Instructables

How to overclock Intel CPUs?

Picture of How to overclock Intel CPUs?
intel-logo.jpg
First of all let me make it clear that overclocking basically means to over-work your hardware and make it operate beyond what it was designed to do. This can sometimes result in permanent damage to your hardware. But don't be afraid, if you carefully follow these instructions, be patient and calm, overclocking will become second nature and you won't end up damaging anything. Trust me!

Let me also make it clear that there can be no definitive step-by-step guide to overclocking in this world, each individual component has different limits and each motherboard has different options and BIOS versions, meaning that OCing (I'll refer to overclocking as OCing from now on) is more of an art then it is a science. This instructable is strictly for Intel CPUs, AMD OCing is drastically different.
 
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Step 1: Requirements and considerations

Picture of Requirements and considerations
First of all, I would like to mention that OCing of Intel CPUs can be done in two main fundamental ways:
1) Increasing the Front Side Bus (FSB), which means to increase the data transfer rate between the CPU and RAM
2) Increasing the multiplier, this option isn't available to most users since almost all Intel CPUs apart for the Pentium Extreme Edition and Core 2 Extreme have their multipliers locked.

Another thing is that we would be using the BIOS to perform all our tweaks, there are various softwares out there, but they only support a limited number of motherboards and are not that reliable. Also note that when you OC CPUs, you are also OCing your motherboard (in which the FSB is implanted) and your RAM. OCing RAM is notoriously tough and risky, but you can deal with this issue by decreasing the FSB:DRAM ratio we will be discussing later.

Ideally, you'd want these motherboards to OC on:
Intel P35
Intel X35
Intel P45

These motherboards are not so good at OCing:
Intel 946 chipset (though I personally have it and managed a 25% OC without any problems)

Perhaps the biggest problem with OCing any component is overheating. If you want really high OCing capacity of 70%+ then nothing other then a water or liquid cooling system will do. mid-range to high-end air cooling is known to be able to OC to around 60% while stock cooling can only reach 30% at max (my E2160 has stock cooling and a 25% OC). There is no exact temperature limit for any CPU. But as a general rule, you wouldn't want your temperature at any more then 75 (degrees celsius) under load. Having it at above 60 degrees shortens the lifespan but that shouldn't be a worry if you don't plan on using your CPU for more then 2 years.

Recommended software
To check for basic statistics regarding your CPU, I strongly suggest that you download the CPU-Z utility from:
http://www.filehippo.com/download_cpuz/

And get Speedfan for closely monitoring your temperatures, but before this, look around the CDs your motherboard came with for a specific utility for monitoring them. ASUS motherboards for example, come with ASUS PC-Probe which is far more accurate then universal monitors. But here's the download link if you don't have one:
http://www.filehippo.com/download_speedfan/

Also, download a simple application called SuperPI, which essentially gives your CPU a task to do and times how long it takes for the task's completion. Note that this application doesn't support multi-threading meaning it can only utilize the power of one core even if you have 2 or 4 But the purpose here is to check for basic stability and performance increase. You can get it form here:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/366/Super_PI_Mod_v1.5.html
cadams211 year ago
Cool but i have heard a lot about over clocking i have been wondering will it damage the PC or not if i have cooling because some say it its 50/50 even if you do have fans while others say if i have the fan its fine i just wanna know do you have some kind of jet fans that is stopping it from over heating if so how long has the PC been running while overclocked?
-max-1 year ago
i have an compaq presario c700, with a Pentium dual core the same one it showed on the front page,

anyway there is no OCing option in the BIOS. any workaround, like flashing another one, or just the chip set doesn't support it? (i dont know what the chipset is)
-max-1 year ago
i have an compaq presario c700, with a Pentium dual core the same one it showed on the front page,

