Overclocking and cooling

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Clock speed or rate is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions.

In other words its like how much work you can do per second.

For clock speed this is usually measured in GHz or MHz.

One GHz represents 1 billion cycles per second.
One MHz represents one million cycles per second.

Lets say you buy a processor, the manufacturer sets that processor at a certain clock speed depending on the processors model or architecture and the consumers needs. These can range substantially but are usually found currently between 1.5GHz-3.2GHz in retail. So lets say the one you bought is running at 2.5 GHz, thats equal to 2,500,000,000 cycles per second!

Overclocking is when you increase this clock speed from the manufactures "stock" speed. Your forcing the processor to run faster than the manufacturer has made it run. This has can have its benefits, your making it run faster than from what you bought ;D! The negative with overclocking is that since you have tampered with it your warranty may be void and now that the processor has more stress on it, it can run hotter, have a shorter life span or even stop working.
The FAQ doesn't quite cover how overclocking affects performance....

It is just assumed that people equate higher Ghz count to higher performance.

Clock speeds just mean how many cycles of something your computer does per second. It may be transferring data from one component to another, or performing calculations. Overclocking just means that you're asking your computer to perform more cycles per second. And since your hardware is already designed to perform a certain number of tasks per cycle, increasing the number of cycles in a second would increase the amount of work done in a second by the overclocked component.

Lets use the cookie baking scenario: You can bake 20 cookies per tray. Thats how many tasks you can do per cycle. Usually, it takes 20 minutes to cook those cookies in the oven at 180C. Now, you "overclock" your oven to 200C. This means your cookies cook faster, and you now take 15 minutes to cook the cookies. Instead of 60 cookies per hour, now you're making 80 cookies per hour.

I hope that helps.
I don't know, when my cookies get burnt, I just lower the temps 0.5C at a time :D
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