How to check overclocked CPU speed?

Overclocking your CPU will make it faster and more efficient, which means you can do other things on your computer at the same time without slowing it down. However, if you notice that your computer is unusually slow and jerky or if your processor runs hotter than usual, your processor may have been overclocked.

How to check overclocked CPU speed

Fortunately, there are several ways to say for sure. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common signs that someone might be overclocking their CPU.

What is overclocking?

In a processor, the clock speed is determined by the frequency of the telegraph signal that tells the processor what to do. For example, if your CPU’s base frequency is 100 MHz and you multiply it by 25, your CPU clock speed will be 100 MHz x 25 or 2500 MHz. So overclocking simply increases these multipliers to make your computer run faster than the manufacturer originally intended.

The purpose of overclocking is to increase processor speed by running the processor at a higher clock speed than it is designed for. There are many ways to overclock your processor. One is through the computer’s BIOS (basic input/output system). Here you can change the clock multiplier and other parameters that affect the operation of your computer.


Basically, there are three clock speed metrics that you need to know before checking if your CPU is overclocked.

Base frequency (specified by the manufacturer): The base frequency is the clock speed at which the processor normally operates. In the absence of stress, at idle, and when running lighter workloads, this is how often the processor is active.

Turbo frequency (specified by the manufacturer): This is the maximum speed the processor can achieve. The CPU pushes itself up to turbo frequency when needed, especially when running heavier workloads.

Overclocking frequency: Overclocked frequency is the clock speed of the processor where the base and turbo are higher than specified.

If you’re interested in checking the speed of your overclocked CPU, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of your motherboard’s socket type. The socket type of your motherboard determines the compatibility and support for different processors. To ensure you’re using the right CPU and maximizing its performance, it’s important to know how to find and check your motherboard’s socket type accurately. You can refer to a comprehensive resource on ‘How to Find and Check Your Motherboard Socket Type?‘ that provides valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to help you identify your motherboard’s socket type with ease.


There are three necessary ways to check the clock speed whether it is overclocked or not.

That is: Check through Task Manager in Windows

  • Verify via CPU-Z
  • Verify via BIOS


The easiest way to determine if your CPU is overclocked is to use the Windows 10 Task Manager. For this method, you need to know your CPU’s boost base and frequency. Here are the steps:

  • Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager” or by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE and selecting “Task Manager”.
  • Select the “Performance” tab and check the “Speed” listed. If it’s higher than your CPU’s turbo frequency, you’ve overclocked it. You can also see the default processor speed. If the base frequency is higher than the frequency specified by the manufacturer, the processor is overclocked.
  • Task Manager displays real-time information about your processor so you can run different loads and keep an eye on clock speeds. Example: You are about to start playing a heavy game.


  • CPU-Z tracks CPU stats and details for Intel Core i7-7700HQ in real-time. CPU-Z is free software that displays detailed information about your computer’s hardware, including its processor. Here’s how to check if your CPU is overclocked using this third-party software.
  • Download and install CPU-Z for Windows. You should download it according to your computer architecture (32-bit or 64-bit). Once loaded, look for the CPU tab. It is selected by default at startup.
  • Pay attention to the “Clock” section in CPU-Z. In this section, the processor’s current operating frequency is highlighted in the Core Clock field.
  • If this number exceeds the turbo frequency specified by the manufacturer, the processor is overclocked. Not if less than or equal to the specified Turbo frequency. You can also do a simple calculation by multiplying the bus speed by a multiplier. The answer also matches the number in the Core Speed field.


The final and most advanced method is to use the BIOS to determine if your processor is overclocked. This is a little technical and you shouldn’t be fiddling with BIOS settings. Also, depending on the BIOS version, the interface may be different for each user. The steps for this method are:

  • The first step is to press the “Delete” key or the “F2” key when your PC starts up, depending on which system you need to access to enter the BIOS.
  • Go to the BIOS settings of your processor.
  • Basically what you are looking for are settings related to CPU clock speed, clock multiplier/clock speed, and CPU VCore (CPU voltage). If it is increased from the default, the processor is overclocked.
  • Reset this part of the BIOS to default values to see the default values. There is always a key in the BIOS that you can press to change it back to default. If the processor is not overclocked, pressing the default reset key will not change it.


Having a basic idea about processors and their models can indicate whether your processor is overclockable in the first place. There’s no need to check if the CPU is overclocked if it’s not even designed to be overclocked. Laptop locked CPU – can’t overclock Most laptops do not support CPU overclocking. Only some high-end laptops support CPU overclocking. So unless you have a laptop that is specifically told somewhere that it is overclockable, you don’t have to worry about overclocking if you have a laptop. Only Intel “K” and “X” series processors can be overclocked.

If you have an Intel processor, check if it’s the “K” series. Intel “K” series refers to “unlocked” processors designed for overclocking. They have the suffix “K” in their name, such as

  • Intel Core i7 11700K
  • Intel Core i5 10600K
  • Intel Core i3 9350K

Workstation-grade “X” series processors can also be locked.

  • Intel Core i9-10900X
  • Intel Core i9-10980XE

All AMD Desktop CPU Can Be Overclocked

AMD, unlike Intel, supports overclocking for all of its desktop processors. What I mean in this section is that if your CPU falls into one of the non-overclockable categories, you don’t need to worry about checking if it’s overclocked.


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