Conclusion & Comments

So roughly 1 month after building my Alder Lake PC build I am impressed with what I am seeing from Intel. The 12th Generation Processor is very efficient at stock setting and can easily be undervolted for better temperatures and power consumption. In this article I tackled overclocking the CPU and DRAM. Overclocking the CPU isn’t as straight forward as cranking up voltages and hoping for the best. Those days are over since there are so many different areas on the SoC and certain areas share the same voltage lines. So my methodology has changed a little.

While I do plan on pushing Alder Lake further with overclocks I am taking my time since I do not want to over-volt and possibly degrade the CPU or damage the DRAM. My goal is to maximize performance as I continue to overclock, but simply relying on the highest core frequencies doesn’t always mean you’ll gain the best performance. Or it could mean that those performance gains come with astronomical wattage being pulled from the wall and very high heat. Speaking of heat, as you increase the CPU Package Wattage and voltage the heat will become a problem. You need to have a really good CPU cooling solution if you are planning on overvolting\overclocking Alder Lake to high frequencies. Otherwise the CPU will throttle and performance won’t increase regardless of what crazy frequencies are set in the UEFI\BIOS. I found my limit and I had to decide if I wanted to push my CPU temps about the recommended 100 Celsius limit from Intel.

I decided to stay below the 100c limit at the moment since this CPU is already powerful and can be very efficient. However, in future articles I would like to take deep-dives into the wattage and VRM performance on the motherboard. I would like a closer look at what is going on and possibly find ways to keep temperature and wattage lower at higher frequencies. This type of deep-dive would also help me understand the motherboard’s UEFI settings more by actually seeing what’s happening in real-time with the voltages.

Right now at this moment the Alder Lake CPU is performing very well for going very slightly above stock voltage (1.26v-Stock to 1.27v-Overclocked). I am using a 360mm AIO and Intel has definitely pushed this CPU to its limits. As mentioned previously my limit right now is the heat output and throttling. It makes no sense for me to keep pushing voltages if the CPU will simply throttle and lower the clock frequencies due to heat. This gives me opportunities to find other areas to increase performance that can lead to noticeable benchmark increase and increases in typical workloads. As I continue to overclock with high frequencies I plan to hopefully use the lowest voltages possible. I will continue to publish my benchmarks and tests as I complete them so be sure to check back in the future.

Thank you for reading my "Overclocking Alder Lake & Maximizing Performance" article.

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