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BIOS And Overclocking: Now There’s Your Problem

Build Or Buy? Five Sub-$500 Store-Bought Systems Compared
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Overclocking is such a big reason that we're able to demonstrate such massive performance boosts on a limited budget. Most of the time, the gains Paul is able to procure are downright impressive. He was able to achieve impressive 10% boosts in both of the last two $500 Gaming PC configurations.

Those speed-ups don't just apply to synthetic benchmarks. He also realized them in his gaming benchmarks.

Compaq CQ5700Y BIOSCompaq CQ5700Y BIOSDell i560 BIOSDell i560 BIOSeMachines El1350 BIOSeMachines El1350 BIOS

eMachines EL1850 BIOSeMachines EL1850 BIOSHP s5704yHP s5704y

BIOS-based flexibility is where pre-configured systems fall short. The top-tier vendors selling to mainstream users don't want those folks overclocking their machines. Overclocking creates support nightmares, if not from fried components then from general system instability. It's not that those manufacturers are out to prevent anyone from getting the most from their hardware. Rather, it's all a matter of minimizing the number of frustrated phone calls to operators with limited knowledge of enthusiast-oriented features.

As a result, it's not a surprise that our canned machines give us zero flexibility. If you want to overclock, you need to build your own computer.

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