What is Overclocking ?

   Overclocking clipart

First of all, you must know the terminologies of a Processing unit:

    If you want to buy a pc, laptop, or a processor to build your own PC, you must have come across the terminologies like Clock Speed (min(base) and max(boost)), whether it is unlocked/locked processor, TDP which is Thermal Design Power, Cache memory sizes with respective level (l2, l3) details, number of cores, and number of threads.

You can find these details on the manufacturer's website. For instance, check the below picture.

AMD Ryzen 5 series
Image source: AMD

These terminologies are not only applicable to Central Processing Unit (CPU) but also to the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or the commonly called graphics card.{alertSuccess}

Therefore one could overclock any processor(CPU, GPU)...

What is clock speed?

The clock speed is nothing but the number of cycles per second otherwise called Frequency, That is the reason to find the clock speed to be mentioned in Hertz/Hz.

The greater the Clock speed the greater would be the processing speed.

In general clock speed indicates how many instructions could be handled by the processor in an instance.

Overclocking in general

  • To achieve additional performance, overclocking is done.
  • It forces your device to function better than it was designed to.

In detail

The processor manufacturer would have set a certain clock speed at the time of production itself, and they could make it tweakable (by the user), this is where the terminologies unlocked and locked comes into the picture.

In the unlocked processor unit, you could control the processing speed of your device by controlling the frequency of the processor (clock speed). The minimum and maximum threshold clock speed hertz level will be mentioned by the manufacturing company in the respective device datasheet/specification.

Meanwhile, in the locked processor you could not control the clock speed. But nowadays because of the advancement of hardware hacking one could control the clock speed of the locked processor too.

AMD Ryzen 5 series
Image source: AMD

How is overclocking achieved?

It’s just the basics of electronics. When you overclock or underclock your device it takes up the power needed accordingly, high power for a higher speed and vice versa.

You could find the clock speed settings of an unlocked processor in the BIOS or some manufacturers will give a separate User interface for this, better you might visit your manufacturer's website for these details.

What will you find in the clock settings?


You might find the control bar to increase/decrease the voltage delivered to the processing unit, and the cooling fan speed as well.

Aftermath of overclocking

By Overclocking you could operate your gadget outside of its specifications. As you increase the clock speed (frequency), your device might become unstable. {alertWarning}

By increasing the voltage, you can compensate. The chance of being unstable rises as the voltage rises. However, this can result in increased power usage and heat dissipation.

When it comes to maximizing performance, it needs more power. When more power is utilized the processor would develop heat… actually much higher temperature (up to 80 to 90degree celsius)  you might need huge heatsinks with fans or liquid cooling or even Negative degrees of cooling by any means. 

Things to keep in mind!

You're increasing the clock speed above the manufacturer's guideline. 

First and foremost, you must be ready to lack the warranty.

Most of the manufacturers have mentioned that the warranty will be void for a device that is overclocked. Before doing, better you check it out on the company site.{alertInfo}


AMD Ryzen 5 series

Bottom line

    There are comprehensive guides that exist for overclocking, which you could find easily on Youtube. Nowadays even Android phones can be overclocked with a simple app or by turning on the developer mode (you will get plenty of settings when developer mode is ON). 

Yet PC overclocking is very popular with gamers, video editors, crypto miners(Bitcoin), or anyone else who needs more performance from his or her computer.

Also Read : CPU vs GPU What's the difference?

Also Read : AMD vs Nvidia Who makes the best GPU?

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