How to Change Your CPU Core Speed


Changing the CPU core speed makes the processor work faster, which makes the processes in your computer run quicker. Changing the CPU core speed to a higher level is widely known as "overclocking." This process involves stepping up the clock speeds of the CPU, which makes data go through the processor at a higher rate. However, be aware that changing the clock speed of a CPU voids the manufacturer's warranty.

  • Press the power button of your computer and wait for the boot screen to show up. The boot screen is a black and white colored screen that lists the names of the parts connected to the motherboard of the computer. Press the F1 or Delete keys; different manufacturers sometimes use either the Delete key or the F1 key. If the boot screen does not show up, press F1 or Delete every second after you turn on the computer. This will access the BIOS of the motherboard.

  • Select the "Advanced Chipset Features," which you can find on the main menu of the BIOS. Go to the "CPU Multiplier" feature. When you press enter on the CPU multiplier, a screen will pop up asking you to put in a number. Type in a number that is one level higher than the original CPU multiplier (you can see the original CPU multiplier on the upper left corner of the window). For instance, if the CPU multiplier is set to 7x, type 8 into the screen.

  • Click F10 to save the changes you have made to the CPU multiplier and restart your computer. Download and install Prime 95. This program maximizes the CPU usage to full load. Open Prime 95 and run the "Torture Test." If the computer shuts down during the Torture Test, you can't run the CPU core at a different speed stably so you should revert the CPU multiplier back to its original level in the BIOS and save the changes. If your computer did not crash and you still want to raise the CPU core speed, go on to the next step.

  • Restart your computer and access the BIOS again. Go to the CPU multiplier and raise the multiplier one step higher. Click F10 and restart your computer. Run Prime 95's Torture Test. Keep repeating this until your computer shuts down. When it does, go to the BIOS, revert the CPU multiplier to the last stable level, click F10, and restart your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ability to overclock your processor to high speeds varies directly with the cooling system of your processor. If you want to overclock to high speeds, invest in water cooling or a high end CPU heatsink and fan. A better cooling system will allow you to overclock to higher speeds.

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  • Karol Harmata, professor of Computer Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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