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Top Overclocking Processors

written by: •edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 2/26/2010

Looking for the best overclocking processors? This selection of CPUs from Intel and AMD are great choices for beginners and overclocking enthusiasts alike.

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    What are the best Overclocking Processors?

    Overclocking increases the temperature of your CPU, requiring suitable additional cooling. This is a minor drawback, however – overclocking gives your PC a performance bonus, one that can be used to improve system performance and get the most out of PC games and processor-heavy applications.

    Finding a motherboard that you can configure to safely overclock your CPU is one thing – finding a suitable processor to speed up is another. While in theory overclocking processors is easily done you really need to save a lot of time and trouble by choosing the best components for the job.

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    Things to Remember when Overclocking Processors

    Before proceeding with overclocking any system, there are several things to consider and make provisions for – not least a suitable motherboard!

    Overclocking processors from Intel can speed up your PC performance To begin with, keep an eye on your budget – it’s very easy to get carried away when shopping for PC components to get carried away with minor upgrades to your requirements. Stick to the plan!

    When overclocking your CPU, the core temperature of the processor increases, necessitating extra cooling to prevent the component from reducing its lifespan and the effectiveness of the overclocking. There are several solutions here, with several manufacturers providing powerful heatsinks, while water cooling and liquid nitrogen are also both realistic choices.

    The more overclocking you’re planning on doing, the more power you will require in your PC to compensate. Both the overclocked CPU and the additional cooling will require more power – so you also need to be looking to purchase a new PSU, and you should be looking at anything over 450W.

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    Some Overclocking Processors

    AMD processors have long been designed for overclocking 

    Here is a selection of currently available processors that are suitable for overclocking.

    Intel E5200 Wolfdale – arriving at 2.5 GHz, this Core2 Duo processor has been seen in action running at a massive 3.8 GHz when matched up with suitable cooling and the right motherboard, making it the most popular overclocking processor from Intel.

    Intel Q9400 – starting off at 2.6 GHz, the Q9400 can be stepped up to 3.53 GHz without loss of performance and the cooling regulated by heavy duty heatsinks and fans. 3.8 is a possibility with liquid cooling.

    AMD 64 X2 6000+Despite age, the AMD 64 X2 6000+ remains popular three years down the line. Overclocking this component will give you up to 3.8 GHz, more than enough to run the most recent PC games – this will give you the biggest “bang for your buck”.

    AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition – this is quite reasonably considered the ultimate in CPUs suitable for overclocking – while all of the Phenom range can theoretically be pushed further than their basic spec suggests, the Black Edition arrives ready to be installed on a suitable motherboard with some users reporting speeds of 4.GHz with suitable cooling!