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Should I overclock?

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December 25, 2012 9:29:31 PM

Hello there! Im a long time lurker finally posting. =]

Anyways, I have an i5 2550k Sandy Bridge. Asrock mobo. And its coming to point where im tempted to overclock. Now I have never done it before. I dont want to fry the cpu or the mobo. What precautions should I take before deciding to overclock? Its fairly cold here where I live. Im not sure if I would have to buy an aftermarket cpu fan.

A friend of mine claims that I shouldn't even touch it. It reduces the lifespan of a cpu to about year. Sounds ridiculous, but in general he knows more about computers than I do. Im not sure if I should believe him.

I want the extra juice to run Ableton better. Im not entirely sure if that's the ideal solution. Abletons cpu meter goes over 100% and start stuttering glitching and lagging on my larger projects. Which is odd because when I open up the task manager, it tells me its using 30% of my overall cpu while the ableton cpu meter is spiking. I dont know what to make of this.

Ive enabled all my 4 cores, closed unnecessary programs, and enabled game boost.

Should I compromise and deal with spike within ableton. Its time consuming and slows down my workflow, but its possible bypassing this issue using several techniques. Or should I go ahead, take the risk, and overclock?

(also will the extra cpu power allow me to run Borderlands 2 physx better? I have a Radeon 6870 btw)

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December 25, 2012 10:50:32 PM

cerealbox760 said:
Anyways, I have an i5 2550k Sandy Bridge. Asrock mobo. And its coming to point where im tempted to overclock. Now I have never done it before. I dont want to fry the cpu or the mobo. What precautions should I take before deciding to overclock? Its fairly cold here where I live. Im not sure if I would have to buy an aftermarket cpu fan.


First off, you don't have an aftermarket fan?! Get one right away.

cerealbox760 said:
A friend of mine claims that I shouldn't even touch it. It reduces the lifespan of a cpu to about year. Sounds ridiculous, but in general he knows more about computers than I do. Im not sure if I should believe him.


The fact that you don't have an aftermarket fan (and therefore, have higher temps) is really the only thing that is going to shorten the lifespan of your CPU short of frying it's circuits by giving it too many volts. Don't even try overclocking without one.

cerealbox760 said:
I want the extra juice to run Ableton better. Im not entirely sure if that's the ideal solution. Abletons cpu meter goes over 100% and start stuttering glitching and lagging on my larger projects. Which is odd because when I open up the task manager, it tells me its using 30% of my overall cpu while the ableton cpu meter is spiking. I dont know what to make of this.


Many people have reported glitches and stuttering with Ableton, and that it gives out incorrect readings. Try CPUID. It's free.

cerealbox760 said:
Ive enabled all my 4 cores, closed unnecessary programs, and enabled game boost.


Your motherboard should support hyperthreading. Meaning you would be able to run 8 threads at once. Try that, first.

cerealbox760 said:
Should I compromise and deal with spike within ableton. Its time consuming and slows down my workflow, but its possible bypassing this issue using several techniques. Or should I go ahead, take the risk, and overclock?


No. At least, not until you've gotten an aftermarket fan.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cerealbox760 said:
(also will the extra cpu power allow me to run Borderlands 2 physx better? I have a Radeon 6870 btw)


PhysX is designed by Nvidia, and as such AMD card do not natively support PhysX.
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December 25, 2012 11:36:04 PM

The standard fan isnt enough? Even without overclocking?

Theoretically speaking, if I can maintain a steady temperature on my CPU, I can increase the power as much I can without damaging the cpu in the long run(if done correctly)? Therefore, the better the cooler, the higher I can raise the speed?

And how do you check CPU temperature?
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December 26, 2012 12:32:49 AM

cerealbox760 said:
The standard fan isnt enough? Even without overclocking?


If you're running stuff like Borderlands 2, you're going to need a heavier-duty cooler

cerealbox760 said:
Theoretically speaking, if I can maintain a steady temperature on my CPU, I can increase the power as much I can without damaging the cpu in the long run(if done correctly)? Therefore, the better the cooler, the higher I can raise the speed?


Theoretically, yes. People have used liquid nitrogen (which is -320 degrees Fahrenheit) to cool their chips and reach insane overclocks. However, there is only so much beating wires can take. Copper can reliably transmit signals up to 10Ghz, after that you need to start adding gold or some other similar metal. There is a hard limit to how much you can overclock, but it varies chip by chip (even chips with the same number--for example, one 2500K chip might overclock 200mhz higher than another 2500K made in the same batch).

cerealbox760 said:
And how do you check CPU temperature?


If there is no on-motherboard temperature display, try monitoring software made by your motherboard's manufacturer. Here's the link:

http://www.asrock.com/Feature/octuner/index.asp
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December 31, 2012 2:07:46 AM

Best answer selected by Cerealbox760.
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