Gigabyte Z77 Overclocking Guide
Published: 26th February 2013 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
Overclocking. A rather large part of our lives. You might have noticed a small clue cunningly hidden within the title of the site. Trust us, it wasn't chosen because it sounds great, but because there are few things we like more than squeezing some extra 'free' performance out of something.
However, we know only too well that overclocking sits in a bit of a catch 22 situation. The people most needing to gain free performance are also the ones who can least afford the possibility of a processor dying on them. Times are hard for everybody, but many of us enjoy tinkering without necessarily having the funds to learn on our own hardware.
Our forums are the friendliest around, full of people who understand that we all have to start somewhere, but the culture of sneering is so ubiquitous on the vast interweb that we can appreciate some people don't want to reveal the secret that they don't know how to overclock their processor.
That's why we're here today. Whereas once overclocking was a dark art, with the latest, robust, Intel chipsets overclocking is extremely simple. We're not going to fill your brains with enough information to take you from a stock CPU through to the heights of a HiCookie overclock. So many guides flood you with information which is useful, but can be off-putting when you just want to get down to improving your system with the minimum of fuss. You want results, and you want them without having to wade through a tome worthy of a Tolstoy.
There are two important things we have to get out of the way. One : Disclaimer - Overclock3D cannot be held responsibility for any damages incurred when following the contents of this guide, you do so at your own risk. Two : Whilst we've cut out all the blather and pared this guide down to the essentials, it means that all the information is important, and page 7 especially so. For our part we'll teach you how to take your CPU beyond its stock specifications, if you agree to read it all.
What You'll Need
Before you begin you'll need an Intel CPU on a LGA1155 socket. You'll also require a copy of either wPrime or OCCT for stress testing (we're using OCCT), and a copy of CPUz. You can do without CPUz, but it's the default weapon of choice everywhere so you might as well grab it now. You might also want a seat, and a beverage of your choice, as well as about an hour.
When you load up OCCT, click the cog (third icon down) to access the settings screen as seen on this image. This is how it appears at defaults. For safety we highly recommend changing the core temperature limits, where it has all the 85s, to 80s. If you're really nervous you could drop it below that as an extra safeguard. With a good cooler (an absolute must) you're extremely unlikely to see these temperatures. Think of it more as a buffer in case your CPU cooler isn't as good as you think.
Ready to go?