The speed with which the CPU (Central Processing Unit) of a laptop performs basic functions, such as booting up and loading software programs, is governed by the processor's clock speed. A CPU's clock speed refers to the number of cycles per second, or hertz (Hz) that the computer can complete. Increasing the clock speed of a computer is a process called "overclocking." You can overclock the laptop processor by accessing the computer's BIOS (Basic Input Output System) menu.
- Skill level:
Reboot your laptop and watch the screen as it starts to boot back up. A line of text will flash briefly on the screen, directing you to press a certain key to enter "Setup." The key is usually an "F" key, such as "F3." In some cases, instead of a line of text, the entire screen with flash briefly. If this happens, press the "Escape" or "Esc" key.
Select the "CPU Frequency" menu item to enter the page that displays your laptop's clock speed.
Increase the clock speed by a small increment and save changes by clicking "Accept."
Reboot your computer and test for normal function. If all of your software loads and runs correctly, repeat the above process until the laptop stops running correctly, or until there are errors during start-up. When you begin to see errors, reduce the clock speed to the last level that improved the speed of your laptop without negatively affecting its performance.
Tips and warnings
- Write down the original clock speed before making changes, and keep track of the changes you make so you can return to a previously successful clock speed if the laptop starts having problems loading software correctly.
- Although overclocking can make the computer appear faster, it can also increase the heat output of the processor. Overheating increases wear and tear, and can affect the life expectancy of the laptop.
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