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Overclocking Guide

Why Not Overclocking?

Although there are millions of tales of damaged CPUs and other system components, in most cases overclocking is completely harmless. There are, however, a few things to take into consideration.

  • Your CPU could be damaged by so-called 'electromigration'. Electromigration takes place on the actual silicon chip of your CPU in areas which operate at a very high temperature, and can cause permanent damage to the chip. Before you start to panic, you should first realize a few things. CPUs are designed to run at temperatures between -25 and 80 degrees Celsius. To give you an idea, 80 degrees Celsius is a temperature that nobody is able to touch for longer than 1/10 second. I have never come across a CPU at this temperature. There are plenty of ways to keep the CPU case at less than 50 degrees Celsius which increases the probability of keeping the chip inside at less than 80 degrees. Also, electromigration does not immediately damage your chip. It is a slow process, which more or less shortens the life span of a CPU running at a very high temperature. A normal CPU is meant to live for about 10 years. However, in ten years nobody is going to be using a CPU with today's technology. I won't even use my CPU anymore in 2 months. If you want to be kept free from this electromigration scare, you have to do as much as possible to cool the CPU. Cooling is the Numero Uno Oncho in overclocking!!! Never ever forget that! These terms don't necessarily apply for Cyrix, IBM, and AMD CPUs. Because of the already high rate of heat production at their original clock rate, you must work extra hard to keep them cool in overclocked conditions. I've come across several dead Cyrix 6x86 CPUs so far, so be careful or just let it be!
  • Nobody likes system crashes or hangs, but in a professional business environment, avoiding a system crash or hang can be most crucial. It certainly is a fact that you are increasing the probability of system faults by overclocking your CPU. But this is only the probability !! If you have just overclocked your system and the first thing you do is use it to start writing your dissertation, don't be surprised if a system crash occurs which causes you to lose all your data. After finishing the overclocking process you have to put your system through a tough and thorough testing procedure. If the system passes all the testing, only then can you talk of successful overclocking and feel confident everything is working well. I'm using Winstone and the BAPCo Suite for reliability testing. You may not have the BAPCo, but it certainly is worth getting the new Winstone 97.
  • The third debate against overclocking is that your father, brother, best friend, neighbour, or boss thinks it's immoral. Well, I always enjoyed living in sin, but if you've got problems with that, read the next chapter.
  • alzheimerz
    Wow! History..
  • I started reading it and got to " Pentium 120 to a Pentium 133." and realised the article is 13 years old, amazing!
  • mewithsfi
    quotemsg=1553,1,1]What is overclocking? Why? Why not? Is overclocking immoral? Requirements, Goals, Techniques of overclocking. How can I find out, which bus speed my motherboard supports? Special Precautions for 75 and 83 MHz Bus Speed. Overclocking the Intel Pentium. Overclocking the Intel Pentium Pro. Overclocking the Cyrix/IBM 6x86. Overclocking the AMD K5. Overclocking Step by Step.

    Overclocking Guide : Read more
    Even though this article is 14 years old the basics are still the basics. Technology has changed alot since this post. Talking about a trip down memory lane. Thanks Tom

    Overclocking to the EXTREME
  • overclocking generates a lot of heat, .i think that when you overclocked that processor it will cause a damage to mobo, because some of the pentium pro processor doesn't require heat sink?
  • Great article
  • mHonfy
    Yes, great Article! I still have my Pentium MMX 166Mhz @ 233Mhz in a Packard Bell Legend Tower Computer.
    As far as I remember, there were 2 types of P1 166MMX processors. Only special types could be overclocked. Easy 233Mhz from 166Mhz.
    Ages ago, when I got my 166MMX I swapped it to another one, and changed the jumper setting on my motherboard. My PC still runes @233Mhz. There is no heat generated although I applied a small fan over the silent heatsink. Good times! :)