Overclocking - Is It Worth It Now A Days? (2014)

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#1 Edited by Gamesterpheonix (3676 posts) -

So, by now I have what you would call a "dated" rig but it has done the job well for a long time and I still game heavily on the thing. Recently, however, Ive been running into issues with my overclock and have decided to downclock my CPU to stock speeds because Ive also been having some issues.

Recently Ive been getting the Critical Kernel-Power EventID: 41 error a lot and been getting random shutdowns and restarts. My CPU is: i5 2500k. And I had is overclocked from 3.3GHz to 4.2GHz. For a long time it didnt have any issues but today the computer wouldnt boot and reset my bios to settings before the overclock.

Ive had to reset my values a few times now and while it was stable before (easily taking on IntelBurn Test for a good 10 or more minutes) I decided to give it a break.

My question to everyone is: Is overclocking worth it anymore? Is 3.3GHz enough for gaming? Do I even need to push it to those limits?

Let me know. If it isnt worth it anymore then Ill just stop it and game as is.

Full specs:

CPU: i5 2500k @3.3GHz

GPU: EVGA GTX 570 Classified

RAM: GSkill 8GB DDR3

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#2 Edited by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@Gamesterpheonix said:

So, by now I have what you would call a "dated" rig but it has done the job well for a long time and I still game heavily on the thing. Recently, however, Ive been running into issues with my overclock and have decided to downclock my CPU to stock speeds because Ive also been having some issues.

Recently Ive been getting the Critical Kernel-Power EventID: 41 error a lot and been getting random shutdowns and restarts. My CPU is: i5 2500k. And I had is overclocked from 3.3GHz to 4.2GHz. For a long time it didnt have any issues but today the computer wouldnt boot and reset my bios to settings before the overclock.

Ive had to reset my values a few times now and while it was stable before (easily taking on IntelBurn Test for a good 10 or more minutes) I decided to give it a break.

My question to everyone is: Is overclocking worth it anymore? Is 3.3GHz enough for gaming? Do I even need to push it to those limits?

Let me know. If it isnt worth it anymore then Ill just stop it and game as is.

Full specs:

CPU: i5 2500k @3.3GHz

GPU: EVGA GTX 570 Classified

RAM: GSkill 8GB DDR3

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

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#3 Posted by 04dcarraher (22984 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#4 Edited by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Most CPUs are coming clocked close to 4Ghz so I think that's required.

EDIT: for example: 4690 comes 3.5Ghz and turbo at 3.9Ghz, now AMD FX 8370 comes at 4Ghz and turbo at 4.3Ghz, for semi editor version the 4790 comes 3.6Ghz and turbo at 4Ghz.

Avatar image for 04dcarraher
#5 Edited by 04dcarraher (22984 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Most CPUs are coming clocked close to 4Ghz so I think that's required.

EDIT: for example: 4690 comes 3.5Ghz and turbo at 3.9Ghz, now AMD FX 8370 comes at 4Ghz and turbo at 4.3Ghz, for semi editor version the 4790 comes 3.6Ghz and turbo at 4Ghz.

Its not required since those sub 3.5 ghz cpu's from intel out pace those 4+ ghz AMD cpu's. Even still a 3.5 ghz i5 4690 vs a 4.8 ghz 4690 tends to yield less then 17% fps.... With multithreaded games see even less of a difference.

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#6 Edited by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

Well..it's free performance...I'd say it's obviously worth it. Don't have to spend a dime and your games can run noticeably faster. I'd at least OC to 4.0...IMO you're throwing away your money if you ignore the OC potential on some Intel and NVIDIA products.

Avatar image for deactivated-59d151f079814
#7 Posted by deactivated-59d151f079814 (47239 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Most CPUs are coming clocked close to 4Ghz so I think that's required.

