Overclocking. Do you do it?

Avatar image for burncoat
Posted by burncoat (307 posts) 6 months, 22 days ago

Poll: Overclocking. Do you do it? (280 votes)

Yes 41%
No 43%
I want to, but I'm afraid to. 16%

Just trying to gauge how many people overclock their PCs. What tools do you use outside of editing options in the BIOS? Do you bother overclocking your memory? Does overclocking your GPU give you a noticeable improvement?

In the past I've tried overclocking my CPU to make up for it being old, but I was afraid of making it go too high so I stopped. I also think whatever program I was using that came with my motherboard wasn't as effective, as I occasionally had issues with audio desyncing while I was playing (i.e. either the audio was happening earlier or the game was going faster). I have an ASUS Sabertooth 990fx with an AMD FX-8120. I idle anywhere between 3.3 to 3.4 GHz but occasionally it spikes up to 4.0 GHz without any modification. Since it's running stable and the only issue I have is when my framerate sometimes bottlenecks on certain games I'm afraid to muck it up.

Avatar image for dave_tacitus
#1 Posted by Dave_Tacitus (2218 posts) -

I've overclocked every CPU I've owned for at least the past decade, and most GPUs. In terms of the GPUs, this is usually when I'm trying to squeeze the last bit of juice from them before an upgrade, but I'll overclock my CPU out of the box.

Do your research - Buy a K series (or AMD equivalent, although it's been years since I've run an AMD CPU) CPU and a motherboard which can overclock, then read some specific tutorials and benchmarks. Oh, and get some good, aftermarket cooling.

I use the tools in my BIOS for the CPU and MSI Afterburner for the GPU.

Avatar image for oursin_360
#2 Edited by OurSin_360 (5002 posts) -

I do but i don't like to adjust voltage on anything, so I go as far as stock voltage can take me and buy pre overclocked graphics cards cause i hate testing.

Have my cpu at 4.2ghz(6600k) stable just by upping the multiplier. Graphics card has a factory overclock that works fine for me.

Newest AMD cpu are still from like 2012, and run super hot so they aren't great for overclocking. I couldn't get my 8350 past 4.3ghz (stock was like 4ghz) even with water cooling. Best update i did was going to intel cpus honestly, maybe the new ones will be better but with amd's track record with heat and power consumption i doubt it.

Avatar image for zelyre
#3 Posted by Zelyre (1788 posts) -

Been overclocking since you could just flip a couple of dip switches on a board to get that Pentium 100 up to 133mhz. Went through a few Celeron 300a's. Redid laser cut traces on AMD's Athlon chips with a #2 pencil. Now I'm running a 6700k overclocked to 4.8ghz.

I tried overclocking software once out of curiosity. I think it was from Asus. It annoyed me with the number of times it needed to reboot, and by the time it was done, it was a slower overclock than I had set manually and it also locked up where my manual overclock was stable. One and done on that!

Avatar image for picky_bugger
#4 Edited by Picky_Bugger (196 posts) -

Wheres the option for 'not anymore'?

Seems a bit redundant nowadays.

Avatar image for humanity
#5 Posted by Humanity (16842 posts) -

Where's the option for "I prefer chunky peanut butter" ?!

I've never done it and I've built computers for years. I dunno, when my CPU reaches its natural life span I simply get a new one, I don't really like tinkering all that much.

Avatar image for hmoney001
#6 Posted by hmoney001 (1074 posts) -

I have my 6700k at 4.7ghz at 1.36 volts.

Avatar image for poveren
#7 Posted by poveren (295 posts) -

@zelyre: I vaguely remember doing the pencil thing to my Radeon videocard.

Avatar image for ezekiel
#8 Posted by Ezekiel (1992 posts) -

I have an i5-4670k overclocked to 4 GHz. For some reason, I can't go above 4. It always failed to start up, so I gave up.

Avatar image for justin258
#9 Posted by Justin258 (14688 posts) -

Nah. Modern processors are fast enough for everything I do on a computer that I don't really see a need to.

Online
Avatar image for gundogan
#10 Posted by gundogan (744 posts) -

I used to with more mid range CPU's. But I got an 4790K now which already runs at 4.4Ghz and thats enough. Only have my CPU and GPU a bit undervolted now.

