CNET Covers Overclocking: “How Breaking Your Computer Makes it Faster”

It’s not every day that the topic of overclocking, either competitive, extreme, casual or otherwise, actually meets a broad mainstream audience. Even though we have more Rookies and Novice overclockers than ever before, we have to admit that the topic remains largely esoteric and beyond the bounds of mainstream media. That said, it’s interesting to see a media channel like CNET tackle the subject, and attempt to do it in a way where your average man in the street can understand. Luke Lancaster, writing for CNET published an article yesterday with the following title:

“The overclocking lowdown: How breaking your computer makes it faster.”

A curious and slightly odd title. Broken computers do run faster than unbroken ones. Check out the sub-title:

“Some people crack open their computers, force their processors to run to near melting point and use liquid nitrogen to keep the whole thing in check. Here’s why.”

Despite the obvious 'click bait' title and sub-title usage, Luke almost manages to redeem himself as he plows through a layman’s description of what overclocking is at the basic level and how some enthusiasts enjoy taking things to the limits. Here, have another taste:

“It's digital frontierism, testing components well outside of the recommended settings to push current tech further or jury-rig older tech to keep pace with the cutting edge. There's even a competitive benchmarking scene, with overclockers competing to hit the fastest speeds in standard computer performance tests. This is the extreme far end of the spectrum, incorporating things like liquid nitrogen cooling systems, and keeping CPUs at -100 degrees Celsius (around -140 degrees Fahrenheit).”

In his defense, I’m quite fond of the idea of ‘digital frontierism’ - I think he’s nailed it there, but he seems surprised by the fact that there’s ‘even’ a competitive benching scene. Anyway, here’s my tuppence worth. The tone and nature of this article a) further underlines how detached from our world today’s modern ‘tech media’ really are, and b) sadly reminds me of the truly dire state of modern journalism in general - a few hours (max) of research online, and I’m an authority on the subject. Listen to me.

Check out the full article on CNET, and don’t forget to check out the comments. Chime in with comments in the forum thread.

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