So you’ve finally taken the leap into building an enthusiast level system. You’ve procured for yourself a high end graphics card or two (or three), some high speed ram, and on the throne of your system rests a high-end unlocked processor- resting at unbearable stock speeds. So how does one do an overclock? Overclocking should not be something that you blindly jump into. In the worst case scenario an uninformed person could cause irreparable damage to their shiny new i7 or FX processor. This guide is in no way a tell all guide to overclocking and should be treated only as an introductory to overclocking. Take our instruction with hesitance as we are in no way held liable for damages you cause to your system. In other words try at your own risk.
A few things to check before you get started.
There are a couple of things you should take a look at before considering overclocking. You should always analyze your cooling before overclocking. Thermal spread, cooling unit, and airflow should all be taken into consideration in order to obtain optimal overclocking results. Your thermal paste should be properly spread (Guide), you should have a cooler that can disperse heat well (Meaning not the stock cooler) (You can find some good air and liquid coolers here), and you should double check your case fans to make sure you have proper airflow (Guide). Also, if you’ve recently upgraded system it’s a good idea to check your fans and dust filters for dust and clear them of any dust. We’re moving into the actual overclocking stage and you’re going to need all the airflow you can get. Now boot into your BIOS and let’s get started.
The BIOS screen is where the magic happens. Reset all of your settings to default before we begin so that you know you’re working from a stable state. Enter your overclock settings and we can get cracking. In our first steps, we’re going to establish a baseline for testing that we’ll work off of. First, let’s establish some definitions for the important settings that we’ll be modifying.
CPU Base Clock (BCLK)- The base clock is the speed the CPU is running, but this setting alsop effects other areas of the system such as DRAM, storage controllers, and other integrated components.
CPU Multiplier- The multiplier is what we multiply the base clock by in order to get the full running speed of the processor. (i.e. The base clock for the i7-6700k is 100Mhz, the default multiplier is 40x resulting in the default clock speed of 4GHz.)
CPU Core Voltage- The amount of power in Volts that is being supplied to the processor.
For our baseline we’ll be keeping the BCLK of 100 Mhz, the default multiplier (whatever that may be for your processor) and a voltage of 1.25v. Make sure that your CPU voltage is set to manual to prevent issues from occurring later in the process.
Since the CPU multiplier effects only the processor, it’s the perfect place for us to start our tests. Increase your multiplier by 2 and boot into your operating system. Poke around and make sure the system is stable, then reboot and increase it by 2 again. Keep doing this until the system begins to show signs of instability (crashes, hangs, blue screens, etc.).
Now that we’ve found the point at which the system becomes unstable, we need to decrease the multiplier to the highest stable state. Decrease your multiplier by 1 until it becomes stable again. Now we’ve found another important baseline for our system- our basic maximum clock speed.
Thank you for coming to the Chimera Blog and checking out our post! Be sure to check back frequently and look for new posts! In tomorrow’s post we’ll be delving even deeper into the overclocking process. Know something we don’t? Leave a comment and tell us what you’re thinking, and as always be sure to like our social media pages to keep up on the latest posts and news from Chimera Computers!