Stealth Overclocking

By Deane Barker on April 12, 2005

There’s an awful lot of overclocking out there: The Windows team at Microsoft was getting some bizarre crash reports. They followed up on 10 of them, and found that five people had intentionally overclocked their system. As for the rest:

>The other half said, “What’s overclocking?” He called them and walked them through some configuration information and was able to conclude that they were indeed all overclocked. But these people were not overclocking on purpose. The computer was already overclocked when they bought it. These “stealth overclocked” computers came from small, independent “Bob’s Computer Store”-type shops, not from one of the major computer manufacturers or retailers.

So are these shops buying slower processors, then overclocking them and selling them as CPUs of the actual speed they’ve been overclocked to? Sneaky. Sleazy.



  1. I’d be surprised if those machines were sold as anything they were not. It’s not uncommon for the little guys to add custom overclocking to their computer builds as a way of distinguishing their computers from everyone elses. And as a way of “making sure you get the most out of your machine.”

    I’d be shocked if those machines weren’t advertised at their base speeds. There’s a good chance the consumers were informed in some way that their machines would be over-clocked, enhanced, or tuned up. It’s not uncommon at all for people to buy things they don’t understand.

    The short of it is, just because 5 people owned machines they didn’t know were over-clocked doesn’t mean sellers were doing anything shady.

  2. Many a times Ive seen advertisements for computers lets say XP 2800+ running at 3200+… so I wouldnt be suprised if these ppl just bought one with that advertised but considering they didnt even know what overclocking was, read that and didnt even know what it meant.

  3. This practice has been around forever. Heck, it’s the reason Intel locked the multiplier on their processors in the first place; shady dealers would change one jumper setting and be selling “Pentium 166MHz” systems for a bunch more profit.

    Tom mentions it . . . way back in 1997.
    “There are a lot remarked Pentium chips around, as recently discovered when all over Europe there were several concurrent razzias against criminal organizations that re-marked thousands of P133s to P166.”

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