Overclocking is forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate then it was intended to. This means just making it go faster than it was meant to go.

In most cases (not all), overclocking is quite safe. As long as you use some common sense and don't try to make a 1GHz processor run at 3GHz, you should be fine. Most modern processors (not all) are protected against high temperatures. Read some reviews about your system, before you begin to overclock. Many reviews also determine if the system is overclockable, and this is very important if you want to overclock safely. DO YOUR 'HOMEWORK'.
Note however, that the writer of this guide, nor hackthissite.org can be held responsible for any damage caused. If you decide to overclock, this is AT YOUR OWN RISK.

-A overclockable processor (e.g. AMD or Intel)
-A 'overclockfriendly' motherboard (e.g. ASUS)
-Overclockable memory
-A good stable voltage supply
-Good cooling (air cooling or better)
-Common sense (VERY IMPORTANT)

Front Side Bus (FSB) = The data bus that carries information between the processor and the rest of the system. Processor speed = FSB x internal multiplier
Note: AMD Athlon 64-based systems do not use a conventional FSB. They use the term clock speed.

Internal multipier = The ratio between the FSB/clock speed and the processor speed. Most processors are 'multiplier locked' which means the multiplier cannot be increased.

Memory divider = The divider is used to make the system memory run slower than the FSB speed. The memory is affected by the FSB speed, and memory is, most of the times, not as overclockable as the processor.

The most important aspect of overclocking is testing and benchmarking. Overclocking can decrease stability, and increase heat production.If you test and benchmark your computer, you know at which point the system becomes unstable, and how far you can go with overclocking. Test and benchmark you computer before you start with overclocking. Speedfan is good to measure the temperatures, SiSoft Sandra for benchmarking, and some games also have benchmarking options (e.g. F.E.A.R.).

Overclocking is done in the BIOS. Boot (or reboot) your PC, and while the computer is booting, enter the BIOS (mostly by pressing or ). Nest, try to find something that says something like "frequency/voltage controls" or "jumperfree settings".

The next step is to increase the FSB/clock speed. Increase it with steps of 5MHz (lower increments are better). Reboot your PC, and check if Windows (or Linux or UNIX or whatever you are using), is still working. If so, then increase the FSB/clock speed again. As soon as the OS doesn't boot anymore, try increasing the voltage (first the memory, then the chipset, and then the core voltage) with the LOWEST INCREMENT POSSIBLE. If this doesn't work, then lower your divider, and reset the voltages. If this doesn't work, then reset the divider, and lower your FSB/clock speed a bit.

After you found the maximum speed, benchmark it again. Use a stress tester (like Prime95) for several hours/days to see if the system is still stable.

Don't panic when your computer will not boot up anymore. Just reset the BIOS. This can be done in two ways:
1. Use a jumper to reset it. Read your maual how to do this.
2. Take out the CMOS battery and leave it out for a minute or so.