anyway there is no OCing option in the BIOS. any workaround, like flashing another one, or just the chip set doesn't support it? (i dont know what the chipset is)
Muscelz5 years ago
very nice instructable :) im running my Pentium D 945 which is stock at 3.4ghz @ 3.65ghz--(idle 34oC, full load 45oC. using the Cool Master V8 heatsink), very stable obviously becuase of such of a minor OC. i decided to put my cpu to the limits. i hit 4.4ghz (idle 40oC, full load 60oC) and had had trouble doing most things without getting a blue screen :S i had to set my core voltage to .1V over its stock rating which alowed me to gain stability. which i DID NOT like doing. but it waz only for a short time damnit it wont let my add a pic. uhm... if u wanna see add me on msn bloodhound73@gmail.com
Muscelz Muscelz5 years ago
the pics
4.4ghz overclock.bmp04-04-09_2105.jpg
Wow, 4GHz!
only a 600mhz OC, isn't to great. but its pretty good for me
Well 600Mhz Overclock seems pretty good for a first timer, was it your first time doing this?
ive been overclocking for a few years now, that wasn't my 1st. i was just seeing how high i could get my 945 up to till i was causing damage
Oh...XD i got a 500 MHz Overclock on my first time ;) i think its pretty good :)
the Pentium D failed on my a few days ago, it lost stability on stock freq, so im using my spare Dual Core E1400 till i build my new rig, its clocked to 2.66ghz, thats 662mhz above stock freq. no voltage changes, still stable as
Stable as what?
stable at its stock frequency and that was 3.4ghz. my dual core is out performing it now lol
It was probably overheating, Was it a laptop or desktop?
no, it wasn't overheating. it wasn't going over 35oC on full load, its a desktop and and its got a massive Coolermaster V8 Heatsink on it. so definitely not over heating
Well i don't know, it was perhaps a defective processor.
yea, im going I7 now. my new build will cost me 6grand lol
6 Grand? You might as well buy a mac, a pc does not get that expensive while being worth it what are the new pc's specs?
rofl, not a mac, I despise them. here's the specs, I'm ordering the parts next month, i shud have the money by then

EVGA X58 Classified E760 Motherboard
Intel Core i7 950
Corsair TR3X6G2000C8GTF 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 (x2=12gig)
EVGA GeForce GTX 295 CO-OP Edition (x2 for SLI)
Corsair P256 SSD(256gb) (For Games and OS)
Western Digital RE3 1TB WD1002FBYS (Media etc)
Corsair HX-1000W 1000W Power Supply
Lian Li TYR PC-X500
Xigmatek Thors Hammer Double Layer HDT CPU Cooler (CPU H.S.)
Corsair Dominator Airflow 2 Fans (RAM FAN)
Lian Li TYR PC-X500 (CASE)

My idea is to get good quality gear so you won't be replacing faulty parts and it will last

