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Overclocking the CPU: Avoid these errors at all costs






We’ll tell you which mistakes you should definitely avoid when overclocking CPUs.

Thanks to intuitive software, anyone can now overclock their CPU for more performance with just a few clicks. However, laypeople and newcomers in particular can make mistakes that can seriously affect the stability of the system. We list the most common mistakes and their solutions.

Insufficient cooling

Make sure you cool down sufficiently when overclocking the CPU!

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Make sure you cool down sufficiently when overclocking the CPU!

© Bequiet

If you want to overclock your processor, you should provide a suitable CPU and ideally case cooling. Because increasing the power also increases the operating temperature of the chip – after all, it runs outside of its specifications. Weak cooling reaches its limits so quickly. So always keep an eye on the temperature of the processor, either via the BIOS or via third-party programs under Windows.

Displaying and lowering the CPU temperature – these tools and tips work

For example, temperatures over 90 degrees Celsius are far too high under load. In this case, it is best to get a cooling system that properly exceeds the maximum power dissipation (in watts, sometimes called TDP) of your CPU. So you can be sure that you have enough reserves when overclocking.

Too weak power supply

Budding overclockers should spend more money on high-quality power supplies from well-known suppliers.

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Budding overclockers should spend more money on high-quality power supplies from well-known suppliers.

© Corsair

In addition to higher heat generation, an overclocked CPU also thirsts for more power – the stronger the overclock, the more energy the power supply unit has to deliver. Values ​​of 300 to 500 watts for the processor alone are not uncommon. However, many PCs are designed in such a way that they only offer low power reserves, i.e. the power supply unit has been selected based on the built-in hardware (ideally). However, if the CPU allows itself significantly more power than usual due to your overclocking, there is not enough left for the other components and the system crashes. So make sure that the PC power supply can deliver enough watts.

The right power supply: Your PC will always run stably

But not only the capacity of the power supply, but also the quality plays a decisive role in overclocking. No-name power supplies, also mockingly called Chinaböller, often use inferior components that cannot withstand high voltage peaks. And that’s often the case with overclocking. Budding overclockers should therefore spend more money on high-quality power supplies from well-known providers. These include Seasonic, Bequiet, Corsair, Cooler Master or Asus.

No proper stress tests

To ensure the stability of an overclocked CPU, it has to be used to full capacity over a long period of time.

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To ensure the stability of an overclocked CPU, it has to be used to full capacity over a long period of time.

To ensure the stability of an overclocked CPU, it has to be used to full capacity over a long period of time. There are numerous free programs for this on the Internet. But this is precisely where the mistake often lies: Either the tests do not run long enough. Or inexperienced overclockers start several stress tests in parallel. The latter in particular even leads to the CPU being used less. Both of these lead to the system freezing or crashing while gaming or working.

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So let a single test like Prime95 or Aida64 run for at least an hour. If the system survives the loads without errors, the set overclocking is stable. If not, you have to change the set values. The rule here is that you should carry out a proper stress test again after every change.

Wrong voltage values

In principle, the following applies: If the CPU voltage is too high, you can even damage your processor; if it is too low, the chip becomes unstable.

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In principle, the following applies: If the CPU voltage is too high, you can even damage your processor; if it is too low, the chip becomes unstable.

The power supply unit and mainboard must supply a processor with a certain, very low voltage (in volts), called core voltage, VCore or also core voltage. Depending on the quality of the CPU, the range is between 1.0 and 1.3 volts – lower or higher values ​​are possible. If you want to overclock your CPU more, you also have to increase the core voltage – but that’s pretty risky. In principle, the following applies: If the voltage is too high, you can even damage your processor; if it is too low, the chip becomes unstable.

Undervolting: lower the CPU temperature and fan speed using the core voltage

Unfortunately, the maximum possible voltage values ​​depend on the quality of the CPU. Because not every processor can be overclocked well. Some models shut down even with the smallest overclocking attempts, while other chips can be turned up to almost a record level. This is why companies offer the “cherry picking” method known by professional overclockers: Here, entire pallets of CPUs are tested for their overclocking potential and then sold at a higher price as a hand-picked model. In Germany, Caseking is one of the best-known providers of such CPUs.

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