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Weekend Poll: To Overclock Or Not To Overclock?


Rooting a device can bring many advantages to a device. Smartphones are powerful devices, and taking full control of one can highly improve its performance. A very popular way of improving a user’s experience is by overclocking, which means clocking a processor’s speed higher than the manufacturer normally allows and recommends.

Overclocking used to be much more popular with older-generation devices, as their hardware and software were not enough to provide a solid and fluid Android experience. As smartphone technology advances, this technique has become much less popular. Smartphones are now powerful enough to give a smooth performance, even with stock software and settings.

But there is no doubt overclocking still has its advantages. It usually gets rid of whatever lag there may be, and it makes games and other apps much faster and more responsive.

Overclocking definitely comes with its caveats, though. For one, it can damage your phone in the long run. There are reasons why manufacturers and SoC makers recommend that processors be clocked at certain speeds. It is the best they can perform without harming the product’s security.

In fact, not only can it damage your hardware, but also your experience. If a processor is clocked too high, the device might have many issues; such as glitches and bugs. Overheating is also a known problem, as well as random reboots. One can usually find the sweet spot, though. That clock speed that makes the device faster while stable.

We must remind you that rooting, ROMing and overclocking is not for everyone. You must be willing to do your research and take full responsibility of your actions. Tampering with a device’s guts may void your warranty and/or harm your device.

For those that are now Android-literate, though, it is a very fun way to take your device to its fullest potential. So let’s see where our readers stand! Please participate in our poll and let us know what you think in the comment section.

I have been known to root and overclock a few of my devices. This is something I have not done in a while, though. I simply no longer find the need to, as my latest devices have been polished and smooth enough.





  • Montisaquadeis

    Since I only use my phone for texting, voice calls, and music no need to overclock it. As for my Nook Tablet that is already fast enough for 720p video playback over the network so I have no reason to overclock that either. And since my PC has a locked down BIOS I can not overclock it no matter how much I want to. But I will be making sure my new ivy bridge system can be overclocked and will be overclocking it since I have a few emulators that need it overclocked.

    Plus you seem to be missing the option stating that the device can not be overclocked as there isnt an overclocking kernel for it.

  • ericl5112

    I used to, but it’s not much of a difference on my SGS1. However, on my TF101, thanks to the Tegra 2′s fail video decoder, I need to hit 1.5Ghz to play 720p on DICE player. However, any other chipset and I wouldn’t need to overclock that either.

    Sad thing is, even slower chipsets have the better video decoder built in (NEON) and can play 720p no problem.

  • https://plus.google.com/102290060063255149992 Alek Tritt

    Overclocking was important to me on my G2, but I haven’t brothered with it on my GNex.

  • http://phandroid deh2002

    I normally end up underclocking my devices to preserve battery life.

    • AJA0

      I never have to worry about battery life with the Razr Maxx :)

      • Jdog25

        Me neither, Gnex.

  • G

    I OC’d my hero when I used to have it but I haven’t seen a reason to root with my ET4G. Only thing that makes me want to root again is cyanogen mod 10

  • tnutz

    I overclock my HOS not because I need to but because I can.. that and for bragging rights

  • http://twitter.com/bman1126 Brian Stewart

    Overclocking is to show off my benchmark with stock friends, underclocking my Amaze 4g is my daily driver

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    We’re not running crysis, so for real world tasks, standard speeds are sufficient.

  • James Kennelly

    I overclocked my Eris and Fascinate. But, I have never overclocked my GNex. I will underclock it when I am trying to save power.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      ^ This

      • carhauler1969

        +1 only OverClock for benchmarking, I usually underclock for day to day use to help with battery life.

    • Sobr0801

      I overclocked my Hero, and Epic, but I havent with my Rezound either.

    • jroc74

      Exactly.

      At this point in time…with the hardware and Android alot better since the days of the Droid 1 and Eris….overclocking is for benchmark bragging rights. IMO

      It was needed back then. Now, not so much. We went from 500 – 600 Mhz cpu’s and 256MB ram to what we have today. Its simply not needed as much now. Agree 100% with the last paragraph in the article.

  • http://twitter.com/mil0ck Philip Thiede

    I’m overclocking mostly the GPU, now on my GNex.

  • Chirag Joshi

    For people who use their Smartphones/Tablets as their daily carriers, overclocking would be a unnecessary extra which is needless to say quite bothersome, and requires a certain amount of technical know how, with the definite downside of voiding manufacturer warranty.

    For power users (I belong to this particular breed) overclocking and rooting is a way to unlock the true potential of their device’s cpu/gpu. They are well aware of the pros and cons of overclocking their devices. Also the additional boost in performance is a much appreciated addition, and unlocks a world of oppurtunity for cutomisations, running custom roms, etc.

    +1 to devs for making overclockable kernels for my Samsung Galaxy Note. Just sayin’..

  • redandblack1287

    After trying out the Trinity kernels for the Nexus S, I will always be UNDERclocking my phones in the future. Adds battery life while still performing normally, with no hardware risk whatsoever. Look into it if you have a rooted phone and haven’t tried it yet

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dana-Garner-Johnson/1799092172 Dana Garner-Johnson

    Mine is underclocked.