Avatar image for daveyo520
#11 Posted by Daveyo520 (7761 posts) -

I do it just cause. I probably don't actually need the performance boost but it is nice to have.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#12 Edited by ripelivejam (11731 posts) -

i was able to bring my old core2duo from 2.4ghz to a crazy 3.5ghz stable though i think it was essentially glowing red all the time (had an old zalman air cooler on it). that thing reached its limit, though, and with my next proc (a fx8350) i was only able to get to 4.4ghz. it only lasted a while before the BIOS decided to default everything and i wasn't arsed to redo it. currently have an i7 6700k with a hyper 212 evo but i haven't tried yet as performance is mostly amazing as is.

Avatar image for uhtaree
#13 Posted by uhtaree (818 posts) -

Everytime I tried doing it I thought I had it stable and then it randomly locked up and that was the end of that. I'm probably done trying at this point, stock hardware seems way overpowered compared to 10-15 years ago.

Avatar image for sfw44
#14 Edited by sfw44 (220 posts) -

I overclock my CPU, but I don't overclock my GPU.

Avatar image for korwin
#15 Posted by korwin (3876 posts) -

Never not OC'd, I like to wring every last bit out of my purchase.

Avatar image for bdead
#16 Posted by Bdead (406 posts) -

If you have hardware that allows it you might as weĺl overclock. I use MSI afterburner for my graphics cards and intell fine tuner for my processor. I got my 980's to 1500mhz with a substansial boost on the V-ram as well. The 4790k has a slight bump to 4.6 ghz.

Avatar image for burncoat
#17 Posted by burncoat (307 posts) -

To everyone saying they OC their graphics cards, do you see a significant boost in FPS? I used to do it all the time, but I don't think I ever noticed anything substantial.

Avatar image for dagas
#18 Posted by dagas (3547 posts) -

Been overclocking CPUs pretty much for as long as I've used computers.

Back in the day of Intel 486 33mhz you could just push the Turbo button to get 66mhz.

Then my P2 266mhz could run at 300mhz.

Then I got a P4 2.8ghz that I ran at 3.25ghz

Then AMD Opteron 165 64-bit dual core CPU 1.6ghz I ran at 2.2ghz

Then I went to a Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33ghz I ran at 3.25ghz

Then for a while I could not overclock because I didn't have the right motherboard but now I am back overclocking with a Ivy Bridge 3570K 3.4ghz running at 4.2ghz

Avatar image for tobbrobb
#19 Posted by TobbRobb (6217 posts) -

I have in the past, but there isn't any point anymore. My old Q6600 ran heavily overclocked for years and years, it let me play modern games I had no real expectation of running for much longer than I should have. And it was a fun experiment, not even that hard either. As for now though, CPUs are so ahead of their time. You are just making something that's already too strong even stronger. It feels so pointless because there's almost nothing you can run to even notice the difference.

Avatar image for thatonedudenick
#20 Posted by ThatOneDudeNick (1484 posts) -

Yup. I overclock everything. It's more about the fun of tinkering than anything else (though games like ARMA show a significant improvement).

I'm not running anything too extreme right now, my 4690k is at 4.5GHz with my 1070 holding a 2100MHz boost clock.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#21 Posted by ripelivejam (11731 posts) -

@burncoat said:

To everyone saying they OC their graphics cards, do you see a significant boost in FPS? I used to do it all the time, but I don't think I ever noticed anything substantial.

honesty in my experience overclocking has gotten me like +5 or 10 FPS max. not a completely insignificant amount, but definitely not a massive difference either. more to stabilize performance than anything. i'm sure someone will chime in to tell me how wrong i am.

Avatar image for bdead
#22 Edited by Bdead (406 posts) -
@ripelivejam said:
@burncoat said:

To everyone saying they OC their graphics cards, do you see a significant boost in FPS? I used to do it all the time, but I don't think I ever noticed anything substantial.

honesty in my experience overclocking has gotten me like +5 or 10 FPS max. not a completely insignificant amount, but definitely not a massive difference either. more to stabilize performance than anything. i'm sure someone will chime in to tell me how wrong i am.

