Wondering how to overclock an Intel processor? Read our guide to find out how to do this. We will offer step-by-step overclocking instructions and some tips on how to maintain a safe overclocking level.
By the end of this article, you will not only know how to overclock a processor, but you will also feel confident doing it. Be sure to check out our accompanying guide on how to overclock your GPU
Can I overclock my Intel CPU?
Before we start, you need to know if it is actually possible to overclock your particular Intel processor. Fortunately, this is very easy to find out. Basically, there are two types of Intel processors – non-overclocked versions and K or X variants that can be overclocked.
For example, I have an Intel I7-7700K that can be overclocked. The I7-7700, on the other hand, is not overclocked. If you are not sure which model you have, follow these steps.
- Open the Windows Start menu.
- Enter dxdiag.
- Click dxdiag.
- On the System tab, find your processor.
- Here you will see the name of your processor.
See K or X in your processor name? Then you are good! Otherwise, you need to purchase an overclocked processor before you can follow this tutorial.
For your reference, the above is an example of what you should be looking for.
What you need to boost the speed of your Intel CPU
Before we start, you will need software and hardware to test if everything works in place. You will need the following.
- Prime95 for CPU stress testing.
- Core Temp for monitoring CPU temperature.
- The best cooler for the best temperature
The stock cooler that comes with your Intel processor is not very good and is not enough to keep your processor cool if you plan to overclock it. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you purchase a good aftermarket cooler.
There are many reasonably priced products on Amazon. One popular option is the air-cooled Hyper 212 EVO. If you prefer cooler temperatures, try the water-cooled Corsair Hydro H100 all-in-one. The Hyper 212 EVO costs $ 35 and the Hydro H100 will set you back $ 120.
Once you have the best cooler and software loaded from above, it’s time to run a stress test to make sure everything is working stably. First open Core Temp Then look at the far right corner of the taskbar – “click the Show Hidden Icons button.”
Now you will see some fluctuating numbers – they show the temperature of your processor cores. An example was given above.
When your processor is idle or not performing any extremely resource-intensive tasks, you should aim for temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. If your temperature rises, you should consider cleaning your cooler or updating it before trying to overclock.
Overclocking your processor will cause it to rise in temperature, but if it gets too hot, its performance will be degraded to lower the temperature, or stability issues may arise that could cause your PC to crash.
Then open Prime95 When you first open it, click “Just Stress Test” in the prompt that appears.
Select “mix” and click “OK”. Your computer will now be stress tested. All other programs may run slowly during this test, so you must close everything for a while.
It is recommended that you run the stress test for 5-10 minutes. During this time, you should monitor the CPU temperature using Core Temp
Your temperature should rise slowly as you test the mix, but eventually it will hit the wall and level out. This will give you a general idea of ??how far you can overclock the processor. Once this happens, you can stop the test. To stop the test, click Test in Prime95 in the upper left corner and then click Stop.
Ideally, the temperature should not exceed 70 degrees Celsius. In fact, you want to be as low as possible. As soon as you overclock the processor, the temperature rises higher than yours now.
Run your first overclocking – the easy way
Now that your Prime95 benchmark is complete, it’s time to do your first overclocking. To do this, turn off your computer and open BIOS settings. You will be presented with a number of options to choose from on the boot screen, and typically the BIOS setup key will be F1, F2, or Delete. Press it as soon as you notice what the key is.
Once you enter BIOS, you can follow these steps to perform your first overclocking. Please note that all BIOS menus are designed differently and some have more convenient overclocking features. You will need to find options equivalent to what I suggest below – they will be fairly easy to find.
First find “Advanced Frequency Settings” or similar.
You will see several options here. If you want the simplest solution, try CPU Upgrade, Auto Overclocking, or something similar.
Take a look at the image above for an example. With this feature, you can let the motherboard automatically overclock your processor. For testing purposes, I tried to take my 4.2GHz processor and upgrade to 4.8GHz.
For the next step, restart your computer, then open Prime95 again. Perform the same mixing test as before. While running, check the processor clock speed by following these steps.
Right-click the Windows button in the lower right corner.
Click on Task Manager.
Go to the Performance tab in Task Manager.
Pay attention to your “Speed” under the CPU tab.
If everything went well, you should see the new speed.
As you can see above, my full load speed is 4.79 GHz, although my “base speed” is still 4.2 GHz.
You should now run the test for at least 2 hours to check the stability. During the test, regularly monitor your temperature with Core Temp to keep track of how things are performing. At the same time, do not open background applications because your processor will be at its maximum.
After 2 hours of testing, you might ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer to all of the above questions is no, it’s time to put your processor to the test in gaming, streaming, or video editing. I hope you shouldn’t have any problems. If the value is greater than 80, blue screen or Prime95 warning / error appears, try setting lower value in BIOS.
Overclock payment – manual method
The following method should only be used after you have tried the automatic method and are still not happy with its performance.
This method will require you to run Prime95 benchmarks regularly as CPU voltage and maximum clock speed are gradually increased.
- For the first test, restart your computer.
- Enter the BIOS value when prompted.
- Open the “Extended Frequency” section or similar as before.
On this tab, you will see information about the current performance of your processor.
There are two important statistics to look out for: processor base frequency (BCLK) and clock multiplier or factor. It may differ in different BIOS menus.
In my case it is the base cpu frequency and cpu frequency as shown above. The base CPU unit is multiplied by a factor / multiplier to get your clock speed. For example, 42 Ã— 100.00 MHz. You should only increase the ratio / multiplier for stability reasons. We recommend starting by changing to 47 (4.7 GHz).
Then find the “Advanced Voltage” or “CPU Voltage” settings. Change it to 1.25, or if it’s already set to a higher default, leave it there.
Then save and exit and then restart your computer. Run Prime95 for 2 hours. Run Core Temp to control the temperature. If you have a blue screen, warnings, or your temperature is over 80, go back to BIOS and decrease the multiplier slightly.
If you don’t run into any problems, you can try to improve your performance a little further. Entering BIOS again, set the voltage to 1.30 and try increasing the multiplier to 49 (4.9 GHz). Save, exit and start Prime95 again.
In fact, you’re in luck if your processor runs higher unless you have a very good cooling system. You have to increase your voltage to get higher clock speeds, but this increases the temperature dramatically.
We would advise you never to exceed 1.40, but 1.35 is safe enough. With this voltage, you can overclock your processor to 5.0GHz, 5.1GHz, or possibly even higher. Every time you increase voltage and multiplier, you have to run Prime95 tests again. Before playing games or performing other CPU intensive tasks, it is important to check stability.
Thanks for reading our Intel Overclocking Guide. Did this guide help you? If not, or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you when c