If you are looking for more performance from your CPU a user can overclock an Intel or AMD processor. It’s a little like tuning your car engine, but beware overclocking will void any warranty. Also, overclocking pushes your CPU above its normal factory settings. So if your CPU is overclocked, it is worth keeping an eye on the performance and making sure all the fans are working properly and not dirty. Pushing the CPU harder will create more heat and it may even be worth considering extra cooling measures.

Not every CPU can be overclocked so make sure that yours is ‘unlocked’. There are two options. Either change the base clock rate or the multiplier. The most common method is to manipulate the multiplier. Generally the latest processors including the Core i7 and Core i5 are already ‘unlocked’.

To overclock an Intel processor you will need to download Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel XTU) software. For AMD processors you need OverDrive. Both these programs will allow you to change the settings including power, voltage, core and memory. Otherwise you can always use the BIOS where you are able to manipulate the multiplier.

These programs allows novices to select a pre-tuned memory profile. Alternatively, customised profiles can be created. You should always manually monitor the performance through the BIOS.

It works both ways though. As a user you may not be looking for optimum performance but power efficient and safe computing. The software also allows you to under-volt your memory for power savings, cooler operations and stability.

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