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Overclocking help for a beginner

So im new here and building my own PC for the first time. I know very little about it, and am looking for a lot of help. im not sure it completely necessary, but here are the parts for my PC

Case fans 3x120mm 1x140mm
AMD phenom II X-555
4gb 1600mHz ddr3 ram
1TB 7200rpm sata hard drive
Corsair Air Series A70 Performance CPU Cooler
FX AMD Radeon HD 6870 900M 1 GB DDR5
Liteon iHAS324 24X DVD-RW SATA Optical Disk Drive
Corsair Builder Series CX600 600 watt 80 Plus

My question is how can I/Should I overclock? also (if any) what is the difference between unlocking cpu cores and overclocking, as i see both terms tossed around frequently. Again, I know very little on the subject, so i apologize if these questions seem rudimentary. Any help would be appreciated.

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More about overclocking beginner
  1. Overclock is making the CPU run faster than the factory clock. Example factory 3.0 GHz overclock 3.5GHz. Unlocking CPU cores is only possible if the feature is supported on your motherboard. AMD makes some processors with four cores and then disables one to create a Athlon ll x3. Sometimes the last core works when you unlock it giving you a better processor and other times it isn't a stable core and can't be used. The reason some are x3 is because the fourth core didn't work and instead of throwing the CPU away they sell it with the one non working core disabled. I don't believe you can unlock a core on that CPU but that CPU is one of the best for overclocking. You have to increase the multiplier on the motherboard bios. Example 200 * 16 is 3200 or your stock frequency. 200 * 17.5 is 3500 or 3.5GHz. This allows you to take a cheaper CPU and make it as fast as one $50 more (motherboard multipliers go by the .5).
  2. Overclocking is not free. To get a significant overclock, you will need to increase CPU voltage. That will increase heat, requiring a better heatsink.

    For more information:

    For first-time builders, I recommend looking at these threads:

    Build it yourself:

    And although this primarily a troubleshooting thread, the first part contains a checklist that will catch most noob mistakes:
  3. Best answer
    You can overclock the processor he has without increasing voltage so that's all I would recommend for a beginner.,3032-7.html
  4. thanks guys, I appreciate the help
  5. Best answer selected by eflam.
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