How to Overclock Your PC for Extreme Gaming Performance

With an unlocked Intel® Core™ processor and an easy-to-use overclocking toolkit, you can tune your system to deliver maximum power.1 2 3

The Rule: Maximize frequency and minimize voltage while extracting as much heat as possible so the system remains stable.

STEP 1: Set Up Hardware

1.1 - Start with a motherboard and power supply optimized for unlocked Intel® processors
Select a motherboard designed specifically to enable overclocking when paired with unlocked Intel® processors. Utilize a robust ATX power supply, which can handle the increased power draw. Review the disclosure about overclocking below and make sure you understand the risks.

1.2 - Apply aggressive cooling
Utilize a robust cooling solution, which can cool the processor well beyond the minimum processor requirements. Liquid cooling is ideal, and added chassis fans will further improve overclocking potential.

STEP 2: Tweak Software Settings

2.1 - Increase power limits and ICC Max
Using BIOS or software like the Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU), increase power limits and max current/ICC limits to match the capabilities of your motherboard, power supply, and cooling solution.

2.2 - Increase frequency
Increase the ratio for the subsystem you are attempting to overclock (processor core, graphics, ring/cache). NOTE: The frequency is equal to ratio multiplied to the base clock. For example: A target frequency increase to 5,000 MHz the ratio would be 50, if base clock is at default (100MHz). Also note processor graphics overclocking ratio is multiplied by half of base clock.

STEP 3: Run Stress Tests

3.1 - Determine if stable
Determine if the overclocked system is reliable by running one or more stress tests to confirm system stability. NOTE: The Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU) contains several helpful stress tests and benchmarks.

3.2 - If not stable, increase voltage
If the system was unstable during stress tests, try increasing the voltage. This will be required when overclocking higher than 100 to 200 MHz. Try increasing 5 to 10mV at a time and use the least voltage possible. When increasing voltage no longer improves stability, you may have reached the maximum stable frequency. It is recommended you select “adaptive” voltage mode before finalizing voltage settings.
Note: Advanced overclockers may choose to increase voltage ahead of frequency on subsequent attempts.

3.3 - If stable, push frequency higher or complete overclocking
If the system is stable after stress testing, then you could push for a higher frequency, in which case go back to step 2.2. If satisfied with the overclocking results, the process is complete.

STEP 4: Overclock Your Game

Congratulations! You have successfully overclocked your system and ensured stability.

Altering clock frequency or voltage may damage or reduce the useful life of the processor and other system components, and may reduce system stability and performance. Product warranties may not apply if the processor is operated beyond its specifications. Check with the manufacturers of system and components for additional details. For more information, visit: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/overclocking-intel-processors.html.

Performance Upgrade Tools

Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU)

Intel® XTU is a Windows based tool for overclocking unlocked Intel® Core™ processors.

More about Intel® XTU

Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP)

Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) helps you overclock RAM, including select Intel® technology-based DDR3 memory, unlocking performance that exceeds standard specifications.

Check out Intel® XMP

Intel® Performance Maximizer

Whether you're seeking an added speed boost to gain a gaming edge or maximize your creativity, Intel® Performance Maximizer is a new, free way to confidently bring added performance to your system.4

Learn more

Download now

Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan

Get peace of mind with Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan,5 which, allows for a one-time return if your qualifying processor was damaged due to overclocking.

Learn more

Buy now

Shop Gaming PCs with the Latest Unlocked Intel® Core™ Processors

Browse popular gaming systems featuring the latest unlocked Intel® Core™ processors.

8.0

HP Pavilion Gaming 690-0073w 9th gen Intel® Core™ i5 i5-9400F 8 GB DDR4-SDRAM 256 GB SSD Black, Green Mini Tower PC

  • 9th gen Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
  • 256 GB Capacity
  • 8 GB Memory
  • Not available Graphics
  • 11.4 lbs (5.15 kg) Weight
  • Windows 10 Home Operating System
Compare Now
8.0

HP OMEN 875-1130 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 i7-9700K 16 GB DDR4-SDRAM 1512 GB HDD+SSD Black Tower PC

  • 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
  • 1512 GB Capacity
  • 16 GB Memory
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 630 Graphics
  • Windows 10 Home Operating System
Compare Now

ASUS ROG G21CX-XB981 PC 9th gen Intel® Core™ i9 i9-9900K 32 GB DDR4-SDRAM 1000 GB SSD Black

  • 9th gen Intel® Core™ i9 Processor
  • 1000 GB Capacity
  • 32 GB Memory
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 630 Graphics
  • 18.3 lbs (8.3 kg) Weight
  • Windows 10 Operating System
Compare Now
8.3

Falcon Northwest FragBox 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 i7-9700K 16 GB DDR4-SDRAM 512 GB SSD Black PC

  • 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
  • 512 GB Capacity
  • 16 GB Memory
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 630 Graphics
  • Windows 10 Pro Operating System
Compare Now

MSI Codex XE Plus 9SC-292US 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 i7-9700K 16 GB DDR4-SDRAM 512 GB SSD Black Desktop PC

  • 9th gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
  • 512 GB Capacity
  • 16 GB Memory
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 630 Graphics
  • 22.7 lbs (10.3 kg) Weight
  • Windows 10 Home Operating System
Compare Now

Product and Performance Information

1

Intel® technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software, or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at intel.com.

2

No product or component can be absolutely secure.

Altering clock frequency or voltage may damage or reduce the useful life of the processor and other system components, and may reduce system stability and performance. Product warranties may not apply if the processor is operated beyond its specifications. Check with the manufacturers of system and components for additional details.

3

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to www.intel.com/benchmarks.

4

Some features may only be available with the latest version of Intel® Performance Maximizer. Visit downloadcenter.intel.com to download the latest version. Eligible processors include 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K, i9-9900KF, i9-9900KS, i7-9700K, i7-9700KF, i5-9600K, i5-9600KF processors, and Intel® Core™ i9-10980XE Extreme Edition, i9-10940X, i9-10920X, and i9-10900X processors.

5

Intel® Performance Tuning Protection Plan (Intel® PTPP) allows a single replacement for your qualified boxed processor, in addition to your standard 3-year warranty.