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I was thinking of getting a core i5, because its a lot cheaper than the i7 range, and I've been told it can overclock very nicely.

Now I don't intend to push the overclocking to the very extreme but it would be nice to get an extra 0.5 GHz out of it. If I do this, will I need to look at water cooling, or can I use air cooling for this overclock?

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For 500 **G**Hz? Yeah, you'll need something more than air ;) –  phoebus Dec 3 '09 at 15:25
    
.5Ghz I mean :) sorry about that. –  JL. Dec 3 '09 at 15:37
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@phoebus: Liquid Nitrogen is your friend. ;) –  Troggy Dec 3 '09 at 16:08
    
@Troggy, forget nitrogen, you need helium for that. –  Mircea Chirea Aug 30 '10 at 5:09
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

i recommend to post this quiz at overclock.net.

the nice folks over there have plenty experience in the matter.

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Ok, just a point of view here. You want to buy i5 because it is cheaper than the i7, but you still want the best performance. Overclocking is possible, but if you start getting into overclocking levels which require advanced cooling (like watercooling), your cost savings disappear away to all the additional cooling hardware needed. So, keep your overall cost in mind, if that truely is a concern for you. You have to balance cost, performance, reliability, risk, and time involved.

You can use air cooling for low to moderate OC. Large heatsinks and large cpu fans. You got to make sure you have a proper case with adaquate cooling also. You also need to keep in mind the rest of your components and how much they can take beyond just overclocking a cpu also.

And you will be voiding many warranties, asking for potential trouble down the road (more heat can mean less reliability and less life), and could see some interesting data and system errors after extended use. I would never overclock a work or serious use computer that demands reliability. Only machines I would attempt that on are hobby, game, or systems I don't use on a daily basis and contain important information.

For information, this is a good site with forums and lots of tutorials and recommended hardware: http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/

EDIT:

This was a great answer on a previous question: http://superuser.com/questions/78223/water-cooling-a-pc-is-it-really-expensive/78246#78246

For great hardware reviews, performance tests, and information, it is hard to beat http://www.tomshardware.com/

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i am always reluctant with advice that sure as hell will void any warranty in a forum like SU which is focused on sound advice rather than mad stunts. :) –  Molly7244 Dec 3 '09 at 15:57
    
Maybe I should highlight the risk part? ;) –  Troggy Dec 3 '09 at 16:00
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