Up For Debate - What PC hardware do you overclock?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Mar 6, 2021 5:00 PM

We all love high performance gaming. As PC gamers we tend to move towards the fastest and shiniest hardware that we can afford in order to play our favorite games at better frame rates and with superior graphics. But there are ways of increasing performance with the hardware you already own, such as overclocking.

Overclocking is generally seen as something the enthusiasts get up to, like overclocking a CPU with liquid nitrogen cooling in order to play DOOM Eternal at 1000fps. It’s also mostly seen as something specific to processors or graphics cards, but you can also overclock your RAM if you want.

But overclocking is relatively simple as long as you know the risks and what to do if something goes wrong, because most of the time you can recover without any major damage to your system.

The downside is that you can often void your warranty, and with Intel discontinuing their Performance Tuning Protection Plan for overclocking customers, it has become a little bit more risky as of late.

Nevertheless, we want to hear from you if you do any overclocking, whether big or small, for your hardware. What kind of hardware do you overclock? By how much? And what use are you doing it for?

For instance, upping your GPU clock can improve frame rates in games, whilst overclocking your CPU or RAM can improve system performance or typical workstation applications. There are lots of reasons for overclocking besides gaming.

Manufacturers also even provide specific factory-overclocked hardware so that you don’t have to dabble with it when you slot it into your motherboard for the first time. But you can technically overclock them even further if you want to risk it, as manufacturers will ensure stability over performance and so won't push the overclock to as far as it can go usually.

So now over to you! Do you overclock any of your PC hardware? What PC hardware do you overclock? By how much? And for what reason do you overclock? Just for gaming? Or for work-related applications? Or just general system performance? Let us know!

Do you overclock any hardware?

What PC hardware do you overclock? Vote for multiple if you do

By how much do you overclock your CPU?

By how much do you overclock your GPU?

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15:06 Mar-09-2021

I go for cpu and gpu. Usually i go as far as i can, then low down 50 mhz (cpu) to ensure stability. Btw I usually tweak voltages, multipliers, LLC and such, but never tried per-core oc, i still don't feel so confident, and those times i tried tweaking ram timings and voltages i always ended up with boot failures. Gpu on the other hand ia too easy not to do that, i go for max mhz-min volt-fan speed

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11:07 Mar-08-2021

Generally, haven't touched the CPU beyond its normal boost software since i switched to Ryzen, but still overclock the GPU to whatever it will allow.

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06:27 Mar-08-2021

Pretty much everything ram cpu gpu

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01:46 Mar-11-2021

You're braver than most.
Was the performance boost noticeable?

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10:46 Mar-07-2021

i always OC my motherboard first and then my sound card! see if everything stable.
WTF is this ?

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11:15 Mar-07-2021

actually it's possible to overclock motherboard bus speed - years back that way I got a resulting overclock of locked Core i3 by 103MHz,
it's also possible to overclock for ex. monitor screen refresh rate, my monitor can do from 100Hz to 120Hz, but I don't need it

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13:13 Mar-08-2021

Ditto what Tzzsmk said! Back when I had an Alienware 18 laptop, I OC'd the base clock on the mobo to get to 3.7GHz on a locked CPU, then overclocked both GPUs and even overclocked the screen from 60Hz to 115Hz (laptop panels are generally better overclockers than desktop panels, I find, desktop panels going to only 75-82Hz on average). Don't lock yourself into a box, because the "wtf is this" is a wrong attitude here ;)

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09:47 Mar-07-2021

I always overclock CPU - sure it consumes more power, but for workload performance I need all cores to be boosting same clocks - so it's 1GHz overlock on my 5820K from 3.3 to 4.3GHz on all 6 cores;
and with GPU, recent cards boost on their own, so just dragging the power limit slider in Afterburner to the far right, so the card does OC automatically until reaching power delivery limits

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14:08 Mar-08-2021

Playing with ram and gpu speed will allow to go even higher. Hell, I change thermal paste and pads if I'm feeling like I want the higher push.

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14:33 Mar-08-2021

nice!
I'm comfortable with modest OC, since I use just an air cooler and prefer silence mostly (Noctua NH-U14S)

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17:02 Mar-10-2021

I doubled checked some of the other 1080ti bios out there and found some sweet memory clocks that help out some too.

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03:14 Mar-07-2021

CPU first and foremost - jumping from 3GHz to 4.3-4.6 is not something you can ignore the gains from on 5960X chips. GPU - depends on the season (winter offers better cooling than toasty summer days, lol) and what I'm playing, but I do tend to OC those as well.

