Identify all important CPU characteristics, labeled on the CPU case, marked on the box, or specified in the documentation. These data include processor clock frequency, CPU bus frequency, and supply voltage. It is recommended that you memorize or write down this information.
Power down the computer, remove the case from the system unit, and consult the documentation supplied with the motherboard.
When working with the opened case of the system unit, avoid static electricity, which can damage sensitive semiconductor elements. It is recommended that you touch the case with your hand before proceeding. It would be even better to hold the case with one hand during your work. Besides this, avoid dropping any objects, especially metallic ones, on the device boards. If an object does fall, remove it immediately; be very careful when performing this operation.
Locate the motherboard jumpers responsible for setting the values of the multiplier, the CPU bus frequency, and the CPU core voltage.
Consult the documentation to check the jumper settings, then figure out the required settings for the multiplier, the CPU bus frequency, and the CPU supply voltage. Memorize or write down these data.
Consider efficient CPU cooling. This is very important!
Carefully consider and plan processor overclocking, including the most important parameters and the procedure of setting these values.
Following the instructions provided in the documentation, change the CPU bus frequency and/or multiplier.
Check all settings carefully.
Power on the computer.
If your computer operates normally, the POST routine was completed successfully, and the BIOS Setup (CMOS Setup) was loaded, proceed to Step 15.
If the computer doesn't start, power it down, restart the computer, then try to slightly increase the supply voltage of the CPU and/or the memory. Before proceeding with these operations, it is necessary to consult the documentation.
If the computer still does not start successfully (the BIOS is not loaded), then abandon your attempts to overclock the processor to this frequency and set new values for the multiplier and bus frequency.
Enter the BIOS Setup program and change the required values, if necessary.
If the operating system started successfully, start testing. The list of recommended tests includes such popular programs as Winstone, WinBench, SYSmark, and 3DMark. In general, the more tests you run, the better. Contemporary games also can be good tests. If the tests were successful, the overclocking procedure has been accomplished. Proceed with the optimization of other subsystems. (This topic will be covered in more detail later in this book.) Note that if your motherboard doesn't provide the capability of managing PCI and AGP frequencies independent of the FSB frequency, processor overclocking must be accomplished in parallel with other subsystems.
If tests were accomplished correctly, you successfully overclocked your computer.
If there were failures during the tests, repeat Steps 12–16.
A general recommendation is as follows: Do not increase the voltage if there is no need to do so. A voltage increase is accompanied by greater heat generation. If cooling facilities are not improved, this increases CPU overheating, which has a negative effect on overall system stability and decreases the time before failure. Because of this, efficient cooling should never be neglected.
Increasing the supply voltages of specific elements increases the risk of overheating and failure.
The newest operating systems, such as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, may become unstable after overclocking. Windows 9x/ME might operate smoothly. This disparity is the result of the high requirements imposed by Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 on computer hardware. Running these powerful operating systems on overclocked hardware is a test in itself. If this test is passed successfully (i.e., the system retains its stability), then it's OK. If the system couldn't withstand this test, overclocking is unstable and unreliable. Therefore, to ensure smooth operation, it is necessary to set other parameters.