Overclocking advice

crisis uk

Silver Level Poster
Hi guys,

So I have the urge to buy some new hardware but my bank account says otherwise so i though I would have a go at overclocking my CPU.

I currently have an i5-3570K which should be running at 3.4GHz, however, when I ran Prime95 I checked my current speed in task manager and it was at 4.18GHz. Now what i am wondering is if this is overclocked or is it boosting?

When I checked, The BCLK was at 103 and the ratio was at 42. I don't remember ever changing anything on this so has this been pre-overclocked for me when I bought the system?

I don't know a lot about overclocking so you may need to keep any answers pretty simple for me


Multiverse Poster
I think the most important thing I can suggest about overclocking at this stage is that you should do some reading up beforehand.

If you think the CPU should be running at 3.4GHz I'm guessing you might not be familiar with base and boost frequencies?


So the CPU will already boost itself to 3.8GHz. In principle it might not do so indefinitely (trubo boost is usually meant to be for short durations), but in practice it probably would.

Is this a PC Specialist build? If so, did you buy it pre-overclocked?

That said, whether you did or didn't, it's unlikely PCS would have OCed it using BCLK.

it's possible it was automatically OCed by some Asus software / the motherboard. These overclocks usually aren't great, and have a tendency to overestimate the voltage required.

crisis uk

Silver Level Poster
I've read up on the very basics of overclocking. As far as i was aware the CPU usually only boosts for a short duration to help with CPU intensive tasks. When i run Prime95, surely the CPU shouldnt be boosting all the time?

Even so, like i said earlier i seem to be getting 4.18GHz.

This build is actually from PC Specialist back from late 2012 (with a few upgrades along the way). The reason i'm asking about this is because i would prefer to be able to just purchase a RTX 2080 but am worried about how much of a bottle neck my CPU will be whilst gaming. Any thoughts on that?


Multiverse Poster
Yes, you're getting 4.2GHz because the system is clearly already overclocked. PCS don't usually do the OC via BCLK, they usually just use the multiplier, or they did with my system, but the Asus auto OC from the mobo /software often does do that (or did, with my mobo and CPU of the game generations as yours).

Regardless of the theory for turbo boost, the CPUs prior to the two most recent generations generally maintained their full boost clocks as far as I know. I guess they were able to get away with it within the power envelope, given sufficient cooling ofc.

You can always remove the overclock from your system (save the BIOS profile first ofc) and see what you get.

If this experiment with overclocking is primarily in the context of an RTX 2080 upgrade, I'd have 2 main comments:

1) What monitor are you gaming on? If it's 1080p, unless you're trying to push ultra high framerates on a 240hz monitor for competitive gaming, it's a waste of cash big time.

2) Your CPU is at 4.2GHz OCed already, it seems. You might expect to get it up to, say, 4.6GHz? That's only 400MHz, on a 4-core, 4-thread CPU. It's not really going to make the difference between the CPU performance being fine and being atrocious in many cases. It's not going to give a magical experience in FO4, Watch Dogs 2, AC:O / AC:OD, or any of those other CPU monsters out there.

It's a 7 year old CPU. Newer / higher end CPUs have more cores / more threads, higher IPC, and DDR4 RAM. Some newer titles rely on that kind of hardware. And it's already OCed so there's less room for improvement on your current experience.

If you have a good 1440p monitor and your favourite games aren't CPU heavy then a 2080 could well be viable, but if your 3570k would be a bottleneck for your titles, a further overclock probably won't fix that.

crisis uk

Silver Level Poster
I currently have the ASUS PB278Q which is 2560 x 1440 60Hz. I could potentially try and overclock my monitor to get a higher refresh rate. I kind of like the idea of buying what would be the most expensive component (GPU) and getting some benefit from it now, then, when I have the money basically buy my new rig without a GPU and just install that myself.

Have you ever attempted to overclock a monitor for a higher refresh rate?


Multiverse Poster
An RTX 2080 is overkill for the monitor anyway.

An RTX 2060 is more appropriate and will run most modern titles around very high-ultra. And half the price or less.

With the savings you could get yourself a 1440p 144hz monitor with adaptive sync.