Was all the time, money and energy worth it? For someone
like myself who enjoys tweaking and pushing their hardware to the limit the
answer is definitely yes. As I have said in the past I do it for the same reason
people tweak their cars, and because I can and because I find it fun.
Gamers out there should note the
huge framerate increases due to overclocking in both Quake III Arena and UT2003.
Your results of course will vary, but in general games that are not videocard
limited will benefit greatly from overclocking. Like everything else in life,
there's a limit and once you past that point your videocard will start to become
the bottleneck as our ATi Radeon 9700 Pro was at very high resolutions.
have an older computer but cannot upgrade or buy a new system for whatever
reason, overclocking may breath new life into your rig. You won't notice
an exponential speed increase but it should make your programs a bit zippier and
quicker to respond.
For those of you who don't game, and mainly only use
your computer for 2D applications like word processing or other desktop type
work, overclocking will not boost your overall performance
much. Winstone 2002 showed us about a 10% difference between stock and
overclocked systems but I doubt any user would notice the difference as most
desktop applications are limited by the end user.
biggest drawback of overclocking is the creation of more heat, and as
we mentioned earlier, heat is one of the biggest enemies of electronic components.
You're going to have to remove the additional heat if you want your system to
run stable. If you don't, you're also reducing the life expectancy of your
note if you really want to push your system hard
be prepared to spend a bit of money. Ditch the stock cooler on your processor and
upgrade to something a bit better. A high end Heatsink like the Thermalright SLK-800
(for AMD) or Alpha PAL 8942 (For Intel) should cost you under $100
CDN. If air cooling is not good enough, water cooling will run you at least $400-600
CDN for a performance kit, and a few hundred more if you want to go with
thermoelectric (TEC) devices.
For those of you who are really extreme, phase
change cooling is the way to go. Of course be ready to shell out $900-1500 CDN
for a cooler that just cools your processor. Of course, nothing
else can allow you to run your processor at -30 degrees Celsius. ;-)
overclocking for you? That's a question only you can answer. As
the benchmarks all show, overclocking does boost system performance across the board
but whether it's worth the work is another question. I love overclocking just because I can. =)
One last word; if you've read
this article and wondered "how the heck do I go about overclocking," rest
assured that there will be a Part II coming along shortly which explains
everything. Keep your bookmarks tuned to www.pcstats.com for more on the Art of
Overclocking! Or better yet, join the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter and we'll bring the info right to your
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy
1. AMD vs. Intel: It's An Eternal Struggle
2. How to Fry a 1.4GHz Athlon in 4 seconds.