Can you overclock a Dell (and what's the worst that would reasonably happen)?

Okay, got a Dell not too long ago. Through some new stuff into it, have a reasonable power supply, video card, etc.

The only thing I could see wanting to change down the road is the chip. It’s an E4500, and while it works okay, one of my favorite games in particular does not seem to offer dual core support, so it is basically running off of one core.

One option with that chip in particular seems to be overclocking. Supposedly it is an overclocker’s dream, can easily get it from 2.2 GHz up into the 3s, etc.

Let’s say I try to overclock it. What’s the worst that is reasonably likely to happen? If it were a matter of needing to overclock it or have to buy a new CPU, for example, than overclocking it might be worthwhile if the worst it would do is burn out the CPU (which would not matter if I were to replace it anyway if I could not overclock it).

Most curious at this point, but considering longer term possibilities.

Dell only allows overclocking on XPS systems, and I think only if it’s one of the crazy multiplier-unlocked Extreme CPUs.

It’s possible, if you can find the PLL and it’s supported by clockgen or CPUFSB. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. OEM computers have very weak power supplies, the motherboard hardware is specced very tight with no leeway, you have no temp sensors to check for overheating, and the voltages won’t be adjustable so you won’t get much of an overclock anyway.

That’s what I figured. I guess I’ll just have to wait a few months and bum a currently expensive faster CPU off of someone who is looking to upgrade.

I’m really stretching here anyway, it’s not like this thing is exactly sluggish, but I’m just trying to insure I get a couple of years out of it.

Regarding the power supply and motherboard, however, I have been playing around with it, and have a better power supply in there than it came with (pursuant to another thread here). Understood regarding the difficulties with the motherboard, which seems like it is the real problem here.

It’s easy. Don’t worry about burning it out or anything wacky. As you raise the clock multiplier it will eventually just not go any higher UNLESS you raise the voltage. At which point you will need better cooling and power. But you could probably keep it at stock voltage and see how far you can raise it without concern. If you feel up for experimenting, you should just go for it. It’s not voodoo. It’s a fairly simple process, you just take your lumps if the processor suddenly croaks and you have to buy a new one. But at stock voltage, it’s not likely to happen.


The modern Dell product is basically engineered to be as cheap and barely sufficient in the cooling area as is physically possible. Overclocking is not a good idea unless you customize stuff.

I’ve been in some standard dell BIOS’, there’s no option for multiplier or fsb, let alone vcore voltages.

You can OC the videocard with either ATI Tool or Rivatuner. Those are free for download.

Did you say you threw in a new videocard? If not, if you have a PCI-E slot on your mb, you can upgrade that, and when you decide to do a complete upgrade, you can move your new videocard over.

I’d recommend the 8800GT if you can find one.