Overclocking Options

Overclocking is the process in which we increase the frequency, or speed, of a processor. Many processors in todays market support overclocking, including any Intel CPU marked with a "K", and all AMD CPUs.

We've definitely over simplified that description as we also have to fettle voltages, module frequencies, cache ratios, load line calibration, base clock, memory timings and thermal controls.

Overclocking can increase processor frequencies to over 9.1GHz, in the case of a LN2 (liquid nitrogen) cooled Intel Core i9 14900KS in the hands of a Swedish extreme overclocking team - yes that's a thing.

With today's CPUs, we're unfortunately past the years where you could buy a £200 Intel Core i7 2500K and take the maximum frequency from 3.70GHz all the way up to 5.0GHz in some extreme cases. That being said, overclocking is still worth it and the control we have is better than ever.

Not everyone is going to want their nice new PC overclocked, but the extra performance and minimal cost makes the overclocking option hard to resist. The art of overclocking is second nature to us at UK Gaming Computers, we make sure we get the best of that extra performance out of a processor without compromising the PC's stability.

Here's what you can expect from your overclock:

Intel Core 12th & 14th Generation "K" Series Processors - These CPUs are essentially overclocked out of the box with very high turbo frequencies compared to previous generations. Through our tuning efforts, we have been successful in getting these processors north of 6.0GHz, providing noticable performance increases. Clock speed increases on these CPUs are generally between 0% and 15%, with the higher being with an "Extreme" overclock on suitably cooled Intel Core 12th Generation CPU. 

AMD Ryzen AM4 Socket Processors - Overclocking your AMD Ryzen processor makes a lot of sense, you're taking a CPU that's already excellent value for money and making it even better! The AM4 chipset presented us with a bit of a challenge when it came to overclocking as it changed the methods quite significantly, through our investigations we've managed to achieve frequency increases of between 0% and 10%. This seems low compared to what we've been used to in the past, and is ultimately down to AMD tuning their CPUs out of the box, but in our opinion still a worthy upgrade.

AMD Ryzen AM5 Socket Processors - The newest generation of AMD CPUs are very much in the same boat as the newest Intel processors, in that the out of the box performance is seriously impressive. This means that not a whole lot can be gained from an overclock, with frequency increases of between 0% and 10%.

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 for each model of CPU and provided cooling.

Overclocking requires us to throw more voltage at the CPU, which in turn generates more heat, so to get the best out of your overclock, upgrade the processor cooler as a minimum. The better the CPU cooler, the better the overclock. Other factors such as thermal compound, fan upgrades, case, cable braiding and cable management can help marginally 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 by 24 hours, we like to double check the stability of our overclocked machines so an 8 working day day build may end up taking 9 working days.

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 since our days from 2009 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.