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Overclocking PCs? Intel makes it simpler

Kevin Jacoby's picture

by Kevin Jacoby on 07/09/2019
Blog Category: Devices

If you have customers who want to overclock their 9th Gen Intel Core unlocked processors, the Intel Performance Maximizer (IPM) can help.

No, your customers don’t actually need IPM to overclock their PCs. But assuming they have one of the supported Intel processors, IPM will alleviate the need for exhaustive research, testing and rebooting.

The IPM software will perform tests, determine the optimum overclocking speed, and set it so they can forget it. That’s welcome news for those who prefer getting down to business over tinkering under the hood.

Overclocking 101

If your customer asks for an explanation of overclocking, try starting with an auto analogy: Overclocking a processor is similar to adding a nitrous oxide system (NOS) to a racing car.

NOS is an aftermarket modification that forces a car's engine to run faster than the manufacturer intended. It can help a driver win races, earn prize money and get famous.

However, NOS can also cause a car’s engine to overheat and fail. In which case, no winning, no prize money, and certainly no fame.

Digital hot-rodding has similar pros and cons. On the one hand, eSports competitors and 3D animators alike will happily take all the performance gains they can get. Overclocking lets you adjust the power, voltage, core, memory settings and other key systems values for maximum performance.

For the gamer, the 200MHz bump provided by overclocking could make the difference between thrilling victory and ignominious defeat. For the animator, it can save time and money.

On the other hand, as any pimply-faced, teenage eSports champ can tell you, heat is the enemy. Pushing an overclocked system to the edge of its performance envelope can produce enough heat to damage vital components.

Drives, memory modules and processors are all designed to work in hot environments. But only up to a point. Pushing them out on the edge long enough to win a Fortnite tournament can destroy the computer altogether.

That creates an additional requirement for all overclockers. They must have the right cooling system. As a cost-effective method for protecting overclocked systems, Intel recommends liquid cooling.

The IPM fine print

So far, Intel’s new overclocking tool works only with the latest processors and chipsets. Intel will no doubt increase compatibility as time goes on. But as of today, your customers should know what IPM requires:

> One of the three unlocked 9th Gen Intel Core processors: i5-9600K, i7 9700K or top-of-the-line i9-9900K. (In Intel SKU-speak, the final “K” means “unlocked.”)

> One Z-series motherboard set to UEFI boot mode and updated to the latest firmware.

> Microsoft Windows 10 x64 Edition version RS5 or later.

> At least 8 GB of memory.

> At least 16 GB of free hard drive space.

Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.

Not for everyone

If your customers are into business apps and standard personal computing, you can advise them to skip overclocking altogether. The risk of increased wear and tear, data loss or system failure isn’t worth the reward of a few extra processor cycles.

But if your customers want to stride the virtual realm as a colossus, pwning all who dare to stand in their way, overclocking can give them the edge.

And Intel Performance Maximizer can make it easy. Well, easier. 

Get overclocked:

> Learn more about overclocking with the Intel Performance Maximizer

> Download the Intel Performance Maximizer


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