No that seems about right. It can make a huge difference in smoothness though. When a game hovers around 50 to 55 fps at stock speeds an overclock may well push it to a locked 60. Plus an overclock makes your e-peen 100% bigger, FACT!

Avatar image for sayuazure
#23 Edited by SayuAzure (969 posts) -

No, Seems a bit redundant these days.

I used to fiddle with it back in the day though to some degree.

Avatar image for frytup
#24 Edited by frytup (678 posts) -

I used to. Not anymore. These days my priority is a cool and quiet system. Squeezing 10% more performance out of a CPU isn't worth the hassle.

Avatar image for wynnduffy
#25 Edited by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

As for now though, CPUs are so ahead of their time. You are just making something that's already too strong even stronger. It feels so pointless because there's almost nothing you can run to even notice the difference.

Are you serious? I get a good reduction on video encoding times as well as render times in software like Reality Capture. My 6700k is at 5Ghz now and my fan speeds didn't change so it's still quiet. Time is money friend.

People saying it's no longer relevant seem to be missing the point, you can squeeze more out of your hardware for free for nice little boosts. This didn't change at all!

@burncoat said:

To everyone saying they OC their graphics cards, do you see a significant boost in FPS? I used to do it all the time, but I don't think I ever noticed anything substantial.

My GTX 1080 gets around 5-15 fps extra when overclocked depending on the game, so not that important because I'm always over 60 or even 100 FPS anyway but nice to keep my refresh rate as high as possible (165hz screen)

Avatar image for crommi
#26 Posted by Crommi (363 posts) -

With CPUs, it's easy to get massive performance gains from overclocking because cooling takes very little effort to sort out. With GPUs on the otherhand it's pretty hard to get good results without going all out on custom water-loop because you can't just mount on a massive heatsink with couple big fans like you do for a CPU.

Avatar image for brandondryrock
#27 Posted by brandondryrock (867 posts) -

I've got a 4690K that I overclock to 4.0 ghz. I'm not sure if it is a placebo, but I seem to notice a performance increase when I switch between 3.5 and 4 ghz. Also, some games seem to run better, but once again, it's probably just a placebo.

Avatar image for linkster7
#28 Posted by linkster7 (1324 posts) -

I've got a 4690K that I overclock to 4.0 ghz. I'm not sure if it is a placebo, but I seem to notice a performance increase when I switch between 3.5 and 4 ghz. Also, some games seem to run better, but once again, it's probably just a placebo.

I bet it's no placebo at all. Try benchmarking with something like SuperPi in both configurations or just timing the windows startup time. That specific jump in ghz usually gives a noticeable bump in speed.

Avatar image for useru
#29 Posted by UserU (5 posts) -

I'm not interested to go all the way just to overclock, unless it's a minor bump up. Since parts are pretty much costly and I want a system which is durable, I went with a high-end Xeon.

Avatar image for jjor64
#30 Posted by JJOR64 (19691 posts) -

Yup. My i7 2700k up to 4.6 GHz.

Avatar image for lv4monk
#31 Edited by Lv4Monk (463 posts) -

Unless you don't know what you're doing there's really no reason not to overclock. Even stock cooling leaves some amount of headroom for upping your speeds. Comments about redundancy and CPUs being "too good to overclock" don't make any sense.

Overclocking your CPU is a free performance gain that only gets better with added cooling. For some systems playing some games it's a meaningful increase in frame rates while for others it's limited to general system performance. Either way it's free and it makes your PC better.

EDIT: Also using software to more directly control my GPU fan speeds has been pretty great. Controlling how loud or hot I want my system to get is very useful.

Avatar image for mezza
#32 Edited by MezZa (2873 posts) -

Nope. My pc runs every game on the highest settings fine as is with the parts I have in it at the moment. If I were wanting to stretch another year or two out of it in the future I would over clock it at that time, but usually I just go for an upgrade instead. I can see how it'd be useful for activities more demanding than gaming though, or if money for new parts was stricter.

Avatar image for gunner
#33 Posted by Gunner (4404 posts) -

Any reasonable overclock wont affect the heath/lifespan of your computer so i always overclock a little bit. Its a free performance enhancement so why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

Avatar image for corvak
#34 Posted by Corvak (1859 posts) -

I took an i5 3570k up to 4.4 using one of those liquid coolers from Corsair.

