Disclaimer Overclocking your CPU technically voids your warranty. However, if you want to overclock and still be covered, Intel does provide an aftermarket overclocking warranty for about $50 located here: (PTPP).
Overclocking can also damage your CPU, especially if done incorrectly. This guide is about how to overclock, but doesn't take responsibility for damages that could occur; you bare sole responsibility for any damages that may arise. The price of the PTPP has also increased from $30 for the 6700K and 7700K to $50 for the 8700K. The price has also increased $15 for the 8600K, and will cost you $40 if you want to warranty that CPU with a onetime no-questions replacement of the CPU.
Have you Overclocked Before?
If you have overclocked before and understand hardware selection and the basics of overclocking, you should skip to the next page. The first part of this guide is for those who want to know what to do before overclocking.
Where do I start?
Coffee Lake Overclocking Guide Systems
CPU: You will need a "K-SKU" CPU such as the 8700K, 8600K, or 8350K.
Motherboard: You need a Z370 chipset motherboard, preferably with a decent VRM. Each of our Z370 motherboard reviews details the VRM to the component level and offers thermal imaging of VRM performance. If a motherboard has a great VRM, it will be mentioned on the conclusion page. As the backbone of the system, the motherboard is the component that sets overclocking settings for the CPU and DRAM; it's also what powers both.
Motherboards also offer overclocking features and determine how well the connection between the CPU and DRAM operates. Power delivery is one reason Intel is requiring the new Z370 chipset, but not all Z370 motherboards have VRMs capable of providing a solid overclock. Don't cheap out on the motherboard if you want to reach maximum CPU and DRAM overclocking potential.
DRAM: Intel and motherboard vendors have greatly improved DDR4 compatibility and speed potential, at least compared to Skylake. While we still recommend buying a kit off your motherboard's Qualified Vendors List (QVL), up to 3600MHz is a good target for easy stability.
You don't need RAM that fast, but if you can afford it, you shouldn't have a problem getting it to run at full speed. Four sticks are harder to overclock than two, and if you get a four stick kit, you can't expect more than 3200MHz with ease (especially if it's a 64GB kit). You can find your QVL in the support section of your motherboard vendor's website or inside the manual (if differs by brand).
Cooler: High-end aircoolers are recommended, but most people get all-in-one watercooling coolers since they offer the best of all worlds. They are easy to install, safe, and perform well. Your cooling is your ultimate limitation on your overclock when you are at above-ambient temperatures, so don't cheap out on a cooler.
PSU: I would leave about 200-250W aside for a nice overclock on an 8700K.
You enter the BIOS/UEFI by hitting delete or F2 (on most boards) during boot up. For most boards you have basic and advanced modes, I always skip to the advanced mode and tend to navigate with the keyboard. To enter a setting you either type (or delete and then type), use +/- keys, or you click and scroll. Then you have to "Save & Exit" the BIOS/UEFI for the settings to apply (typically F10 key).
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- Page 1 [Introduction to Overclocking and The Flow Chart]
- Page 2 [Disclaimer and Before You Begin Overclocking]
- Page 3 [CPU Multipliers and Voltages]
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