1 biggest rick is frying your CPU &/or mobo to avoid this keep an eye on the temps (keep under 55C at full load if you can 60C is just OK) and keep the core voltage below 1.5V
2 Its best not to leave them on auto (the core voltage anyway) and set the RAM voltage to what the manufacturer recommends.
overclocking isnt a science.. its a art and the trick is to find whats best for your cpu and motherboard... for example were one core i7 end user will oc his cpu to 4ghz the next guy with the same cpu may only reach 3.5ghz... this can be due to the motherboard he,s using or even the memory... so this is why you need to start from scratch... just because your mate down the road with a similar cpu is hitting 3.5ghz by only changing the front side bus you may need to increase the cpu voltage a little bit
any overclocker will tell you that "heat" is the biggest risk when overclocking... so thats why cooling is paramount when overclocking your cpu and graphics card... and allthough most expert overclockers will water cool their rigs this isnt allways nessecary... some 3rd party air coolers are excellent .. for example the titan Fenrir EVO CPU Cooler is a amazing cpu air cooler and people have managed to hit 3.8ghz using this cooler... also the Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler is extremely popular among enthusiasts ... however one of the best in my opinion is still the "arctic cooling freezer 7 pro (rev2.0)" ... for under £20 this will efficently cool any cpu and i as good as some cooler twice the price
just keep a eye on your tempertures and run stability tests such as "prime 95" which will ensure your overclock is 100% stable.... if you start getting errors on prime 95 or your results begin to change significantly then this is your ceiling speed... either drop back to the most stable speed or increase cpu voltage and run prime 95 again
the bios is the only way to overclock your cpu... there are windows based programs such as octuner(asrock),n-tune(nvidia ) and precision (evga) which are excellent however these can be a bit hit and miss... so using the bios is allways the best way however you first need to make sure your bios supports overclocking.....
most low end overclocking can be done by simply increasing the fsb.... however if your pc starts to crash it may mean you need to increase your cpu voltage.however be careful when increasing the cpu voltage.... just one increment at a time.. this should be enough.... too much voltage to your cpu will create excess heat which can kill the cpu
i hope this helps
Thanks for the advice guys. After a few tries I finally over clocked my CPU from 3.1 to 3.5 ghz. The temperatures are fine, but my computer now shuts off / restarts when I put the CPU under heavy stress using prime95 and when I ran a benchmark for a hardware-intensive game.
I'm 90% sure the reason why is because I need to increase the voltage, but the problem with that is that option is locked in my BIOS, and I dont understand why.
as you can see, the options in that section are grayed out and not changeable. Some part of me feels like the solution to this is something obvious, but I just don't know. Anyone know why? also, if you look toward the top, the option for changing the DRAM frequency is also locked.
Welp, I finally figured it out. The settings were not locked down like I thought. I was attempting to use the + - keys next to the backspace key instead of the ones on my number pad. I knew it was something stupid like that, lol. Thanks for the help guys