One of the oldest tricks to increase the probability of a successful overclocking is to increase the voltage from the component you want to overclock. Nowadays, even entry-level motherboards present some voltage adjustments, with high-end models coming with a myriad of them. The problem is that even hardcore enthusiasts have a hard time understanding what each option really means. In this tutorial, we will explain the exact meaning of each one of them in clear language.

The motherboard manufacturers are the ones to blame for this whole confusion. Even though CPU and chipset manufacturers have official names for all voltages their components use, each motherboard manufacturer for some strange reason calls the same thing with different names. Usually, the manual does not explain the meaning of each function – manuals usually simply repeat the name of the function as an “explanation.”(Duh!) The same is true if you ask for help inside the motherboard setup.

Voltage options are changed inside the motherboard setup, which is entered by pressing Del (or F2 on some motherboards) after turning on the computer. But we think you knew this already, since you are interested in a very specific subject.

To understand voltages, you need to understand a little more about how each CPU manufacturer deals with voltages in their product line.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.