Top 8 Things You Must Know Before Overclocking

After a series of “How Tos” here, I think posting some of the most important overclocking tips would be useful for everyone. Whether you are overclocking for fun or for benching, the following tips will help you to get the most out of your system for sure.

Top 8 Tips for Overclocking

8. Cool your Cabinet: Do it at any cost. Install more fans and try to exhaust hot air out of the cabinet (also keep in mind that having lots of fans doesn’t mean they can efficiently cool your cabinet, ow you place thens does matter). As a general rule, the fan with the highest CFM should be the fan on your CPU heat sink and the next one is the exhaust, preferably at the rear.

7. Get a Good Cabinet: As it’s very important to keep your cabinet as cool as possible, your cabinet should be spacious and very efficient at venting hot air. If you have a cheap cabinet, get rid of it and get a new one with lots of space in it.

6. Get an Aftermarket Cooler: If you don’t have a good CPU or GPU cooler, don’t overclock yet. I have seen lots of guys who start overclocking without installing a third-party cooler and later come and ask “is my CPU too hot?” If you overclock, be assured that your CPU or GPU is certainly going to overheat, and that will not only impact how much you can push the chip but also how your hardware is going to last. You may not kill your CPU immediately by overclocking but over time, you may face crashes and BSODs.

5. Keep the Ambient Cool: If you are in a place where the atmosphere is hot, consider switching on the AC. Cooling your room to 22 degrees Celsius and below will get you 200 MHz (CPU) extra. You will also see that you are now able to overclock more with low vcore.

4. Know How to Manipulate RAM Clock: If you have a CPU with unlocked multiplier, well and good. But not many of us have one. If you are struck with adjusting the base clock (FSB/HTT/BCLK), you have to know how to separate RAM from getting affected by the adjustment of these base clocks. If you have an overclockable RAM, learn how to manipulate it and also the timings. Many people simply increase the base clock without even knowing the relationship between base clock and RAM. This also applies to NB frequency. There are lots of resources on the internet for you to read and understand the proper process of overclocking.

3. Overclock in Increments: Every piece of hardware is different and hence you may not be able to push your CPU or GPU like others. To find the max frequency, always overclock in increments. Increase the base clock just 5 MHz at a time and stress test.

2. Learn to Stress Test: There is no use of overclocking if you don’t stress test your hardware. Follow this link to stress test your CPU or follow this link to stress test your GPU.

1. Get a Good PSU: You follow all the above points and fail to get a good power supply and you will be in deep trouble. Power Supply Unit (PSU or SMPS) is the one responsible for providing clean power to the system. If it can’t provide the needed power, it will be overloaded. Quality PSUs have built in measures to counter any unfortunate scenario but those Chinese made cheapo PSUs don’t come with any kind of protection. They simply blow up and fry other components when stressed even little. Even if you don’t overclock, get a good PSU for your system’s longevity. Corsair and Seasonic are some of the very few companies that make good PSUs.

These are the important things you have to know before overclocking. As a side note, I also want to mention that you have to know how to clear CMOS. You have two options – right from BIOS or on your mother board. Check your motherboard manual for more details.

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