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June 26, 2016

What is Overclocking?

Overclocking is the action of increasing a component’s clock rate, running it at a higher speed than it was designed to run. This is usually applies to the CPU or GPU, but other components can also be overclocked.

Increasing a component’s clock rate causes it to perform more operations per second, but it also produces additional heat. Overclocking can help squeeze more performance out of your components, but they’ll often need additional cooling and care.

Your computer’s CPU comes from the factory set to run at a certain maximum speed. If you run your CPU at that speed with proper cooling, it should perform fine without giving you any problems.

However, you’re often not limited to that CPU speed. You can increase the CPU’s speed by setting a higher clock rate or multiplier in the computer’s BIOS, forcing it to perform more operations per second.

This can speed up your CPU — and therefore speed up your computer if your computer is limited by its CPU — but the CPU will produce additional heat. It may become physically damaged if you don’t provide additional cooling, or it may be unstable and cause your computer to blue-screen or restart.
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