Jump to content
xisto Community
Sign in to follow this  

Overclocking How-To on Overclocking

Recommended Posts

Guide to overclocking, version 1


This guide was written for http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ , which is now located at http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ . Anyways overclocking is the process of pushing your hardware beyond factory specs. In doing this, nor I or your hardware manufacturers (AMD, Intel, Ati, Nvidia, and motherboard companies) take any responsibility for damage done. Overclocking past a certain point will void your warranty (except if you do it this other way for Nvidia cards, which I suggest googling).


1. The Basics-What is Overclocking?


Overclocking is pushing hardware to perform out of the manufacturer's specifications. Life if you processor runs at 3.0 ghz, you can overclock it to 3.2 if wanted. So how do you do this?That's why I wrote this guide!


Some terms

?gpu:graphic processing unit, generally refers to the graphic/video card

?graphic/video card: a card usually AGP or PCIe, greatly improves graphics on

a computer. In this guide I will also include how to overclock this card. Good

investment even if you aren't into graphics, 3d, or gaming

?CPU: central processing unit. The "brain" of the computer. This will be what

you will mainly be overclocking through this guide. Everything done in a

computer goes through this. This component is easily located on your


?BIOS: The little chip on your motherboard that contains boot information, and

and speed, voltages, the time, safety features and such like that. This is where

CPU overclocking will take place. When you boot up your computer, at one

point you will usually see a bunch of bootup scripts and you also usually see

something that tells you to press a key to get into athe setup or bios. More

explanation later in this guide.

?artifacts: the most usual indication when you have overclocked your graphic

card too much. these are on the most part errors in rendering and producing

models, and if it's really bad your desktop will have a lot of weird stuff as well.

Anyways you don't want these.


Well this is the first version of the guide, probably never to be updated again, so I'll explain anything else as we go.


2.What are the factors in overclocking?


For the graphic card, the main factors are the cooling on the card (headsink, fan, both, etc), airflow in the case (is the air going to your cooler/card from the cpu as warm air? or is it cool air from case fans and result of good airflow?), and voltage (I'm not too good with this so I'm on going through cpu voltage). Just remember that the graphic card is meant to run at higher temperatures than the cpu, so if the air around it is warm, don't worry, it's supposed to be that way.


CPU has about the same factors as the graphic card, but voltage on the most part, is easier to modify. Voltage is more essential to get good overclocks than on the graphic card, but I have seen crazy overclocks on cards with major voltage mods. Voltage on CPU is mainly for stability. Also, 3rd party coolers are very effective.


3.Jumping Right In..


First realize that you will probably get a 10% easily (usually). But after that, it make take lots of time and patience.


3-1 The Tools You'll Need:


1)Benchmarking Programs

-CPU: SiSSoft Sandra


-GFX and CPU: Aquamark 3



All of these are free. The 3dmark's and Aquamark have a free basic version

that allows you to run the tests you'll need. The free stuff is all you will

need, all you will be paying for is hardware, if you don't already have it,

And maybe if you want better overclocks, aftermarker coolers.


2)Overclocking Programs

-CPU: You won't need any programs at all to overclock the cpu.

-Graphic: ATI: ATI Tools or RadLinker

Nvidia: I heard there was a built-in tool with the Nvidia

drivers, or else search google.


3)Optimized Drivers

The standard drivers don't optimize things and settings nor do they

usually allow you to overclock, because they reset the clock settings

whenever you open a game or anything 3d/opengl.


A few drivers to look up are:

?Omega Drivers

?DNA Drivers


3-2Alright, FINALLY CPU Overclocking

Well, I'm too lazy to go into anymore detail. So we're going to get on the



My CPU Overclocking 'process'





4.Stress test for stability


Step 1:Benchmark

Even when you haven't started overclocking, benchmarking is important.

When you just start, compare your benchmarks with other people who have

a similar, if not the same, set up as yours. Sandra has this feature

built in as a comparison feature between memory and cpu types/brands.

After you've overclocked a bit, compare it to your old scores, make sure

that there is improvement and monitor your progrss and improvement.


Notes:Don't fret that you haven't overclocked yet. You need to know this

stuff, so you get almost guaranteed results and you don't fry your

hardware. Also, try to disable everything when running benchmarks,

you'll get the best out of it.


Step 2:Compare

Compare your benchmark results with your previous ones and other people's

scores that have simlar rigs as your own. This is because if you

overclock, you need to know that you are making progress.


Step 3:Adjust

This is where we will overclokc. After benchmakrks and stress tests and

all that, restart your computer. On Dell's and computer's like those,

(Sony, Compaq, HP, etc) it might be harder if not "impossible" to get into

the BIOS. Well once you get into the BIOS (during your bootup somewhere in

in all the bootup information, it should tell you what button to press to

get into the bios)you'll be presented with a menu. Use the arrow keys to

go through the menu and find a section something along the lines of "CPU

and Voltage" or "CPU Settings" or "Voltages" or something like that. There

you can edit the CPU clocks and in some cases, the multipliers. I won't

change the multiplier, but if you're smart it can be a great way to

increase getting higher clocks. Just get the best combination for the best

clock speeds. EXAMPLE:







Increase the FSB by the smallest possible ammount at a time, then quit out

of the bios (remember to save as you quit) and load up windows.


