Back in the day, when single core processors could be overclocked to double its original speed and resulted in a incredible real-world performance boost, professionals who worked with applications such as CAD or photoshop could really use an overclocked system. Nowadays, the 3.5GHz to 4GHz CPUs can be overclocked 10-15% on air cooling and have enough cores for most people not needing a performance boost. On his blog Ed Lopategui, technology evangelist, entrepreneur, and aerospace engineer, has a look at overclocking for CAD professionals.
"You’ve heard the stories: buy a cheap CPU, throw some insane cooling on it and boost it into the stratosphere. Such is the promise of overlocking, pushing CPU processors past their design specs in the name of edging out extra performance for low, low prices. But these aren’t the heady days of the Celeron 300A, where the megahertz flowed freely. With the invention of improved configuration aware microarchitecture, overclocking’s gone a bit corporate these days. There’s still some fun to be had, but more importantly, does it still make sense for your CAD workstation?"
The article is an entertaining read and highlights the point of view from a technology enthusiast who is not familiar with the inner workings of the hardcore overclocking community. Overclocking became a thing when 1) processing power was useful, 2) it was a viable option for students, and 3) when it was available across the entire product range. With AMD not being competitive, the real-world use-case for overclocking being less relevant, the entry cost for overclocking drastically increased, and only available (for Intel) on a select product range, it's no surprise overclocking has lost some of its appeal to the general audience.