EDIT: for example: 4690 comes 3.5Ghz and turbo at 3.9Ghz, now AMD FX 8370 comes at 4Ghz and turbo at 4.3Ghz, for semi editor version the 4790 comes 3.6Ghz and turbo at 4Ghz.

Ok guys.. Lets get something straight here, clock speed can mean jack shit especially when your trying to compare between AMD and Intel, using two different architectures.. As for overclocking.. Yes.. The 2500k you can get easily to 4.4 to 4.6ghz overclock.. I currently have mine at 4.4 ghz and for any gaming the top temp I will ever get is around mid 40's.. And that is using the Corsair Hydro h60.

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#8 Posted by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Most CPUs are coming clocked close to 4Ghz so I think that's required.

EDIT: for example: 4690 comes 3.5Ghz and turbo at 3.9Ghz, now AMD FX 8370 comes at 4Ghz and turbo at 4.3Ghz, for semi editor version the 4790 comes 3.6Ghz and turbo at 4Ghz.

Its not required since those sub 3.5 ghz cpu's from intel out pace those 4+ ghz AMD cpu's. Even still a 3.5 ghz i5 4690 vs a 4.8 ghz 4690 tends to yield less then 17% fps.... With multithreaded games see even less of a difference.

You're right, BUT why do you suggest to old CPU owners to OC them? A) saving money B) The only option to save them from bottlenecking.

It's all about how efficient the tech of the CPU is, as you've said yourself Intel lower clocked CPUs outake AMDs higher clocked CPUs.

@sSubZerOo said:

@PredatorRules said:

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

Gaming at 2014 requires clock speed as close as you can to 4Ghz.

You might want to remove the thermal paste and apply it again both on the CPU cooler and the CPU itself.

Gaming in 2014 does not *require* clock speeds upto 4ghz.

Most CPUs are coming clocked close to 4Ghz so I think that's required.

EDIT: for example: 4690 comes 3.5Ghz and turbo at 3.9Ghz, now AMD FX 8370 comes at 4Ghz and turbo at 4.3Ghz, for semi editor version the 4790 comes 3.6Ghz and turbo at 4Ghz.

Ok guys.. Lets get something straight here, clock speed can mean jack shit especially when your trying to compare between AMD and Intel, using two different architectures.. As for overclocking.. Yes.. The 2500k you can get easily to 4.4 to 4.6ghz overclock.. I currently have mine at 4.4 ghz and for any gaming the top temp I will ever get is around mid 40's.. And that is using the Corsair Hydro h60.

Nice, and correct.

Avatar image for zaku101
#9 Edited by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

If your running benchmarks yes, if your gaming no. Games are being pushed further and further from CPU dependency..

Also cpu architecture > Clock speed always..

DX12 + AMD Mantle

AMD is a different story when it comes to their CPU's but the difference is small FPS wise.

http://www.techspot.com/review/827-watch-dogs-benchmarks/page5.html

The only thing worth overlocking now days is the GPU but for the most part the small gain isn't worth the heat..

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#10 Edited by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@zaku101 said:

If your running benchmarks yes, if your gaming no. Games are being pushed further and further from CPU dependency..

Also cpu architecture > Clock speed always..

DX12 + AMD Mantle

AMD is a different story when it comes to their CPU's but the difference is small FPS wise.

http://www.techspot.com/review/827-watch-dogs-benchmarks/page5.html

The only thing worth overlocking now days is the GPU but for the most part the small gain isn't worth the heat..

You were saying?

Avatar image for 04dcarraher
#11 Posted by 04dcarraher (22984 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@zaku101 said:

If your running benchmarks yes, if your gaming no. Games are being pushed further and further from CPU dependency..

Also cpu architecture > Clock speed always..

DX12 + AMD Mantle

AMD is a different story when it comes to their CPU's but the difference is small FPS wise.

http://www.techspot.com/review/827-watch-dogs-benchmarks/page5.html

The only thing worth overlocking now days is the GPU but for the most part the small gain isn't worth the heat..

