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Is overclocking even worth it?

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Anonymous
September 24, 2012 7:09:06 AM

Seriously, what type of FPS gain would I get from overclocking my i5 2500k in games? What would be a safe overclock that doesn't reduce the lifespan of the CPU at all? Should I even do it?

My system:
i5 2500k
ATI Radeon 5870x2 Crossfired 1GB VRAM
16GB Patriot Gamer Series 1600mhz RAM
Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit


I just installed an Antec Kuhler H2O 620 that I got for $35 with rebate, it's idling after an hour gaming session at 36 degrees (package), Core 0 = 31, Core 1 = 31, Core 2 = 37, Core 3 = 28.


Also, I don't even know if I installed the fan properly... the Antec logo is facing right side up towards the back of the machine, while the radiator is inside.

Pic of my machine's innards:


I am using a workstation HP XW9300 case. It's Extended ATX, so some modifications were required. I also duct taped that fan to my graphics card so it would blow at the hard drives since one of them gets to 45-50 degrees.

More about : overclocking worth

September 24, 2012 7:35:45 AM

1.3 volt core wouldnt decrease the lifespan if your cpu by much. try fixing teh core to 1.3 and see what stable multiplier you get. start low first and keep scaling higher and higher.

makes a difference when you have to process a bunch of textures. I gained about 5fps.
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September 24, 2012 7:36:03 AM

tbh i think heat would decrease it more than the 1.3 volts which shouldnt be a problem if your system is watercooled.
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September 24, 2012 7:42:29 AM

I'd like to just say that by the time you think the "Life span" of your cpu will be decreased and or die on you, more then likely you will have a new cpu and board. Just saying, that processor loves the OC, i say break the chains off and let it fly. =D Happy ocing.
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a b K Overclocking
September 24, 2012 8:35:49 AM

ive had my speed stepping running at 5ghz w/ 1.44 volts for the last 2 years without a hiccup. 24/7 operation.

even at 5ghz i can fully utilize the processor.
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Anonymous
September 25, 2012 3:11:57 AM

neon neophyte said:
ive had my speed stepping running at 5ghz w/ 1.44 volts for the last 2 years without a hiccup. 24/7 operation.

even at 5ghz i can fully utilize the processor.


So how much of an fps gain do you get in games versus stock?

TBH if it's just a hobby, I probably won't do it.
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a b K Overclocking
September 25, 2012 10:44:20 AM

It's more a hobby/squeeze the last bit of usefulness of your processor towards the end of its life. You might be able to get 5-10% fps increase tops in cetain games if they're cpu limited.
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a b K Overclocking
September 25, 2012 12:55:14 PM

"It's more a hobby/squeeze the last bit of usefulness of your processor towards the end of its life."
I wouldn't say that a I5-2500K is towards the end of it's life, so this isn't just hobbyists squeezing the last life out of their dying cpu. The best bang is to overclock when it's new, and get the advantage of extra cpu cycles throughout the entire life of the cpu - not just near the end of life. The overclock affects more than just games. While it seems that most overclocking is done to increase gaming performance, there are other useful applications that benefit from overclocking.
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a c 328 K Overclocking
September 25, 2012 2:27:52 PM

Much of overclocking's effectiveness is derived from the skill and dedication of the user doing the OC setup in BIOS. You'll need to learn how to clock your hardware based on what you have installed to try and get better performance- no one here can really tell what you'll get because not every CPU, motherboard, PSU or RAM is the same or responds the same to overclocking. Your best bet is to learn how, do it and see for yourself.

That being said, 4.2-4.4Ghz is fairly common for your chip. Keeping it under 1.5v is what you want to achieve.
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a c 235 K Overclocking
September 25, 2012 2:43:53 PM

neon neophyte said:
ive had my speed stepping running at 5ghz w/ 1.44 volts for the last 2 years without a hiccup. 24/7 operation.

even at 5ghz i can fully utilize the processor.


That's a significant boast from a CPU that has not even been on the market for 2 years yet, the 2500K was released in January 2011.
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a c 235 K Overclocking
September 25, 2012 3:02:42 PM

Anonymous said:
Seriously, what type of FPS gain would I get from overclocking my i5 2500k in games? What would be a safe overclock that doesn't reduce the lifespan of the CPU at all? Should I even do it?

My system:
i5 2500k
ATI Radeon 5870x2 Crossfired 1GB VRAM
16GB Patriot Gamer Series 1600mhz RAM
Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit


I just installed an Antec Kuhler H2O 620 that I got for $35 with rebate, it's idling after an hour gaming session at 36 degrees (package), Core 0 = 31, Core 1 = 31, Core 2 = 37, Core 3 = 28.


