We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

5 simple ways to overclock a netbook

How to boost the speed of your netbook

If you think overclocking is about taking already blazing-fast gear and pushing it to its upper limits, then think again. We show you five ways to overclock a netbook.

Overclocking is all about taking already blazing-fast gear and pushing it to its upper limits - warranties, energy use and safety be damned. Well, not exactly.

According to Brad Linder, who writes the Liliputing blog:"people have been overclocking netbooks pretty much since Day One".

It started with the very first Eee PC 701, which Asus "intentionally underclocked ... to improve battery life", said Linder.

Frustrated hackers developed tools such as Eeectl and SetFSB to "right-clock" the Eee's CPU, he says.

Quick to take a hint, Asus soon began shipping its own overclocking app, the Super Hybrid Engine, with every Eee. That let users boost the speed of most Eees by up to 10 percent while staying within warranty. And the newly released Asus 1101HA can be run up to 30 percent faster.

Netbook manufacturer MSI also enables its users to easily tune its Wind netbooks and make them as much as 24 percent faster.

Then there are extreme modders like Team Australia in Adelaide. Using a dry-ice-filled pot to chill the exposed motherboard of an MSI Wind U100 netbook, they were able to push its Intel Atom N270 processor to 2.4 GHz, a 50 percent boost over its rated 1.6 GHz.

Of course, most of us aren't interested in performing science experiments for the sake of bragging rights. We just want to get apps to load faster, or high-def videos to play stutter-free.

But besides Asus and MSI, few other netbook makers officially endorse overclocking, much less bundle tools to enable it.

Never fear: Below we detail five (fairly) easy ways for you to overclock your netbook, none of which requires access to exotic cooling materials, and only one of which requires competence with a soldering iron.

(There's also a bonus tip for Acer Aspire One owners - no overclocking, but plenty of hardware tweaking.)

Here's the fine print. Most of the solutions require your netbook to be running Windows rather than Linux.

And the finer print. Your netbook's battery life will definitely drop, while noise from the netbook's fan will rise. Your netbook could crash or freeze if you raise the speed - and temp - too high, too fast. And if you accidentally fry your motherboard using these third-party apps, don't expect your vendor to honour the warranty.

Laptop buying advice

See all netbook reviews

NEXT PAGE: Now, on with the overclocking

  1. What you need to know when attempting to boost speed of your netbook
  2. Now, on with the overclocking
  3. Pump up the graphics with GMABooster
  4. Overclock your HP Mini 2140 with a hardware hack


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs HTC One mini 2 comparison review: Design and price beats additional...

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

Colour-depth not resolution is what will make 4K a success or failure

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which new iPhone 6 model should I buy?