The Science of Overclocking

Processor

When you buy a computer’s processor, that processor’s core speed is usually preset at a certain level. But for many PC enthusiasts, the preset core speed will not stop them from determining the upper limits of a processor’s capabilities so they overclock these processors.Overclocking is a process in which a processor’s stated speed is pushed to its upper limits is a way for PC enthusiasts to exploit and get more speed from their existing PC components, most frequently the processor. For example, an AMD AthlonXP 2500+, a processor that was quite famous for its high overclockability, has been tweaked by many enthusiasts and after overclocking its frequencies was able to make it run up to a speed that is similar to an AthlonXP 2800+. That is a decent bump in speed that does not require buying anything else.

This concept of buying a processor and then bumping up its performance to approximate the speeds of more expensive variants is the reason why overclocking is very popular. In fact, there are small groups of PC “geeks” that make it some sort of bragging rights to be able to increase the speed of a computer part (say a processor) to its most upper limit and past the previously recorded overclocked speed.

But before you do it though, be aware that overclocking, although it sounds like fun, has its own dangers. First of all, overclocking a computer part basically voids its warranty. So if something happens to the particular part then you can’t have it replaced even if it is still under warranty. Which leads me to my second warning. Overclocked computer parts run significantly hotter than when it is running at stock speeds. Overheated parts can cause crashes and even general system failures.

Increase RAM by minimizing applications

RAM

A computer’s RAM plays a big role in how fast a system will respond. This is because information or data that is already in the RAM makes accessing that data faster than getting it from the hard drive. Of course, the more RAM is used by other applications, the smaller the amount of available RAM that a processor will use for other functions – and this will generally result in a general system slowdown.One way to make a system run faster is to get more RAM for your system. But this is an expensive solution. A far simpler and more cost effective method is by more conscientiously using the available RAM in your system.

In order to illustrate this, try to start any application. For example, Word. Open a few documents and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to access the Windows Task Manager. Go to Processes and then sort the list in a descending order based on Memory Usage. You will see that winword.exe (the executable file for Word) is near the top using a significant amount of RAM.

Now go to Word and then minimize the application. After doing this go back to Windows Task Manager and look for winword.exe again. You will immediately notice that the amount of used RAM by Word has drastically gone down.

So in order for you to maximize the usage of your computer’s RAM you should minimize each and every application that is not in use so that you can free up RAM space and thus result in a better performing system.

Choosing a video card: Different Slot Types

Video card

A video card is one of the most crucial parts of your computer. Without it, you will not be able to see anything on your monitor – and what good is a computer where you can’t see anything right?With the advent of PC gaming, video cards have become caught in a constant cycle of improvements to bring the most realistic level of graphics to gamers and even casual computer users.

So what if you are a gamer, what should you be looking for a video card in order to get the most gaming goodness out of this PC peripheral?

First of all, you must decide what kind of connection the video card will be using in your motherboard. Currently, there are three video card slot types that are used by mother boards.

PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect is considered as the old standard and was quite popular in computer systems years ago. PCI video cards are relatively faster than integrated video options (a built in video card on the motherboard) but is the slowest among the dedicated graphics slot types. This option is actually considered as obsolete.

AGP or Accelerated Graphics Port is the acknowledged standard for graphics and only one AGP port can exist in a motherboard. The current AGP standard is called AGP 3.0 or otherwise known as AGP 8x. AGP is much faster than PCI because it has a dedicated connection.

The newest kid on the block is called PCI-Express or PCI-E. This is the fastest among three video slot types. More and more motherboards are now offering PCI-E slots for video cards. Each lane in PCI-E is clocked at 2.5Gigabits per second. Most high end video cards usually come in PCI-E variants to showcase its high-quality graphics capabilities.