How to Overclock an Intel Processor

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Overclocking is a technique long used by computer enthusiasts to squeeze an extra few percent of performance out of their computers. It is an especially common procedure to use on budget computer systems as a means of obtaining performance levels near those of more expensive systems. The Celeron line of processors is the budget processor of Intel. With very little variance, all processors, the Celeron included, are overclocked in a similar way.

  • Boot or reboot the computer. During POST (Power On Self Test), access the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). In most cases, you press the "Delete" key.

  • Locate and access the CPU settings page of the BIOS. In most cases this can be found under "Advanced Settings," but different manufacturers use different menu schemes.

  • Locate the "CPU FSB" (Front Side Bus) setting. This is what you will change to overclock the CPU. Most often there is a field set to "Auto" that you can change to "Manual." A field should then appear beneath. It is this field that you set the new FSB in.

  • Click in the new field and enter a new number to be your FSB. For example, if your CPU stock FSB is 200 MHz, then set it to 205. Save the settings and exit to reboot. If the computer passes POST and boots into Windows without errors, then reboot and enter the BIOS again, bumping the FSB another 5 MHz.

  • Repeat Step 4 until the computer either does not complete POST, or Windows does not boot properly. Then enter the BIOS and back the FSB off by 10 MHz. Save and reboot, and then test by running numerous applications in Windows, specifically intensive 3D games, if you have any. If these can run for at least 30 minutes with the overclocked settings, then the system should be OK to run at that speed.

Tips & Warnings

  • No one BIOS is the same as another, as different motherboard manufacturers specify different features. If you cannot find a menu name or feature mentioned in the steps, consult your motherboard manual.
  • Overclocking is not guaranteed to work. Some CPUs overclock better than others, and some will not overclock at all. Sometimes other components in the system will not tolerate the overclocking. Overclocking also voids the warranty of the CPU, and may void the warranty of the motherboard and other components connected. If you are not willing to risk losing your computer entirely, do not overclock.

References

  • William Bellisle-Pio; Network Systems Administrator; Auburn, Washington
  • Photo Credit Torre CPU image by Sebastiano Settimii from Fotolia.com
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