First, a bit of history and knowledge is needed. The processor (CPU) is the brain of the computer. It's a small chip that controls everything that
the computer does. The chip is typically located around the center of the motherboard (That's the big huge piece of plastic with stuff connected to
it). You can easily see where it is because there is a heat sink with a fan sitting on top of it. Before you can overclock anything, you must
understand how important cooling is. If you overclock and exceed the thermal threshold of the processor, you WILL...I repeat, you WILL DESTROY it.
Here is a pic of a CPU
Now, the heatsink acts as a heat distributer. It soaks up the heat generated by the processor and spreads it all over the heatsink. The fan sitting on
top of it blows air into the heatsink to dissipate it into the surrounding air. It is important that any computer have proper ventilation or else the
heat will build up inside the tower and cause malfuntions in the various components. You may notice your graphics card (GPU) connected to a slot on
the motherboard that also has a fan on it. Ignore this for now. I will go into detail about overclocking the GPU later.
Here is a pic of a heatsink and fan
If anyone has ever wanted big performance from their computer, then I suggest you invest in very large cooling systems. The higher you clock the CPU,
the hotter it will run. Another thing to understand is that no matter how high you clock the CPU, it will only affect your PC performance if the rest
of your system can match it's speeds. If you have low end RAM and GPU then don't expect too much of a performance increase.
A few terms to understand.
The bus is used to refer to a specific section of the mother board. Different piece of the motherboard have different designations based on what the
FSB=Front side bus
The front side bus is the main communication port between the RAM and the Processor. The processor speed is determined by the CPU multiplier. Meaning
the cpu runs at X speed depending on how many times the front side bus is multiplied. Most low to middle end computers will have a frontside bus of
between 133 and 200 mhz. Therefore. if your CPU was running at 3.0 Ghz, then the multiplier will be 15. (based on 200)
This is important to know because you can overclock your CPU in one of two ways. You can enter the system bios before boot and increase the actual
operating frequency of the FSB, which in turn will turn up the frequency of the processor. OR, you can make the multiplier higher. Although, I DO NOT
recommend messing with the multipliers. You can make a huge jump in speed and burn your processor up very quickly.
BSB=Back Side Bus
Not to be confused with the South Bridge on a PC. The BSB connects the RAM to the Memory cache and is not an integral part of the overclocking
The South Bridge on the motherboard is what connects all the secondary interface peripherals to the central processing unit. Audio, Video, USB, mouse,
keyboard, IDE, Sata etc. Not important to the overclocking process.
And finally, the process of overclocking.
First, get a program called CPUID, or CPU-Z. This program does nothing except monitor the various components of your system. It will give you
real-time readouts of CPU, GPU and RAM clock speeds.
Second, do a little research on your processor.For instance, I am currently running the AMD Athlon II x2.
Core stock speed is 2800 mhz. (2.8 ghz)
it can operate at a maximum temperature of 74 degrees celsius safely.
it uses 65 watts of power at 0.9-1.4 volts safely
its FSB multiplier is 14 at 200 mhz bus speed
To overclock this processor, I could enter system bios by pressing F8 at the first startup screen and enter a new FSB speed. If I were to take the FSB
to 233 mhz, I would overclock the processor to 3262 mhz (3.3 GHZ). Easy? Not quite. My processor can safely run between 0.9 and 1.4 volts of power.
Adjusting the core voltage will allow me to clock it to 3.3 ghz easy and maybe even higher, but increasing voltage increases the chance you will burn
up your processor. Afterall, more power requires what? More power! And more power means more heat. I need to get a much bigger fan and heat sink in
order to keep the temperature of the CPU below 74 degrees celsius. The system bios will also give you readouts on current operating temperatures.
I could also download a program called AMD Overdrive. It's a software that allows me to overclock my system from within windows. I could also get a
program called Nvidia Ntune. But, that software is only compatible with Nforce motherboards. Also, the AMD Overdrive software will only work with AMD
processors. If you have an intel processor, you will not be able to use these programs.
There is overclocking made easy for CPU's.
Next we have the RAM.