what is over clocking?

  mad1234 11:29 12 Oct 2006

basically i'd like to know what overclocking is.

i am still looking at this damn pc & trying to figure out whats wrong with it.
it works some of the time & i have tried the elimination game with the hardware but i seem to have an intermittant problem & thought could it be overclocking but i don't know what it is to eliminate that as a possible cause

thanks in advance

  sean-278262 11:41 12 Oct 2006

Overclocking is basically making a computer run faster than it is rated to. This has several drawbacks

- More heat produced needs to be removed
- Less stable till you get it right which can take days
- Takes ages to get it right.
- if you get it wrong you will end up replacing parts and that costs a lot.

Plus sides are really only

- 1-2fps in most games. Some only even manage 0.5fps more after an overclock. It isnt worth it in my opinion having tried it as the risk of killing the parts is high. It is better just to get a new processor/ram/gfx if you really need that boost.

  Totally-braindead 11:48 12 Oct 2006

The biggest problem with overclocking is heat as has been said.
I would not try it myself as my computer runs fine as it is and I can't afford to replace it if things go wrong.
Basically you run the components harder than they are designed to. For example if your processor runs at 2Ghz perhaps you can force it to run at say 2.4Ghz but it isn't designed to run at this speed so it will stress it and it would probably fail sooner, that is if the overheat didn't kill it.
When people overclock they have to change coolers, add extra fans and anything else they can think of in order to cool it down.
I personally think its not worth it as you don't get a significant increase in performance.

  Belatucadrus 12:02 12 Oct 2006

As to overclocking is a result of a series of deliberate actions that you clearly haven't taken, it's extremely unlikely that it's the cause of your intermittent problem. Unless the PC had a previous owner who felt the urge to meddle.
What exactly is the problem ?

  mad1234 12:13 12 Oct 2006

what isn't the problem!
the pc intermittantly crashes,locks up, restarts, gets errors, won't let me install stuff, crashes when i connect to internet.
i took the hard drive out & plugged it into another pc & it worked a treat-no problems what so ever but as soon as i put it back it starts again. i have checked & re-installed drivers for all hardware & it made no difference.
i have been looking on the internet for some diagnostic tools but the damn thing won't let me install them!!
it's going out the window soon!

  brundle 12:16 12 Oct 2006

try another power supply

  brundle 12:17 12 Oct 2006

and run a memory test from a self-booting floppy click here

  mad1234 13:30 12 Oct 2006

mem test is still running & i am getting multiple errors but i don't know how to interpret the errors
can anyone help?

  vinnyT 13:31 12 Oct 2006

To help you rule out overclocking, go into the bios and find the 'restore to default values' key.

  mad1234 13:49 12 Oct 2006

did that when i first started looking at this pc just in case bios was the cause of my problems. so i know now it can't be overclocking. thanks

  keef66 14:08 12 Oct 2006

If you're getting errors reported by Memtest, don't worry about interpreting the results, just replace the memory cos it's clearly duff.

Borrow a known good stick of ram if someone can lend you something compatible, and remove all your current memory.

Defective memory can cause all the symptoms you report and more.

That's what I did when my pc started acting the goat; both 256 mb sticks appeared to be faulty according to Memtest. Went to the Crucial site and ordered just one stick in case it wasn't the RAM, but that sorted all the probs so now I've bumped it up to 1gb an it's flying.

Occasionally I Memtest the pc and I get absolutely no errors reported.

Bear in mind, you could replace the defective RAM and find you still have another problem. PSU as mentioned by brundle is another possibility which is easiest to diagnose by putting in a known good one.

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