Complete Guide to Using MSI Afterburner

Complete Guide to Using MSI Afterburner
Complete Guide to Using MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner is the best program to overclock your Windows GPU. So what is MSI Afterburner, and how can you use it?

GPU Overclocking can be scary for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be scary. You can push the limits and still get better performance, provided you understand how and where you should limit yourself.

MSI Afterburner not only offers the best GPU overclocking tool but is also an excellent resource for all your GPU tuning needs.

It can be challenging to understand, especially for beginners in the overclocking field. So what is MSI Afterburner, and how can you use it?

What is MSI Afterburner, and how can it help you?

MSI Afterburner may be the most popular GPU overclocking tool for Windows. MSI Afterburner’s first version was released in 2010. It was developed by MSI or Micro-Star International (a Taiwanese technology company specializing in computer hardware).

The MSI makes PC gaming gear, motherboards, graphics cards and other hardware. MSI Afterburner can only be used with an MSI-made graphics card.

Not at all.

MSI’s tool is an all-in-one overclocking utility. It works with any graphics card, regardless of whether it’s an AMD Radeon or Nvidia card. Also, it works on other graphics cards that MSI does not manufacture. It’s free and has many additional functions beyond being an overclocking tool.

MSI Afterburner’s overclocking feature is based upon an old utility called RivaTuner. This one was released in 1997 and last updated in 2009. RivaTuner is the backbone of several overclocking utilities, including EVGA Precision X, ASUS GPU Tweak, and MSI Afterburner.

RivaTuner was once the best, but many people now prefer MSI Afterburner. RivaTuner is still available. While the leading RivaTuner software has been discontinued (although technically, it is possible to use it still), RivaTuner Statistics Server is still being actively maintained. This frame rate and hardware monitoring tool was initially designed to be used with RivaTuner. It ships with the MSIAfterburner installer.

How do I install MSI Afterburner?

The latest MSI Afterburner version can be downloaded from MSI’s webpage. There are no unique versions or other requirements. Just grab the installer and get to work. You can download older versions of the program from FileHorse if you need them.

Run the installer from there. The installer will ask you if it wants to install MSI Afterburner or RivaTuner Statistics Server. Although RTSS is unnecessary for the software’s functionality, it allows you to display statistics and overlay frame rates during games. This is a great feature, especially if your goal is to document something. It’s up to you.

After you have selected the files, run the installer. Next, please read the rest of these instructions and then wait for it to finish. Congrats! Congratulations!

How do I use MSI Afterburner?

MSI Afterburner is capable of doing a lot. These are just a few of the many things that you can do with it and how to do them.

The UI of the program looks a lot like a car dashboard when you first open it. It’s dominated by a strong theme, reminding me of Windows 98-era Windows Media Player’s themes.

The top will show stats about your GPU, including the clock speed and temperature. You’ll also see some sliders at the bottom. We’ll get into more detail about those sliders in a bit.

You’ll see several buttons on the left side. The logo, which is spaceship-like, will open Afterburner’s website. The “K” logo will open MSI Kombustor. The information button will give you details about your GPU and CPU. The OC Scanner tool is available. It scans your GPU using an algorithm created by Nvidia for RTX20 series cards. The settings button and “monitor”, which will display a graph of the temperatures of your graphics card, can be found there.

The right side then has a lot of numbers. These are “profiles”. You can save any tweaks to your GPU as a profile. This allows you to quickly and easily apply them whenever you want.

You can change the default layout if you don’t like it. You can change the default layout by going to Settings or User interface<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”> and selecting one of the pre-loaded themes.

How to Overclock Your GPU with MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner can boost your GPU’s performance in two ways. The OC Scanner feature is the first. This tool will scan your GPU automatically to determine the best settings for overclocking.

  1. Click on the OCS Scanner button. Next, tap on the Scan link. The process can take several minutes, so make sure to have a cup of coffee while you wait. It will then apply the settings it considers the best for your GPU.
  2. To overclock your GPU, you can also manually adjust sliders. To do this, move the Power Limit/Temperature sliders higher to make room for overclocking. By default, both sliders are pinned together so that you can move one slider up.
  3. Next, adjust the slider for Core Clock (MHz). You can also adjust the Memory Clock. This can be done manually, but it is good to use very light adjustments to get a good balance between stability and performance without damaging your hardware.

How to Modify your Fan Curve

The program can also be used to alter your fan curve. You can adjust the speed and temperature at which your fan operates. You can do this by going to Settings and clicking on the fan tab. Next, toggle Allow user-definable software automatic fan control<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”> on. This will bring up the fan curve graph.

You can add as many nodes to the fan curve as you wish and adjust it in any way you want. For example, you can adjust the fan curve to keep GPU temperatures lower, but you will also experience more wear on the fans.

How to Limit Your GPU by Power Consumption/Temperature

As we mentioned, you can use the Power Limit/Temperature sliders to overclock. It can keep power consumption and temperatures under control without causing too much performance loss.

Instead of moving the sliders higher, you will want to lower them. If you don’t want your graphics cards to use much power, you can adjust the Power Limit slider to 75%. This will ensure that the card doesn’t exceed your set limits.

MSI Afterburner opens the Overclock Floodgates

MSI Afterburner, a great piece of software, is something that every PC gamer should have. It is lightweight and allows you to tweak your GPU to make it run exactly the way you want.

Although we have given you some tips, it is a versatile tool that anyone can use. Although it might be a little challenging to use at first, it is designed to allow you to experiment and find what you want to do with it.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.