Secrets of the extreme overclockers

How the pros manage 8GHz and beyond

Sometimes, though, it can result in problems. Clapham reckons at least one company understates memory voltage in its BIOS settings in order to make it appear that faster speeds can be achieved at stock currents.

The result, all too often, is RAM that burns out early from being overcharged. The only way to be sure is to physically measure the current to the memory controller with a voltmeter: something that hardware reviewers are unlikely to do, but a hardened overclocker might.

What all this exposure means is that 'serious' overclocking is getting more popular – despite the high cost of kit in these financially strained times: "We've seen a turning point this year," says Yasukazu Shimokawa, "Especially among young people, and the overall population of overclockers has increased a lot."

If, however, you're tempted by the increasing amounts of glory heaped on top overclockers and the possibility of sharing in the emerging prize funds and sponsorship pots, it's worth being sure of your motivation.

Do it for the thrill of extracting performance from your machine or just being more creative with your rig than those who are happy to install a PC and leave it. Don't do it for the cash, and don't forget that the roots of the hobby/sport are still as relevant now as they were at the beginning.

"When people realise that the basic point of overclocking is to make a cheap computer perform the same as a more expensive one," concludes Clapham, "Their eyes light up."

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First published in PC Format, Issue 222

Now read The ultimate guide to overclocking

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