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Socket-A Over clocking Guide

Some of the most frequent questions that I am asked are in reference to the process of over clocking Celron, AMD Athlon Thunderbird and Duron processors.  It has become well known that these processors have much potential for over clocking.  Some of you may be asking... What is over clocking?   This guide is intended to explain and introduce you to over clocking in general, and to help you get on the right track to over clocking your processor.

What is over clocking?

Processors are shipped from the factory set to run at a default clock speed.  The operational clock speed comes from the product of two numbers, the FSB (Front Side Bus) and the clock multiplier (ex. 100MHz * 10 = 1000MHz).  CPU's are designed to work at values of each, and within temperature and voltage values.  Who is there to stop you from changing any of these values?  Over clocking is the process of running your CPU at values/speeds other than the default settings.  By increasing either the clock multiplier or the FSB, you can increase the speed that your processor runs at.  The possibility to purchase a slower processor for less money, then to over clock it to speeds equaling and exceeding more expensive processors, is where the desire for over clocking comes from.  Over clocking does have its limits though.  It is different for every chip; some can run at higher speeds before reaching maximum voltage and temperature barriers. 

Pros and Cons to Over clocking

While the thought of increasing your clock speed is intriguing, it is not guaranteed.  Default speeds are set where they are to provide solid performance at a standard voltage, and to keep the operating temperature of the processor under a safe level.  By increasing the clock speed above the designed limit, the internal transistors are switching on and off faster, and thus creating more heat.  Too much heat will cause performance degradation, and permanent damage.


  • Higher clock speeds and performance for less money
  • Capability to be running faster than any production processor available
  • Bragging rights with your buddies
  • Fun way to tweak and personalize your system



  • Processor will run at higher temperature
  • Need for more cooling
  • Possible system instability
  • Could permanently damage your processor and render it useless
  • Will point out weak parts of system, which you will then be compelled to upgrade


How To:

OverClock Intelligence Agency: 

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