Overclocking is one thing people keep away from because it’s perceived as complicated and risky. Yes, it can get complicated if you do it via the BIOS or registry. Hence motherboard and graphics card manufacturers now provide easy means for overclocking such as an OC button on the motherboard, built-in OC presets in the BIOS and bundled OC utilities. These tools are extremely user friendly and allow you to overclock your hardware from Windows without requiring you to know the fundamentals of overclocking. One of the biggest advantages of these tools is that they aren’t risky to use because the values suggested by them are optimal and well within safe limits.

Since the current-generation hardware are made using a small manufacturing process (45 nm and 32 nm) they run cool and have a good amount of headroom for overclocking. For example the new Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs can run 1 GHz faster than the stock speed.

A word of caution before you try overclocking your hardware—make sure your cabinet has good cooling because overclocking causes hardware to heat up. Also note that running components overclocked permanently reduces their life.

1. The BIOS
Go to the overclocking / frequency settings section in the BIOS and look out for BCLK (base clock frequency). Increasing this value will step up the speed of the CPU and memory. Make sure the memory runs at its rated speed by adjusting the memory ratio. To find out the effective speed of the CPU multiply the BCLK value with the CPU multiplier. The latest CPUs can easily run 800 MHz to 1 GHz faster than their stock speed. For example the Intel Core i7 870 can easily be overclocked from 2.93 GHz to 4.32 GHz ( 180×24) by increasing the bus speed from 133 MHz to 180 MHz.

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