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Overlocking: how to increase the speed of your PC without damaging it

That our computer runs faster and does not stay punch when we subject it to the minimum stress it is something that we all want. If you are looking for how to increase the speed of your PC, the path will overclockingOr, in other words, raise the clock frequency of your processor. In this way, you will be able to access processing results that you would never have imagined. Best of all, this challenge has never been easier to accomplish, even for less seasoned users.

Intel processor in the socket of a main card to show how to increase the speed of your PC

A word of caution

When overclocked a processor, some things happen: the chip gets hotter and uses more energy. Both of these factors can cause problems if you are using your processor's original heatsink. This does not mean that you cannot do overclocking, but the potential result will be less than if you opt for a more advanced air or liquid cooling system.

The overclocking it generally reduces the life of a processor, but not always and not even necessarily for a measurable period. Forcing it to run faster and use more energy effectively can lead to further degradation. However, you're more likely to update your computer before this becomes a problem, as long as you don't go to extremes and consider the side effects.

If you wish overclock the processor of a laptop, you're probably not lucky. There are few systems that allow it and, furthermore, they do not have the thermal margin to make it viable. But even if you can, we caution you not to.

Finally, consider that the overclocking You can void the warranty. AMD and Intel generally do not cover this problem, although it would be difficult to prove that overclocking gives the processor, unless you have gone too far with the voltage across the chip. Primary card manufacturers may or may not cover overclocking. If you're concerned, check the warranty before trying.

Identify your processor

Before you start to speed up the processor, you need to determine what you actually have. The chip may not even support overclocking. If it does, you can establish the theoretical maximums with a little research.

This is an area where AMD and Intel differ significantly. You may overclock the latest AMD processors, especially Ryzen and, in the case of Intel, only "K" and "X" series processors.

Below we show you several unlocked Intel processors ready for the overclocking. If your processor is not listed and you do not have a suffix "K" or "X" in the name, you may not be able to complete the process. If you are not sure, check again.

SKU Base Clock Overclocking
Core i9-9900K 3.6GHz 5.0GHz
Core i7-9700K 3.6GHz 4.9GHz
Core i5-9600K 3.7GHz 4.6GHz
Core i7-8086K 4.0GHz 5.0GHz
Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 4.7GHz
Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 4.3GHz
Core i3-8350K 4.0GHz N / A

AMD processors are fully unlocked and overclockable for generations. Regardless of whether you have an AMD FX-series processor or one of the Ryzen chips, they can all be overclocked. It would be lengthy to list them all, but if you have an AMD processor, chances are you can increase its clock speed.

If you are not sure, don't worry. The worst thing that can happen is that you try and it doesn't work. The software we recommend will tell you, so in the worst case, you will be disappointed.

Internal cleaning

Since the overclocking Generally it raises the temperature of your computer, the processor and the cooling system must work more than normal. If this is your first attempt, we suggest cleaning your computer. Simply clean the filters on the front inlet fans or interior surfaces. If you have questions about parts and components, this guide may be useful.

Ultimately, you should verify that dust does not block the flow of air into and out of your computer. Also, make sure that no dust collects in the processor cooler, as this is where most of the extra heat accumulates.

Remember that before cleaning, you must turn off the computer and wear an antistatic wristband. We also do not recommend using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, due to the possibility of static build up. If the powder is difficult to reach, use a can of compressed air that you can buy at Walmart, Best Buy, among others.

When you're finally ready, go to the processor brand section you have and follow the instructions.

Intel: ETU (Extreme Tuning Utility)

You may overclock Intel processors using the BIOS. However, as this is a beginner's guide, we recommend the Windows-based Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). It is a free software package designed specifically for overclock your Intel processor.

Unlike some third-party programs, the Intel XTU is solid, reliable, and unlikely to cause problems. It offers a detailed view of the current status of your processor. Even if you are not doing overclockingIt is a great utility: you can control the processor load, the temperature and run comparisons.

Intel XTU black background screen, software to overclock showing processor dataDon't be intimidated, just take it all.

Intel's XTU may seem a little intimidating at first, given the many highly granular options. However, once you become familiar with the tool, it all makes sense and the information becomes very useful.

Step 1: reference temperatures and performance

The first time you run XTU check some reference readings to make sure your processor is ready for overclock. Start with the stress test located on the left menu for at least an hour.