Explanation Needed: Hardware Overclocking What Is It? How Does It Affect Your Computer?

File-It-Under: Tech explanation By: D.F.Skin system1

If you read a couple of tech publications or browsed through several tech websites, you might have stumbled upon the term  "Overclocking" or overclocking hardware in particularly the processor. What does the term Overclocking mean? Why do system builders overclock hardware? Why is there a need to Overclock? How do you Overclock? So many questions with an explanation that's needed. Welcome to the long overdue Explanation Needed. Yes its been awhile since I've posted this Explanation Needed feature on this website, we start things off with a lot to explain. First off....


What is OverClocking?

The process of overclocking hardware is making the components in particularly your processor or your overall computer operate much faster than the defaulted clock frequency that's specified by the hardware manufacturer. Think of it as you adding a 500 horse power engine to a Soccer mom mini van,extreme analogy but you get the point.


Why do we Overclock hardware?

The main reason why one would overclock hardware or the processor is to achieve one mission and that is to increase overall high performance to your computer system,to put it bluntly,your computer will run fast as hell. The noticeable gain in Overclocking is gaming or CPU heavy software, but gaming is probably the main reason why system builders like myself overclock is to achieve peak performance in gaming. You generally won't see the affects of Overclocking when your performing mundane task such as web browsing or playing Candy Crush.


How do you Overclock hardware?

Well lets focus on the processor since that's the most overclocked piece of hardware within the computer. There are several ways to overclock a processor,probably the most easiest and popular method is to modify the voltage frequencies in the computers BIOS setup. Increasing the frequency can increase the overall speed of the hardware operation,Overclocking hardware almost always increase power consumption  which in turn can generate a large abundance of heat.


Is Overclocking Safe? Will ruin my hardware?

If you were to ask me that question say 7 years ago,I'll say no its not safe overclock at your own risk.Usually overclocking your processor back then resulted in a overheated chip and a fried motherboard,but times has changed in a big way as hardware that you see today in computers can take the punishment of Overclocking, in fact motherboards today especially high-end system boards are constructed to handle Overclocking.

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium BIOS 01 - EZ Mode

Is Overclocking hard or easy?

Overclocking hardware is much easier today more than ever. If you're new to system building and plan on overclocking then you'll notice that the BIOS setup is totally different with modern motherboards,it has taken on an entirely new interface. System builders can easily increase the processors frequency with just a click of the mouse. Even better,you have software that you can download made strictly for Overclocking,there is CPU Tweaker, SetFSB, and Intel Desktop Control Center to name a few. Most high-end motherboards have defaulted overclocking software that comes with the motherboard in a form of a DVD disc.


What do I need to Overclock?

Probably the number one thing you'll need to Overclock hardware is proper cooling,especially if you plan on overclocking the processor,it is imperative that you have a decent CPU cooling setup, a nice quality heat sink and fan,or you can use liquid cooling,this method of cooling is preferred by many hard core system builders,liquid cooling really cools down your processor even under extreme conditions. Using the liquid cooling is not like using it in years past,back then you resorted to installing an oversize radiator and huge water pump that sat right on top of your computer case. Liquid coolers today are much smaller and compact, you can fit the entire unit right into your computer case.


Can other components be Overclocked?

The answer is yes.Overclocking is not just reserved for the processor,you can Overclock your systems RAM and you Graphic card. Just like the CPU,you must have proper cooling for the RAM and graphic card,most importantly you must have proper cooling for the graphic card,the graphic card itself can easily be rendered useless if it overheats.