overclocking

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overclocking

(hardware)
Any adjustments made to computer hardware (or software) to make its CPU run at a higher clock rate than intended by the original manufacturers. Typically this involves replacing the crystal in the clock generation circuitry with a higher frequency one or changing jumper settings or software configuration.

If the clock rate is increased too far, eventually some component in the system will not be able to cope and the system will stop working. This failure may be continuous (the system never works at the higher frequency) or intermittant (it fails more often but works some of the time) or, in the worst case, irreversible (a component is damaged by overheating). Overclocking may necessitate improved cooling to maintain the same level of reliability.

overclock

To speed up the computer beyond the manufacturer's specifications in order to run faster. Common in the gaming world, overclocking the CPU is accomplished by changing the clock ratio of the frontside bus (FSB) in the BIOS setup (see CPU multiplier). Older methods were changing a jumper on the motherboard or changing the clock crystal. Although enhanced cooling systems are typically added when a CPU is overclocked, over time, the CPU or the motherboard may not be able to handle the increased speed. Contrast with underclock. See mod, multiplier lock and CPU cooler.