  • http://androidforums.com/members/spartoi.html Spartoi

    I underclock.

  • Sondrek17

    I am new to rooting, but when my GS2 was rooted I underclocked it to 800 mhz. Saving power is important.

  • http://twitter.com/RubenA181 Ruben

    ILike slightly OC kernels on my GN but honestly the difference is subtle.

  • Stephen

    Only if the device really needs a boost. My Incredible 2 is good enough to for me. But with my older devices it was a necessity just for day to day use.

  • JulianZHuang

    underclocked my gnexus too 900 but still charge couple times per day.

  • GBGamer

    I personally underclock to 1.3ghz on my SII Hercules.

  • Don Wright

    My GN is plenty fast and smooth. The custom firmwares that are out there already make things smooth, I actually under clock to save power. AOKP with black/red theme and franco kernel keep my GN running smooth and easy on the juice.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Where’s the option for “no, extra battery consumption is not worth it”?

    • vioalas

      +1 to that.

  • scoter man1

    Since I have the Atrix, I have enough battery to make it through 2 days. I just o/c a little bit to make CM9 run nicely. Plus, its gives me the ability to say I o/c.

  • JosephLagalla

    Overclocked my sensation to the Sensation XE stat. It makes sense a little snappier.

  • xcelr8ion

    I’m OC and loving it! All 1836 MHz of overclock love on my HTC Sensation 4G’s S3 dual-core snapdragon!

  • toomuchgame441

    Under lock my Gnex… Just down to 1Ghz… And I put it on conservative, I usually keep it untouched, I’m going to hope my change makes a difference for the battery life

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameron.schluchtner Cameron John Schluchtner

    my overclocks never stick so there isnt a point

  • peanutsrevenge

    I overlooked my hero half way through my 2 year contract as it was really struggling with many apps. I’ve done to my sensation (pyramid) too, but found tweaking the governor was more beneficial, as Google seem to have found for JB with a quicker governor.

  • Patrick Cassels

    A dynamic clock speed dependent on battery level used to be useful to squeeze some extra life out of my Note but after putting on Cyanogenmod it was no longer necessary (3 days battery with careful usage!)

  • in2android

    I don’t see a need to over clock my phones anymore. With today’s devices like the gs3, HTC One X, & even dual cores from 6-9 months ago like the Note, GS2, Gnex, etc are powerful enough. I don’t care for the heat it causes most phones to produce or the battery life…. I used to over clock all of my phones though, and it’s never caused any irreversible harm. Maybe random reboots or heat & bad battery life as I mentioned above.

  • DarrenR

    I have an HTC Inspire with an AOSP ICS rom that I was runing at 1804MHz for a few months, but now the current version of the rom doesnt like being that high. So I am at 1420MHz. Up from a stock 1080MHZ. Makes a pretty significant differance. Underclocked while screen is off. Doesnt negatively affect my batter too much.

  • Sai

    My Desire HD is at 1036,which is near stock. With a smart ass governor, I don’t really need to o/c much. Usually o/c up to 1.4 for CPU intensive games and u/c to 998if i need a bit more battery. Currently u/v by – 25mv

  • Michael Thompson

    I used to be into that stuff, but not anymore.
    I could see doing it to extend it’s usefulness in the device’s later life but if it isn’t fast enough out of the chute then why the heck did you get it in the first place?
    UNDERLOCKING is another story, as it extends battery life.

  • http://profiles.google.com/danielm.nc Daniel Marcus

    I used to overclock my Droid 1 to about 800mhz (up from 550mhz), and I overclocked my Nook Color to 1.1ghz (up from 700mhz). On the NC, it really wasn’t much, because the processor was a bit underclocked as it was. On my Droid 4, I leave well enough alone at 1.2ghz, and really, as long as the processor is over a ghz, I don’t see a need to actually overclock.

  • ren

    I underclocked my epic 4g touch to 800mhz and it still running fast and smooth lol Longer battery too

  • Sgs Captivate

    LMAO@ all you underclockers! You can continue to pay hundreds and REDUCE your devices performance ie short yourself. Do some research and oc to the Max safe level for your specific chipset. Let me buy a Bugatti Veyron and cut off fuel supply to 4 cylinders. It’ll save gas. LMAO

    • jroc74

      Guy….after using a Droid 1, Droid X1, RAZR, G Nex, Rezound….

      Overclocking seriously isnt needed if you got a recent high end Android phone. About the car you mentioned….would you mod it to make it go faster? Or would you be satisfied with it as is? You car anology is what I mean….get a phone fast enough as is…do you really need to overclock it?

      I under clocked my RAZR from .1.2Ghz to 1. I dont see how that reduces performance so much that it hurts overall user experience. The Rezound at 1.5Ghz doesnt feel all that faster than my RAZR. Then look at the posts about the custom ROM they use. With enough tweaks to the software….overclocking really isnt needed today like it was in 2009, 2010.