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What is Overclocking

Overclocking is often a controversial thing in the world of computing. Many computer users want to get the very best performance that they possibly can from their computers, especially if they're into video gaming. Overclocking refers to making various components in your computer run faster than they were designed to do so. The most commonly overclocked components in computers are processors and graphics cards, although it's also possible to overclock memory chips and motherboard bus speeds in many systems. There are some components overclocked in the factory and guaranteed to run at faster speeds than they were originally made for. On the other hand, overclocking a component yourself usually makes the warranty void due to the risks involved.

Overclocking a component is risky mostly because of excessive heat generation. If, for example, you attempt to make a 2 GHz processor run at 3 GHz, it will be doing a great deal more work than it was designed to do. This means that more heat will be generated, which, in turn, can lead to calculation errors and overheating. If the component overheats, your computer will stop working and you may damage the overclocked component. Although it's fairly rare for a component to be destroyed due to overclocking, it invariably shortens its lifespan.

Many enthusiasts like to overclock their components since the performance increases afforded by a successful overclock are often equivalent to what would otherwise be an expensive upgrade. You could, for example, get a great enough performance boost by overclocking a graphics card that you can even play games that would otherwise not run without you buying an entirely new card.

The most important thing to consider when overclocking any component is cooling. Stock cooling, or the cooling solution which comes with the component, is often not powerful enough to allow you to squeeze the extra performance out of it. If, for example, you choose to overclock your processor, you'll usually need to get a new cooling unit for it. True performance enthusiasts may even go for a liquid cooling solution. Regardless of how effective the cooling unit is, however, there's always going to be a limit to how fast the component can physically perform. Your mileage will vary depending on numerous factors from the quality of the component to its actual specifications.


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