Over the past few years, the practice of CPU Overclocking has become almost a mainstream affair. The thought of getting something for almost nothing is a very intriguing, especially if you can purchase a slower, less expensive CPU and bump it up to the same speed as a more expensive version.
I say that overclocking is getting "something for almost nothing" because there are some inherent risks when overclocking a CPU. You are most assuredly going to be voiding the warranty on your brand new processor so don't be surprised if the manufacturer won't accept the part back if the failure is a result of overclocking.
The extra heat that overclocking generates is often one of the biggest problems. Without proper cooling to compensate for the additional heat (or even the heat at stock speed) a CPU could become nothing more than a glorified key-chain in no time flat. Depending on the particular method of overclocking, you also run the risk of damage to other peripherals in your computer.
Basic economics come into play at both ends, as many seek greater value and performance through overclocking, while also taking a bigger risk with their CPU purchase. Many serious hobbyists will scoff at this notion, as to them, the overclocking experience is far more important than mere dollars and cents.
No matter which camp you're from, our Athlon XP Overclocking Guide will take you through the two main overclocking methodologies, and give you the basic steps you'll need to either start your overclocking journey or just refine your current system setup.