How To Overclock a Pentium 4 Processor

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Overclocking is a process that allows a computer to operate faster than the specifications provided by the manufacturers. When one overclocks his computer, he essentially pushes the computer’s system way above the manufacturer’s own specifications. Overclocks can range between 30-50% and when successful, the computer can operate on stable conditions and in exactly the same condition as the default settings. The success in performing an overclocking would usually depend on the quality and brand name of the components with some brands of hardware overclocking better than the other brands or models. Overclocking a processor carries risks and when not properly executed, it can result in the frying of the computer’s processor, motherboard, add-on cards and RAM.

Materials Needed:
- Pentium 4 processors
- Computer
- Heat-sink compound
- Needle-nose pliers
- Computer fans
- Motherboard manual
- FreshDiagnose (optional)
- ShutDown NOW! (optional)
- and Belarc Advisor (optional)
Step 1
The user must first create a backup of all data files specially those which are critical to the user such as word-processing files, family photos, emails and processing documents.
Step 2
Flash the computer with the most recent BIOS update which can generally be located on the computer manufacturer’s website. An update of every computer software and drivers including critical operating-system updates must be performed. The user must also ensure that a current manual and user’s guides for the computer is at hand and if not, these can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
Step 3
Download a program that will monitor the computer. The user can download a free program known as FreshDiagnose or try to visit the PCPitstop website to execute diagnostics. The FreshDiagnose program is known to monitor the computer’s heat via its Sensors option. A program known as 'ShutDown NOW!' can also be downloaded to computers that have no automatic-shutdown options to allow automatic shutdown of the computer in case of overheating.
Step 4
Make sure that the processor has a good fan to minimize the excessive heat that can be produced with overclocking. The user has the option to perform an upgrade of the power supply if additional voltage is necessary.
Step 5
The user then restarts the computer and when the computer is turned on, goes into setup. Locate for advanced chipset functions in the BIOS screens and search for the 'voltage', 'clocks' or 'frequency/Voltage control options'. The processor can then be overclocked by increasing the front side 'CPU bus frequency' or the 'CPU FSB frequency'.
Step 6
The user then checks the BIOS memory options since overclocking the processor also results in overclocking of the memory and graphic card.
Step 7
Locate the appropriate voltage for the current processor speed which can be chosen from the menu for system voltage. With the computer’s motherboard manual, check if the processor had been overclocked through BIOS. The user may download and install the Belarc Advisor since this is a free program that could tell the user the configurations of the processor and the motherboard.