As we frequently visit many online PC gaming communities, and sub-reddits, we’ve noticed that there are actually a lot of people who don’t have any experience with overclocking. This is troubling, since overclocking can actually provide a significant increase in performance at virtually no extra costs to the end-user, and while it may seem daunting at first, it has actually become increasingly less difficult to accomplish.
It is for these reasons that we’ve decided to bring you, our loyal viewers; A Beginner’s Guide to Overclocking Intel X99. We’ll start with a basic explanation of what overclocking is, run through some of the software used for overclocking as well as our hardware setup, and provide a simple, yet detailed guide to overclocking. Which should be easy to follow for even the most novice of users.
WHAT IS OVERCLOCKING?
We’d wager that most people reading this have probably heard the phrase used before, and likely even have some basic understanding of what it means. That being said, as this is a beginner’s guide, we will explain nonetheless.
In the context of PC components and hardware, overclocking refers to the process of modifying a piece of hardware such as a CPU or a graphics card, to run outside of the manufacturer’s rated specifications. Now, in doing so you may be thinking this will void your warranty, and for the most part you’d be right. However, lately overclocking has become less ‘taboo’ and much more accepted by component manufacturers, and in some cases is even sanctioned. Intel actually offers a protection plan specifically for overclocker’s, which you can purchase in addition to their standard 3-year warranty.
This is a good time for us to mention that overclocking your components may not only result in voiding of your manufacturer’s warranty, but also can degrade the life of your components, while drawing more power and generating more heat than stock configurations. You’ve been warned.
WHY SHOULD I OVERCLOCK?
At this point, after reading everything we’ve said above, you may be asking yourself “Why should I overclock?” and honestly, that is a perfectly reasonable question. The answer is pretty simple: Overclocking can provide performance gains equal to, or better than upgrading your existing hardware to the latest and greatest available. In some cases, it can be the difference between barely being able to run a game at 60 FPS and running it smoothly at 60 FPS or more. It can also provide significant performance increases in productivity software such as Photoshop or Premiere Pro and save you precious time.
To illustrate this, here is a benchmark of Photoshop CC comparing the difference between our Intel Core i7 5960X at Stock, and overclocked to 4.2GHz and 4.5GHz. (Results are measured in seconds, lower is better.)
But, there are many other reasons why people overclock; some do it for the bragging rights, some do it because they love to tinker, others for the challenge, hell there are even entire online communities dedicated to it and even world records for overclocking. Whatever your reason is, overclocking is definitely something every PC enthusiast should try at least once, and we hope this guide will encourage you to do so responsibly.
If you’ve read along this far, and you still want to make the plunge, jump over to the next page for our Hardware Overview.