How to Overclock an AMD Phenom 9550 Quad Core CPU

Written by bryan clark
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Overclocking your AMD Phenom 9550 Quad Core central processing unit (CPU) is a great way to tweak your machine for extra performance without paying a dime. Overclocking is adjusting the settings on your central processing unit, and motherboard to squeeze extra performance out of your computer. Though generally not recommended for beginners, overclocking your CPU can produce high gains in performance if you are able to manipulate the proper settings with some trial and error testing.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Enter the BIOS menu on your computer by restarting, and pressing the correct key to access the BIOS. This can be found in your instruction manual. Most computers use F1 or F10 to access the BIOS menu, but Dell uses F2 or F8. Consult your manual.

  2. 2

    Select the "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu.

  3. 3

    Adjust the settings for "High Performance Mode" or "CPU Bus Frequency" (this depends on your motherboard) and adjust them slightly upward. If you must type in the numbers manually, move in five- to 10-digit increments. For example, if you have a reading of 200 x 14.88 = 2.88 GHZ, move the numbers to 205, then 210, and so on. Modern computers won't allow you to change the multiplier (14.88 in this case). If the motherboard has predetermined settings that won't allow you to enter them manually, select the next highest (fastest) setting from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Press escape to exit the BIOS menu.

  5. 5

    Restart your computer. The goal is to find the fastest motherboard and CPU clock setting that remains stable. If your computer boots and runs normally, that is considered stable, and you can resume the process to find the fastest clock speed your computer can handle.

  6. 6

    Restart the computer and enter the BIOS menu if your computer was stable, and tweak to the next highest setting.

  7. 7

    Press escape to exit the BIOS menu.

  8. 8

    Repeat this process until your computer stutters upon start-up, or the screen flickers while you are running Windows. Sometimes the computer will crash, and you'll need to restart. This is when you know you've reached a setting that is past the peak of what your motherboard and CPU will allow.

  9. 9

    Restart the computer and enter the BIOS menu. Back the clock speed down to the last safe setting (the one before your computer crashed). If you want to be extremely safe, you can back it down two settings.

  10. 10

    Press escape, and verify that Windows loads and runs. If it does, you are overclocked and ready to go. If it doesn't, you'll need to back the settings down even more.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are a beginner to overclocking, you need to know that this can completely ruin a motherboard if done incorrectly, and may drastically reduce the life of your computer due to the excess heat that the CPU will produce.

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