Sunday, 13 June 2010

Thou shalt not overclock

The computer components have the specifications they are designed to meet. The specifications are there for reason. Most particularily, the reason of stability. If the CPU is rated for, say, 2.0 GHz frequency, this means it would run flawlessly at 2.0 GHz. If you find a way to force it to 3.0 GHz, all bets are off.

The art of running the components faster than they are rated for is called "overclocking". Some pretty amazing results were achieved, especially if one throws in some nonstandard technology, along the lines of liquid nitrogen cooling. Unfortunately, there is one thing all these achievements lack - the stability.

Overclocked system tends to bite its owner one day. Even if it runs fine for a while, the overclocked system tends to degrade faster, and may soon degrade to the point where it fails to perform.

Take this long story for example. It involves a long list of suspected components: PSU, RAM, dying CPU, you name it. Lo and behold, simple revert to the rated speeds fixes the problem. The owner is lucky that the filesystem did not crash during the troubleshooting. If you boot up with the CPU or memory not functioning properly, filesystem crashes (either partial or leading to the raw file system state) are more than likely. In this particular case, looks like CHKDSK took proper care of the filesystem. However, does not look like the end of story just yet - i'm going to give it a few days and attempt a small overclock again. Yep, just a small one.

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