It’s all about establishing a baseline, adjusting performance settings, measuring performance gains, and finally running stress tests. You have overclocked the processor.
Overclocking CPU is the process of setting your computer to a frequency higher than the manufacturer specified. This is one of the most powerful upgrades you can incorporate into your processor to increase performance levels.
Instead of spending tons of expensive upgrades, overclocking offers a new approach to running your gaming PC faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Looks easy, but believe me. To make this process easy and safe, you need to know all about rocket science. We are here to guide you from the beginning and cover almost every aspect of overclocking.
Let’s get to work straight! But before that, I’ve also put together a guide if you’re interested in overclocking your graphics card (overclock gpu).
Table of Contents
How to Overclock an Intel CPU?
It’s no exaggeration to say that overclocking Intel processors is much more difficult than all other processors. Automatic overclocking software is available that allows you to run a process at the push of a button, but manual overclocking cpu has its advantages.
But before we get into the actual overclocking process, there’s one thing to keep in mind.
If you accidentally overclock your processor, you are more likely to experience an early system failure because the Intel processor does not actually meet the manufacturer’s specifications.
However, if you succeed in overclocking, believe me. You can extract all megahertz from the processor. It’s pretty amazing, as things get easier when performance suddenly accelerates.
In addition, this method can be applied to overclocking cpu Intel i5, i7, and i9 processors. It works in all cases.
Determine the Following Aspects of Your Motherboard
You see? No two motherboards will be the same, even if they are of the same brand. Manufacturers try to complicate things by using different terms for the same thing.
Before starting the process, you need to know all the basic parts and settings of the motherboard.
- CPU Multiplier-Specifies the exact ratio between the front side bus (FSB) and the CPU. What is your strategy? First, determine the processor frequency by multiplying the processor multiplier by the base clock frequency.
For example, 4 GHz is the overclocking frequency for processors with a base clock of 100 MHz and a multiplier of 40.
- Base clock– is the frequency at which the CPU communicates with PCIe devices and memory. The Intel Coffee Lake chip comes with a 100MHz BCLK.
- Voltage Mode-Adds a certain amount of voltage to the processor, regardless of frequency. However, the adaptive voltage will only increase the voltage if the system is in turbo mode.
- Processor core ratio– is a hotspot where you can choose to set the multiplier for individual cores or set them all at once.
- Intel Speedstep– recognizes the load and reacts by increasing or decreasing the voltage and speed according to the load.
- Load Line Calibration-Provides additional voltage to compensate for Vdroop. Vdroop is a state in which the processor is under load and is not receiving the required voltage.
- ExtremeMemoryProfile-Provides XMP profile compatibility with memory kits.
- FCLK-Controls the data transfer speed from the CPU to the GPU. The standard Intel Coffee Lake processor has an FCLK frequency of 800MHz.
Intel CPU Overclocking Process –Step by Step
Step 1-Enter the BIOS
You need to enter the BIOS to start the process. On most PCs, you can do this by pressing the “Del” key when the motherboard logo appears on your monitor when you boot your PC.
Step 2-Enable XMP
Second, if you want the memory module to run at the speed you want, you need to enable XMP. By default, the supported Intel Coffee Lake processor memory is DDR4-2666.
However, if your processor memory is fast, make sure your system is stable before overclocking.
Step 3-Set the CPU multiplier
The most important steps to set the CPU multiplier to the desired overclocking are: But wait. There are two opposite approaches to performing this step.
Add a 100 MHz step and gradually increase the frequency until you reach the desired value. You can also do this by setting the frequency to a fixed value and moving it up and down.
Step 4-Synchronize all cores
Finally, in this step, select the CPU core ratio option to keep all cores in sync. Do not overclock to the same frequency and leave the CPU core.
Generally, 1.25V is recommended as a starting point for Vcore. For the Coffee Lake processor, Intel has detailed the maximum voltage, reaching 1.52V.
Believe me; such a high value is insane as the CPU is unlikely to cool down. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to leave the value at 1.40V.
Instead of applying the magic formula, patiently apply a small increment of 0.01-0.05V.
Step 5-Set the voltage mode
The choice is up to you! You need to adjust the voltage mode according to your selection. It provides adaptive mode because it is very practical to operate the processor at lower temperatures and reduce power consumption. In addition, this mode guarantees the life of the system.
Step 6-Set the AVX offset
If your system is heavily loaded with AVX, set the multiplier to -1 or -2 to reduce the multiplier. Can you imagine how big an AVX workload would hit the CPU? In other words, more voltage is needed to stabilize the system.