so around 6grandish $AU
Muscelz Muscelz5 years ago
and i got a pre-order for Windows 7 x64 :D she's gona fly
Nice windows 7, Pre ordered, I would if i had money, the prices are pretty good now, but they are gonna go up :( Sky high I would be a little careful about Installing vista's brother 64BIT , though 7 is better than vista in many levels Especially being fresh out of the oven...Ahem...Microsoft you remember how the first vista beta was? and 64 bit...
lol yea, as buggy as hell. but that dnt phase me, i got XP PRO x64 and Vista Ultimate x64 as back up oh and Debian. the serial for Win 7 is all i want
XP 64 bit? Debian? Vista? How big is Your HDD?
i got close to 2tb of storage
-max- Muscelz2 years ago
i can see you having a supercomputer soon and have the ability to download the internet to you computer!
Wow, Pretty sweet i got an itty bitty 80GB -_-
 =[ whats wrong with mac, u could get an 8 core mac pro or wait until intel releases it i9 
Wow, I heard that some extreme processors from intel are costing up to 1000$! WOW!
lol yea, myne cost me 1.3grand, i got a 975 atm
really?
Lol, I overclocked my computer to 4.8 GHZ. It was 3.0 ghz. It did not get hot, or malfunction. But still I stopped it because i did not want my computer to die.
If it does not overheat it will not kill your computer XD Was it stable? I noticed that when my CPU nears 170 Degrees My OS starts going unstable, At about 150 it sets the fans to high speed, and cools down again. I remember on an oldie laptop, the CPU will tolerate temperatures up to 200 Degrees! 190 Degrees is the standard temperature XD It has a passive heatsink...
they can tolerate that for a very short time, running @ 100oC for a cpu is like taking 1000 hours off the cpu's life. its ensentially wearing them out, think as it as redlining your car 500rpm over "redline starts" for a small OC, there for just a small jump over redline means increased heat, meaning will tend to wear more therefore taking hours off the engine and in this case hours off the cpu if you can understand it that way
Well...No...if the overclock doesn't overheat the CPU, it would last as long as any CPU would last(pretty much forever)
yes, some overclocks don't make components over heat, what im trying to say is its being flogged, they are only designed and tested to run at a persific frequency because they will have longer life etc etc, its the component internal strength will be diminished over time, and once over clocked, the cpu WILL lose expected life FULL STOP overclocking increases the break down of the structural integrity of a cpu/component
By the tiniest bit.
lol no, some cpu's 100mhz over stock freq can 1/2 its expected life, they are made to a degree where they reach "WEAR POINT" where the cpu will dramatically lose life due to the overclock for eg. lets take a E1400 LGA775 They are fine to 25% over clock where the CPU sits at CORES:2.5ghz FSB: 1000mhz it will be losing approx. 1/2 of its life at that OC But when we jump up to a 30% which will be CORES: 2.6ghz FSB: 1040mhz the "wear rate" of the cpu is almost 1/2 over the previous OC due to the geometric rate of break down inside of the CPU. meaning it will take around 3/4 of its life off low OC's on tough CPU'S will last just as long as they where running on stock freq, for EG the E1400 is a very strong cpu and will easily take a beating, running at 20% OC will hardly take any life off it, its just when you jump up just that little more things start to brake down 10x faster its sort of confusing. i hope you understand
Oh well...My CPU won't last a 1000 Years, just 500. >_> Your right.
Yeah, my pc said that there was an error but it was just windowed after startup, but not a blue screen. It didn't smoke or overheat though. I won't do it again just for sure. XD.
Error?
zack247 Muscelz3 years ago
wow, you got a pentium D that high? my board doesn't even allow overclocking, too bad since 4.4ghz is pretty fast.
Not bad at all! Runs in the same temp range as mine does. Don't feel bad about the voltage thing. I hate raising it, but it's a necessary evil.
Ali_Athar (author)  Muscelz5 years ago
Great work! Though with a 65nm chip, you can easily bump the voltage up to 1.5V if you want to.....but I guess there's no point in it if you don't really need it, unless you do CPU intensive tasks like emulation and heavy multi-tasking etc.
jj_alukkas2 years ago
As long as you dont have an Intel original motherboard, your multiplier wont be locked. I use an Asus and vary the multiplier base frequency to hit the speeds I need. I dont run it overclocked, just take a couple of screenshots and go back.
asoo13 years ago
can u make tutor how to clock intel gpu's i need to clock intel gma 4500mhd for better performance :)
zack2473 years ago
ive got a spare core 2 duo that im gonna overclock >:)
i have a better version of intel's d945gtp that im gonna use, same board, but different components, its a spare so im gonna try it, just have to find some ram for it, then a totally massive (possibly so massive it'll have to be custom machined)

i intend to gain at least another gigahert over what it currently has, a massive heatsink will be almost necessary, since i cant afford water cooling.

