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Beginners Guides: Overclocking the CPU, Motherboard and Memory

Beginners Guides: Overclocking the CPU, Motherboard and Memory - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you're one of the many who has never overclocked, this guide will explain what it is and how to do it to the computers' processor, motherboard and memory.
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Sep 08 2006   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Principals of Overclocking

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 troubleshoot.

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 ensure stability.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Overclocking the CPU, Motherboard and Memory
 Pg 2.  Important Overclocking Concepts
 Pg 3.  The role of the CPU, motherboard and memory in overclocking
 Pg 4.  Hardware Considerations for Overclocking
 Pg 5.  — Principals of Overclocking
 Pg 6.  Examining BIOS Options
 Pg 7.  BIOS Overclocking Options continued
 Pg 8.  Overclocking for performance
 Pg 9.  In Case of Disaster

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