Before PCSTATS (finally) gets to the practical part of the guide, here's a
brief word to prepare readers for the almost inevitable periods of frustration
to follow. Overclocking is a very imprecise science; the processor depends
on the stability of the motherboard and memory in order to achieve overclocking,
and vice versa. If one of these components cannot stand the stress of
overclocking, it will limit the other two also.
Heat, voltage and power supply stability are also relevant to overclocking
success. Excess heat, not enough or too much voltage and unstable power
can all cause the premature failure of an overclocking adventure, and it's next
to impossible to pinpoint what is causing the problem.
To avoid frustration as much as possible, be patient. Follow the
directions below and take overclocking one small step at a time, so that when
trouble occurs you will have a smaller set of potential issues to
Preparing for Overclocking
In order to get the best out of current hardware, the most recent drivers and
BIOS version for the motherboard need to be acquired. System benchmarks
should be run pre-overclocking to establish a performance 'baseline'.
Readers should visit their motherboard manufacturer's
website to obtain the most recent set of drivers for their motherboard, as well
as the most recent BIOS version. For instructions on finding the current BIOS
version and overwriting it with a newer edition, see PCstats' Guide
on the subject. Newer BIOS versions may add overclocking options and
stability, so this is always a good first step.
Establish a Performance Baseline
In order to get a good idea of how overclocking increases the performance of
a computer, it's important to take benchmarks and establish a performance
baseline for the system.
Download, install and run the following benchmarks:
Record the results of each test. This will be the performance baseline,
a level to measure the soon-to-be overclocked computer system against.
Readers should also consider downloading the Prime95 burn-in
program, since it is extremely useful for stress testing an overclocked PC to