Overclocking is the act of running a piece of computer hardware beyond its designed specifications. This is done by increasing the clock rate of the computer hardware. PC enthusiasts and hardcore PC gamers overclock their components to transform a mediocre computer into a fast one. In many instances, already fast computers are overclocked to yield incredibly powerful machines.
The computer components that can be overclocked include the central processing unit, motherboard, RAM modules and the gaming graphics card. An overclocked video card can give you extra speed next time you play your favorite PC game!
Many gaming graphics cards come with a standard clock speed that is specified by the video card manufacturer. To increase the performance of these video cards, you can modify their clock speeds.
Note that overclocking will render your warranty null and void though! Finding a manufacturer that covers warranty for overclocking is very rare. If you modify the standard settings of you video card, there is a chance that you will damage the card. Thus, you should only overclock your video card if you have a spare one that is ready to use.
To its credit, PC card manufacturer ATI offers overclocking software for those who want to experiment with the performance settings of their ATI video cards. You can also download a third-party overclocking software to do the job. These software can allow you to change several settings including the core clock speed, the memory clock speed and the fan speed.
To minimize hardware crashes, only introduce small increments at a time to. You will know that you have overstepped your limits if your graphics become corrupted. This means you should decrease your speed adjustments.
To gauge the overclocking performance of your video card, you also need benchmarking software. This software can help you obtain the best possible overclocking configuration for your gaming video card.