why overclock?

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why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:30 am

http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?page=0&itemid=1185
What really blows me away is the fact that throwing +1 GHz overclock on the processors yields no performance gain with a solid mid-range video card. What the heck do I want to overclock for? I guess I'll leave my 3570k at stock speeds and save the money I was going to spend a new CPU cooler.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:47 am

He tested mostly FPS with a large open world thrown in there. Do some RTS games and you'll see a benefit. I run my i7 at 4.6Ghz because it is the difference between comfortably playing maxed out Rome II: Total War or not.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:48 am

there is a huge difference in older machines.

50% performance improvement in games by taking my 2.4ghz c2q6600 to 3.3ghz.

On the other hand I would probably close to the same again going from my 4870 to a 7870 or r9 270x.
If I did not ahve the processor and fsb overlcocked I don't think the machine could keep the video card fed.

Overclocking is definitely doable but only in certain circumstances.
I would not bother if all i wanted was to do some word processing or web browsing.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:53 am

Silly gamers... We overclock to keep warm!
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:59 am

jihadjoe wrote:Silly gamers... We overclock to keep warm!

There is much hidden truth in this statement.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:24 pm

StuG wrote:He tested mostly FPS with a large open world thrown in there. Do some RTS games and you'll see a benefit. I run my i7 at 4.6Ghz because it is the difference between comfortably playing maxed out Rome II: Total War or not.

FPS is all I play... Interestingly none of the games tested appear to make use of Hyper-threading they computer is a bit GPU bound.

jihadjoe wrote:Silly gamers... We overclock to keep warm!

Heh, I remember my GTX-260ti heating up the room quite nicely on those cool winters nights!
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:51 pm

some people overclock for the sake of overclocking; you do it because you can. it's a hobby of sorts.

anyway, i looked at the results for farcry 3 and crysis 3 (since that engine is most relevant to me). they didn't really do the testing justice. they showed the data for the lowest quality (oc made a big difference), and then again for the highest quality (oc did not matter much; results were card-limited), but nothing in-between. overclocking could mean the difference between being able to comfortably use anti-aliasing, or use higher quality textures / shaders, etc. they didn't show that.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:01 pm

Why overclock? I do it for fun, and for performance. Run any sort of crunching program and you'll see benefits.

As for games he's overclocking the wrong thing. Although an RTS like Civilization V will see a tangible, direct improvement in game responsiveness from a CPU overclock. Lots of late era AI / units will start to bog down even on a modern processor.... Supreme Commander was the same way. :P
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:17 pm

BF3/BF4 run at full tilt on my 2500k at 4.5GHz. I'd run it faster if I could.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:35 pm

I imagine a significant percentage of the Bitcoin mining crowd overclocks; GHz is money! Though anybody who's serious about it is probably OCing their GPU not their CPU...
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:53 am

Miners rarely overclock in the traditional sense - when mining you're looking for the best performace/watt - which in the case of most miners is the art of finding the lowest voltage your GPU can run it without dropping speeds too much. If you *can* overclock on a reduced voltage then it's an added bonus but certainly the single biggest thing that affects the profitability of a miner is how much hashing you can do with a given amount of electricity, and overclocking alone makes things worse.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:05 am

You won't see more than a 2fps difference by overclocking a Sandy bridge or newer quad core with a single-gpu rig in a game like BF4. But you can become CPU bound when you go multi-GPU with SLI or Crossfire.

I had an i5 750 running at a slight over clock of 3.04ghz, and I would get 60fps on BF3 with 1 gtx 670. With 2 in SLI, I got 50fps due to a CPU bottleneck. Over clocking to 4GHz mostly alleviated the bottleneck, I would get 90-130 fps with fluctuations. Now that I'm running a single gtx 670 with an i7 3820 at 4.4 GHz, the overclock's only noticeable difference is enlarging my e-peen.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:22 am

Pville_Piper wrote:I guess I'll leave my 3570k at stock speeds and save the money I was going to spend a new CPU cooler.


Even if I didn't OC, I'd buy a new cooler simply because I don't like the sound profile of the stock Intel & AMD coolers.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:37 am

Don't forget min-FPS. That's where overclocking can help the most, and that's where you need it most.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:43 am

Overclock isn't only for gaming purposes. Video encoding also gain a notable boost overall. Also, a kind of hobby I guess :wink:
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:34 pm

My overclocked setup (see sig) isn't intended to boost the performance of games since games are rarely CPU-bound on a modern quad-core system. It does have a noticeable affect on compile jobs though! Of course, the best reason to overclock is analogous to the best reason to climb a mountain: Because it's there.

