4. STRESS TEST THE CPU

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fail­ing the sta­bil­ity tests at 3.9GHz but was do­ing fine at 3.8GHz, you'd be stuck at the lat­ter speed, with­out know­ing if you could ac­tu­ally reach a higher value be­tween the two speeds.

By adding ref­er­ence clock tweak­ing to your over­clock­ing tool belt, you can now be­gin to test the ac­tual lim­its of your CPU. It's then a mat­ter of some sim­ple math to find the right value com­bi­na­tions to achieve the clock speed you want to test out.

How­ever, be­cause the ref­er­ence clock is tied to other val­ues through­out the sys­tem like mem­ory speeds, in­creas­ing it could pos­si­bly in­tro­duce other in­sta­bil­i­ties that would make it dif­fi­cult to sin­gle out the cause of crashes. As a re­sult, we'd rec­om­mend be­ing ex­tremely con­ser­va­tive in your base clock tweaks – no more than a few MHz above de­fault, es­pe­cially if your note­book isn't a wa­ter-cooled beast like the GX700. We use Cinebench R15 as a quick way to test the sta­bil­ity of an over­clock. It stresses all the CPU cores, so if your over­clock isn't sta­ble, your note­book will most likely freeze or restart. In­tel XTU also comes with a built-in stress test that works bet­ter for as­sess­ing long-term sta­bil­ity. Just check the box for the CPU Stress Test and se­lect the du­ra­tion for which you want to run the test (the long­est pos­si­ble is a whop­ping 30 days). If you think you've hit a sta­ble value, you may want to set it to run for an hour for starters.

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