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12:33 Mar-07-2021

You often speak you run your CPU OCd, but I don't remember seeing what cooling you use? 3 to 4.6 is a massive overclock so the CPU is probably a lot toastier than usual. Do you have a custom watercooling loop, AIO or just good old heatsink?

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12:57 Mar-07-2021

I can run it at 4.6 for some games, 4.5 for most stuff, but for heavy AVX work (3D and video rendering) I have to dial it down to 4.3 as I get crashes. Yes, the CPU is a lot toastier than stock, but it's handled well by the Corsair H115i AiO, no custom loop. I'm not even that great at overclocking, I don't do long stability tests and such - I have no patience for it. I just know my stable clocks for the work that the PC does and use that :D
I'm sure other people could dial it to precisely where it needs to be so it performs its best, but whatever :D

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02:22 Mar-07-2021

Mostly GPU and CPU since i choose ryzen, i once oc ram but never noticed much improvement at least not in games compared to oc the cpu and even oc the gpu i get 2 to 3 fps more because it was factory oc

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00:07 Mar-07-2021

Personally, I kind of stopped overclocking stuff, because with all boosting technologies, gains you get with overclocking aren't all that huge. Plus I tend to be on lazy side. Plus my current case was bought with lower TDP parts in mind, so I definitely need to upgrade that. Original plan was to get new case with new graphic card and CPU... well, things went downhill since then,...

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00:11 Mar-07-2021

... then again that is if downhill is more like a cliff and at bottom you have miners, scalpers, pandemic,... all lurking to get you. Maybe I should have taken Doomguys advice on dealing with things down the cliff, but I left minigun in pocket of my other pants. Talking about pulling weapons out of pocket, I just remembered, Serious Sam released at some released in between the madness...

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00:12 Mar-07-2021

... at least now I know what to play next. I totally forgot about that. I think it was in September of 2020. I think I will go and do that now.

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23:48 Mar-06-2021

It's free performance, I think everybody who feels comfortable with it should overclock their hardware

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00:27 Mar-07-2021

Nothing is free. Integrated circuits all have some rated values for everything. Overclocking is mostly safe, within reason, but will always degrade the components faster.

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02:29 Mar-07-2021

Yeah, i overclocked my gtx 1060 6gb to the max since 2016 and it still plays games with the same oc from 5 years ago, i thought oc your gpu reduced its lifespan by a lot but doesnt seem that way, in fact no component has died on me even after years of overclock, cpus, RAM, gpus, etc, as you say it is free performance.

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22:17 Mar-06-2021

my old i7 4770k was oc'ed from its 3.9 upto 4.4ghz and im currently running the recommended OC from gamers nexus on my 1070. 50mhz core, 600mhz mem.
are we calling XMP/DOCP ram OCing? if so ive got my 8pack ripped running 3600mhz with 14-15-15-35 timings

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22:17 Mar-06-2021

not bothered with CPU yet as why rinse my electricity bill when the 5600x can smash anything i throw at it?

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14:11 Mar-08-2021

Only 50mhz? I thought a desktop you would go higher. My laptop 1070 slams right into 2ghz. I know they are slightly different versions but the laptop starts out with lower clocks and more cores.

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15:08 Mar-08-2021

i dunno tbh mate, i got pink screen of death and burning smell from ocing my old pailit 970, so this time i just copied the settings they had for the evga 1070 sc3.0

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17:01 Mar-10-2021

Use those settings, max out all your power limits and let the card run. Try in a benchmark and if it crashes or something, lower it by 5mhz and try again. Keep going until it's stable. That should net you some extra performance.

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21:13 Mar-06-2021

Why can't I vote on mobile?

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23:24 Mar-06-2021

A long time now. Once i scrolled down and somehow it clicked a vote. no idea how

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02:30 Mar-07-2021

For some reason it does not register even on pc sometimes, it is really weird

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20:22 Mar-06-2021

for sure 200++ for gpu. i have it +380 for memory and +180 for core

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19:04 Mar-06-2021

I usually tinker only with cpu's, gpus and ram i leave alone because ram is pain to oc and gpu's boosting algorithm already made oc obsolete quite a while ago. Cpu overclocking is pretty much obsolete as well but i personally find it much more comfortable and safe (just a personal preference)

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17:14 Mar-06-2021

I do love to tinker dellided cpu(5.0ghz 1.32V) with a overkill 360mm aio, gpu oc and 3200mhz XMP ram oc to 3333mhz with tighter timings. Next build i will probably run stock so much hassle with OC.

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18:01 Mar-06-2021

A lot of ppl share your opinion on that matter.
I personally don't do manual OCing unless it's absolutely necessary (like I can't play a game at reasonable framerates) etc...

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