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Overclocking Your CPU

In the last few years, some very industrious upgraders have discovered another way to get more bang for their bucks (or more precisely, more megahertz) out of their CPUs. The process is called overclocking.

Overclocking is simply running the CPU at a slightly faster speed than the speed certified by the manufacturer. When manufacturers test and certify their CPUs, many times they rate the CPU at a speed slower than the maximum the CPU is capable of running. In effect, they build in a little cushion to make sure that the CPU will perform at the stated speed. The key to overclocking is to adjust the CPU frequency/bus frequency ratio on your motherboard to a higher setting than is specified for your particular CPU. The CPU frequency/bus frequency ratio is often expressed as a timing setting such as 2x, 2.5x, 3x, 3.5x, 4x, and so on. To overclock your CPU, simply set the ratio to the next higher setting, if your CPU is not currently using the top setting.


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