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Do you really need to overclock your CPU?

Last response: in CPUs
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January 14, 2013 2:30:49 PM

I built my first gaming PC two weeks ago and everything has been great so far. However, I am curious about overclocking for my system. Being around the PC gaming community everyone seems to be very obsessive about overclocking their CPU's and getting the best performance out of them, but for me it hasn't been such a positive experience.

I have an Intel i5 3570k CPU which comes default at 3.4GHz out the box. I managed to get 4.2GHz on my first try of overclocking, and the well-being of the PC seemed pretty stable. I could probably squeeze more out of it, but for safety measures I feel more comfortable with 4.2GHz. Anyhow, the thing is, is that I don't really notice any difference in the performance of my PC in general. After overclocking (as well as overclocking my GPU slightly too), games like Battlefield 3 didn't run any better at higher settings, and the frame rate was still the same as before. The only thing overclocking seemed to do was boost my system temperatures by about 8 celsius.

So the question I have to you guys is; does overclocking your CPU really make that much difference and is it required? Perhaps 3.4GHz default was completely fine for modern games, or perhaps it's just me being an inexperienced PC gamer and not being able to tell the difference?

My GPU is an XFX Radeon HD 7950 DD if that helps too, because I guess that does control a lot of the gaming processes too.

More about : overclock cpu

a c 899 à CPUs
a c 164 K Overclocking
January 14, 2013 2:34:43 PM

Well if you were CPU limited overclock will help. In your case you will most likely see difference running benchmarks but not a noticeable difference, for example you would not see the difference between 60 and 70fps in a game unless you are doing a benchmark and physically see the numbers.
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January 14, 2013 2:44:58 PM

rolli59 said:
Well if you were CPU limited overclock will help. In your case you will most likely see difference running benchmarks but not a noticeable difference, for example you would not see the difference between 60 and 70fps in a game unless you are doing a benchmark and physically see the numbers.


So would you advise not overclocking my PC at all? It runs at much hotter temperatures overclocked and if I can't notice the difference, is there much point at all?
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a c 899 à CPUs
a c 164 K Overclocking
January 14, 2013 4:59:08 PM

You are right if you do not notice any difference there is no need or use for the overclock.
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a b à CPUs
January 14, 2013 5:16:34 PM

Despite what intel fanboys may say, the GPU does most of the leg work.

Try this, supposing you don't mind voiding your GPU warranty:

Take your CPU back to stock
Overclock your GPU

Notice any significant (positive) difference?
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a c 479 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
January 14, 2013 5:23:13 PM

Overclocking does improve the CPU's performance. However, programs that do not depend on a fast CPU (i.e. CPU bound) will get little to no increase in performance. In your particular example, you are not getting any additional performance in BF3 because that game is not really bound/ limited by the CPU. As long as the CPU is fast enough, BF3 will not care if it is running at 3.0GHz or 4.5GHz.

However, there are games that are CPU dependent and you will notice an increase in performance such as SC2 and Skyrim.
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January 14, 2013 5:43:54 PM

OK you got a "k" chip.. May I asked why you go it? Sorry I just think getting a k chip and not overclocking is liking wearing boots in the shower.. It just doesn't make sense.

And yes it will help in some games/programs and others it won't make much of a difference. There are plenty of benchmarks around that can help show the difference.
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