I am using an old laptop (running CentOS 7) as a compute host in a small cluster at home and to keep it from overheating I am changing the CPU speed by altering


I believe that if you overclock a processor you also need to change RAM settings. If I am going to raise / lower my CPU speed by editing this file, what do I need to do / can I do with RAM at the OS level? Are there any other considerations for me to make?


The cpufreq system is not a "proper" overclocking/underclocking system; it's just an interface to standard power-saving features (CPU frequency scaling) included on modern CPUs. In particular, this means that (1) you can't use cpufreq on its own to increase the processor speed beyond safe margins and (2) you don't have to do anything to the RAM. That doesn't necessarily mean you mustn't do anything to the RAM, but personally I wouldn't bother with it unless and until normal CPU throttling proves to be insufficient to prevent overheating.

In general, it's probably a good idea to use cpupower to set the frequency or cpufreq governor instead of using the sysfs interface directly; see e.g. this post. For Intel processors in particular, you may also want to look into the Linux Thermal Daemon.

I'll leave the question of what you can do with the RAM for somebody else to answer.

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