[Note: There are inherent risks when performing any overclocking exercise, such as long term CPU degradation, serious heat issues and a chance that peripheral cards can be damaged. Also, many manufacturer's warranties may be voided if you attempt to overclock your system. Users need to understand and accept the risks before attempting this procedure to avoid damage to your PC and its components. - ED]
Over the past few years, the practice of CPU overclocking has become more and more popular and what was once the domain of the technically adept has graduated to a more mainstream audience. Overclocking your CPU brings inherent risks, as many users will attempt to overclock their processors without the proper information and techniques necessary to do the job safely and proficiently.
CPU overclocking is actually a very simple concept, and is basically an attempt to get a higher level of performance from the CPU than was originally intended. Just like finding a nice suit on sale for half price, overclocking a Celeron 566 to 850 MHz offers a whole lot more bang for your buck. Since the CPU speed affects all aspects of computer performance, this added performance can drastically improve game framerates as well as application speeds.
By perusing the many CPU overclocking articles, it is not difficult to pick out the prime CPU contenders. Knowing which CPU to buy is only half of the equation, with the actual implementation and procedure being the integral step to CPU overclocking.
To that end, this guide will explain the basic information regarding processor and motherboard features, as well as examining the basic process and techniques of overclocking. Since individual systems can be very different not only in terms of features, but also how these features are presented, hard and fast overclocking steps are difficult to set. Instead, this guide will present a basic overview of CPU overclocking, consistent with different platforms and processors, and is intended for the novice or intermediate user.