|Intel Core-i3/i5/i7 LGA1156 Overclocking Guide|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Tuesday, 24 August 2010|
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Intel LGA1156 Core i3/i5/i7 Overclocking Guide
Editor's Note: Before starting, you should know that any kind of overclocking normally invalidates your product's warranty. While many products come pre-overclocked, brands usually don't accept you to get extra performance for free. In this case, 3 components will be overclocked: CPU, RAM and motherboard. If you're a beginner, read the whole guide before starting, or (better) print it to have it around while your PC is being tested. Benchmark Reviews won't be responsible for any damaged component caused by overclocking.
I know, the first paragraph makes it look like a very dangerous action, but don't be scared, it isn't. In fact, I can tell you that every CPU tested in this article is completely alive and running 100% stable at the moment of publishing this article, even I tested with "dangerous" voltage levels. If you're a beginner or you haven't overclocked any LGA1156 (or similar) platform before, you need to understand the basic concepts of the commonly-used variables and the process of overclocking: raise frequency, test stability, confirm and raise frequency again until you can't complete this sequence.In our Intel LGA 1156 Overclocking Guide, we're not covering performance's change obtained by raising your CPU/RAM speed. That has been covered a lot in every CPU Review we've done in the past. It's your duty to read them and find out if overclocking is worth to you depending on your daily applications/uses by reading our past articles. But if you want it resumed, all I can say is that there's a sweet point where overclocking won't take lots of extra potency (watts) to increase MHz. If you're looking for a basic (but decent) frequency, you should overclock without applying extra voltage and find your sweet point. We're doing some extra analysis regarding CPU voltage, temperatures and power consumption, but again, performance difference won't be shown in this article.
Benchmark Reviews recently launched our Opinion & Editorials section. The reason I'm telling you this is because we published a little article called: "Desktop Platform: Killed by Overclocking". What it mentions is true. PC brands have taken control of overclocker's market and have evolved it to make it a feature/product which nowadays is a "must" for any PC component. I can't say overclocking has "died" with this kind of evolution, but many people consider it not as "pure" as it was before. Overclock has been made easy and there are big chances of watching people overclock their PC without knowing how does it works. Heck, many brands already include a basic overclock function/button in their motherboards which you just need to press and voila, you've overclocked your CPU/RAM in 2 minutes without any effort.
If you really love to overclock, you'll quickly start reading guides and comments about your components, as we always do it at first. Chances are that you'll be interested on getting extra performance with the best setup and you might start buying a new heatsink and super-featured (and expensive) components to reach your desires. Reality is, unless you're a "true" overclocker or love benchmarking every component, you'll stop at a point where you'll just want to get the best value for your money without buying expensive Extreme Edition CPUs or $700 USD motherboards with $300 RAM kits. This guide will show you how to overclock your Core i3/i5/i7 processor in a modest setup to obtain interesting gains without selling your kidneys to afford it.
I normally think we (people) need to take any advantage possible in our lives. If something is going wrong, just give it a 180º turn and learn what you need to learn from it. While brands have done overclocking as a "feature" of them, keep in mind they won't care about some people not wanting to take advantage of it, especially since they've got to compete between each other to produce the best products. So, let's take that advantage and overclock the hell out of our PCs while keeping them "safe" and to the point where you increase your efficiency instead of reducing it just for a few more MHz. Should we start now? Follow me to the next page...