In the gaming world, overclocking is an art form driven by PC enthusiasts and has its own subculture. The most extreme overclockers do everything they can to break world records, such as cooling their components with liquid nitrogen. However, not everyone looking for a powerful gaming rig needs to be an extreme overclocker to get the best performance from their hardware.
Overclocking is the action of pushing components such as the CPU to their maximum performance level, achieving better performance and speed than they were designed for at the factory.
According to computer processor developer Intel, overclocking your PC can help extend the life of your system by helping you keep up with increasingly demanding software.
Over time, developers will continue to create games and applications that require increasingly faster processors and higher core counts. The more demanding these applications become, the harder it will be for legacy systems to keep up.
Each CPU has a certain number of cores. No amount of work you do yourself can turn a quad-core processor into a six-core processor.
On the other hand, the core speed is adjustable. CPUs are assigned frequency values based on what most processors are capable of. However, every individual processor is different and by optimizing yours you can leverage its potential to perform beyond factory settings.
To overclock properly it’s important to use the right components, especially if you’re building a PC from scratch. That’s why Kingston Technology’s high-performance division shared a series of tips on how to choose the parts that will contribute to overclocking potential and stability. It’s not just about matching a memory kit to a motherboard, it’s also about selecting the right kind of motherboard, processor, power supply, case and cooling that will affect stability and how far the speeds can be pushed.
The first thing is to take into account which of the two main brands of processors to select, whether Intel or AMD, as this in turn makes it easier to choose the motherboard and vice versa. One thing to keep in mind at this point is that high-end processor models typically have more cores and faster speeds, as well as the ability to overclock memory. Lower models may be better at saving power and providing sufficient performance for most applications, but sometimes they limit or block memory overclocking.
Motherboards come in three main sizes: ATX, microATX (mATX), and mini-ITX. ATX is the most common motherboard size for desktop PCs and offers the most features, such as multiple M.2 and PCIe slots and multi-channel memory slots. As with processors, high-end boards will support the fastest memory speeds and use the best materials for a stable experience, while mid-range and low-end boards will be excellent options for a gaming-conscious builder and will support good overclocking capabilities. with reliable materials.
This is where form and function can play an important role in the PC’s ultimate purpose. Some focus more on style, with transparent panels and RGB lighting, while others prioritize simplicity and maximum airflow. However, excessive heat is the biggest threat to stability and overclocking potential. Therefore, the most important thing to consider is whether the case is compatible with the CPU cooler.
If you opt for a heat sink type air cooler, it is important to check that the width of the case is sufficient as some may be too tall for the processor. If you opt for liquid cooling instead, it is important to choose a housing that can support a radiator and that is the correct length.
Cooling is crucial when overclocking and there are two options on the market: air and water cooling. Although air coolers are common, they are not always the most effective or quietest. For example, if the enclosure is not properly ventilated, air coolers can trap heat and corrode other components. Additionally, in locations with poor circulation or high temperatures, an air heat sink is not the best option. On the other hand, water cooling systems are more complex to install but can be a viable alternative when air cooling systems do not meet the PC’s demands.
When considering storage options, consider your capacity and speed needs. Traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) are cheaper per gigabyte and offer higher capacity, but are slower due to their mechanical nature and can generate noise and vibration. Solid State Drives (SSDs), on the other hand, are faster and have no moving parts because they use flash memory chips to store data. SSDs come in different forms and have options for fast connection speeds. M.2 SSD drives are considered great options for desktops and laptops. M.2 SSDs are available in different interfaces, such as SATA, PCIe AHCI (older) and PCIe NVMe. It’s important to check what type of M.2 and PCIe slots the motherboard has to ensure they are compatible with the SSD you choose.
This is just a quick basic guide to some of the most important factors that affect overclocking. However, there are other components to take into account, such as the graphics card or the power supply. (JO)
Mabel is a talented author and journalist with a passion for all things technology. As an experienced writer for the 247 News Agency, she has established a reputation for her in-depth reporting and expert analysis on the latest developments in the tech industry.