So I'm wondering what exactly the 3.8GHz Max Turbo Frequency on my i5 3570k is. Is that just the max speed it'll reach when the Intel Turbo Boost is enabled? Or is it like a safe overclocking speed, that won't harm a computer?
If it is just the extra boost given when it's required, and not an overclock, then would my PC be capable of an overclock? And at what speeds?
It's the max Turbo speed which the CPU boosts to if required.
You are capable of overclocking as high as 4.6GHz (depending on your CPU, motherboard etc) however I personally chose 4.2GHz as I could achieve that without changing the voltage or any other power management settings.
There are tutorials around, but here's my advice:
1) in the BIOS, click "XMP" to set the default CPU/DDR3 memory settings then SAVE
2) run MEMTEST for a full pass www.memtest.org
3) Manually change each core Multiplier to 40 (40x100MHz = 4000MHz)
4) Check that the DDR3 memory hasn't change. If it dropped, correct it.
5) run a CPU stress test such as Prime95 or similar for at least 10 minutes
6) Increase the Multiplier to 41, then 42 (You may not hit 43, or even 42)
7) Once satisfied, repeat Memtest and the CPU tests
*In gaming, there's very few scenarios that more than 4GHz makes much difference with this CPU. Thus 4.5GHz is similar to 4.0GHz but the CPU temp might be closer to 90degC at 4.5GHz under load versus 70degC at 4.0GHz.
So I personally am at:
a) 4.2GHz (each of the four core multipliers changed to "42")
b) DDR3 memory at 2133MHz (assigned by the motherboard; my default specs)