Software Overclocking for Windows (Part 2) - Remote controlled overclocking

6/5/2012 3:42:16 PM

Remote controlled overclocking

In case there was any doubt that Asus takes its overclocking seriously, it’s included some excellent software with its Republic of Gamers motherboards for overclocking your PC remotely. Called ROG connect, it allows you to connect a laptop or netbook directly to the iROG chip on the motherboard via USB and overclock in real time. Even better, Extreme editions of Asus’s motherboards let you connect to the service via Bluetooth.

Description: ASUS ROG iDirect: Overclock from your iPhone or iPad

ASUS ROG iDirect: Overclock from your iPhone or iPad

When connecting via a phone, the overclocking interface is simplified, using sliders with the touchscreen of your phone. You can also use it to monitor your system’s temperature and health. Using a laptop or phone as a second screen to do your overclocking is incredibly useful – especially as the iROG interface deals directly with the motherboard rather than going through an operating system. This means tweaks and changes can be implemented on the fly without interrupt what you’re doing. Running a benchmark tool and then adjusting the overclocking settings on a laptop is a great way to see how your changes are affecting your PC’s performance straight away, and is a great reason to get an Asus Republic of Gamers motherboard.

Asus isn’t the only remote overclocking specialist though – MSI offers and Android-based version of Afterburner to clock up your GPU wirelessly from your phone too.

CPU: AMD Overdrive

Description: CPU: AMD Overdrive

Of the two main processor manufacturers, it’s AMD that comes out on top with its Overdrive software. Of course, Overdrive is only going to be of use if you have an AMD processor, but the software is robust enough to have convinced a swathe of regular overclockers away from using the BIOS to tweak the settings.

Take at face value, AMD Overdrive is simple and easy to understand, and gives you a good overview of your processor’s health and performance. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover some fantastic tools and settings that can unlock the overclocking potential of your machine.

Description: Make sure you download the excellent AMD Overdrive tool if you have a suitable processor

Make sure you download the excellent AMD Overdrive tool if you have a suitable processor

There are two ways to use AMD Overdrive. The Novice mode makes things simple by providing a slider that controls setting such as the PCIe clock speed. More settings can be accessed by switching to the Advanced Control mode, which lets you change – among many settings – clock multipliers for individual cores and Hyper Transport frequency. AMD Overdrive also handles memory timings and on the main overview page you can keep an eye on your system’s health as you tweak.

Even better, there’s also a built-in benchmark that can access the changes you’ve made and highlight any improvements while also testing the overclocked system for stability. By default, the test runs for an hour and puts a test load on your processor, making it run at full capacity. The benchmark can also be set to run for a wide range of time from a mere five minutes to seven days.

Helpfully, the changes that you make in AMD Overdrive are implemented immediately and don’t require a restart, which takes away a lot of the thumb-twiddling tedium of waiting for your PC to reboot, only to find that it’s unstable – leading to further tweaks and countless restarts. If you want a completely hands-off approach to overclocking, there’s also an Auto Clock function that can automatically tweak your system for. Of course, that means you miss out on a lot of the fun of overclocking, but you could always use the settings it chooses as a base and work up from there.

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