As for games, the overclock buys you some future-proofing that games will continue to be GPU bound in the future after an upgrade. For example, at some point I will be jumping to a 4K monitor with a big GPU upgrade (Maxwell next year at the very earliest). When the big GPU upgrade arrives, my overclock will help ensure that the GPU can stretch its legs and run flat-out without a CPU bottleneck. For graphically intensive applications, I expect the GPU to be the real bottleneck in most practical scenarios for the foreseeable future.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:41 pm

Personally, going back to the old-school days of my first self-assembled PC which was a Celeron 266 oc'd to 448MHz (4x multi and 112MHz FSB), it's for the 'free upgrade'. That CPU was as fast as the fastest PII's of the era in cases where the cache didn't matter, and as fast as slower PII's in other cases while costing significantly less. There are cases where CPU oc'ing still makes a difference which others have already listed too.

Plus, it's a hobby.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:29 am

It really depends on the game. Some games tend to be more GPU-limited, while others are CPU-limited. ARMA3 for example shows big performance difference depending on the clock speed. That test wasn't even in the multi-player portion of the game either, which is vastly more demanding on the CPU. Planetside 2 and Kerbal Space Program are a couple more games where overclocking makes a big difference. Flight Simulator X is another, despite being 7 years old now.

All of those games have one thing in common though; they can't fully utilize 4 cores. In KSP's case it only uses 1 core. :o Except for PS2, all of those games also do a lot of physics simulation. If all game engines could fully use 4+ cores then there would probably be very few games where CPU overclocking makes a difference, but unfortunately that still isn't the case.

As others have mentioned OCing also yields huge performance gains in non-gaming applications. When it comes to video encoding your encoding speed will scale proportionally to your CPU overclock (ie a 50% CPU overclock will give you 50% faster encoding times). It can also make your rig more future proof. Even if you are GPU limited in a game now, when faster graphics cards come out in the future that may no longer be the case.

Most modern CPUs will underclock/undervolt themselves when they aren't being used as well, so you don't use any extra power/heat most of the time. For example my 2500K@4.5ghz downclocks itself to 1.6ghz any time it's not being used heavily
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:45 am

for me i dont do it for games i do it to encode videos faster

it can make up to an hour of difference (or even more sometimes) depending on your settings
these are my handbrake settings i use for encoding my blurays to my HTPC in 1080P
rc-lookahead=60:ref=16:bframes=16:b-adapt=2:direct=auto:me=umh:subme=10:merange=64:analyse=all:trellis=2 and CQ=17

and i can tell you there is a HUGE difference in how long it takes to encode a video when overclocking my 3930k from 3.2Ghz to 5.0Ghz

games probably dont make much difference NOW - but in the future when your brand new processor gets old it can help it still play the latest games, i overclocked my old skt775 QX9650 from 3.0 to 4.0 - 4.4Ghz (depending on air temp - cold days i could OC more without it getting too hot) and it worked pretty awesomely in battlefield 3 when i played it - i was even getting higher FPS than peoples stock skt1366 i7 920's and the same vid card

so there is use for overclocking just not with new processors and games
when you are doing something else other than games or if it is an older processor trying to play a cpu heavy game then overclocking helps A LOT
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:02 am

jihadjoe wrote:Silly gamers... We overclock to keep warm!


OK i am caught, but hey Q6600 is the best thing happened to gamers alright.
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:18 am

f0d wrote:trying to play a cpu heavy game then overclocking helps A LOT


For me, the best test of how fast a processor is comes down to SupCom.

Solo v 7 AI players is an exponentially difficult dynamic pathing calculation, for up to 8000 units at once. It murders my 5GHz 2500K and I would imagine something twice as fast would still struggle....
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Re: why overclock?

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:47 am

Just to see where I was at with my machine I did a little test last night.

My wife got me a radeon 7870 for xmas so I compared where I was with that to my old 4870.

With my q6600 running at stock speeds (2.4ghz) and 4870 I have a hard time running Skyrim at 1920x1080 unless I turn down all the graphics setting a long way. (I forgot to log the exact settings.) The processor showed cores 1 and 2 maxed out with 2 and 3 running at about 75%
With the processor overclocked to 3.3ghz I could run at the "middle" for graphics settings and the game was mostly ok and was only really choppy in certain spots with the processor showing 80%+ on core 1 with the other three about 50 to 75%.

Using the 7870 and overclocked q6600 I have everything on and turned up including using the 2k to 4k texture packs and the game is still more fluid than with the 4870.
Processor usage is still slightly less than with the 4870.

This shows that in this game if you are video card constrained overclocking the processor can help a little bit.

Looks like with core 2 quad and later quad core machines as long as you are over 3ghz, video card power is way more important than processor power when playing games.

As an added bonus I can now run three monitors at once instead of 2. I use the extra monitors for multiboxing in everquest.
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