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Why do you overclock?

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April 1, 2012 12:10:28 PM

I'm not exactly an expert on computers but I really can't see how overclocking can be considered a good investment when you can get a better CPU for the money used to OC that CPU.

For example:
Lets say I want to OC an AMD FX4100 to 4.1 Ghz, for that I will need to invest in a better fan than the stock cooler which might cost me 20-30 Dollars, for that I might as well buy an FX4170, right?

This might not be the case for all CPU and I'm probably wrong in some way, so please correct me and tell me why it would be a good idea to OC. :D 

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April 1, 2012 12:17:36 PM

Oups, I need a moderator or an admin to move this to Overclocking, srry :??:  :D 
April 1, 2012 12:34:15 PM

for me, i dont overclock until im nearing a new system.
so i buy my new parts. run it at stock for as long as it plays the games well. but once a game comes out that makes my computer slow to a crawl. i start overclocking.
i generally go up to about 15% over stock speeds.

when buying parts i get nice coolers for my CPUs and i buy video cards that i know overclock well.
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April 1, 2012 12:46:52 PM

When you're stuck with the components (laptop), the only way to go up in performance without buying a new laptop is by OCing, assuming you have the material to assist the laptop in removing the extra heat.

For desktops, I suppose most people do it because of enjoyment. Or, the higher performing components have much less performance per value (i5 2500k vs i7 2600k or i7 3930K), so the only way to go up is by putting the money that would've went into the higher performing components into cooling.
April 1, 2012 2:13:48 PM

One thing I learned over the past 5 years is that stock coolers suck big time. They are simply insufficient. So you always get better cooler to keep your system nice and cool.

I overclock to test my system and try to score as high as possible in 3DMARKS and compare that to other systems with similar specs...so it is kinda fun.
When I ovrc I try to do it without increasing the voltage. The only exception was when I played Metro2033 I had to push my CPU and VGA hard to play smoothly at high settings.
April 1, 2012 2:18:09 PM

Quote:

This might not be the case for all CPU and I'm probably wrong in some way, so please correct me and tell me why it would be a good idea to OC. :D 


For most users, like myself 3.8Ghz. is fast enough but if I can get more, safely, I go for it.

I went for a COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus and my FX 4100 runs under 20C according to hwmonitor, never had it above 28C. I'm running it at 4.1Ghz, 20.5 multiplier X 200 FSB. WEI comes in at 7.3 for the CPU. I'll increase the speed later to 4.3 or 4.5 not that I really need it.

The one thing I noticed was if I overclocked my RAM from 1600 to 1866 the CPU temp went up from 17C at idle to 21C. That's still WAY below any problems.

I didn't both trying the stock cooler on this build but I built an FX 4170 machine using the stock cooler and it ran in the 45C range.

The Cooler Master unit is HUGE compared to the stock cooler and it really gets the job done.

Oh, my room temp is around the same as my CPU temp. Sweaters are cheaper than heat.

To answer your WHY? question, it's hard to resist free speed. My 4100 is running at the same speed as the 4170 for $50 less. Yes, I paid $30 for the cooler, but I can use that on my next build since it came with Intel AND AMD brackets! I actually bought it for my old Intel quad but decided to build the new system.
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April 1, 2012 2:19:23 PM

I do it because mild overclocks are almost too easy NOT to do, and who doesn't want a little more performance without paying [much, just a little power] for it? I NEVER increase voltage; if I needed that much better performance, I needed to have bought it in the first place. I buy aftermarket coolers also for noise reduction.
April 1, 2012 2:24:38 PM

There are instances where the cost-effectiveness of overclocking is in question, as you detailed. When you expect to need a better cooling solution or higher-rated PSU than what you have readily available in order to attain an increase which could have been reached by simply purchasing a more expensive CPU or RAM or what-have-you.

There are also instances where the risk is too great - whereas by overclocking your components beyond their spec without the proper setup to ensure safety - and you cannot afford to replace any damaged components. Thus, the only reasonable thing to do is wait to ensure that you have the funds to replace or already intend to replace the parts should they fail. Then becomes the opportunity to 'tinker' with your system and familiarize yourself with overclocking.

Most people find that overclocking is something inherent to their system building simply because of the ease and availability of overclocking. All new motherboards have a relatively easy-to-use interface that helps users unlock some extra potential.. and there is plenty of software and reference material available to help to that means as well. When building a new system people are inclined to shave a few dollars off here and there knowing they can irk out a little extra performance with little effort.

Other people are simply interested in the mechanics of it all. These enthusiasts know that the hardware before them is capable of more and are experienced with the methodology of overclocking. Price may not be an object to them, as they will buy the most luxurious support components just to transform a lowly budget CPU into a powerhouse. These people are benchmarkers and trailblazers who make the task of overclocking less daunting for the average Joe.

