Overclocking is simply the setting or increasing of a component’s clock rate to make it run at a higher speed than it was designed to run. This action usually applies to the CPU, though other components can also be overclocked. Increasing any component’s clock rate causes it to perform more operations per second, but the effect is that it also produces more heat than it normally does. Overclocking is done usually to squeeze out more performance out of any component.
All commercially sold computers and its CPU’s are pre-set at factory settings to run at a certain maximum speed. Running your computer at this factory preset speed with proper cooling fans means performance will remain normal without any problems.
But with overclocking, you can go beyond the factory preset speeds. You can increase the CPU’s speed by setting a higher clock rate or multiplier in the computer’s BIOS so the computer now performs more operations per second. Naturally, when you speed up your CPU, you speed up your computer and thus produce additional heat. So, since logic needs to kick in, when you overclock, you naturally need to add more fans to cool down the excessive heat being produced. If not, the extreme heat may physically damage the CPU, make operations unstable, or cause it to blue-screen or restart.
For computer enthusiast and tinkerers, overclocking a gaming desktop – especially one that has been self-assembled by the user – offers faster gaming speeds that offer some advantages over the opponent. However, many computers or components commercially sold today run as fast as is possible, and when coupled with a solid-state hard drive, renders computer speeds that are so fast that overclocking is no longer necessary. In fact, many games being sold today cannot even keep up with the increasing speed of graphics cards, so overclocking is becoming unnecessary. Should you decide to still overclock your CPU, make sure not to fall for a few overclocking myths.
Overclocking requires expensive liquid cooling
If you’re only doing moderate overclocking (one or two-speed grades higher), then you probably only need to add two more fans. Liquid cooling is an option, not a necessity.
Overclocking requires expensive motherboards and memory
Again, if you’re planning only moderate overclocking, what your computer has inside will suffice.
But we do advice overclocking only your desktop. There’s not enough space in a laptop for additional airflow to handle the extreme heat.