Step 5:Stress Test for Stability

Now is the time to run all the stress tests you have, and if you have the

time, a dozen times each. The more you do it, the more accurate the

stability results are. This is where patience comes in. You are

going to need to stress test a lot, because if you are doing something

important on your computer, you'd want the computer to be stble and not

crash and lose your work.


Now repeat the process. And remember to increase the FSB by little increments, don't modify the voltage unless you are sure on cooling because although voltage may improve stability and open a door to higher overclocks, it will generate TONS more heat and eat the lifespan of your CPU unless you have sufficient cooling to get rid of the excess heat.


That's about it on CPU overclocking. At the end of the guide there is a section of tips to get better results.


3-3 Video/Graphic Overclocking

I'll start with ATI. Well actually, for both cards, if you had installed

optimized hacked drivers, you should benchmark and see a great improvement



Install ATI Tool, the run it. This will be relatively simple. ATI tool

alreadt has everything, pretty much "dummy proof".


Well just keep the defaults in mind. Now press the "Find Max Core" button.

Wait a while, and it will have found the highest core speed your card can

take before producing artifacts. If it doesn't ever finish, then just stop

When you feel you need to and just test for artifacts and make sure it is

stable. Then press the "Find Max Mem" button and it's the same thing except

with memory. When you press the button you'll get a message saying "Your core

has been modified..blah blah," just click the choice that leaves the core

overclocked. After it's done, or you pick your won speeds, save the setup as

a new profile in ATI tools.


I'm way too lazy to do Nvidia, look up a guide on the net.


Now benchmark with graphics to see how your computer has improved in

performance. With overclocking, you'll see the most improvement in games and

rendering, although some people claim to see a difference in photoshop and 2d



4.Tips to Getting Better Results


4-1 CPU

Run more stress tests! Also there is a program called CPU burn-in (I also

believe that Sandra has a feature for this, for memory and cpu). This

makes the CPU run hard and hot, so it's easier to get higher clocks after

it has been stressed and broken into.


4-2 Graphics

For the lifespan of your card, only overclock when you need to, and that's when you open a 3d program or rendering, and games, and for those few people who think there is a difference, photos and art programs.


3rd party coolers are very useful too, but along with these, you need good

airflow in your case so that the air going to the cooler or fan isn't

from the cpu or other hot components, but cool air from outside or atleast

cool air. Or else mod your case or get a new one, if you have the cash.



I've written so much, so I'll stop here. Hopefully you learned a lot, that was my purpose.

If you have questions or comments, email me @ alexso.azn(at)gmail.com

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

this has been the one tutorial if been looking for...

thanks much amhso  =)


Ya pretty good tutorial...But for the new people that are gonna try it...Ya gotta be careful because if you tweak it too much then it would probably get too warm (If it has rpm) then it would be damaged...


Just a post for people thinking that if I put a few more mhz to the reccomended settings above nothing bad would happen...


Careful! :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also...I read before that you were supposed to put copied tutorials in quotes and such.So you dont get credits for someone else's words...They punish for that so... I'd change it before they catch you and this way you won't lose anything by the punishing. :) Quick Quick!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's mine that i wrote for another forum. And I will revise it when I have the time for a disclaimer about damage and such.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

good read, i just upgraded my ram to 1 gig (previosly 512). Im using dual channel memory with 2 corsair 512mb ram. Im currently overclocking at 10 percent but for some reason when increase it to 20%, i cant get to windows setup. probly due to instability.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. This is extremly helpful. Thank you so much for posting this. I was thinking about OCing my computer sometime soon but to be honest, I had no idea what I was going to need to be doing. This is an absolute life saver to me. Every other guide I've looked up is like trying to read Latin. I saved your text for later referance. Thanks again.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

mystik1337, you will RARELY get 20% increase on any processor. unless running with dry ice to cool it down, it's not really that easy to do that. You can probably go between 10-20%. Anyways a good way to increase the speeds of your processor is to lower the ram timings to make them a bit more loose, so that they can run at higher mhz.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice guide, I've been actually looking for something like this, and also, My friends graphics card actually got to hot once and melted a part of it. It only has a heatsink. Later he bought another card with both (a fan and heatsink) and it still ended up messed up.He said he wasn't pushing it to hard (this was a while ago, I had no idea about Overclocking) so Im just wondering, just to be safe, should I keep a bigger fan cooling my system?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on airflow of the case not just the fan/heatsink on your card. Think about it, if the air coming out of your cpu is going into the fan blowing on your/your friend's graphic card, it isn't doing a good job. If you are going to get a case fan, get a big 120mm one....quiet or loud depends. Loud will move more air (usually, check the RPM) if you don't mind. Anyways a big fan in back and maybe one in front. Keeps air circulating.If you're getting a heatsink/fan cooler for you card, get a copper one, copper conducts heat much better.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really think that ppl that know nutting about computers should not overclocker their pcs. my self i know what im doing in that field. But im saying you overclock too far and your pc starts up with a black screen? what do you do you im sure you would take it too frys or best buy. or some store that will fix it. Im sure if you read up alot you will understand a bit. But overclocking for noobs isn't that great lol

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes i have started my computer before with a ... blue screen not a black, but yes there is risk, obviously. i did put a disclaimer i think.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.