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Your computer might be running just fine, but don’t kid yourself — it could be running even faster. For those willing to modify their computer’s hardware, overclocking is the best way to improve the performance of your CPU, DRAM and hard drive.Overclocking is the process of running a piece of computer hardware at a faster clock rate than it is set to run. While it can be risky for those who are experienced with computer upgrades, a properly overclocked computer will see significant improvements with no negative effects on the side. Since RAM is so important to your computer’s speed, it’s a good place to start when considering overclocking. Before you start digging through your computer to figure out how to overclock, you need to consider a few things first. Not all RAM is alike, though, and some RAM modules are better designed for overclocking than others. Because of this, if you’re looking to overclock, you might want to get some new RAM first. While you might not want to spend extra, think of it as an investment; you will be upgrading your RAM twice over, after all. One RAM manufacturer recently launched a line of high performance DDR3 DRAM that is aimed specifically at overclockers. The modules, which run at 1.5 volts, are offered in single, double and triple module kits and have capacities ranging from 4 GB to 16 GB. Before overclocking, the RAM runs at speeds ranging from 1600 MHz to 1866 MHz. Another DRAM manufacturer recently launched a line of DDR2 and DDR3 modules aimed at gamers. These 2GB modules are also designed to be compatible with overclocking. According to Techshout.com, the modules are good for more than just gaming. “Each of the products in this line is also built to serve profession graphic designing and multimedia auditing requirements. With this series, a lot of emphasis has been given to attributes such as clock speed and memory timing,” according to the report. If you’re unsure about overclocking your RAM module, research the model online.Once you’re set with RAM you are confident about overclocking, the actual process can begin. Before tinkering with any of your computer’s processes, it is wise to backup any files you don’t want to risk losing. Memory is overclocked through the motherboard’s setup. You can access this by hitting the Delete key while viewing your computer’s boot menu during startup. Once you have accessed the menu, change the memory clock’s speed, save the configuration and restart. To test the new clock speed, run an application that requires a lot of memory, such as a game with high graphics requirements. There are also memory benchmark programs that you can download to make sure your computer’s performance is actually increasing, because an improperly overclocked memory module can actually decrease a computer’s performance. If the overclock fails, you simply have to go back to the boot menu and reset the clock speed. If it is successful, you can stick with the new DRAM speed and enjoy, or continue to overclock. If you choose the latter — which you will want to do if you have DRAM designed for overclocking — be sure to increase the clock speed in small increments until you reach your RAM’s maximum clock speed. You can also overclock DRAM by increasing its voltage. This is an option to increase your RAM’s maximum clock speed. To do this, access the motherboard menu and find the voltage control. It will be listed with names such as “DIMM OverVoltage Control” and “DRAM Voltage Regulator.” From here, you will be presented with your voltage options. Increase your voltage here as desired and you will improve your RAM’s clock speeds. While overclocking is not recommended for the inexperienced, it can be a great option for improving computer experience without spending a dollar. It’s easy, free and can give you great results quickly.
For more information on DRAM, go to our Knowledge Base library or our news and information page. For additional information on Crucial DRAM products, go to our product pages or support center. We have lots of videos for you to watch on our YouTube Channel. And if you’re ready to take the plunge, use the Crucial Memory Advisor or the Crucial System Scanner.