The engineers behind the Raspberry Pi have carefully balanced performance, power consumption, and heat generation.
But sometimes I like to squeeze a bit more power out of the hardware, and the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B gives the scope to overclock the hardware to get more performance out of the board.
What is overclocking?
Chipmakers are always balancing performance, power, and the amount of heat being generated, and as such tend to run their processor (CPU) or graphics (GPU) chips at a lower speed than they are capable of achieving.
Overclocking is a process where you tweak the settings of a device in order to unlock more of this performance, and push the chip harder than the default for that chip.
Why should I overclock my Raspberry Pi?
The bottom line is that you can unlock additional power and performance that you’ve paid for!
For most day-to-day usage, overclocking isn’t something that you will probably want to do to your Raspberry Pi, but if you’re planning harder and heavier workloads, then overclocking will help make things run a bit smoother. In this example here I’ve taken the speed of the Raspberry Pi’s processor from 1.5GHz to 2GHz — all by running a few commands.
Is overclocking a Raspberry Pi safe?
In a word, yes.
I’ve overclocked dozens of Raspberry Pi boards and not had a single problem.
While it is possible to have stability issues, and even push a Raspberry Pi to the point where the hardware could be damaged, here I’ll be showing you safe, approved methods of overclocking your Raspberry Pi that won’t void your warranty. We’re also going to take some additional cooling precautions to keep the system as cool as possible.
The Raspberry Pi also has a lot of built-in mechanisms to protect the hardware from damage, such as the ability to automatically slow down if it starts to overheat.