How to overclock your CPU in 2024 – push your AMD or Intel processor to its limits

How to overclock your CPU in 2024 – push your AMD or Intel processor to its limits
Meghan Coon Updated on by

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Don’t know what overclocking is or how to overclock your CPU? Don’t worry, we’re about to walk you through it. 

If you’re thinking of upgrading your CPU to optimize your gameplay, why not take a look at our best CPU for Skull and Bones recommendations, for a processor that can tackle a demanding game like Ubisoft’s new pirate-adventure title. Or take a look at our top picks for best CPU for RTX 4080 Super if you want a processor that will keep up with the power of your GPU. Without further ado, let’s get into it. 

Intel i9-9900K unlocked.

Core Configuration

24 (8+16)



P-Core Speed

5.8GHz (boost) 3.2GHz (base)

E-Core Speed

4.4GHz (boost) 2.5GHz (base)


125W base 181W PL1 & PL2

What is overclocking?

Overclocking is the act of increasing the speed of your CPU beyond its manufacturer-specified limits. This is done by adjusting your clock speed, voltage and/or power consumption to get the CPU to run faster than it was intended to and improve the overall performance of your CPU, and enable it to run higher-quality applications and games that may cause your CPU to struggle. You can also overclock (and underclock) other hardware components such as the GPU. Want to know how to? Check out how to overclock your GPU and how to underclock your GPU

Things to consider before you overclock your CPU

An important thing you should consider before you try overclocking, is to check your CPU temperature – here’s how. Overclocking will increase your CPU’s temperature and you will want to be able to monitor the jump in temperature. Equally, if you have a CPU that’s average temperature is running a little higher than is ideal – above the 80 degrees Celsius mark – then overclocking may not be a great idea, as it will cause this temperature to continue rising, which may lead to overheating.

It would also be a good idea to do a stress test on your CPU for an hour or two. This acts the same as a strand test when you’re dying your hair, it puts all of your processor’s cores to the test to determine how well your CPU copes while at its current clock speed. This way, any problems you would have encountered while overclocking will be present early. Making note of your current CPU benchmarks and temperature is a good way to check the metrics later when you are monitoring the overclock.

SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 7900 XT

Base clock


Boost clock





276 x 51 x 135mm

Recommended PSU


How to overclock your CPU in BIOS

This method works but is a bit more hassle than alternative methods. This way lets you access your BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) to manually change your hardware settings, but it doesn’t allow you to overclock in real time, the same way using Windows or third-party softwares like Intel’s XTU or AMD’s Ryzen Master does. 

  1. To access your BIOS, you’ll have to start by turning off your PC. 
  2. Turn your PC back on, and as it’s restarting it will undertake a quick POST (Power On Self Test) before this ends, you’ll need to press the correct key. For nearly all PC manufacturers, you’ll need to press Del or F2 repeatedly to open your BIOS
  3. Set your CPU multiplier (this multiplies your base clock speed to increase your processor’s frequency) if you set your multiplier to 20 and you are running on a base clock of 100MHz, your processor will run at a frequency of 2000MHz. 
  4. You can apply an all-core overclock, so that all of your cores work at the same frequency, or you can overclock with the Turbo Ratio which allows the CPU to boost to different overclock frequencies depending on the number of active cores. 
  5. If your system isn’t stable on a higher frequency, you can also change your CPU voltage (Vcore) but the general rule of thumb is to start on a low voltage (1.25V) and build up, as higher voltages will degrade your CPU over time and will increase your CPU temperature.
  6. Reboot your system after you have saved your changes and exited the BIOS – this should force a system reboot.

How to overclock your CPU in Windows with Intel XTU

  1. Go to Intel’s official website, download and install the Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) software. 
  2. Open the application from the Start menu
  3. Optional – go to the Basic Tuning tab and click Run Benchmark to get your current CPU metrics. 
  4. In the Basic Tuning tab you should see a slider under the name of Processor Core Ratio; if this is your first time overclocking with your current processor, you’ll want to make small adjustments for now, so it is recommended by Intel that you start by increasing the core ratio by 1x
  5. You should also see a slider under the name of Processor Cache Ratio, you should adjust this frequency to match that of the Core Ratio.
  6. If you are familiar with overclocking, you can go to Advanced Tuning to adjust your Processor Core Ratio per individual core, as well as being able to alter your Core Voltage Offset
  7. Once all of your changes have been made and applied (you can save them to your Intel profile if you have one) you should then go to the Basic Tuning tab and Run Benchmark test again to see if the changes you made are positively effecting your CPU.

How to overclock your CPU in Windows with AMD’s Ryzen Master

  1. Go to AMD’s official website to download and install the Ryzen Master software if you don’t already have it. 
  2. Open the Ryzen Master application via the Start menu. 
  3. Optional – run the Cinebench using the multi-core and single-core tests to check your current CPU metrics. 
  4. Select the Current tab from the left hand menu.
  5. You will see your current CPU information listed. At the bottom there is an options called Control Mode that you need to select. 
  6. Select the Profile 1 tab at the bottom of your screen. 
  7. Select the Manual option in the Control Mode section. 
  8. If the two buttons Additional Control and Memory Control are green, unselect them to avoid making changes to them. 
  9. Go to Core Speed and then select All Cores
  10. Select the number corresponding to Clock Speed (MHz) and adjust the number to a higher figure (we recommend starting with small increments). Then press Enter
  11. To set the changes you’ve made, select Apply & Test. This applies your changes as well as running a brief diagnostic to ensure the changes you have made are working correctly.

Is it safe to overclock CPU?

Yes, overclocking is very safe if done correctly. You should make small adjustments rather than large changes. You should also run benchmark checks regularly to ensure your CPU is stable after the overclock. 

Should I overclock my CPU for gaming?

As more games are being produced, faster processors are needed to run modern titles, so overclocking your CPU can be a good way to keep up with advancements in gaming without having to invest in a new CPU all-together.