do.

• An Overclocking friendly motherboard 

The right computer or CPU is not only what matters for good Overclocking, but you should also have a friendly motherboard. A lot of motherboards have Overclocking settings built-in. If you want to overclock, be sure that you read the Overclocking features of your motherboard.

• Another computer 

Having another computer is really good precaution if something goes wrong. You can do additional stress tests too with the help of another computer.

• A good CPU Cooler 

For serious Overclocking, you need something besides the heat sink and fans. You need a good CPU Cooler. Water cooling will also help a great deal.

• Data display Software 

CPU – Z is a handy program that helps to give you the data display. You can know the clock speed, voltage. It gives you a platform where you can know about what is happening and are you working on your Overclocking correctly or not.

• Stress test Software 

Prime95, LinX, and AID64 are the software for stress tests. They will ensure if the Overclocking is stable. They will push your chip to the max, to see if your computer crashes or gets hot. Using a combination of these 3 software really helps to get an accurate result.

Below are the steps that you need to know before Overclocking your CPU. Steps to overclock your CPU 

• Stress-test your default settings

• Raise your multiplier

• Stress-test your CPU

• Increase your voltage

• Rinse and repeat

• Perform some final stress tests

Pros of Overclocking 

Following are the pros of Overclocking;

• Boosts Performance 

The biggest advantage is the better performance. And that is basically the only reason why people are more towards Overclocking. Performance gains are always worthwhile. CPU, graphics cards, monitor and RAM Overclocking really helps in getting the great performance out of them.

This also allows you to get cheap hardware and extract the maximum performance from them. Tasks are executed much faster when Overclocked.

• Saving money 

Another thing which a lot of people love is to saving money. And Overclocking lets you do that. You get to squeeze the extra performance from a cheaper product. It allows the inexpensive hardware to match the clock speeds of expensive hardware.

Cons of Overclocking 

• Higher temperatures 

This is the thing you have to face every time you overclock. You can not avoid overheating. Obviously, when you boost up the performance, it means more power consumption and therefore more heat. A better cooling system would help to get rid of this problem.

• Reduced Lifespan 

This is the result of unstable Overclocking. If you take full care while Overclocking, then you might save this headache for yourself. This means you have to be careful when Overclocking with your CPU, RAM. If you be a little careless, you will have to pay for it because it will result in a reduced lifespan.

• Instability 

Another major Con! Your computer might become unstable and can give you inconsistent results. Even if you are really comfortable with your Overclocking, there are still risks of instability. Your system might crash. So this is really a big downside of Overclocking.

• Spending more on other components 

As I told above the things you need to have when you overclock. Obviously those things would cost you some bucks, you have to pay a big price for them, for example, the motherboard, etc.

It is the truth when people say Overclocking is expensive. Because if you want to get the right results, you need to invest.

You need extra hardware, you need a cooling system. And that is why it is one of the downsides of Overclocking.

• Higher Voltage 

Higher voltage is also a downside of Overclocking. Because every system has a limit. And when you cross it, the instability of voltages occur, which is bad and dangerous

Is Overclocking Safe? 

Now, this the real question many people worry about. The misconception is there that it is not safe. Let me tell you, Overclocking is very safe if, and only if, all the procedure is followed rightly and all the precautionary measures are taken. You need to look for the temperatures and the clock speeds.

Just don’t cross the limits abruptly. Go on increasing the voltage and Clock speed slowly and steadily, also never forget to check the temperatures. You need to study a lot in order to make sure that Overclocking is safe. You need to ensure that everything is going in the right direction.

There is a lot of information on the internet that tells you the procedure of how to do your Overclocking safely. The key is *Just don’t rush*. Is Overclocking worth it? 

As above I told you about the components that can be overclocked, I’ll discuss that under the heading of all the components and tell you if it is worth it.

Graphics card Overclocking 

Overclocking graphics cards is a great idea to hit you up with the boosted performance. Yup, it is totally worth it to overclock your graphics card.

Display Overclocking 

It’s again yes! Display Overclocking is totally worthwhile. You will have some extra resolution to soothe your eyes.

RAM Overclocking 

Already told above, it’s not really worth it. Except for some cases where you have the AMD APU. Just get yourself a better RAM in which you can avoid the process of Overclocking and even then you get the great results.

CPU Overclocking 

CPU Overclocking is worth it but it is really costly. But if you have the CPU, with its standard performance, you don’t need to overclock it. It works just fine.

So it totally depends on your situation. Overclocking may be worth it, maybe not. If you are a regular user who does not have to do some high-performance chores, then we would suggest that you don’t go for it. But if you are someone who needs high performances, then go for it only if you see some serious advantages over there.

Some final words! 

That was all from my side. Now you know everything about Overclocking, it’s benefits and downsides. I wanted to deliver everything I have known about Overclocking for a very long time. I hope I helped you to get a better understanding of Overclocking and whether it is safe and worth it.

Feel free to ask any questions, I will love to solve your problems.

Have a great day!

About the author

Dawn Richard

Dawn Richard is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing LaptopsConsider while coding his own projects on the side.

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