[ The PC Guide | System
Optimization and Enhancement Guide | Overclocking: The Dissenting
Opinion | Should You Overclock? ]
Conclusion: When Overclocking Makes Sense, and When It Doesn't
For your PC, only you can make the final determination of whether or not overclocking
makes sense. I hope that you will at least consider some of the information that I have
presented in this chapter in making your decision.
Despite my writing this primarily anti-overclocking information, I am not dead set
against overclocking. As a general rule of thumb, I would say that overclocking is a
reasonable option if all or most of the following are true:
- There is no valuable data on your PC, or it is changed so infrequently and your backups
are so good, that there is little or no chance of data loss even if things become
- The PC is used primarily for games, and every increase in the frame rate of the game
- You are a hobbyist and are overclocking for the fun and challenge.
- You have more time available than cash; many students would fall into this category.
- Your CPU is older and cheap, so replacing it if it burns out quickly will not cost much.
I believe that overclocking does not make sense in any of these situations:
- There is data on the PC that is important, is updated frequently, is not properly or
routinely backed up, or is difficult to recreate.
- The PC is used for business purposes. (I mean, sheesh, I see people who claim they have
to overclock to run AutoCAD or similar design programs better. First of all, the software
costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, so what is the big whoop about saving a few bucks
on the hardware? Second, what's the cost going to be if you corrupt your drawings due to
- The PC is used in a situation that calls for maximum reliability, especially file
servers accessed by multiple users. (I saw a guy once who was so proud of himself for
improving performance by overclocking a file server that was being used by 50 people.
These people probably get paid, collectively, over $5,000 a day to do work that involves
this server. His overclocking saved the company a hundred bucks, once, so one hour's
downtime due to this risky overclocking jobs wipes out all of the benefits. Real bright.)
- Maximum performance is not essential (overclocking your system only to do word
processing on it is silly).
- The PC is still under warranty.
- You cannot afford the risk of destroying the CPU and having to replace it.
Next: IF You're Going To Do It... Do It Properly
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