How to Overclock a computer?

I have recently heard that there is a way to change the clockspeed of my computer, and speed it up. But I have found next to nothing on how to overclock a computer. All I hear is change the fsb and decrease power etc. But I don't know what fsb is or how to change any of those things. (I believe it has something to do with the bios)

Processor: Intel core 2 Quad Q8400

Thanks in advance

Picture of How to Overclock a computer?
Overclocking a CPU takes careful preparation and consideration.  First, even without raising the voltages your CPU will still generate significantly more heat than normal, requiring you to purchase a heavier heatsink and better fans for the computer.  Second, overclocking not only overclocks the CPU but the RAM as well, and therefore you must ensure the RAM not only stays cool enough during operation but can also handle that extra speed.  Third, if something goes wrong and your CPU or RAM dies, you most likely will not be able to replace them under warranty.

Does that mean you shouldn't overclock?  No, not necessarily.  But I can tell you that in 99% of the computers I work on, overclocking wouldn't make any appreciable difference in the real-life speed of operation because almost everyone's computer has useless programs running that steal resources and insufficient RAM to run everything.

Clean up your start up items through msconfig, trim down unnecessary services, and uninstall any unused programs.  Have more than one anti-virus installed?  Pick one and nix the rest (not only will multiple anti-viruses greatly hinder performance but they also create huge vulnerabilities).

If you've done this stuff and still crave extra speed, then consider overclocking.  However, overclocking is a slippery slope towards an insatiable thirst for power - you'll no doubt find yourself sinking inordinate amounts of money into CPU's, RAM, exotic heatsinks and fans, just to get an extra 2% of performance out of your machine.
vorlock (author)  MahavishnuMan7 years ago
Thanks for your reply and I will carefully considerate
lemonie7 years ago
If you're this unsure I should leave it alone. The gains you get are only going to be appreciated when you're running it flat-out on processor-intensive jobs.
But enter BIOS upon start-up and fiddle with the settings.
If you can tweak the FSB clock remember that you'll overclock the RAM too, if you can adjust the CPU multiplier that's different. Small steps, nothing drastic in one go. And definitely leave voltages alone.

aeromancy7 years ago
It really depends on your processor. For example, you wouldn't do the same thing to an AMD 550 as you would an Intel i7 (although the process may be very similar)