Personally, I believe in buying at a mid range level across the board. I know that the hardware is rated at a certain spec - and I also know that manufacturers wouldn't reveal the overclocking capabilities if it were impossible to go beyond the 'rated' specs in the first place. I like to think in a logical/practical fashion and thus I wouldn't buy parts without knowing other's experiences with them. I would also like to think I'm thrifty in that I would typically wait for a particular component to go below an acceptable price threshold before purchasing - expecting to make use of the savings elsewhere in the build. I wouldn't buy a $200 CPU just to overclock it to the levels of a $230 CPU, I'd want to wait for that $200 CPU to go on sale for, perhaps, $180 - and by nature of pre-determination of it's capabilities - expecting it to be able to perform as well as a $280 CPU. These examples are non-specific, but the point remains. This is the thought process behind my system builds.

April 1, 2012 2:58:24 PM

Personally, I overclock to see even more performance out of a processor that is already top-of-the-line. Overkill CAN be a good thing. ^^
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April 1, 2012 3:11:31 PM

Hi :) 

I NEVER overclock....its just too risky, as you can see by several threads on here where people have blown their Cpus/motherboards....

Cpus are so fast these days its just NOT worth the risk...

All the best Brett :) 
April 1, 2012 4:47:24 PM

Thanks for all the opinions, it's interesting to read what people think of overclocking :) 
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April 1, 2012 6:35:49 PM

I overclock but I don't push voltage much, and I buy aftermarket heatsinks because they're much quieter so it's not like I'm spending extra just to overclock.
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April 1, 2012 7:02:59 PM

"I NEVER overclock....its just too risky", Brett come on. If you ask the majority of people in this forum how many have blown up hardware by OCing - the answer I feel would be quite low. There is OCing and of course there is EXTREME OCing. Mild to moderate OCing with most modern cpus, especially Intels, is easily done and quite safe.
-Bruce
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April 1, 2012 7:11:10 PM

Quote:
"I NEVER overclock....its just too risky", Brett come on. If you ask the majority of people in this forum how many have blown up hardware by OCing - the answer I feel would be quite low. There is OCing and of course there is EXTREME OCing. Mild to moderate OCing with most modern cpus, especially Intels, is easily done and quite safe.
-Bruce



Hi :) 

As you probably know, I own Computer shops in the UK and a Laptop repair company....

I see a LOT of the results of bad overclocking.... usually entailling a NEW cpu or motherboard or both....

Now I realise that my shops see more bad overclocks than here at Toms but its human nature to not tell people you have screwed up ...so people DO come into my shops and ask for a new cpu etc....whereas people are fairly unlikely to come here and say they have done it wrong...

My main point was to put the otherside to overclocking...which is that it is RISKY....as long as people realise the risks then thats great, but there seems to be an attitude at the moment that oveclocking is easy and not risky...which is NOT true...

All the best Brett :) 
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April 1, 2012 7:13:00 PM

I OC because I like to get the most bang for my buck. I like being the headlights in the rear view of an intel costing 2X as much. I am a true performance enthusiast and love squeezing every last Mhz out of my system. Only with proper cooling and 24/7 acceptable voltages of course ;) 
a c 150 K Overclocking
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April 1, 2012 10:54:36 PM

Quote:
Hi :) 

As you probably know, I own Computer shops in the UK and a Laptop repair company....

I see a LOT of the results of bad overclocking.... usually entailling a NEW cpu or motherboard or both....

Now I realise that my shops see more bad overclocks than here at Toms but its human nature to not tell people you have screwed up ...so people DO come into my shops and ask for a new cpu etc....whereas people are fairly unlikely to come here and say they have done it wrong...

My main point was to put the otherside to overclocking...which is that it is RISKY....as long as people realise the risks then thats great, but there seems to be an attitude at the moment that oveclocking is easy and not risky...which is NOT true...

All the best Brett :) 

Charge your buyers extra for overclocking?
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April 1, 2012 10:56:52 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Overclocking by Nikorr
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April 2, 2012 7:24:33 AM

I overclock because:

I can. :) 

I can stretch the usable life of a system.

I have been pretty lucky because I have been able to reach core speed limits without exceeding manufacturer's voltage or thermal limits.

I have also never blow a CPU or motherboard, and I have been doing this a long time.
----------
Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
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April 2, 2012 7:46:50 AM

jsc said:

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Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz

That was a big jump back then, right?
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April 2, 2012 10:49:03 AM

Well obviously for someone with 2 overclocking guides here at THGF I overclock and have been doing it for so long I forgot where and when it started.

Overclockers daily enjoy increased performance way past stock capabilities and to really reach impressive performance gains voltage increasing is almost a given part of overclocking.

Quote:
For example:
Lets say I want to OC an AMD FX4100 to 4.1 Ghz, for that I will need to invest in a better fan than the stock cooler which might cost me 20-30 Dollars, for that I might as well buy an FX4170, right?


To address the OPs original example I would have started with the FX4170 and overclocked it!

That however would not be the best example lets say I spend $200.00 on a CPU capable of being overclocked to the level of a $1,000.00 CPU would it be worth it then?

