How to Increase the Clock Speed in a Computer

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The clock speed of a computer is the operating frequency that the computer's CPU is rated to perform at by the manufacturer. Increasing the CPU's clock speed above the manufacturer's recommend setting is referred to as "overclocking," and can be accomplished with a CPU that has not been locked to one frequency by the manufacturer or has been unlocked. Without unlocking a CPU it is necessary to replace the CPU before an increase in clock speed can be made. It is also necessary to ensure that the motherboard in the system is capable of supporting the desired clock speed.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Shut down the system and unplug the computer from the electrical socket.

  • Remove the computer's side case panel, remove the CPU's cooling fan/heatsink assembly and then remove the CPU itself by releasing the CPU locking mechanism.

  • Insert the new CPU into the motherboard's CPU socket and lock down the CPU using the provided locking mechanism.

  • Coat the top of the CPU with a thin, even layer of white lithium grease, if required, before installing the heatsink/cooling fan assembly.

  • Power up the system and enter setup using the instructions that are provided with the error message stating that the system configuration has changed.

  • Check to ensure that the system's setup has been automatically updated using the correct value for the newly installed CPU.

  • Save and exit setup according to the on-screen instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to establish what clock speed and CPU type your motherboard supports. It is recommended that a CPU and cooling assembly be purchased as a matched set. Completely unplug the system and place it on a table or bench before starting work.
  • Static discharge can cause damage to a CPU. Use proper static protection. White lithium grease can be toxic, so make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands and anything else that may have come in contact with the grease. Overclocking will void the CPU's warranty.

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