Also, I don't even know if I installed the fan properly... the Antec logo is facing right side up towards the back of the machine, while the radiator is inside.

Pic of my machine's innards:
]http://www4.picturepush.com/photo/a/10085612/220/10085612.jpg

I am using a workstation HP XW9300 case. It's Extended ATX, so some modifications were required. I also duct taped that fan to my graphics card so it would blow at the hard drives since one of them gets to 45-50 degrees.


Is overclocking even worth it?

In CPU intensive games like Flight Simulator 10, Yes

In GPU intensive games like Crysis 2, No

When it comes to other applications like audio and video encoding, definitely Yes.

Most are running a 2500K around 4500mhz or 4.5ghz or 45X multiplier, with you owning a K series of the Sandy Bridge you have the ability to overclock by raising the multiplier and increasing the voltage to attain stability.

You first need to learn about overclocking and how to do it and not take advice from those that just learned to overclock a little themselves.

Overclocking guides were specifically written to help those like you gain the knowledge to achieve their goals but first you need to know what those goals even are.

Overclocking is fairly safe these days with unlocked multiplier CPUs but can still go wrong if stupid is sitting on your shoulder when the voltage is applied, too much applied voltage can kill a CPU, Period!

So you need to know your goals, and hardware limitations before you ever actually touch any BIOS settings!


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September 25, 2012 3:04:26 PM

IMO Overclocking is always worth it. You get the full performance of your CPU that way. Make sure you have a good cooling solution, and crank that thing up. Follow the guides, ask questions, and see what others have done with the same CPU. I personally like to get the best bang for my buck. If a CPU can run faster why not make it do so? There are plenty of people here at Tom's with plenty of knowledge. No two Oc's will be the same but their usually in a close proximity.

-OC at your own risk. It's your chip and your responsibility- <-- sorry CYA...
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Anonymous
September 25, 2012 3:15:41 PM

I don't think I play very many CPU heavy games like Civ V, and I think my i5-2500k can max out any CPU based setting with ease, so if it doesn't really give me a noticeable performance boost, I don't think it's worth it TBH.

IE. I can max out the physics effect setting in Borderlands 2 using my CPU, etc. Not sure if it uses your CPU or GPU when you are using an ATI card.


This rig is purely for games, because I have a seperate workstation with an Opteron and Quadro for encoding and such.
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September 25, 2012 3:35:04 PM

It all depends on the game, some games are much more CPU bound than others. For example your probably gonna see a much bigger difference in Skyrim than you will in something that is heavily GPU dependent like BF3
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September 25, 2012 3:44:27 PM

If you paid the extra dollars for the unlocked i5-2500k, why wouldn't you overclock it? I have a i7-2600k oc'd to 4.7Ghz with no voltage changes at all, just went in, changed the multplier and now it runs 1.3Ghz faster and 100% stable.
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September 25, 2012 4:57:31 PM

If I paid for a product, I want to use it to it's full potential. Not one half or three quarters of it.

Hence, the urge to overclock. It's just the principle of the thing, really.
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a b K Overclocking
September 26, 2012 1:42:55 AM

4Ryan6 said:
That's a significant boast from a CPU that has not even been on the market for 2 years yet, the 2500K was released in January 2011.


I got the 2500k right when it came out, so pretty much 2 years
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a c 150 K Overclocking
September 26, 2012 2:06:59 AM

Overclock when you have to. You can always OC to meet the performance of the newer chips.
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Anonymous
September 26, 2012 5:10:25 AM

amuffin said:
Overclock when you have to. You can always OC to meet the performance of the newer chips.


Yeah that was what I was thinking as well. I think if my CPU started to not be able to max out the CPU bound settings in games somewhere down the line, I would start overclocking. But as of yet, I think it runs everything fine (Skyrim FPS in cities is like 15 though for some reason, but I don't think it's the processor since it was running better on my old dual core 3.2 ghz Opteron processor with only one 5870).

I was just wondering if it would give me an FPS gain in games.
Moreso, I was wondering if overclocking it would increase frames slightly, or if there is a limit to how much a processor can help with FPS.

Ie. The further you overclock a GPU, the more frames per second you get. I think there is a limit of how much overclocking your CPU will increase frames per second?
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September 26, 2012 1:00:01 PM

If you're going purely for gaming FPS. I'd look into OCing or upgrading your GPU's. Not sure how well the 5870 OC's but most GPU's have a little overhead to play with. From what I've see a little bit goes a long way on most graphics cards.
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