Hello, I recently upgraded my desktop PC that I've been using for 4 years now. I put about $200 into it, and it is now capable of any task I throw at it. However, I did not change the CPU- it remains an Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.00 GHz. It seems to be bogging the whole system down from it's full potential, and upgrading it is way beyond my budget. So, I was wondering, is it ever safe to overclock a CPU, and if so, to what point?
Answer by trueb · Jan 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM
overclocking is generally not recommended by the manufacture and therefor it is not "safe."
but in practice many people don't have an issue with it these days.
you may be able to get a couple 100 extra MHz out of it, but your ram and hard drive will see to it that you don't notice a difference.
All overclocking does is makes the CPU be able to add x+y a little bit faster. but if x and y are in memory its like getting it mailed to you via snail mail, who cares if you speed up the adding by 100 ns when it takes 100ms to get the data from memory?
To be honest you don't see that much of a performance increase by overclocking anymore, reformat and install the OS from scratch, you should notice a performance boost.
Answer by Vadrotan · Jan 24, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Overclocking can indeed be very dangerous. However, if you do your homework and take the proper precautions the risk can be at least partially mitigated.
First things first, if your system is something like a Dell or an HP, or really any store bought PC, you will not be able to overclock, period. If you're still with me, now you should look at cooling. Overclocking with the stock heatsink and fan is a really bad idea. I would recommend at minimum a Cooler Master Hyper 212, either the Plus or Evo variants. One of those will only run you about $30US and they do a great job for the price. After that Google is your friend, search "core 2 duo overclocking" and start reading. The first 2 results are a good place to start. Once you've read and reread at least 2 separate guides you might be ready to start overclocking.
I hope this helps, just remember to take it slow, especially if you cannot afford to replace what you may break.