You were saying?

lol you think those benchs proof that you *need* to have a modern intel cpu at 4ghz or more? 2.5 ghz vs 4.5 ghz yields less then 5% , and with AMD its less then 10% from 2.5ghz to 4.50ghz. The only time you see significant gains from overclocking is if the program or game only uses 1-2 threads or when you cpu bound because of massive gpu usage from multiple gpu's.

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#12 Edited by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@04dcarraher said:

@PredatorRules said:

@zaku101 said:

If your running benchmarks yes, if your gaming no. Games are being pushed further and further from CPU dependency..

Also cpu architecture > Clock speed always..

DX12 + AMD Mantle

AMD is a different story when it comes to their CPU's but the difference is small FPS wise.

http://www.techspot.com/review/827-watch-dogs-benchmarks/page5.html

The only thing worth overlocking now days is the GPU but for the most part the small gain isn't worth the heat..

You were saying?

lol you think those benchs proof that you *need* to have a modern intel cpu at 4ghz or more? 2.5 ghz vs 4.5 ghz yields less then 5% , and with AMD its less then 10% from 2.5ghz to 4.50ghz. The only time you see significant gains from overclocking is if the program or game only uses 1-2 threads or when you cpu bound because of massive gpu usage from multiple gpu's.

When you hit bad ports, and we encounter those a lot lately thanks for consoles and devs - those extra fps/horsepower will matter, specially when you're talking about older architecture that isn't efficient as new one.

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#13 Posted by Gamesterpheonix (3676 posts) -

lol this became a feud between AMD and Intel more than anything else. Anyway, I saw tests that show that there are gains in BF4 fps when you overclock but that was not the case with every other game they tested. I defaulted all my settings on my mobo to see if I still get errors. If I do then I know it wasnt the overclock. I assumed it was the overclock because thats what my bios told me when I went into them today.

Anyway, aside from being 3.3GHz stock, it also has turbo which takes the CPU to either 3.6GHz or 3.8GHz. Not sure. But it does go up when needed. Ill game with this and see if theres any difference.

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#14 Posted by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@Gamesterpheonix said:

lol this became a feud between AMD and Intel more than anything else. Anyway, I saw tests that show that there are gains in BF4 fps when you overclock but that was not the case with every other game they tested. I defaulted all my settings on my mobo to see if I still get errors. If I do then I know it wasnt the overclock. I assumed it was the overclock because thats what my bios told me when I went into them today.

Anyway, aside from being 3.3GHz stock, it also has turbo which takes the CPU to either 3.6GHz or 3.8GHz. Not sure. But it does go up when needed. Ill game with this and see if theres any difference.

Your turbo goes up to 3.7Ghz which is fine for today, about the wiered error - you may as well try to update your BIOS or reset it to factory settings (remove the little battery)

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#15 Posted by Gamesterpheonix (3676 posts) -

I loaded "Optimized Defaults" so lets see if I keep getting the error now. When I last entered the BIOs before loading those defaults it gave me a big red notification telling me that my overclock had caused issues and had been reset. Hopefully it wont come back but if it does Ill do the CMOS reset too.

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#16 Posted by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

@Gamesterpheonix said:

I loaded "Optimized Defaults" so lets see if I keep getting the error now. When I last entered the BIOs before loading those defaults it gave me a big red notification telling me that my overclock had caused issues and had been reset. Hopefully it wont come back but if it does Ill do the CMOS reset too

Were you overclocking with Turbo on? That can cause an OC to become unstable. Usually though if an OC becomes unstable (and you pin it down to the OC itself), you just bump down the OC and Vcore a little bit and truck onwards. Maybe dust out the PC too :p

Avatar image for PredatorRules
#17 Posted by PredatorRules (12145 posts) -

@Gamesterpheonix said:

I loaded "Optimized Defaults" so lets see if I keep getting the error now. When I last entered the BIOs before loading those defaults it gave me a big red notification telling me that my overclock had caused issues and had been reset. Hopefully it wont come back but if it does Ill do the CMOS reset too.

