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Overclocking - Getting Higher Computer
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Compiled and Written by Titus Hoskins
If you're not a computer gaming enthusiast or have a nickname that rhymes with Greek... overclocking may be a term that's foreign to you. Overclocking is usually associated with gaming computers and it's a way of increasing your computer's performance without having to pay the higher price tag.
Overclocking basically refers to changing the frequency of an electronic component - the name comes from the "clock" which acts as a timer which sends out an electronic wave that determines the speed at which the component processes information. In regards to computers or laptops, this usually means the CPU and the FSB.
Now if all that is also sounding a bit foreign to you, just remember overclocking simply means changing the default speed in a CPU to a more faster level to achieve better performances from your computer. Gamers use it to rev up their gaming machines to get the ultimate performance level possible. Like you would!
The theory goes something like this: in order for major CPU makers like Intel to turn out new CPUs every few months or so, they simply design a single processor and then release it with different configurations, usually at the most stable frequencies so your computer will run smoothly. Changing the clock frequencies is one way they can have a new processor very quickly. Since the major market share is for mid to low range CPUs that's where most of them are configured/sold at this level. However, many of these CPUs can operate at a much greater frequency with higher performances just a few adjustments away.
Gamers and computer enthusiasts have figured this out and by changing this frequency they can get a high-end CPU without having to pay the higher price. Overclocking is simply a way of getting more bang from your computer spending bucks.
WARNING & DISCLAIMER
However, there's a major WARNING that should come with any discussion of Overclocking - along with a major DISCLAIMER. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, you can seriously damage your computer. That's why overclocking will usually VOID your warranty with your computer maker or seller. Proceed with caution and at your own risk if you attempt to overclock your laptop or computer. There are serious risks involved.
Nor is overclocking a simple procedure, it can be very complicated and does require some knowledge of how computer systems work and operate. What really complicates the whole process is the variations of the "electrical and physical characteristics" of different computer systems, plus many factors are involved such as CPU multipliers, thermal loads, cooling methods, bus dividers, voltages and so on.
Keep in mind, with overclocking you're talking about changing the frequency of the FSB (Front Side Bus) which literally dictates how fast all your computer components will run. By changing the FSB speed you can change the speed of your CPU and RAM. End result - faster laptop or computer.
However, as mentioned before there are major risks involved - change the frequency of the FSB too high and you can end up with hard drive failure. There is also the more serious issue of overheating your laptop or computer which could result in permanent damage. In other words - you could "fry" your machine.
That's why most experts suggest you not change the FSB speed by more than 20-30 MHz. Also remember, not all CPUs (due to manufacturing processes) can be overclocked. And also as a general rule of thumb, it is usually not wise to overclock a laptop that's already "hot to the touch".
Likewise, some CPUs are much more suited for overclocking because they run at cooler levels and use little power - these include the Pentium M and AMD Turion lines.
This article will explain the steps you need to take to "overclock" your computer system or laptop. Again, even this information comes with a solid warning about the dangers of overclocking your computer system. Proceed with the right care and you can improve your gaming laptop's performance. Proceed the wrong way or become too power hunger and having a "fry-up" will take on a whole new meaning.
To learn more about laptop computers try here: Laptop Buying Guide Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins.
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