This is something that I have seen In alot of reviews done by major magazines, that when overclocking they actually see a decrease in performance.
Ok...I'd like to see what reviews you're reading. The only time that can happen is if it's overclocked to a completely unstable state. Which in some instances, some CPUs just aren't meant to be overclocked. This is where knowing your stuff comes in handy because you avoid those products.
As, 4W4K3, said....OC'ing is basically like a drug. When I first started out before I had actually got my NF7-S and my XP-M I said to myself "Ill be happy if I can simply get 3200+ XP speeds (2.2GHz)"
As soon as I hit 2.2GHz........I rebooted and pushed for 2.3GHz......then 2.4GHz.....then 2.5GHz.....lol all the way up to 2.8GHz lol, which attempting 2.8GHz I pushed 2.225 vcore through the CPU, my motherboards max amount of Vcore, and everything still was fine.
I can get 2.7GHz completely stable and look at this bench:
Completely lays waste to the 3200+ XP and in some instances beats out the 3.8GHz Intel that's in the bench (notice however, it beats that intel in one form of the test, like the integer, but not the floating point)
Even dominates the 2.4GHz opteron.
Point being, overclocking, when done properly, yeilds very realistic benefits and increases in speed.
Companies DO have overclockers in mind. A couple years ago Intel had actually thought about making their processors non-overclockable, but obviously a lot of people would have been quite angry.
AMD can do the same. There are mods for locked multipliers in CPUs, but you know either company can make a CPU that's absolutely 100% non-OC'able if they wanted to....but then they'd lose too many die hard fans.
The sense of pride you get from building your own machine and pushing it past its limits and having it remain stable makes most want to never buy a store bought computer again once they have experienced building one for themselves.
Well put, although I've never had a company built machine...doesnt mean I personally built them, my latest computer is the first one I've truly built, maintained, OC'd, tortured, loved, lol you name it, but I've loved every minute of the experience and now I know so much more than any average person.
Most people don't even know that the circuit board RAM is printed on will make a difference in how far it can be overclocked, or that the actual black chips (IC's) also make a considerable difference in the voltages required to hit speeds, etc..etc...etc...