Technology is very important to modern work, because they have enabled us to accelerate and streamline workflows that would otherwise be done manually, and require more human focus, and therefore be more susceptible to human error.
There are lots of different ways in which people try to boost the performance of their PC – each method depending on the type of outcome the user is trying to achieve. If you have a PC, you might be wondering what you could do – without spending lots of money on hardware upgrades – to improve PC performance.
To look into this, we teamed with TechQuarters to look at the possibilities. The IT support services London provider TechQuarters specialise in have been helping businesses manage their hardware efficiently for more than a decade now.
So, what are some of the ways in which a PC’s hardware performance can be improved?
Disclaimer: The techniques described below involve manipulating the default hardware settings of your PC. Each of these techniques are not without their risks; they may void the manufacturer warranty; and outcomes may be unpredictable if caution is not exercised. For these reasons, TechQuarters cannot expressly recommend the techniques described below. If you choose to undertake them, it must be on a PC that you own outright, and at your own discretion.
Overclocking, as the name suggests, is the practice of changing the clock rate of your PC. All computers contain a CPU (central processing unit), and all CPUs contain a Clock Generator. This Clock Generator is responsible for synchronizing the operations of the CPU’s circuity; it creates a clock signal, which acts as a metronome, and the behaviour of the CPU’s circuits is governed by the frequency (or rate) of the clock signals.
The rate at which the clock generator produces signals is what we call the clock rate; and by increasing the clock rate, you can essentially make your CPU work faster. As the CPU is the heart of your computer, you can get accelerated performance if it is working faster.
It must be noted that changing the clock rate of a CPU will make it operate differently. It may potentially require a higher voltage to operate, and heat up more or at a faster rate. For this reason, if you are thinking of overclocking your PC, you should consider your PC’s cooling ability, its voltage, and also whether the power delivery of your PC will keep up with the demand. If you don’t take measures to meet the new operational demands of your overclocked CPU, you could risk CPU failure.
There are other ways in which a user may manipulate the clock rate of their CPU. While overclocking is used to increase the speed of the CPU, Underclocking does the exact opposite.
The practice of lowering the clock rate of your CPU is performed in order to reduce your PC’s power consumption. Slow clock rates can be supported by a lower voltage. Undervolting will disproportionately reduce power consumption compared to the reduction in performance. For example, underclocking a modern Intel CPU by 20% will render just a 13% reduction in performance, but will cut power consumption by nearly half (49%).
Reducing the power consumption of your PC has a range of benefits. Firstly, it proportionally reduces heat generation; lower power consumption will slow down the computer’s fans, but as heat generation is reduced, you will still have a quieter PC that is less prone to overheating. Reducing power consumption will also increase hardware stability and lifespan.
Due to the fact that underclocking a CPU is safer and less likely to result in hardware damange / failure, it is less likely to void the manufacturer warranty.
Reducing the voltage of your PC hardware is another common way of improving PC performance. Usually, the CPU is the main component that is undervolted.
Undervolting may be performed independently from any other hardware adjustment, but it is also commonly performed in tandem with underclocking – as together, you will see significant reductions in heat generation. The main benefits of undervolting include lower temperatures and as a result, less thermal throttling (where excessive heat load reduces CPU performance), and increased battery longevity.