I will be building a system for the first time and I had a few questions regarding OC which would influence the parts i get:
1. When do you oc your cpu and gpu? for me, I always assumed that if I buy a good cpu, I would start OCing once the cpu or gpu cant handle some applications (which would be games and some programs in my case). However, I feel like I would be wasting my cards lifetime and electricity if I OC them at all times when i will still use the computer to surf the net for many hours of the day. From what I have read, people OC their CPU 24/7 and gpu for gaming. Is this cause cpu ocing is done in the BIOS and noone wants to keep restarting their computer to OC?
2. How does GPU overclocking help improve performance? Would it allow you to play a game from med to high setting or increase your FPS in med settings?
3. Any tips for a noob would be appreciated (something u wished someone told you when u built your first system.
CPU Overclocking is generally done in the BIOS and to obtain a stable OC does take a few hours. Once a stable OC is obtained, it is best to leave it alone. You have a faster computer 24/7.
Again as a general rule, GPUs are set at a high performance level at the factory. GPUs run much hotter than CPUs. Further tweaking through overclocking, though possible, is not advised. However, a slight GPU OC is possible if you are intent on doing that.
In summary, I would definitely perform a safe and stable OC on my CPU, and leave my GPU alone.
Ubrales answered it all, but I do agree that if you don't get any benefit out of OC your processor, then you really don't have to do so. The only reason really not to do so is you don't want to spend $40-$90 on an expensive cooler as the stock cooler for most CPU will not keep a moderate-high OC cool enough.
If you buy an enthusiast board, it will be equipped with an OC profile feature in the BIOS. This might be used for example as follows:
1. 24/7 OC - with SpeedStep, HT, Turbo features enabled.....almost all BIOS features on Auto (Vcore = 1.1125 / DRAM = 1.5625) This is your everyday OC and it still allows the CPU to throttle down when demand isn't there. On the box I am typing from, Intel 920 w/ Asus Rampage II Extreme and Megahalems cooler, the CPU OC here is 3.8 GHz and CPU temps under Prime 95 are in the mid to hi 50's.
2. Gaming OC - This is tweaked a bit higher and more BIOS features are manually set . OC here is 4.0 Ghz , w/ temps in the hi 60's low 70s under P95. Used only in the most demanding games.
3. Limits OC - This profile is the highest stable OC that was achieved and has many BIOS settings tweaked. OC here is 4.2 Ghz and temps top out at 71 - 74 under P95. Used only for "educational / experimental" purposes
4. Stock setting - self explanatory
(95% of the time, Profile 1 is used ... with stress tests only in the 50's CPU life is not a concern.
I don't usually have the builds here very long before user picks them up....so usually only have about 48 hours. On "in house" builds, I set a side the weekend to do the build and OC .... final tweaking the following weekend. This can't eb done however if ya use AS5 as you need 200 hours and weeks of start up / shut downs before he TIM cures. See the "Important Reminder" at bottom of page here:
As for the GPU, faster clocks simply mean more fps. The factory OC'd 560's (900 MHz) for example are about 10% faster then their reference counterparts .... pushed to 1000 MHz, they approach 20% boost.
Now for the tips ..... while your components are in a brown truck traveling across country, visit all the manufacturer's web sites and download product manuals, installation instructions, firmware updates, drivers whatever. print out the manuals and read them .... several times. Most of the "how to" build questions ya will see posted here can be found right in the manual. Visit the local hardware store and make sure ya have all the necessary tools and supplies including plastic zip ties, cable clips, etc