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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | Overclocking: The Dissenting Opinion | Introduction to Overclocking ]

Who Overclocks?

It's pretty difficult to pinpoint exactly who the overclockers are, but they do tend in my experience to fit a pretty specific profile in most cases. They come from many different walks of life, but tend of course to be quite technically oriented, since this is obviously something that requires some technical skill. However, there are also some relative PC newcomers who overclock (usually based on the advice of someone who's been doing it for a while). Many overclockers are PC hobbyists, although many hobbyists don't overclock (like myself.)

The best analogy for overclockers that I can find outside the computer world is to compare them to car hobbyists. There are those who buy a car because they need a car; they care about performance, but it isn't the most important thing in the world to them. They aren't eager to sacrifice the reliability or safety of the car, or risk its warranty, to make it accelerate a bit faster. Then there are car enthusiasts, the hot-rodders, for whom tweaking the car to get it to maximum performance is very important, and something they consider fun and educational.

I find the same thing to be true of PC overclocking, in many ways. Those who advocate overclocking tend to be "PC hot-rodders", for whom getting the PC running as fast as possible is a hobby, a challenge, even an end itself instead of a means to an end. In fact, I sometimes think that many people overclock just so they can post to USEnet and respond to surveys showing that they got their Pentium II to run at some incredible speed. :^) I think this is fine, but I think also that telling everyone to "go ahead, overclock your PC" makes about as much sense as telling everyone that they should start tinkering with their car's engine to make it accelerate faster. It only makes sense for some people.

Next: Overclocking Types

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