Overclocking is the process in which we increase the speed (frequency) of a processor. Many processors in today’s market will go significantly faster then they state simply by overclocking them. It is not unheard of to see as much as 100% performance increase, meaning a 2.5GHz processor will run at a massive 5GHz!!! Ok granted, these are processors cooled with liquid nitrogen but it is a good indication of what can be done.
Not everyone is going to want their nice new PC overclocked, but the extra performance at very little cost makes the overclocking option hard to resist. The art of overclocking is second nature at UK Gaming Computers, we make sure we get the best of that extra performance out of a processor without compromise to the PCs stability. Typical overclocks that leave our workshop vary from 5% right upto 60%. Each processor clocks differently, so we cannot guarantee a certain percentage increase, although if we end up with a poor overclock we will try another processor until we get an overclock that we feel is suitable.
Overclocked processors generate much more heat, so to get the best out of your overclock, upgrade the processor cooler as a minimum. The better the CPU cooler then the better the overclock. Other factors such as thermal compound, fan upgrades, a bigger case, cable braiding and cable management play an important role too. Motherboards and RAM also play an important role, but since we already use motherboards and RAM that are built with overclocking in mind, you don’t need to worry. The better your supporting upgrades the better overclock achievable.
Overclocking increases testing time but we still stay within our build time scales, we like to double check the stability of our overclocked machines so a 4 day build may end up being 5 days. We also honour the processor warranty with overclocked processors.
Since the release of the Sandy Bridge line of Intel CPUs the overclocking rule has changed a bit, it is only worth overclocking a Intel Processor with a model ending with a 'K' (Anything 7XXXK) and on a Z270 or X299 chipset motherboard. This is an excellent combination and will see the two 'K' processors overclock nicely and safely. Non 'K' Intel processors will overclock but the gain is so minimal, and in our opinion, is not worth it. All AMD processors overclock nicely, irrelevant of the model.
FAQ - So all these advantages, surely there is a disadvantage? - Yes, the lifespan of the processor is decreased by around 10% - 20%, however processors from both Intel and AMD are warranted for 10 years, overclocked or not, so worst case scenario your 10 year lasting processor lasts 8 years. Most would have changed processor by then, and we are yet to ever see a processor fail because of overclocking but to put your mind at rest our warranty covers a processor overclocked by us.
A moderate overclock is a simple overclock that does not involve generating too much extra heat. Please check the info button for the processor coolers, for a recommend cooler sufficient for this level of overclock. Percentage increases are not guaranteed as every processor is different, but a typical moderate overclock will yield anywhere between a 5% and 20% performance increase.
An Extreme overclock is a more complex method that will generate much more extra heat, but will yield a much higher increase in performance. When selecting an extreme overclock for your PC you must make sure your cooling options are sufficient. An upgraded processor cooler is a must, please check the info button for the processor coolers for a recommend cooler sufficient for this level of overclock. Other factors such as the case, thermal compound, the case fans, cable management and cable braiding will all help towards turning that £250 processor into the same speed as a £500 one! A typical performance increase from an extreme overclock is anywhere between 5% and 40%.