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  Upping Vcore, CPU Overvolting Explained 
  Mar 06, 2002, 07:30am EST 


By: Dan Mepham

If youíve ever overclocked a processor, or been around people who have, odds are youíve heard people talk about 'upping the core-voltage' before. In fact, nowadays itís pretty much a no-brainer. Just about anyone who overclocks anything knows that, often, an extra bit of voltage will help a component run at speeds it wouldnít before, be it a CPU, video card, or even memory. But do you know why?

Itís one of those things we tend to take for granted. We donít know why it works, all we know is that it does work, and thatís good enough for us. And thatís just fine, because in most cases, it really doesnít matter why it works, just that it does (thatís engineering in a nutshell).

Unless, of course, youíre curious, in which case, weíve got an answer for you! A common misconception is that increasing the voltage gives the CPU the added Ďpowerí it needs to run at higher speeds. While it's true that power varies with voltage, itís actually the current demands of the processor that increase with speed, not voltage demands (when you overclock a CPU, it requires more current at the same voltage, not more voltage with the same current). It doesn't need more power, it needs more current, so feeding it more voltage in an effort to increase power won't help. So why, then, does increasing the voltage a bit often help the CPU run faster, and with more stability? Read on, and weíll explain.

1. Introduction
2. How Your CPU Thinks
3. It's All About Tolerance
4. Transient States
5. Putting it All Together
6. Summary

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