Step 7-Install OOO
Some motherboards have numbers to determine the LLC level, but some motherboards have non-numbers. For regular users, you need an intermediate LLC level. Try all the values and set the one that works best for your system.
Step 8-Install Intel Speedstep
Enables or disables Intel Speedstep. you decide! If you want the processor to always operate at overclocked frequencies, turn on enable mode.
Continue adjusting until you have a perfectly stable Vcore to complete this entire process. This method is suitable for all Intel processors, but given the overclocking of Intel i9 processors, the results are excellent.
How to Overclock the CPU with BIOS?
The most accurate and best way to overclock the processor with optimal control over the entire process is to use the BIOS. Here we have provided a detailed guide to running the entire process.
The basic input / output system (BIOS) is motherboard software that is loaded before the operating system works. This allows you to customize the hardware installed on your motherboard. You can manually overclock the processor by changing the frequency and voltage from the BIOS interface.
Wait a second! Before you start the process, you need to know what kind of software you are using. The Intel Extreme Tuning Utility is perfect for beginners who are new to overclocking.
You also need to update the BIOS to the latest version. You will have access to all the new features and benefits of your motherboard.
Overclocking CPU Settings
The BIOS comes with a rich navigation menu that provides access to system-wide hardware. You see? The design of the BIOS interface is different for each motherboard, and the menu structure is also different.
For convenience, I’ve briefly listed some of the important settings to consider when overclocking.
- CPU core voltage: The amount of power the processor receives. Basically, increasing the CPU core voltage also increases the CPU input voltage, which ultimately helps the CPU to get faster.
- CPU core ratio: Determines the speed of the processor. It can be calculated by multiplying this ratio by the basic clock speed. The higher one of the values, the faster the processor. You can also change this setting for each core or for all cores at the same time.
- Ring ratio / CPU cache: Change and adjust the frequency of various parts of the processor, such as the memory controller and cache.
Monitor the System Vitals
Each aspect needs to be identified before embarking on the most accurate task. It is important to monitor your system before you start overclocking. This can change the power of the equipment and ultimately affect the operating temperature.
Wait a second! We recommend that you choose software that runs on Windows, as the BIOS has few monitoring options. Intel XTU is perfect for this task as it provides a complete set of system tools.
However, you can also choose HWiNFO32, CoreTemp, and CPU-Z for the same purpose.
BIOS Overclocking Process –Step by Step
After finally configuring all the advanced settings, proceed to the main process. Get started in business right away!
Step 1-Set up baseline performance
Determining baseline performance is the first and most important step in overclocking in the BIOS. This makes it easy to compare back and forth and see the exact increment.
You cannot control the test utility directly from the BIOS. Instead, use this utility from Windows. Hardware benchmarking requires an explicit method that includes Intel ExtremeTuningUtility software.
Tracking test results allows you to compare them with the latest results.
Step 2-Adjust performance settings
We’ve already mentioned that each processor comes with its own BIOS and hardware configuration, so you can see that the settings are in different locations. However, the basic concept of overclocking CPU is the same.
Let’s start by changing the proportion of processor cores that determine the final speed of the processor. Take a closer look at the BIOS and look for this section to change this setting.
Wait a second! When changing processor behaviour settings, it is recommended that you change one setting at a time. Be sure to check before proceeding to the next issue.
Move one value up, save your changes, and start changing the CPU core ratio. Exit the BIOS and reboot the system. When the system is up and running again, run this modified test to see if your score has improved.
If the system does not reboot or the new CPU settings do not apply, revert to the last executable setting.
You should also change the voltage level along with the CPU settings. This is important only if the system is not stable after changing the CPU core ratio. The higher the voltage, the higher the power of the processor, which can reach higher frequencies.
Let’s deep dive into it!
You see? You can also change the built-in protection from the BIOS. But wait. This is only useful if you are completely confident of what you are actually doing. If you accidentally change your security settings, believe me. Things go wrong and damage the hardware.
Test every increment you’ve done to make sure you’ve achieved everything you’re looking for. If you notice that you have successfully rebooted your system, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 3 –Measure the performance improvements
This is the long-awaited moment to finally check if your efforts have paid off. Running each benchmark previously used to measure the baseline CPU score will improve performance.
Finally, it’s time to make a comparison. If you see a visible increment, congratulations. I was able to overclock the processor using the BIOS. You can now take the next step and ensure the stability of your system.
If you do not get the results you want, or if you do not get a positive gain, you need to go back to the BIOS. Repeat the entire process and change settings to get the best score.
Step 4 –Perform the stress test
If you want to keep your system stable over the long term and withstand heavy workloads, it’s best to run stress tests to see the CPU frequency.
From the many stability test software options available, you need to choose the one that best suits your system.
