As you see overclocking of CPU is a common practice to run it at a faster speed than was intended by the manufacturer. If you have also overclocked your CPU, it becomes necessary to monitor it and determine its performance. In that case, you would like to know how to check CPU speed after overclocking?
Primarily, you can make use of free software such as CPU-Z to find your CPU’s true speed. You can also utilize a stress testing program such as Prime95 for running your CPU at its maximum limit and then checking through CPU-Z. Alternatively, you can do real-world testing of CPU by running your computer at maximum load and then check the CPU speed.
Though the aim of overclocking is to boost your computer’s performance, it’s always sensible to look over the CPU speed for certainty.
How to Check CPU Speed after Overclocking?
Principally CPUs operate at a base frequency (measured in GHz) that’s known as their regular operating point. There’s also a turbo frequency (also measured in GHz) which is the maximum speed the CPU can achieve using the turbo-boosting technology of the manufacturer.
Overclocking generally aims to increase the CPU’s frequency beyond the turbo frequency to squeeze out every bit of performance from it.
You may have overclocked your CPU such as by entering the BIOS or find that your CPU has been overclocked by someone else. Thus, if you try to check the speed in Windows system information, it may not be correctly shown.
You can follow the below methods to accurately check the CPU speed after overclocking:
1. Using CPU-Z
The first method is to make use of the free software named CPU-Z. It provides detailed information related to your hardware components including your CPU. Here’s how to do it:
- Download and install the classic version of CPU-Z according to your system architecture (32 bit or 64 bit). If you don’t want the installed version, you can also run the zip version. It’s up to you to use anyone as both are the same.
- Wait for a few seconds for the information to load after running the program. See the first tab named CPU after it has loaded.
- Look for the Core Speed that’s mentioned in the “Clocks” section. It will show the true speed of your CPU.
- It’s given in MHz (megahertz) and needs to be converted to GHz (gigahertz). For this divide the given value by 1000. For instance, if the clock speed is displayed as 3990.48 MHz, then the result would be 3.99 GHz.
Also Read: Best LGA 1151 Motherboards for Gaming
2. Using Prime95 Stress Testing Program
Essentially, Prime95 is a stress testing application that tests your CPU by running it to the maximum limit. Though you can use the program indefinitely, the method is to run the test for a short period and then check the Core Speed through CPU-Z as described below.
- Download the software according to your operating system and architecture in the form of zip files.
- Then unzip the files to your desired location. You can also use programs such as WinZip to extract the compressed files.
- Close all the irrelevant programs and games running on your computer. Open CPU-Z and note the Core Speed.
- Run the Prime95 executable file and choose “Just Stress Testing” when prompted.
- Let the option remain to default (blend test) to perform a well-balanced stress test on CPU. Then the test will start by clicking OK.
- While running the test, right-click the taskbar in Windows and then open Task Manager. Select the Performance tab and make sure that the CPU utilization is appearing as 100%.
- Immediately note the Core Speed that’s being displayed in CPU-Z. Your CPU should be running at the correct overclocked speed. Note that you need to convert the speed to GHz.
- Stop the test by clicking on Test in the window of Prime95 and then select Stop.
We recommend stopping the test instantly after you have noted the clock speed. Otherwise, it can incur system instability as well as excessive overheating and damage to the CPU.
3. Do Real-World Testing
In case if you don’t want to stress test your CPU, there’s another option that lets your CPU run at overclocked frequency. Then you can check the speed through CPU-Z as described above or through task manager.
The motive is to do real-world testing of CPU by running as many applications that it can handle. Here are the steps:
- Make sure that the Task Manager in Windows is running.
- Start the most intensive game that’s installed on your computer and run it at the maximum setting that’s possible. If you do video editing, then perform a heavy task such as editing a 1080p or 4K video.
- Check for the CPU utilization in Task Manager. If it’s not 100%, then open more programs such as a web browser or a multimedia player.
- Ensure that the CPU utilization reaches 100%. This may indicate that the CPU is running to its overclocked frequency.
- At this instant open CPU-Z and note the Core Speed that’s displayed. Additionally, you can right-click on it and see the frequency for all the cores you have in your CPU.
- Close the games and applications you have opened after checking the speed.
Why Check CPU Speed after Overclocking?
Undeniably overclocking is gradually becoming more competitive especially among PC enthusiasts.
Therefore, overclockers constantly need programs that provide an accurate clock speed of their CPUs. They also need to test and ensure the computer’s stability after overclocking.
To understand overclocking is not an easy and simple task at all. To know its extent and how far the CPU has been squeezed requires knowledge of various parameters such as clock speed and CPU voltage.
So, if you are facing problems after overclocking, knowing the CPU speed will help you to underclock according to the CPU’s limits. Otherwise, it may become damaged permanently.
When determining how to check CPU speed after overclocking you need to ensure that its usage is 100%. Then it will be possible to find its real speed and the extent of overclocking.
You also need to have the best possible cooling system and fan for your CPU. Otherwise, it may get destroyed after overclocking.
We recommend you continuously monitor and check important parameters to make sure your computer is running in a stable condition.