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Why Overclocking Your Server Is a Bad Idea

Posted by QuoteColo on April 14, 2015 - Updated on March 07, 2016

Why Overclocking Your Server Is a Bad Idea

Many people have taken to overclocking their computers as means to make them work faster than what the manufacturer intended for the machine. It can work well in some instances, as the manufacturers will generally provide a conservative number when it comes to the clock speed. With a laptop or a desktop computer, this is not always a problem, and it can help to speed up the computer. However, some people have decided to overclock their servers, and this is where a number of problems tend to crop up. Let’s look at some of the reasons that you should refrain from doing this.

The server does work similarly to a typical computer, and is a physical machine that shares data with those who are on the server. However, because you are relying so much on the server, and because it is already taking care of so many processes, overclocking can become a real hazard because of the nature of how it works. It can end up costing more time and money than many think.

The Problem of Overheating

When you are overclocking a server, there will be increased levels of voltage running through the machine. This will naturally cause the machine to generate a greater amount of heat. This heat will have a negative effect on the pieces within the server, such as the semiconductors. It can result in actual and irreversible physical damage to the machine, as well as operation errors. If there is no physical damage, these errors could still require frequent restarting and rebooting of the server.

There are plenty of negative side effects to this. First, there is the possibility of data corruption and permanent data loss. You could lose client information, trade secrets, emails, and much more. Imagine the damage that could do to your business. In addition, if you have a business the relies on the server being up and running all of the time, the constant rebooting means that there will be times when your server is down. This can result in lost business. Chances are, people won’t be coming back to your site if they continue having trouble getting on and making it work properly.

Often, when people get these errors and problems, they do not immediately attribute it to an overclocking issue. Instead, they spend time trying to find bugs, viruses, and other flaws that could be causing the problem, never realizing that the fix could be as simple as not increasing the processor’s speed beyond its normal capabilities. One of the reasons for this is that the motherboard on the server might not be destroyed, simply damaged. It can become difficult to diagnose the problem.

Some might be thinking that they can prevent the problem by adding new cooling devices to the server to help keep the temperatures down. While it’s possible to reduce some of the issues, the cooling components are typically expensive. They will also require more maintenance and monitoring to keep the unit functioning. In fact, this could push up the costs enough that simply having chosen a different, faster server would have been the better option. Since an overclocked server is drawing more power, it means that the operating costs are going to be higher.

Sometimes, overclocking the server will not even help the overall performance. If there are other components in the server, or within the network, that are limiting the speed, then speeding up the processor will not do much except cause the aforementioned problems.

Voiding the Warranty

If you are buying a server, then chances are that you will have a warranty that comes along with it. It’s very important that you read all of the stipulations and fine print in this warranty. When you alter the conditions under which you are using the server, such as overclocking, it makes the warranty null and void. This means that even though you might think you are saving money on an older or less powerful server and that you can get by speeding it up on your own, it’s still a huge risk. If you don’t have a warranty, then when the server breaks down, you have no recourse. You will not have your site up and running and your data will not be available. This has the potential to damage your business severely.

Do You Still Want to Overclock the Server?

Even though it is a bad idea, and not all servers are able to be overclocked, some people may still want to speed up their server. When working with older servers, the increase can sometimes be enough to make them function as though they were a newer and modern machine. However, as we’ve discussed, the cons far outweigh the pros in this matter.

If you still want to increase your server speed with overclocking, you need to make sure that you have enough power to support the new clock rate. You have to be very careful when doing this, as too much power can damage the machine beyond repair. In addition, you need to make sure that you have a good method of keeping the machine as cool as possible. The components that are already in the system are not enough to keep the temperatures down. Adding a heatsink, as well as a powerful fan can help. You also need to make sure that the cooling elements you use are compatible with your server. If not, then they will not do much good at all. Even then, it might not be enough.

You also need to make sure that the server you are using even has the potential to be overclocked in the first place. Most of the server boards do not allow this. Make sure that your board does offer this option before you start spending money on the other components you need for the job. Always use caution and make sure you are willing to take the risks associated with speeding up the server. When you overclock a server, you are doing so at your own risk.

Your Best Option

Even though a new and faster server is certainly going to be more expensive than an older model, consider the benefits that it can offer. You will be able to get the speed and power that you need without running the risk of damaging the machine or voiding your warranty. You can find a number of options out there for those who want to buy their own servers and have them on their own premises. Of course, you can also choose to work with companies that offer managed hosting for your servers, and even cloud servers. It’s possible to find fast and effective servers that are still affordable.

Doing this can save you from the trouble and the pain of overclocking your server and running into problems. Take the time to see which server options out there will be the best choice for you and your business.

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