After running the entire process, there may be one question: how do you know if your processor overclocking is stable? There is no better way than stress testing to check the stability of your system.
If you follow the exact same BIOS overclocking procedure, your system should be more stable, faster and more efficient than before.
And most importantly! Congratulations if your system passes the stress test. You have successfully overclocked the processor.
How to Overclock CPU without BIOS?
If you’re new to the gaming world and aren’t completely aware of this entire overclocking world, don’t worry about anything. You can speed up your system without using the BIOS.
It’s not a complicated process. In fact, you need to download and start the software. It is usually recommended to download the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU), which runs on Windows.
Wait a second! One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to overclock your Core Duo, even the XTU won’t work. This is because Core Duo is a processor that lacks the potential for overclocking in the first place.
How to Overclock AMD Processors?
Overclocking on AMD processors is as effective as Intel processors. Successful overclocking of AMD processors gives you access to incredible speed and power.
Most of AMD’s latest iterations, such as the Ryzen 5 3600X and Ryzen 7 3700X, are unlikely to be overclocked. You may get some benefit from them.
Wait a second! AMD Precision Boost technology works immediately during overclocking to squeeze all MHz out of the processor. To overclock the CPU:
Step 1 –Resetting the BIOS of the motherboard
You may want to start rushing up your clock speed to get things done quickly. Be patient! Let’s start by getting the CPU baseline with the previous settings. Reboot the system and press the “F2” or “Delete” key to open the BIOS panel.
Now you need to look carefully at the settings and spend some time understanding the layout of the settings. Start by opening the Optimized Default Load option that appears next to the Save or Exit button.
This option resets the motherboard to its previous settings and puts it in a clean state for work. How can I forget to turn off the extras?
This section describes Game Boost, Precision Boot Overdrive, and other features you don’t currently need when overclocking manually. Save your settings and reboot your system to exit.
Step 2 –Run a stress test?
You should always run a quick stress test to make sure everything works with the factory settings. This test excludes unstable or faulty chips that can interfere with the overclocking process.
You need to open the Monitor window and run OCCT. Then click the graph icon on the toolbar to open the spreadsheet. Believe me; tabular data is relatively easier to control by the CPU than graphs.
Next, you need to open the LINPACK tab and select all three check boxes, including AVX-enabled Linpack, 64-bit, and Use All Logical Cores.
If the CPU is stable under OCCT load, it may be stable even for busy workloads.
Run the test within 15 minutes. If you don’t have a blue screen or freeze, you’re ready to overclock.
Step 3 – Increase the CPU multiplier
Therefore, the most important step in tuning is to increase the processor multiplier. let’s start!
You see? Processor speed is actually the result of multiplying the processor multiplier by the fundamental frequency value. Most modern chips have a base clock rate of 100MHz. Multiplying 100 MHz by 34 makes the calculation much easier and ultimately results in a processor speed of 3.4 Hz.
Trust if you overclock all cores individually. Greatly improves AMD performance. You need to slowly increase the value of the multiplier, also known as the core ratio. If the BIOS provides this option, set the initial overclock to a number.
If you are considering overclocking the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor, a good starting point could be 37 higher than the default of 34. In practice, you need to look at the processor to determine the gain.
Step 4 –Run the second stress test and reset the voltage
After setting the multiplier value, go to the “Vcore” option to change the voltage level. Automatic mode is much more destructive and should be removed from “automatic” and changed to “manual”.
Again, good research can help you determine your ideal starting point. Consider the case of AMD Ryzen 5 3600 overclocking! The most preferred and desirable starting point is 1.2V, which works to get 3.7GHz.
After saving the BIOS settings, reboot the system and reinstall OCCT. Run for 15 minutes as before. If there are no hangs or problems, reboot the BIOS and increment the multiplier by 1. Iterate through the entire process to get the results.
Even if you’re struggling to get rid of this unwanted moment, at some point you’ll have to face a complete blue screen, performance freeze, or other error.
This means that the CPU is not getting enough voltage to maintain the desired voltage level. So we need to light a little more here. Add a 0.01V increment to the BIOS and rerun the stress test.
Record your results somewhere in your notebook so you can track your improvements.
Increasing the voltage can also increase the heat level of the processor. By the way, how do you deal with this? You need to investigate the CPU temperature limit, but it’s a good idea to take a step back.
To extend the life of the chip, it is usually advisable to keep the temperature below 85 ° C.
Step 5 –Repeat the Steps
Repeat all the above steps in order to increase the voltage and multiplier values and increase the performance sideways. There may be small dips such as temperature spikes and instability, but in either case you don’t have to panic.
