The need to experiment and go beyond what is possible, is an inherent human tendency. Since the first personal computers were manufactured, people have experimented with hardware to make it go beyond its basic capabilities by overclocking the CPU. Gamers and people who want that extra bit more from their processor, implement overclocking to derive better performance.
However, unless you actually know CPU overclocking and take necessary precautions, the experimentation may end up with drastic consequences ranging from a system crash to a fried CPU. If you are one of those, for whom it didn't work out, through this Techspirited article, I am going to guide you through the procedure to turn off overclocking and undo changes made to the system settings to restore normal functionality.
One thing that a lot of gamers need to know is that no piece of hardware is overclocked by default. A computer processor or video card that you may have installed on your computer, will operate at its base specifications. So those of you who think their hardware is overclocked and needs disabling are mistaken. Your hardware is probably having compatibility issues or driver issues that you need to look into.
Overclocking is increasing the base operating frequency of the processor by modifying the front-side bus (FSB) frequency. Earlier it was possible to change the clocking frequency by modifying the internal multiplier settings, but in most modern processors it is locked. Ergo, modifying the FSB frequency is the only way of overclocking a CPU. To do that, along with the FSB frequency, the voltage settings of the motherboard also need to be modified and tuned. Since the heat output of the processor rises with increased clocking frequency, you also need to put in a cooling system to prevent overheating.
How to Undo Overclocking?
You may have tried overclocking your CPU and it may not have worked out for you. Either you are seeing no improvement in performance or you find your system crashing. In either case, it's best to nullify the effects of overclocking by changing settings back to normal.
How do you go about it? Firstly you will have to enter the CMOS and BIOS settings of the system and reverse all the voltage settings of the motherboard back to normal. You could also do this by choosing the 'Restore Fail Safe Defaults' option. Refer to the processor and motherboard specifications provided online to check for exact base voltage and frequency settings. Make changes accordingly. Some systems like Alienware machines, come with a default feature in BIOS, where processor overclocking can be directly disabled. In case you have such a system, you can use the feature to disable overclocking. Disable all CPU core control settings in BIOS.
Also change the FSB frequency setting to base value. Reverse every setting that you changed during overclocking, back to what it was before. Save changes and exit setup. You may remove all the extra cooling equipment you put up to prevent overheating. Once all these changes have been made, boot up your computer again to find things falling back to normalcy.
To sum it all up, to undo overclocking, you need to reverse all the changes made to system settings. Unless any serious hardware damage has been inflicted, this should restore functionality. With the modern line of Intel and AMD processors running at clocking frequencies that exceed 3 GHz, there is really no need to overclock computer processors and video cards anymore.
Intel has developed 'Turbo Boost' technology, which can power processors beyond their base clocking frequencies on demand. It is like automated overclocking built into the processor! Ergo, I recommend that a processor upgrade to the high-end line of AMD or Intel processors is a better alternative than actually overclocking your existing system!