QOTD: Do You Overclock Your PC?

There's no real shortage of processors and graphics cards these days. For every application and intent of building, there's a CPU and GPU that will fit your needs, and budget.

What's also equally apparent these days is that CPUs are very fast, relative to what was available just a few short years ago. This isn't to say that today's CPUs are significantly faster in clock frequency however--they're faster overall and significantly more efficient. Even Intel's Pentium 4 CPU was able to reach current CPU frequencies no problem.

When CPU clock frequencies were sub-gigahertz, overclocking brought in a significant boost in speed ratio. But today, with high frequency processors, overclocking doesn't nearly bring in as much, relatively. However, it must be said that getting more bang for your dollar is mainly what this is about, and squeezing every bit of performance from our components means a lot more than just the bottom line.

The question of the day is: Do you overclock your computers?

If you do, what kind of cooling do you use?

If you don't overclock, tell us why as well.

Check out pictures of some of the craziest systems Tom's Hardware saw around the net last weekend.

  • smartel7070
    I have a Core2Duo E8400, stock 3.0ghz overclocked to 3.6ghz with a Xigmatech s1283 cpu cooler.

    I overclock because like it says I want to squeeze as much performance as I can from my hardware.

    I've been overclocking my CPU's since the Pentium 1 days.
  • Yep, Trusty Windsor X2 5600 @ 3.1 Ghz ....been that way for as long as i can remember..... A little weak these days... but I still see no reason to shell out tons of cash for an elite rig anytime soon. Using a Zalman 9700 heatsink and 3 120mm fans in a relatively spacious case...
  • I overclock to find out how far I can push the system and run benchmarks. Then I usually back off to find a good balance between a moderate overclock and low temperatures.

    An aftermarket heatsink/fan is a must. I tend to use hardware website reviews along with Newegg customer reviews in my decision regarding which HSF to purchase.

    CPU: Q6700
    Cooler: Tuniq Tower 120
    Motherboard: Asus P5E

    Maximum Overclock: 3.67GHz
    Normal Overclock: 3.0GHz
    Temps (normal OC) - Idle: Mid to Upper 30's Celcius | Load: Mid 40's Celcius
  • AdamB5000
    I don't overclock. I'm nervous about doing something wrong and causing instability or shortening the life of my components. It also doesn't really interest me.
  • Onus
    I have a Q9450, oc'ed to 3.2GHz. It was a quick and easy mod. That is the bottom line for me. I want to get more for my money, but I'd rather play ON my PC than play WITH it, so every last MHz doesn't matter to me. That overclock is not very stressful for that chip (no voltage increase), so the cooler is just an AC Freezer 7 Pro.
    I also have a 4850e on a 790GX that is not overclocked, and won't be; it's on 24/7 and I want lowest power consumption.
    My wife's PC is a 5400 X2 on a 790GX. It has a Ninja Mini on it, but isn't overclocked. I just got some better RAM for it, and will likely try to push it some (she runs LOTS of stuff at the same time), but I think I see a 720 in her future.
  • wolfseeker2828
    I have a Pentium Dual-core e2160 @ 3ghz, stock 1.8. I overclock because I see a huge increase in performance versus stock. I use air. I have a Cooler Master Hyper TX2 CPU cooler and three fans blowing to create airflow.
  • Blessedman
    I have never been a big fan of overclocking, the expense of a new system compared to the performance gains is not worth the risk in my opinion. Not only running the chance to burn out your system but also lowering the life time expectancy of components. I know that today's processors have gotten better at protecting themselves, but I still don't see the benefit of gaining another 5-6% performance when everything runs as well as I would expect at default settings. Then again I upgrade at least once a year.
  • 08nwsula
    e4400 from 2.0 ghz now to 3.0 without a problem, 300 mhz fsb with a 10x multiplier. using an arctic cooler 7 pro which keeps me at about 30c most of the time. I also overclock my ram and my video card.
  • Phenom 940 with an easy 3.5ghz overclock. Again, squeeze more performance without sending my hardware into a panic attack.

    Cooling with a ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro. Again, nothing crazy. Does the job very well and quiet at the same time.

    Amd PII 940 3.5ghz
    MSI K9N2 SLI Platinum
    BFG GeForce GTX 285 OC
    Corsair 4gb (2x2gb)

  • shashwat
    I have an AMD X3 8650 @ 3.1 Ghz 1.3V and I am using Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer and Jetway HA07 motherboard with it.. Can't push more stuck with value ram. . Will possibly get Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 soon..

    Here is the specs

    AMD Phenom X3 8650 @ 3.1 ghz
    Jetway HA07 790GX Board
    Transcend P-Series DDR2 800 Mhz Western Digital 640Gb AAKS
    Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer
    Thermaltake M9 with 2 pre-installed fans.. will change them with Antec Tri-Cool 120mm and add an extra 120mm .
    POV Black Diamond 500 W SMPS :(