Note the highest value you have already reached. If you still want to improve performance, you can check the following in the BIOS:
- Load-Line Calibration
This is the best way to handle Vdroop, as it makes the voltage supply a little more accurate. LLC works when the system reaches higher clock speeds to fill the gap.
LLC can also cool down when the motherboard is outputting much more voltage than normal. Care must be taken not to set the LLC value too high. Otherwise, the voltage will overshoot.
Do your homework to investigate the motherboard model and LLC implementation. This is necessary because “1” is considered the lowest value on some motherboards. But some people think it’s the best.
Give it a try and make a mistake. It is closest to the Vcore value in the BIOS and you will find the best option.
- RAM and XMP overclocking
AMD Ryzen processors feature an Infinity Fabric architecture that improves RAM speed and ultimately performance. After overclocking the processor, it’s time to focus on RAM speed and efficiency.
You must enable XMP or AMP to reach the designed maximum speed, not the minimum supported RAM.
If you have a few powerful keystrokes in front of you, you don’t need to manually set the RAM voltage, frequency, and timing.
No matter what kind of tuning you do with RAM, it’s important to run Memtest86 + for a round to make sure your RAM is stable.
Step 6 –Perform the final stress test
The setup already includes an extensive set of settings that can handle 15 minutes of Linpack OCCT tests, but we want to ensure overclocking reliability.
Let’s run some longer tests and start checking the stability. Run this Linpack test for 3 hours. Even some overclockers show their original color within 15 minutes and cannot last any longer.
How to Overclock the CPU for Gaming?
Think of a gaming geek as a fine-tuning wizard that digs deeper into your gaming laptop or PC, which is very realistic. This is because they are hungry for more and more performance, speed and efficiency in their quest for the best version of the game.
Game and CPU or GPU overclocking are two closely related factors. Take a look at the results of overclocking your gaming PC and see if it’s worth it.
Believe me, overclocking can make your PC performance invincible. But wait. What about the extra heat generated by adding frequency and voltage to the CPU?
Of course, the system’s cooling system needs to work a bit hard to handle this heat. More overclocking, more heat, and finally more noise the fan makes during hard work against heat.
If the cooling system is not very efficient, things can go wrong. Also, even game processors have a maximum temperature limit of up to 100 degrees. This is all thanks to TJ Max.
If you add a small increment during overclocking, the system shuts down or sends the increment back when the desired temperature is reached. This is the best way for undamaged overclocking provided by most CPUs and GPUs to prevent system crashes due to thermal load.
Wait, wait, wait! There is one more thing to consider. Have you heard about silicon lottery tickets and restrictions? As you know, each processor is designed to be different from other processors.
Take a look at the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Intel Core i9-9900K and Nvidia RTX2080Super. You will notice that due to the different setup interfaces, the overclocking will be different and the maximum clock speed will be different.
Not all parts are as suitable for overclocking as other parts, so adding voltage can lead to instability and eventually a system crash. This can slow down game performance and cause artifacts.
These were all flaws and flaws that could be pulled from the silicon chip, as there was really no way to know what the system was doing. The choice is up to you! If you’re a risk taker, overclocking your gaming PC isn’t difficult.
Is It Safe to Overclock Your CPU?
This is the most anticipated! While enjoying all the benefits of overclocking, you are often aware of system conditions, premature system failures, and so on. When you run an overclocking process, the idea of system security always stays in your mind.
Yes! The overclocking process is completely safe as long as you don’t exceed your configuration limits. You may have heard some of the myths about this process.
CPU overclocking is not an exaggeration to toast it. If you accidentally set the clock too high, the system will respond with a shutdown, freeze, or blue screen display. You can easily revert to the original settings by enabling CMOS reset.
But if you add excessive voltage increments beyond the durability of your system, how can you ignore the additional voltage? Realistically, the life of the processor may actually be shortened by 12 to 15 years.
Keep the cooling factor in mind before you start overclocking your gaming PC. After all, if you manage everything accurately, you don’t have to worry.
Other guides you may be interested in:
- Liquid and air CPU cooler
- How to level up quickly with Overwatch
- How to set up / connect PS4 controller to PC
- How much video memory does the game need?
- Ideal temperature of CPU and GPU in game
It’s no exaggeration to say that CPU overclocking is the most powerful upgrade ever possible for games and regular PCs. The process isn’t difficult at all, but all you need is a little patience and vigilance.
The most important thing! Make sure to add as few voltage increments as possible and perform a stress test to complete each step. It takes you a lot of time, but believe me, it’s worth it. This makes the whole overclocking process smooth and efficient.
We have covered every aspect of the overclocking process and have tried to make it easy for you. If you want the best results, be sure to follow this guide completely.
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