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Category: Speed Up Windows PC > CPU Overclock vs Optimize

Boosting CPU Speed: Overclock or Optimize

Years pass quickly, and the need to overclock or optimize your PC becomes apparent far too soon. All of a sudden, your CPU speed just doesn't seem fast enough to keep up with the latest games or other resource intensive software.

If you optimize your entire PC with one of the better system tune-up utilities, you'll safely experience a boost in the overall speed of your computer. If it doesn't work out for you, simply uninstall it. Using a PC optimizer was by far the easiest, the most efficient, and certainly the safest of all the things we did to speed up our computers.

Especially considering, with overclocking if you make a mistake that overheats your CPU - there's no uninstall or undo function to repair a burnt out processor. It's pretty obvious which method I prefer, but I want to go into more detail on the pros and cons of overclocking versus using a computer boosting program.

CPU Overclocking Risks - A Dangerous Game

Various settings within your system's BIOS can be adjusted to overclock you CPU bus speed. This will allow you to run your processor faster than it was intended which can be an extremely dangerous thing to do.. The terrifying result can be an overheated processor that will eventually heat up and actually melt onto your board. The quick fix is to install a larger fan, but overclocking also voids your warranty and there's no quick fix for that.

Overclocking will make your cpu work much harder and the temperature will increase. Then your PC may overheat and become unstable which will cause system crashes. If your overclocked processor does work for a time, its days are probably numbered because electro migration (interconnect failure) will eventually destroy your cpu. Of course it may not happen at all - you may discard the CPU before failure occurs. Over clocking simply raises the odds against your CPU fulfilling its' lifetime duration at a faster pace than intended. Obviously a soon to be replaced computer is a prime candidate for excessive overclocking.

Here is a very interesting article at Techbytes on the risks of overclocking CPU's. If you're thinking about overclocking any CPU (AMD or Intel) it's worth a read to clearly see the downfalls of driving your CPU beyond its' intended limits.

A few years ago, I also read another article written by Intel, but it has since been removed. However, the big takeaway was in the "Frequency Degradation" section that mentions, what I have always believed. Here's an excerpt, "Overclocking can alter the normal operating characteristics of silicon transistors, resulting in high transistor degradation." Other important points included were how overclocking voided the warranty (today's warranties may differ) and how the processor will breakdown more quickly.

Now, I'm not against overclocking completely. I believe a slight overclock is fine, but pushing your CPU too far, may eventually lead to hard-to-diagnose problems. On a positive note, today's modern processors do have silicon fail-safes built in to protect the CPU, but even then, you're still running past the tested safety range of the chip.

So if you overclock, I recommend a light touch. You'll get slightly better performance and keep things cool. If you do a maximum overclock, consider water cooling to reduce the heat - but even that may not help with the continual frequency degradation that can bring hard to track down errors.

To get a safer speed boost, speed up your PC with optimization software that will keep your hardware calm and cool, while safely boosting your CPU, RAM, and Internet to faster performance levels. There's a lot of bottlenecks within Windows, and the safe and steady performance gains available through PC optimizer programs (discussed further below) exceed dangerous overclocking. It's also far easier, click a button and you're optimized versus going through your complicated BIOS and reading numerous online opinions on the best voltages to use. Unfortunately, every processor is different and there is no solid advice that can be correctly given for your exact CPU. Overclocking requires a lot of "trial and error", or as I like to say, "trial and risk".

There's also a danger of fire along with the loss of one of the most expensive components in your PC. Not worth it for minimal speed gains in our opinion and that is why we will not attempt to show you how to overclock.

However, there are a few tech sites online with detailed guides on how to overclock and boost your CPU speed if you want to go into those risky waters. Just make sure the instructions deal exactly with your motherboard. Your search would begin by finding out the exact make and model of your motherboard. Then carefully read a few articles first to gain a proper understanding of the entire process - don't jump in ill-prepared or you could end up frying your CPU.

Should I Overclock or use a PC Optimizer?

You can boost CPU speed and everything else on your PC with an optimization program that speeds up your system to the maximum. It's far safer than overclocking and it will actually promote stability. Faster CPU performance, program launches, boots, shutdowns, increased Internet speed, optimized RAM, and even a more compact registry file. Best of all, you don't need to overheat any hardware components or void your PC warranty. Even if you do decide to overclock, the best PC optimizer will still help you get even more speed from your computer system.

Of course there is a sweet spot when overclocking makes a little more sense. Usually processors in the lower range are produced with the same manufacturing process as the CPUs sold in the mid to high range. The higher rated CPUs are factory overclocked and tested, then sold for a premium. Many users will buy the cheaper processor and boost the CPU speed to nearly the same levels of the premium ones. This is a great deal if, and only if, you are lucky enough to get a CPU that just missed the premium cut during initial factory testing. Sometimes, you will be stuck with a CPU that only overclock's slightly above its' rating. The BIOS of your motherboard is the control station for overclocking and many new PCs sold today offer enhanced versions just for the purpose of overclocking.

Why choose an optimizer over manual tweaking, hardware upgrades, or overclocking?

By tuning up your PC and Internet, you will gain more than speed. You'll save time doing tasks, have less frustration, and most important of all - you'll have your system tuned to the fastest possible level to get the most out of it for years to come.

Using a PC optimization program allows you to bypass expensive hardware upgrades. Let's face it, computer hardware is expensive and if you start, it seems to never end. We prefer to get the most use out of our existing system and optimize it to the fullest. Besides, upgrading on dying platforms is certain to have very diminishing returns.

Accelerating your PC speed through a software solution will allow you to stop the expensive hardware upgrade madness - then later you'll be able to go full out and get a high end PC with everything you saved by using an optimization program. Then, you can still use your trusty optimizer again, to extend the life cycle of your new PC. This has worked for us and it makes so much sense - unless you're a hardware component manufacturer, of course ;-)

Faster overall computer speed means every program will launch faster, and be more responsive during memory intensive situations. The more resource hungry the program or game is, the greater the improvement. Gamers will enjoy the increased frames per second and improved latency for online gaming sessions. Even better, your gaming rig will continually maintain its' optimized state as it runs smoothly without any of those annoying freezes, glitches, or instability issues.

Why use a quality system utilities optimizer? Faster overall computer speed with improved internet performance, quicker startups and shutdowns, PLUS every program or game installed on your computer will be much more responsive. Stability will improve with less annoying errors that can cause freezes and sluggish performance. Your system speed will improve immediately and it won't just be for today, but every day, from this point on, for the remaining years you will be using your current system. Compared to buying games or other software, a system optimizer delivers benefits every single day. Well really, it's effectively working every single second that your computer is turned on.

Much easier and safer than hardware overclocking, a quality computer system optimizer will continually and safely provide maximum performance, while improving stability. Unlike overclocking, it will NOT overheat your CPU, and will NOT cause electronic resonance damage (early aging) to hardware components. It's also important to note that software optimization will NOT void your computer's warranty. Add all of those factors together and it's easy to see how a Windows' optimizer is easily the best solution to speed up your PC.

The final decision is yours to make. If your PC is an older one that you know has limited life remaining, maybe now is a good time to risk overclocking to get a little more speed out of it. If your PC is fairly new and still under warranty, overclocking may break your warranty - in this case, an optimizer certainly makes more sense.

You may also want to read the details on System Mechanic for even more information on how the best optimizer of this year can help you safely gain speed without overclocking.

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