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Can I overclock my CPU ?

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#1 Alley Cat

Alley Cat

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:11 PM

My CPU info


Intel Core i3-2120 CPU @ 3.30GHz

External Clock                                    100 MHz

Maximum Clock                                  7000 MHz

Current Clock                                     3300 MHz

Voltage                                           1.1 V

Capabilities                                      64-bit



I know my CPU does not have a K, attached to the model name.  But is it possible to overclock my CPU atleast to 4 GHz, instead of the insane 7 GHz that is listed ?

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#2 mjd420nova


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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:30 PM

Any overclocking should be attempted in small increments.  Overclocking is dependent upon whether the other chips on the MOBO can handle the extra heat generated.  Small increments will allow you to maybe OC to 3.6G but things will become unstable and faults will erupt, be prepared to remain at 3.3g

#3 jonuk76


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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:17 AM

Being a non-K series CPU means the multiplier is locked.  On older CPU's (e.g. Core 2, Nehalem etc.) you could still overclock by altering the external clock speed.  For example, I ran my Core i5-750 (stock 2.66 Ghz) at 3.2 Ghz (with turbo to 3.4 or 3.6 Ghz, I can't really remember) for a good few years by just adjusting the base clock from 133 mhz to 160 mhz.  No stability problems at all, and as it was relatively mild, no voltage increases required. 


I believe on Sandy Bridge onwards (i.e. what you have), overclocking using the base clock is not really an option.  Upping the base clock causes stability problems with just a few percent increase.  So basically you need a processor with an unlocked multiplier (K series) to have any chance of overclocking successfully on these systems.  They also require a compatible motherboard - on newer Intel platforms, overclocking capable chipsets have a code number beginning in a Z.  For example Z77, Z87, Z97, Z110.

Edited by jonuk76, 08 December 2017 - 10:17 AM.


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