How do I know if I can overclock my CPU? (Explained)

Whether you’re a beginner or mediate in the PC world, you’ve probably heard of CPU overclocking.

This exercise helps PC enthusiasts to get all the power available from the CPU and use it to perform gaming, programming, designing and editing, and other heavy tasks.

Some CPU models are designed entirely for overclocking,  while  others  are not, read on if you want to know if there are any in your System.

This post give you several ways to determine which CPUs and motherboards are installed on your PC.

To find out if you can overclock it, you need to know the specifications of the CPU model. If you already know your CPU brand and model, go to the next step.

1. Setting

  • Press your keyboard’s Windows + I button to open the Settings app.
  • Select System in the main menu.
  • Go to the About section.
  • Under Device Details, look for Processor Title.
  • Here you will see your CPU’s name, model, and speed.

2. Task manager

  • Right-click the Start icon and select Task Manager from the list.
  • You’ll see the name and speed of your CPU, along with other helpful information, including its real-time usage data and number of cores.

3. Control panel

  • Go to the System and Security portion and select System.
  • You will find the processor heading under the System section.
  • Your CPU model and speed will be very close to that.

4. CPU-Z

  • CPU-Z is a free and capable system diagnostic software that can show you everything you need to know about your system details, including CPU name, model, speed, number of cores, etc. 

 Other ways

If Windows doesn’t boot your System, you’ll need other ways to find CPU specs.

  •  First, you can use the computer manual or the documents that come with it or search for them online. The CPU specs will probably be there.
  • Second, you can find information on your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware settings screen.

Once you’ve found your computer’s CPU specs, look for its motherboard model using the following steps. Scroll down to the System Summary tab until you find the Baseboard titles.

The baseboard manufacturer will show you the brand of the motherboard, and the baseboard model will show you its model or chipset number. Find out if the model is configured as overclockable.

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How do I know if I can overclock my CPU? (Explained)
How do I know if I can overclock my CPU? (Explained)

 Laptop CPUs

Almost all laptops do not support CPU overclocking. Only high-end laptops dedicated to gaming, programming, or video editing have CPU overclocking capabilities, and their manufacturers specifically state that they are capable of overclocking in their specifications.

If you have a laptop, and it is not advanced, then your CPU is not overclockable.

 Intel CPUs

Intel has a “K” series in its CPU models, referring to “unlocked” CPUs. Put, if your CPU model name ends in the letter “K,” you can overclock it.

For example, Intel Core i7 11700K or Intel Core i5 10600K are overclockable. Also, the Intel Pentium G3258 CPU is overclockable.

AMD CPUs

The FX series is unlocked and can be overclocked on AMD CPU models. AMD CPUs that end in “K” is also overclockable. Make sure your motherboard has overclocking capabilities.

If your CPU is one of the overclocking capabilities, you need to check your motherboard further.

A standard motherboard with a solid voltage regulator module will ensure the stability of your system and the longevity of your components when you overclock your computer.

You got your motherboard model in the last step. Search online for its overclocking capabilities and make sure it can perform well.

Understanding overclocking

Before we begin identifying your CPU’s overclocking capabilities, you need to know a few technical features.

The CPU has an independent processing unit called Core that can follow program instructions. The more cores your CPU has, the better its performance and efficiency, especially in heavy tasks.

Each CPU has a specific clock speed which refers to the operational and processing speed of the CPU core.

It represents the number of cycles measured in hertz that perform one Core per second. The faster the clock speed, the faster the CPU can perform various tasks.

Overclocking is increasing the clock speed of a CPU beyond the clock speed that the manufacturer initially set for it.

There are three measures of clock speed which include:

  1. Base Frequency
  2. Turbo frequency
  3. Overlock Frequency

1. Base Frequency

The default frequency of your CPU is the clock speed at which the CPU operates when your System is idle.

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It means it is not under pressure and is doing light work. The manufacturer specifies this number in the CPU specifications.

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2. Turbo frequency

Turbo frequency is the maximum clock speed that the CPU can achieve when performing heavy workloads.

Most mainstream CPUs record turbo frequency under their glasses, but entry-level CPUs do not have this information.

3. Overlock Frequency

When the base and turbo frequencies are set to more than the manufacturer’s specified numbers, your CPU will operate on the overlock frequency.

How to check if your CPU is already overclocked?

There are several reasons why one might want to check if the CPU is overclocking. Your System may be out of balance, and you may wish to view CPU frequency as the culprit.

In addition, you may have just overclocked your CPU and may want to check to see if this process was successful.

However, you should know that overclocking is not automatic and does not happen with the CPU unless the user does so.

Also, CPUs don’t overclock when you first buy and install them. So, don’t worry about your CPU overclocking if you haven’t done anything.

To determine if your CPU is overclocking, you first need to know its basis and turbo frequency.

Get the name and model of your CPU that you found in the previous sections and search for it online to find out its actual clock speed.

Next, you should run a stress test to measure your CPU’s load and speed.

You can use different websites and applications for this purpose. Here are some of the best stress testing tools you can download.

  1. CPU specialist
  2. Sean Bench
  3. GIMPS
  4. Too much weight

Compare this to the clock speed; if it exceeds that, your CPU is overclocked.

1. Task manager

Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager from the list.

Go to the Performance tab and check the speed provided.

Run the stress test and check the speed value to load your CPU.

  • Speed ​​value compares to the turbo value you found online.
  • If it’s too much, your CPU is overclocking.
  • You can also see the essential speed of your CPU in the Task Manager window and compare it to the base speed number you found online.

2. CPU-Z

As mentioned earlier, CPU-Z is a free tool you can install to get all the detailed information you need about your hardware.

  • Download and install CPU-Z according to your PC architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).
  • Once you open the app, it should be on the CPU tab.
  • Find the Clocks section.
  • Find the Core Speed ​​option that shows the current frequency of your CPU.
  • Run the stress test and check the core speed value.
  • If the number exceeds the turbo frequency, your CPU overclocks.

 3. DirectX Diagnostic Tool

Many computers already have DirectX diagnostic tools pre-installed.

  • Press the Windows + R key to open the Run window and paste “dxdiag” into the command box.
  • Press Enter to execute the command.
  • If the diagnostic tool does not open, you must download and install it on your PC.
  • Once in the app, go to the Systems tab.
  • Determine the processor information with the current CPU speed entered.
  • Run a stress test and check the speed.
  • If it exceeds the rate of the turbo, your CPU is overclocked.

Final Thought

In other words, if your CPU model name ends in “K,” you may overclock it.

Overclocking is possible with the Intel Core i7 11700K and the Intel Core i5 10600K, for example. Overclocking is possible with the Intel Pentium G3258 CPU as well.

Related Articles: 

Does OverClocking Decrease CPU longevity?(Explained)

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