There is extra money involved to reach those goals, because to reach those goals increases heat and that has to be resolved, to reach those goals requires better initial overclockable hardware, but in the end result it's still the cheaper option.

Everyone has different views regarding overclocking but those views are from whether you've actually done it or not, overclocking is an unknown if you've never done it, and it's natural to have a fear of the unknown.

I've always said overclocking to a certain extent is addictive, once you get a taste of the power behind the curtain you just naturally want seconds.

The biggest investment overclocking requires is knowledge of how to do it, because without the knowledge of what you can and cannot do, and know the limitations of your hardware, you'll be visiting Brett928S2's repair shop!

This question is asked numerous times I assume out of sheer curiosity to the asker of the question, overclocking is a word that seems so foreign, but to the overclocker in the same respect that you cannot understand why we overclock, we wonder why you don't.

And it's simply because you have never experienced what gains overclocking can bring.

Ryan

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April 2, 2012 11:12:03 AM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

I NEVER overclock....its just too risky, as you can see by several threads on here where people have blown their Cpus/motherboards....

Cpus are so fast these days its just NOT worth the risk...

All the best Brett :) 


lol... i'll keep my 43% overclock (never surpassing 60° outside linpack burn-ins) thank you
April 2, 2012 12:56:16 PM

Quote:
And it's simply because you have never experienced what gains overclocking can bring.


I can definitely see that for many overclockers it is just the fun of overclocking that makes it attractive and I guess that it poses a kind of challenge which needs to be solved.Which I can definitely see the fun in.

But could you tell me what the gains are? :) 

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April 2, 2012 3:50:17 PM

smack_them said:
Quote:
And it's simply because you have never experienced what gains overclocking can bring.


I can definitely see that for many overclockers it is just the fun of overclocking that makes it attractive and I guess that it poses a kind of challenge which needs to be solved.Which I can definitely see the fun in.

But could you tell me what the gains are? :) 


Why don't I just show you, the results below were all run on a Windows XP machine using a 580GTX graphics card not overclocked, the CPU is an Intel Sandy Bridge i5 2500K quad core and it is the only thing going to be overclocked in what you see below, note the total performance score in 3Dmark 06.

2500K default with no overclock 06 = 23,119

Every overclock result below was done using my guide in my sig, disabling all of Intels features and overclocking all 4 cores to the stated clock with no throttling.

2500K 3.3ghz, 06 = 24,078

2500K with a 1ghz+ overclock to 4.35ghz, 06 = 31,118

2500K at 4.5ghz, 06 = 32,125

2500K at 4.7ghz, 06 = 33,172

2500K at 4.8ghz, 06 = 33,843

2500K at 4.9ghz, 06 = 34,390

2500K at 5.0ghz, 06 = 34,858

2500K at 5.1ghz, 06 = 35,273

Each increase yielded gains and that's just one program that can benefit from overclocking, additional programs that benefit from overclocking, are video and audio encoding with serious frames per second encoding gains and various other applications.

The only gaming increase you'll see is CPU intensive games like Microsofts Flight Simulator 10, shooters like Crysis, Crysis 2, etc. yield no CPU overclocking increase, games however do benefit from GPU overclocking.

When you take into consideration from completely default not overclocked to overclocked to 5.1ghz is a 12,154 increase in 3DM06, if you cannot see for yourself what overclocking can do, there's really nothing else I can say.



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April 2, 2012 4:07:41 PM

My thoughts on OC:

1) I overclock because I can.

2) I oc because it is a good value.

3) Intel guarantees 3.4 on a 2600K. Some chips will be better quality and exceed that minimum guarantee. Perhaps 90% are good for 4.0, and 50% for 4.5. When
Intel offers a "K" chip, they say, go ahead and see how good your particular sample is. They even talk about an insurance policy to protect you from a damaged OC chip.

4) For no cost, except for higher fan noise, the stock cooler is good for some higher level of performance.

5) To my mind, an OC that does not fool with voltages is perfectly safe.
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April 2, 2012 4:20:05 PM

For my E6400: 2.13 -> 3.2 50% gain, Great Boost & I5-750: 2.66 -> 3.2 Not bad.
In both case my temps (which I use to determine Max OC and with REASONABLE vcore) Not one problem and both are still runing great.

I5-2500K - Went up to 4.6 (forgot if I tried 4.8). But for what I do, do not really need the 4.6 (which is only 8.5% above 4.2 and NOT really a detectable difference in day-to-day usage) so just left it at 4.2. Comparing 4.6 and 4.2, 0.4 (8%) is not a significate boost for single core app, but is a modest boost for multcore apps.

As to HSF cost - I never even take The stock Intel HSF out of the Box, OC or NOT I want the CPU to run as cool as econimically feasible.
April 2, 2012 4:26:05 PM

Well, I will definitely consider OC'ing, thanks to everyone who has taken their time to share your opinion. ;) 
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April 3, 2012 10:51:30 AM

Especially with bulldozer chips....
!