Overclocking is a process involving making specific computer components run outside their factory spec to achieve higher speeds than intended.
Overclocking involves running a device outside its specifications, and can void warranties, shorten a devices useful life, or completely fry a device. Thus, only attempt an overclock if you know what you are doing
 General pros and cons
- Can net a sizable increase in performance system wide, regardless of application
- Can ease potential bottlenecks caused by the processor
- Many PC enthusiasts and tinkerers find enjoyment out of overclocking
- Good learning curb to understand how your computer works
- The component will run hotter
- The component will require more voltage and in turn, more electricity from the mains
- The computer may become unstable if the overclocking process isn't done properly
- Fans will have to run faster, causing more noise
- After-market cooler will be required for more serious overclocks on processors. Most graphics cards come with adequate coolers
- Overclocking reduces the life of the component, however not enough to be concerned with
 Common methods of overclocking
 "Permanent" overclocks
These overclocks are configured inside a BIOS or a UEFI and are set on a much lower level than your operating system, so the overclock will prevail after reformats, reinstalls and repairs. Overclocking using this method is a double edged sword, while being reported by some users to be more stable, it can be more difficult to fix if the overclock isn't safe. This method usually allows you to edit the front-side bus/HyperTransport link, allowing to have great control of your overclock, usually allowing you to increase in increments of 10-20+ megahertz. However, as you increase this, everything else in your system is sped up too, so you will have to counter that (unless you want that - not totally safe).
While the overclock is at a hardware level, resetting the component to stock is as simple as changing the values back to default. Nothing about it is truly "permanent."
 Tool based overclocks
This method varies quite a bit to the previously mentioned style of overclocking in that it's done inside an application inside an operating system while it's running. This has quite a nice benefit of being able to test and adjust the system easily but with a few downsides. The application used can influence the stability of the overclock and while it doesn't effect achieved speed (excluding situations where using the BIOS/UEFI allows higher clocks), the majority of users do prefer the previous method. On top of that, this technique means the overclock will only apply if the tool is running (some tools will allow you to only require it to run once per system start), meaning if you reboot, refort or reinstall, the overclock is lost until reapplied. This attribute, however, is useful for testing purposes, as any instabilities can be repaired simply by changing the configuration back or, if it crashes, simply rebooting.