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How I went from zero to overclocking in 30 minutes

Martyn Williams | June 7, 2016
Intel's XTU app makes overclocking easy and a lot of fun.

Based on advice from an overclocking expert, I next focused on the clock frequency and took it up to 101MHz. That had the effect of pushing the chip to 4.44GHz and resulted in a benchmark of 2,683.

Then I adjusted the amount of cache memory used by the processor and got a higher score: 2,717 -- a 27 percent increase from my starting point.

The blue screens were becoming more frequent and the adjustments I was making were becoming finer and more exotic. But it was also becoming more fun as I started to battle with the system for stable performance.

A small change I made in one place had an effect on another side of the performance, and it was getting to be much more of a game to keep pushing the benchmark number higher while preventing the machine from crashing.

I could see how this has become a competitive electronic sport.

My benchmarks were in competition, and I ended up in 28th position in the Asia amateur qualifier competition of the overclocking World Series. The winner had managed to push the processor to 4.58GHz.

To get to the top of the league, overclockers turn to liquid nitrogen poured directly onto the chip to keep it cool while they push it even harder. My system was a more modest water-cooled setup.

After about 30 minutes of trial and error, I decided to call an end to my overclocking career -- at least for now.

 

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