Overclocking is the process of running a computer component at a higher speed than it was rated for. Generally, this involves the processor, graphics card, and sometimes RAM. Overclocking can boost system performance by increasing the speed of the component, and is often done as an attempt to squeeze more performance out of existing hardware.
When Overclocking a component, there are many factors to consider. The power supply must be capable of providing enough power to run the component at the new clock rate. Additionally, heat generation is an issue: the component can become unstable or even damaged if the temperatures become too high. To mitigate this risk, users often use strong air or liquid cooling systems.
The rewards from overclocking can be significant. A modest overclock can increase the speed of a processor by up to 10%, while an extreme overclock can even double it. Similarly, a graphics card can produce 20-30% higher frame rates when overclocked. It’s important to remember that overclocking isn’t foolproof and is not meant for everyone.
It’s relatively easy to do, but if you are inexperienced, you should research the process before attempting it yourself. Having a good understanding of the component you’re overclocking and its limitations will set you on the right track to getting the most out of your hardware.