How to Overclock CPU?
Learning how to overclock your CPU is one of the easiest ways to boost your PC’s performance.
While overclocking used to be solely for liquid nitrogen-equipped techies, it has become more accessible thanks to recent advancements in software and tech.
There are three to overclock a PC: tweak the BIOS settings, adjust the BIOS settings using 3rd party overclocking software, or with AMD and Intel software designed for overclocking.
The AMD and Intel overclocking programs Clock Tuner and XTU respectively work hand in hand with each manufacturer’s high-end multi-core CPUs.
Regardless of the approach you use, keep in mind that overclocking voids your computer’s warranty and can permanently damage it.
Let’s look at two overclocking methods using BIOS or AMD and Intel programs.
1. Start with ‘Stock’ Settings
Start by rebooting your computer and entering the BIOS menu. Depending on your computer, you might be required to press keys such as ‘F2’ or ‘F4’ as the computer boots.
Take some time and check the menu to get acquainted with the different settings.
2. Run a Stress Test
Next, run a stress test to ensure everything is okay with the stock settings. If there is a problem, you might have a faulty CPU or some other issue.
So you need to have the computer checked out before you proceed to overclock it.
3. Increase Your CPU Multiplier
In this step, you’ll start overclocking. Your CPU’s clock speed comes from two values: the base clock (0.1Ghz) multiplied by a multiplier.
For instance, an 8th Gen Core i7 uses a stock multiplier of 40, so the clock speed is 0.1Ghz x 40 = 4Ghz.
4. Set The Voltage
Scroll down to find the ‘Core Voltage’ or ‘Vcore’ setting. Change this from ‘Auto’ to ‘Manual’ and enter a reasonable voltage figure.
5. Push Further
Repeat the above processes and gradually raise the multiplier and voltage until you hit a snag. For instance, you can reach a point where temperatures are high, or the CPU is unstable.
6. Run a Final Stress Test
Run OCCT as you have been doing, but let it run for at least three hours this time. We recommend running a different test for a few hours.
This should practically guarantee the CPU’s stability for the foreseeable future.
If you have one of AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs and want to overclock it without too much of a hassle, consider using the ClockTuner overclocking tool.
Start by making sure that your CPU won’t exceed safe temperatures. However, this program has a built-in stress tool; we recommend using the AIDA64 tool.
Next, change ‘Control Mode’ from ‘Default’ to ‘Manual.’ This will allow you to manually change your CPU’s clock speed and voltage as you overclock it.
Unlike Intel’s overclocking tool, with this one, you can adjust the clock speed directly rather than using a multiplier.
For instance, boost the clock speed by 50Mhz, then click on ‘Apply & Test.’ The program will apply the changes and test the new speed.
Increasing your CPU’s voltage will boost the stability of an overclock.
You shouldn’t exceed 1.4 volts for AMD CPUs, but you can always search your specific processor online to ensure that you don’t set the voltage too high.
Rinse and repeat
You’re good to go once you figure out a stable speed and voltage. Now you can boost the speeds even further, provided you have extra headroom for voltage.
Once you’re done, save your profile to effect these changes and use them in the future.
Using the BIOS process above, you can overclock Intel processors, but we recommend using Intel’s Windows OS XTU (Extreme Tuning Utility) program.
Start with The Baseline Performance
The first time you launch the XTU, take several baseline readings to ensure your CPU can be overclocked. Start by running a ‘Stress Test’ from the left-hand menu for about an hour.
Note Down the Package Temperature
As you run the stress test, note down the package temperature. If it’s hotter than 80° C, you don’t have the headroom to overclock, so try and cool it before proceeding.
Next, click on the ‘Advanced Tuning’ tab on the left-hand menu and check a section labeled ‘Multipliers.’ Raise the multiplier by one digit for all cores.
Many voltage parameters affect a processor’s performance, but perhaps the most important and effective is VCore (core voltage).
Just like how you’ve changed the multipliers, you can adjust the core voltage in the same way.
Note: All motherboards aren’t the same meaning some support overclocking others don’t. To avoid damaging the internal components of your PC, check the documentation that came with your PC or search your PC’s model number online to see the motherboard specs.
Overclocking a CPU is worth it if your PC is a bit old or if the internal components are outdated.
When you overclock an old PC, you’ll get better performance overall because your machine will start performing at the level of recent machines.