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ForumsITGeneral • Too much time on your hands?
TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS?
By: raymond25
What is "over clocking?" It is still done today... what is/was the point of doing that?
May 12, 2014 at 11:41am
By: jdorman
Overclocking is a long and history filled subject. I'll try to be brief as there is a character limit here. From the punch card computers at Los Alamos to the power tools on Tool Time humans like to get more out of what they pay for as well as to push the limits and efficiency of computing system. For home computers overclocking is when you speed up the clock. So a device that used to run at 100 Hertz could be over-clocked to 110 Hertz giving it a 10% boost in performance. This type of overclocking is still extremely common and comes built into most modern hardware. The method stems from the way in which silicon chips are manufactured and sold. A 1Ghz CPU is rated to perform at least 1Ghz. So when the chips are manufactured they are tested and graded. The higher performing chips are sold as 1.33Ghz, the mid-level chips may be sold as 1Ghz and lower performing chips as 800Mhz. This is just the minimum tested rating of the chip. Over-clocking use this knowledge to take any of the grades of chips and start upping the clock-speed in small increments until the system becomes unstable. At that point the user will back the clocks down slightly and continue testing until the system is stable. This can give the user who purchased a $100 1Ghz CPU the same performance as a $200 1.33Ghz CPU or the user who purchased the $200 1.33Ghz CPU a performance level not available on the market.

While there are risks associated to increasing the voltage, system clock and memory clock on various devices users tend to weigh the risk of "frying" a device against the potential performance gains.

In many cases such as password recovery and crypto-currency mining over-clocking translates into an increase in income per second for the user. When you are figuring cost vs income instead of cost vs performance for gaming it becomes clear that overclocking can pay off the risk rather quickly.
May 14, 2014 at 12:55pm
By: adrianswift
Well for some its much like rock climbing.
Because they can.
Others do it for notoriety or financial gain. The recent conference in Hong Kong saw Intel fork over 25,000 dollars to the group that could over clock their new processor the most... to a stable speed.

Todays modern processors have thermal locks in place to prevent damage to the hardware. In days of old (or on cheap processors) it was entirely possible to melt the core by over clocking it. These days, the processor will enter an Idle state when the temperature passes a certain predefined level. Over clocking with todays hardware is relatively safe (but not fool proof).
July 31, 2014 at 2:12pm