So punk, you think you can just flash some kernel, crank your CPU up to 82GHz and watch your animated cat GIFs at a higher framerate? Well, maybe with your computer that’s how it works, but maybe not with your phone. Let me break it down for you.

But let’s forget about the danger of letting your phone run super-hot and wasting battery, I’m not going to lecture you on that. That’s your business, chief.

Windows Phone users, this doesn’t apply to you obviously as Microsoft forces you to drive automatic instead of stick shift like a man who can make his own decisions, educated and otherwise.

When you overclock, and correct me if I’m wrong because I’m mostly guessing here and am not known for my common sense, depending on what you do with your phone, by how much you OC and how good a conservative job your governor does, your phone, which lacks a cooling system, gets super hot real fast. And the correlation between how hot it gets versus by how much you increase those hertz is exponential, not linear (okay I made that up).

But when it gets hot, it throttles down the CPU to try to get back into the thermal safe zone – a hard enough challenge with your screen on, let alone with your CPU revved up to the max. Say byebye to those extra hertz, and hello to an underclocked phone (unless it climbs to its safe zone). Imagine that, your dumb ass effectively underclocked your phone!

I’m saying to overclock your phone in the pursuit of a faster phone can be a self-defeating quest. At the least, install some widget that monitors your phone’s internal temperature. If you want to experiment with a few extra megahertz, okay, but when you dial that up and scroll down your favorite animated GIF site, eyeball the temperature.

When you’re breaking 95 celsius (I’m just making that up, I don’t know what the limit is), go check your clock speed at that moment, and unless you’re using an insane governor, I bet it’s slower than you set it to, and I’ll re-raise your sweet ass and bet you that it’s below the stock level.

Also just stare at your CPU speed for a while. You may be startled to see that your 4chan polling thread checker ramps your phone up from a mellow 300MHz to 3GHz for a simple task. Governors don’t know everything.

Believe me brother I know so well the temptation to overclock full-blast, even if it means carrying one of those portable mini battery chargers around. I want you to have a fast phone, you want to have a fast phone, and you know who else wants you to have a fast phone, Google or whoever made your phone and decided on things like your max clock speed.

Maybe, just maybe, they know better than that guy on XDA that 2265MHz on four cores (for a phone…) is about right. Maybe they tested it. Maybe they have equipment, physicists and math guys to think it over, while under pressure to sign off on as high a speed as possible in order to be competitive.

I am certainly not saying not to flash custom roms and kernels, no sir, they can bring you many advantages and do so much more than let you overclock and give you more governors to choose from. Have at it. But as for overclocking, check yo damn thermometer widget first.

Doug Simmons

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Biographical info.. hmm. I have a history of not being able to strike the balance between what is “safe” to put into these forms and what is, in my mind at least, funny. Can’t do it.

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