Maybe your running out of PSU capacity, anything could cause that problem.

Avatar image for deactivated-57e5de5e137a4
#18 Edited by deactivated-57e5de5e137a4 (12929 posts) -

Overclocking CPU has only once been worth the effort and frustration caused by the system stability problems for me. Overclocking GPU is pretty quick and easy now so it can be worth it. 3.3 is plenty fast enough for all current games. I have a 3570K which runs at 3.4 on stock speeds and I never have problems. The only time I would benefit from having it faster is when recording gameplay in FRAPS, which I rarely do anyways.

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#19 Edited by Truth_Hurts_U (9703 posts) -

DX12 is going to put less strain on CPU's. But as it is now if your running Sandy Bridge or greater there isn't a need to. But getting your CPU 4 GHz or higher you'll notice system responsiveness increases. Your going to have to spend extra for a cooler and that's really the only downside to it.

I'm running my I7 3770K at 4.3 GHz with 1.128 volts. You don't have to go crazy.

GPU is where you'll notice the most from an overclock in games that demand it... Which is a lot these days. Most stock cards can take small (5-8%) OC even at stock volts. If you're going to OC it's best to have a non ref cooler on it or you wont be able to go very high.

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#20 Posted by Truth_Hurts_U (9703 posts) -

@Gamesterpheonix: Your motherboard is no longer stable. OC takes a toll on even your motherboard. If you can find a Z77 board, you should get your OC back. RMA your other board and keep it as a backup.

I actually just replaced 3 motherboards for people who lost OC after 2+ years of being stable. Once I got the new boards in and OC set they had no more issues.

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#21 Posted by buckquarterman (123 posts) -

My CPU overclock has helped get some extra life from my dated system.

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#22 Posted by joseph_mach (3894 posts) -

I've got the same cpu as you, but have it paired with Crossfire 7950's. While I normally run my Sandy Bridge at 4.3Ghz, even when it's running at stock, there aren't many games I can't max out and still hit 60 fps (1080p). Yes, I know that Crossfire 7950's is a bit wasteful at "only" 1080p, but it's really a testament to the i2500k. It doesn't create much in the way of a bottleneck (even at stock speeds) for 90%+ of the games out there today, even in my crossfire setup. If you're looking to upgrade your rig, I think a newer gpu will suit you just fine. Even if you can't oc your processor, it's not going to hold you back should you add a new video card to your system. I feel quite comfortable holding off until Skylake arrives before putting my good, ole, Sandy out to pasture.

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#23 Posted by sixty7velle (1036 posts) -

@buckquarterman said:

My CPU overclock has helped get some extra life from my dated system.

This has been my philosophy since I have upgraded from ddr2 with the early intel quad cores on an x38 mobo. My old system could still max any game smoothly at 1080p with 8gm of ram and a 480gtx. I overclocked it as much as it could handle to minimize bottlenecking my pc. When Sandy Bridge E was released, I built a new pc and I'm planning on doing the same with it. I put my old x38 pc back to stock clock with a 9800 gtx and my parents still use it today, 7 years later. The moral of the story, don't overclock unless you actually need to.

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#24 Posted by VanDammFan (4737 posts) -

I remember back in 99 and early 2k people always wanting to overclock..i never messed with it..either buy what you need or dont..

Avatar image for PernicioEnigma
#25 Posted by PernicioEnigma (5922 posts) -

If your CPU really is bottlenecking your GPU, you need a new CPU. Overclocking MIGHT alleviate the issue slightly but I've never seen an overclock make any significant difference in game performance.

I've only done overclocking with Intel CPUs. According to the picture posted above AMD CPUs seem to gain more performance by overclocking, but even then going from 3.5ghz to 4.5ghz only gains you 3 frames, hardly worth the extra effort and voltage.