It's a bit of a boost, but I didn't notice it all that much, as so many games are GPU intensive. Modded Minecraft is the big exception, and the reason I did it in the first place.

Avatar image for facelessvixen
#35 Posted by FacelessVixen (1964 posts) -

GPU. Letting my 1060 boost past 1900 MHz actually gives me more frames.

No CPU overclock due to my lack of foresight and funds.

Online
Avatar image for vackillers
#36 Edited by VACkillers (1286 posts) -

I've overclocked my AMD FX 8320 to 4.2Ghz on air cooling with a 20$ cooler, the Cooler Master Hyper EVO 212 and doesn't go above 54C on 100% load. Idles around 20-30C while a cold boot CPU temp is at 17C. Didn't touch any of the voltage, just upped the multiplier a tad to push it 200mhz past the natural boost clook. I also disabled any CPU boosting or power-saving settings in the bios so it doesn't auto-throttle the CPU up and down durring games. It's REALLY easy and I know I could easily push this CPU close to 5Ghz if I really tried but I don't really need it. With a GTX 980 I get 60FPS in every game (that isn't an early access) no problem and I only game at 1080 res. There are a few games like GTA V or The Division where 1440p res actually looks really nice and I'll take the frame rate hit for that but its nothing significant, still in the 40s-50s FPS. Currently awaiting the new AMD Ryzen Chips and see how they perform before my next mega upgrade on this machine.

Advice - Don't be too scared to overclock, but only do it if you feel you need it, if you are satisfied with the CPU power you have, just don't even worry about it. If you are interested in overclocking, do small tiny steps on the multiplier first before you mess around with timings/voltages and that sort of stuff, start small and work you way from there, changing the multiplier slightly and see how your CPU temps hold, all CPUs have a fail-safe built into them, its extremely hard to fry them nowadays because the machine will just simply shut off if somethings not working right and you can just go back into the BIOS and change it. One last thing, only do overclocking if you have a good CPU cooler.

Avatar image for brunothethird
#37 Edited by BrunoTheThird (266 posts) -

I find GPU overclocking much more appealing as I game at 1440p mainly, and the gains seem better for how little you have to tweak for an obvious improvement, so if a game isn't quite hitting 60 at max settings, I will either turn one of the effects like ambient occlusion down or bump MSAA down to FXAA which I don't mind like most do, and that helps. Overclocking the GPU is usually my last resort -- The Division is the only game I've needed it for so far in my 7 months as a PC gamer wtith 200 Steam games, 20 GoG games, and a dozen or so Origin and Uplay games tested -- but a mild overclock on CPU and GPU together is a nicer balance for someone on just an air cooler who prioritizes silence, like me. I don't like a louder or warmer machine, or have the luxury of risking a loose water pipe if I went more hardcore about it (it does happen); I prefer the dead silence with settings lowered slightly, and when my 1070 isn't enough for 1440/60, I'll probably revert to a lower rez before I really crank my hardware, but a little boost on both combined is swell and safe and does the trick currently.

I have an MSI 1070 Armor OC, a 6700k, and an Alpenfohn ECO air cooler. I will have no problem overclocking regularly when the few big budget games I play a year require it in the future. If you're planning to upgrade anyway, you may as well push your hardware to the safest maximum you can. There's nothing to lose really.

Avatar image for novis
#38 Posted by Novis (273 posts) -

I want to, but I didn't get a K processor cause I needed to go cheap in a few places in my build (first time build and on a strict budget). When I go to upgrade my PC, was thinking of getting a new MOBO and processor that's overclockable that'll last me a long while. Then go from there.

Online
Avatar image for ntm
#39 Edited by NTM (10144 posts) -

Probably not. I don't know how to do it properly, which is why my last PC broke :D. I'd prefer to get a powerful enough PC so I don't need to do that. For instance, a Titan X Pascal for 1080p resolution, haha. I really should learn how to build a PC...

Avatar image for slag
#40 Posted by Slag (7518 posts) -

Nope. Too chicken to. Seems like a lot of hassle for minimal gain too.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.