In this piece, we pointed you to some of the most useful overclocking applications available—most of which are freely available (so long as you’ve purchased the requisite hardware, in the case of vendor-specific programs). Of course, it’s entirely possible that we’ve left out your personal favorite—if so, let us know in this story’s comments section and we’ll be sure to check out some of the other options out there.
We also wanted to show you that the image of the overclocker armed with a soldering iron and jumpers is now a thing of the past (Ed—at least the jumpers part. We’re going to have some overclocking coverage in the next few days to show you that soldering irons, liquid nitrogen, and custom engineering are still hallmarks of the most aggressive overclockers). Even the top overclockers use software overclocking; it’s much more convenient than having to tweak the BIOS (even if the Extensible Firmware Interface specification has improved the situation—for more on EFI, check out this Intel page on the technology).
Finally, remember that this is a constantly changing field. All of the programs we’ve presented generally evolve very quickly, since processors and graphics cards are the sorts of components that are often updated by their manufacturers. In fact, the launch of the Core i7 is likely to spark the arrival of a new generation of programs, since the new processor is very different from the current Core 2 in the way it manages frequencies.
We’ll end with a recommendation: it’s sometimes better to overclock via the BIOS setup program. This is true both because of effectiveness (some programs don’t display the frequencies well, for example) and because of operating system choice (the majority of the programs we’ve mentioned are only for Windows).