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AMD’s OverDrive is a powerful all-in-one overclocking, monitoring, and testing utility designed for users of motherboards with AMD 700-series chipsets. Many overclockers cringe at the thought of using a software utility within the operating system environment, and instead prefer to only change these values from within the BIOS. I have typically been one to avoid utilities that motherboard manufacturers offer. But, having put some time into the latest version of AMD OverDrive with these systems, it has become clear just how valuable a tool we are dealing with here.
We’ll start by walking through the menus in AMD OverDrive, pointing out some of the useful capabilities within, and also unlocking the advanced features we will need in order to continue. After opening OverDrive, you are first greeted by a warning message that clearly states that you use the utility at your own risk:
After agreeing by clicking the OK button, you will be brought to the Basic System Information tab that displays information about the CPU and memory:
Clicking an item in the diagram will bring up a window with more details:
The Status Monitor Tab is valuable while overclocking, as you can keep an eye on the processor’s core frequency, multiplier, voltage, temperature, and activity level:
Clicking the Performance Control tab displays Novice mode that has a simple slider to increase performance, which focuses on raising the PCI Express (PCIe) clock speed:
To unlock the advanced clock and voltage controls, you must go to the Preference/Settings tab and select Advanced Mode:
Once Advanced Control had been selected, the Novice tab is replaced by the Clock/Voltage tab for overclocking:
The Memory tab displays a slew of information and allows you to configure memory timings:
There is even a built-in benchmark to quickly measure and compare the benefits achieved:
The utility also includes tests that put a load on the system to check for stability:
The last tab is for a one-click Auto Clock adjustment. It seemed to take a long time, plus it takes away from the fun, so we didn’t experiment with this enough to comment on it:
Now that we are familiar with AMD OverDrive’s menus and have opened up advanced clock and voltage controls, it’s time to start overclocking.