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The Art of Overclocking; Is It For You?

The Art of Overclocking; Is It For You?  - PCSTATS
Abstract: One of his customers who was standing near by listening in interrupted to ask "is it really worth all the trouble for the last few MHz"?
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCStats May 23 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > PCStats

So is overclocking for you?

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.

If you 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.

Easily the 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 components.

On that 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. ;-)

Is 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 mailbox!

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5. The AXP21K+ Trick - Unlocking the AthlonXP 2100+

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Editorial News»

 

Contents of Article: PCStats
 Pg 1.  The Art of Overclocking; Is It For You?
 Pg 2.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2003, PCMark2002
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001SE, 3DMark03
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 7.  — So is overclocking for you?

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