With the release of the Raspberry Pi Model B 3 today, I'm sure we're all very excited to see the speed of this new Pi. The standard clock is 1.2Ghz, but I'd like to push mine further. I know the Pi 3 uses the 64-bit BCM2837 processor, but I couldn't find any fact sheets on the BCM2837, as all search results for it are about the Pi 3.

Does this new processor have any overclocking abilities? Or is it like the Pi Zero, which came at it's maximum clock speed?


6 Answers 6


Yes, it can be overclocked. Here are the details:

The Pi bootloader still follows the overclocking parameters that's usually placed in the /boot/config.txt file despite raspi-config not having any overclocking settings for the Pi 3. raspi-config doesn't have any of the overclock good stuff since the Pi 3 doesn't officially support overclocking.

Basically, what you'll do is manually edit those parameters in said file. I'll assume you're already familiar with the Pi so I'll leave out the how-to-edit part.

My stable frequencies were at 1.4 GHz for ARM, core_freq and sdram_freq were at 500 MHz. 7 overvolt.

tail -n 4 /boot/config.txt

Note: I'm not responsible for any damage you may do to your Pi. Tests were done with adequate cooling measures (heatsink, fan, air-conditioned room). PandaLion98 and related entities are not responsible for any damage that you may do to your Pi. Do at your own risk.

  • 1
    over_voltage=7 Values above 6 are only allowed when force_turbo or current_limit_override are specified.
    – Frantisek
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 1:48

Like any other processor, the Raspberry Pi 3 will be overclockable. Searching for BCM2837 is unlikely to get you any useful results at this point. It's a custom SOC designed specifically for the RPi 3. Within the SOC is a Cortex-A53 CPU. Unfortunately, the ARM page doesn't go into much detail about fast you can (or should) clock it.

That lack of knowledge said, it seems likely that the processor could be reliably overclocked, at least a little. It's extremely rare for processors to be shipped at their max speed for a variety of reasons. The most notable being the binning process. At this point, we don't have enough information to say how much the average RPi 3 can be overclocked, but I'd bet many of them could safely hit the 1.5 GHz mark.


It's also worth noting that the RPi 3 comes with a much newer and more advanced system architecture. Assuming programs are being compiled to take advantage of said architecture, you'll notice huge performance gains from that alone. Overclocking may or may not be worth the effort/risk of overclocking.

  • The organization has stated that their OSs and programs will still be 32 bit based, for a while at least. Does that mean most programs won't be compiled for that architecture? Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 23:27
  • @PatrickCook: for architecture purposes, I was referring to the newer ARM instruction set. It would make sense that they'll probably hesitate to upgrade to the newer set immediately, but anything you compile can take advantage of the newer hardware.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 23:29
  • 1
    Good answer but just to stress this for people who did not bother reading the "binning" article, some emphasis: "bet many of them could safely hit the 1.5 GHz mark" does NOT mean if later on you read someone else did it without problems that the same will be true for you. The OEM's number is the one they consider safe for all units. Some may be capable of higher speeds whereas others may fail, meaning fused internal circuits == dead pi 3. Put another way, if Bob says, "Yeah I run mine at 1.8 Ghz", you try it, and your machine gets bricked it is your own fault.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 11:00

According to this article about the Pi 3, overclocking is not an option. Not yet at least. The Pi 3 is stuck at 1.2 Ghz for now, which should be plenty fast.


Using the Overclock setting in sudo raspi-config on a Pi 3 returns this message:

This Raspberry Pi cannot be overclocked.

I'm sure there is (or will be) a way to manually overclock it, but it may not be covered by warranty anymore.


Sure you can overclock it. Caveat emptor: careful about the warranty rules, you will probably break them.


arm_freq=1350 # default 600
core_freq=500 # default 250

force_turbo=1# Prevent regulation of speed down to 600Mhz when idling
boot_delay=1 # Avoid sdcard corruption when force_turbo is enabled

Official Documentation



I have my Piv3 running stable at 1.4/Overvolt 2 on Raspbian Jessie. No heat sinks and seemingly stays cool. It is a WiFi hotspot, NTP server with pool.ntp.org and a minecraft server with an 8 player limit. Does not skip a beat when full @ 8 players. haven't yet tried more than that. Runs 24/7.


THE Information Should be in the raspiconfig overclock settings at the bottom of the list.

  • I know how to overclock an RPi. I know that the Pi 2 can easily be pushed to 1 Ghz via raspi-config but the Pi 3 starts at 1.2 Ghz. I would like to know what the overclock for the Pi 3 is. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 20:50

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