Overclocking is the process of forcing a computer or hardware component to operate faster than the manufacturer-specified clock frequency. The tempting idea behind overclocking is to increase system performance at very little cost. In many cases you only need to change a few settings on your motherboard to make your system run faster.
To understand overclocking, you need to realize that there is a single clock which controls all operations made by the computer. The various operations (for example graphics) are slaved to the clock. The clock measures time in what is typically called a tick, or cycle, or the clock refresh rate and reflects a discrete measure of time.
NOTE: Not all hardware can be overclocked. Research the components you wish to overclock using a search engine such as Google, and check if they are capable of being overclocked. Searching the model number of your motherboard along with "overclock" should help you determine whether the system is capable.
A Newbie's Guide to Overclocking Memory
The clock controls the Front-Side Bus (FSB) and the different components use that bus speed to determine their own speed. With a single speed available from the FSB, this creates the need for “multipliers” – a term you often hear.
Top 5 GPU Overclocking Utilities
Technology changed and different companies came up with better cooling solutions to allow end users and enthusiasts more headroom for overclocking and with the introduction of utilities which allow realtime overclocking, not only it became easier but safer too.
Guide to overclocking your GPU
Tools for graffics card overclocking:RivaTunerPowerStripRadClocker (ATI Only)ATITool (ATI only)NVMax (nVidia only)CoolBits (nVidia only) RivaTuner and Powerstrip
How to Overclock Your Graphics Card
If your current graphics card is serving you well, and you’re just looking for a little something extra to increase performance, overclocking may be the better way to go. And it will certainly be more affordable