who thinks a heatsink the size of the board would be too big?
zack247 zack2473 years ago
I found out that i couldn't overclock the d945gtp board. i am not sure about my other one but it doesn't look good for that one either, so i OC'd a 2.6ghz pentium 4 all the way up to 2.9 ghz with just stock cooling. this was somewhat experimental, but it idles at around 55-60 degrees.
hichar4 years ago
nice info...i will try it latter to ma dualcore cpus....thanks
Ya know whats really wierd. I dug on old PC out of my basement I bought years ago and I thought I try this. And the multiplier on the CPU is UNlocked but I can't change the FSB.
Fashim4 years ago
I have no idea how to overclock my computer its a Toshiba Satellite L300 Intel Cpu H20 Bios
rick01945 years ago
Can anyone tell me how to get into the BIOS on a Dell Dimension L667r? Thanks
1oooop5 years ago
hmm... any chance I can do this with gateway? there are no CPU options... do you think I should try moving some jumpers around on my motherboard?
Ali_Athar (author)  1oooop5 years ago
Not really :P Overclocking is best done on a custom rig whose motherboards have overclocking options. Branded machines usually have most of the options locked. Try to find an option, which will, at the very least, allow you to change the bus speed and alter vcore voltage. Of not, then I'm afraid you can't OC
darn. oh well... I can still screw around with an older comp....
Muscelz 1oooop5 years ago
ide advise you to stop playing around with this sorta stuff unless you got someone to show you 1st hand what to do, your going to cause alot of harm to what ever your overclocking
Exactly. I'm taking it easy to avoid destroying a good chip. I've learned that you don't get rushed because you want results, because if you aim for results and push too hard, you've now got a super-heated CPU that will be dead before you can power off.
ahha impossible, it cudnt be dead. she wnt even start if its clocked that high, just reset the bios and your ready to try again
cudnt , wnt
Can you fix those glaring errors?
True. But, there are some (older) systems that don't have the protections.
Muscelz 1oooop5 years ago
lol no, its a bios setting, nothing u do can allow u to overclock. so leave it alone or get a new board :)
Ali_Athar (author)  1oooop5 years ago
Hmm....not really. I wouldn't recommend messing around with the board randomly, would do you more harm then good. Just remember to get a custom rig on your nest build
I have to aggree
laznz15 years ago
just dont do what i did to a comp OCed it to the max number then a crack bang and spark and it was gone lucky it was a junka
Muscelz laznz15 years ago
fool
Muscelz Muscelz5 years ago
people like that make me want to hit them, so come here Mr laznz1!
*in weird voice* You fool!
Ali_Athar (author)  laznz15 years ago
slowly but surely is the way to go here :P
Madrias3575 years ago
I've got an Intel Pentium 4 HT (version 531) that normally runs 3.0 GHz. I lightly overclocked it to 3.1 GHz completely stable and cool. Next goal is 3.2.
lol, 3ghz to 3.1? thats SOO SMALL OC, you dnt bother ocing that much cuz u dnt get pretty much any performance increase. and 3.1ghz from 3ghz? u must have sum pretty fine tuning gear on ur pc to get it to that, and if ur going to OC look anywhere above the 10% mark on ur cpu's stock freq. for eg 3ghz would be 3.3ghz
I'm working on it slowly. Note that Prescott chips get VERY hot when running, and I'm still running the stock cooler. Also note that I'm currently at 3.28 (Up .02 from my last update) and being very gentle on the chip. Yes, my BIOS lets me work in small increments. I can either go up 0.01 volts or 1 FSB value with ease, still working with a locked multiplier.
makes no difference. find ur stablest highest frequency then find ur 10% mark and hang around that, watch ur temps and watch for hangups. all u need to do, take gentle steps, thats nonsense. no matter what your doing when OCing ur putting strain on ur cpu FULL STOP, meaning taking it slowly is pointless and wasting ur time. use overclocker forums to see what other ppl have clocked their cpu to on stock cooling
I know that it strains the CPU more. The point I'm making is that I'm taking smaller steps to avoid destroying a chip. And I've found the most stable I can get and as high as it will go is 3.31 GHz. If I push it harder, it won't boot.
Ali_Athar (author)  Madrias3575 years ago
Good luck! Prescott P4s aren't exactly renowned for their OC'ing capability :-p
Got it to 3.26 GHz, running stock air cooler, 60 degrees Celsius under mild load.
difflock5 years ago
I have a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (65nm, Kentsfield, G0 Stepping). Stock it runs @ 2.4GHz (266MHz X 9) Mine is running at 3.0GHz (334MHz X 9) Voltage in BIOS is set to 1.275v, and is nice and stable (CPU-Z reads as 1.232v)....V Droop is annoying :P BTW, the mobo is an Asus P5E, with the X38 chipset The CPU Cooler is an Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro (Mk2) With the TJ Max set to 100, the temps never go over 60*c on all cores (thats running Intel Burn Test) Just need to get a watercooling setup....the chip will probably get OCed to 3.6GHz if it will take it...more importantly it will quieten down the damn GFX card...4870X2 with stock heatsink/fan is loud :S
Ali_Athar (author)  difflock5 years ago
You'd be lucky lol. 3.4 is the most I've normally seen a Q6600 do.
It depends on the stepping from what I have read. (As well as luck of the draw) The Q6600 G0 stepping will generally overclock higher than the previous steppings... I can but hope for 3.6ghz......
Derin5 years ago
my amd core reads 1.5V
Muscelz Derin5 years ago
amd are alot different, silly statement
collard415 years ago
cool