Overclocking and Underclocking is a way in which the user can alter the amoutn of power being sent to the CPU to speed it up or slow it down. This has many consequences and advantages. Overclocking is usually used by gamers that want to get the most out of the computer and Underclocking can be used by business users. the amount of power goign to the CPU is set my the manufacture as a stable and safe amount, computer enthusiasts enjoy experimenting with this value to speed up the proccessor, this is called overclocking. Some users even purchase low-end proccessors to simply overclock once they get back home, however due to the proccessor runnign at extemem speeds it can very easily overheat, this is why users that overclock usually purchase a very large heat sink, fan or cooling system to keep the proccessor cool at these very high tempratures. There has been cases where the CPU has got so hot that it has burnt straight throught the motherboard.
Types of software called Benchmarks are used to monitor the performance of the users computer, these peices of software are very important to a user attempting to overclock there machine, it allows them to monitor the after affect of overclocking/underclocking. Some people even see it as a sport.
A CPU can also be underclocked, this is when the user lowers the amount of electricity goign to the CPU, this is good but the performance of the CPU in the short term will be less.
- The user can purchase lower-end and cheaper CPU's, so that they can overclock them to the same sort of levels as more expensive CPU's.
- Better porformance when using high-end software or games.
- Overclocking can also be seen as a hobby/sport, so soem people do it simply for fun to see how far they can push it before it goes too hot to handle.
- The disadvantages of overclocking is that the the life span of the CPU is greatly reduced due to the heat generated without cooling systems it can wear very quickly.
- Overclocking can also result in the CPU literally exploding if pushed to the limit (picture below).
- Overclocking the CPU will result in a higher electricity consuption, increasing costs and your eco footprint.
- The fans used to cool down overclocked CPU's can be very load and very large.
- If you have a manufactures warranty then it may be voided when overclocking.
- Of course there is a risk of causing damage to other peices of hardware in your computer if the CPU is not cooled fully.
- Reduces Heat generated.
- Reduces Electricity consumption.
- Longer hardware life span.
- Increases battery life.
- Reduces noise as larger fans are not required.
- You don't get the full potential out of the CPU.