Overclock bundle

  VNAM75 02:38 12 Dec 2010

I'm looking to spend £400 max on a overclock bundle from the Overlockers site. I'm stuck between the choice of a i5 760 and a 1055T, with the AMD being slightly cheaper and with 6 cores but with similiar performance to the Intel I think.

Which one represents better value for money? Whats it like using/owning a overclocked machine - is it like receiving a free performance upgrade? I'm sure they know what they're doing and don't overclock the cpus beyond their limits but is overclocking in general a good idea?

Alternatively, I can buy the components separately from say ebuyer and overclock it myself which would save me around £30.

  Terry Brown 11:45 12 Dec 2010

With overclocking, it is the same as running a car at full throttle, yes, you will get better performance, however there is a good chance you will shorten the life of your motherboard and possible CPU.

If you proceed with this,(I assume you want it for gaming or Hi-Def Video processing), remember to have good ventilation around the computer to allow the extra heat to flow away.

Depending on the age of your computer, you may be better off, buying a new machine.

  GaT7 13:38 12 Dec 2010

As long as the temperatures & voltages are not overdone/pushed to their limits, overclocking is very safe these days, as most mid to high-end hardware (CPUs & motherboards especially) are meant for overclocking. This can be seen in several independent reviews & some companies offering pre-overclocked bundles or systems & with a warranty.

Yes, you could overclock it yourself. There are many good guides out there. Get a good CPU cooler & remember to overclock in small increments while keeping a close eye on temperatures & voltages. You'll also need a good quality PSU. G

  OTT_B 15:57 12 Dec 2010

"Whats it like using/owning a overclocked machine - is it like receiving a free performance upgrade?"

Well, that would depend on what you do with your PC. If you regularly encode / recode videos and audio, then yes, it can be very much a performance upgrade (at a cost of higher energy usage), but also requires the right software to ensure you gain the maximum benefit. I.e. software that will properly utilise as many processor cores that you have.
The gains software such as MS Office and web browsers from overclocking may be almost intangible.

Gaming can benefit, but pound for pound, you get better results from upgrading graphic cards.

I have 3 BIOS setups for my PC; low power (under clocked), normal and mental overlcock.

The vast majority of the time it is booted into low power. That's because most of the time I'm surfing the web and using office apps. That saves around 150W.

Normal is close to BIOS default settings for the processsor and motherboard. Mostly used for gaming and when I've got a lot of multi tasking work to do. Draws around 350 - 500W power (500W if gaming).

The mental overclock is for when i've got large scale data analysis work to do, or a lot of video encoding. This represents close to a 50% performance gain from 'normal' mode, but draws up to around 750W at the socket, without the graphic cards really doing any work.

So, yes I would say it is worth it because with the right motherboard and a lot of patience to get the overclock right, you can end up with a very flexible PC.

As has already been mentioned, get a good CPU cooler and make sure you case if properly vented for all components. The Promlitech Megahalems is one of the best on the market at the moment. click here

  OTT_B 15:59 12 Dec 2010

Sorry, typos a plenty there:

Meant to say "Prolimatech Megahalems"

  AL47 16:28 12 Dec 2010

I learnt a lot from overclocking mine

I have an i7 920 which is 2.67ghz stock and having never overclocked before I found it pretty easy to get to 3.8ghz which is an extra 1ghz per core

I have a noctua cooler

Only reason I needed it was due to encoding blue ray isos which takes only 7 hours with that overclock otherwise without it it wouldn't be done before I leave for work

The only real benefit is for tasks like that, I have 2 settings, overclocked and stock tho low power does sound a good idea

  VNAM75 21:20 12 Dec 2010

Thanks everyone, interesting and useful advice. Most of the time (95%) I will be using the pc for the internet and normal office work. I've always thought overclocking brings out untapped/wasted performance potential available in your cpu, as long as it is done sensibly. So for me, say its possible to overclock a cpu by 1ghz without increasing voltage, I would opt to increase it by 70-80%, ie.0.7-0.8ghz. I've never overclocked a cpu btw.

With an overclocked machine, does it actually use the extra ghz even when idling or doing light work? So, would a machine with a standard 3ghz pc running just firefox use less energy than the same cpu but overclocked to say 4ghz?

OTT_B, how does your 3 bios setups work? Do you select which mode you want when you boot up your pc?

  OTT_B 21:37 12 Dec 2010

"does it actually use the extra ghz even when idling or doing light work? "

No, not normally. There is a BIOS feature on most motherboards which allows the CPU to 'throttle back' when the processing power is not needed - it's a good energy saver and the transition period to its unthrottled state is very very fast, so almost imperceptible. However, because of the way that mobo settings work, an overclocked PC when throttled is usually more energy hungry than a PC that isn't overclocked.
The benefits from overlclocking on normal web surfing really are minimal. Like I put in my original post, I actually UNDERCLOCK my PC for most of the time! My media center is permanently underlcoked, with a (2.4GHz?) Core 2 Duo processor running at around 1.8GHz.

"I would opt to increase it by 70-80%"

That would be one almighty overclock! Not in line with a 1GHz increase on your possible processors either! If you go for iro of a 30% - 40% overclock then that may be achievable for a lot of systems. But keep in mind that not all CPUs will overclock by much - the vast majority will, but not all.

"Do you select which mode you want when you boot up your pc?"

Yes, exactly. My BIOS allows me to store different profiles. The underclock is the default. If I want a different one then I go into the BIOS at boot up, select the profile I want and reboot.

Overclocking is a very very good way to learn about what is going on in the internals of your PC. If its occurred to you to do it then I would suggest you do. Providing you take it easy there's no reason why it would risk damaging any components. Read, read a lot, then read some more on the subject. Then give it a go!

  VNAM75 21:45 12 Dec 2010

OTT_B, thanks. I will buy the components and try doing it myself.

  OTT_B 21:52 12 Dec 2010

Good for you! Let us know how you get on...

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