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Who's Bad?

How to do what you're not supposed to do to your computer

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This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

eeling naughty today? We are. We're going to lead you to the edge of technology temptation and then ponder all those little things that you're not really supposed to do. Overclocking, pirated software, unplugging your peripherals while they're on. Get your scales ready--let's weigh the risks and rewards!

No-no No. 1: Overclocking. Overclocking your computer processor won't cost you your wings, but it may give your computer a bad case of techburn. At first glance, it sounds magically delicious: By popping the hood and tweaking a few settings, for instance, you can make your 300 MHz Celeron processor run as high as 466 MHz. That's a lot more processor for the money. Web sites like the CPU Overclocking Guide (http://www.sysopt.com/overc.html) and Sharky Extreme (http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/guides.shtml) tell you how to do the deed. Tempting . . . Of course, manufacturers don't approve of this. A hop over to Intel (http://www.intel.com) finds a Pentium III overclocking posting to their message forums deleted with the terse note from Intel's tech support department that reads, "Off-topic post removed. Intel does not support overclocking." But there's more than a profit motive behind this. Overclocking is a sure way to immediately void your warranty. And pushing for faster speeds than a CPU is built for means more heat and strain. All sorts of fun things can happen: component failure, system crashes and data loss, to name a few.

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