Many individuals don’t know how to overclock their graphics card, and many more are frightened that if they don’t do it correctly, they’ll break their PCs.
Overclocking your graphics card is generally a safe operation — as long as you follow the methods below and go gently, you shouldn’t have any issues. Graphics cards are now engineered to prevent users from causing major damage.
Read the complete guide to understand the most critical aspects of overclocking, as well as the software you’ll need and the procedures you’ll need to take to maximize the performance of your graphics card.
Prepare software for overclocking
You’ll need two pieces of software to overclock your graphics card. To begin, you’ll need software that allows you to change the speed of your GPU. Second, you’ll need a tool to stress test your system to ensure that the settings you’ve chosen are stable.
You may also want to download a third program that can monitor the temperature of your GPU. Although the overclocking software recommended below already does this, having an external program that can be reduced to the system tray is convenient.
- MSI Afterburner is an overclocking software that can be downloaded from MSI.com.
- Heaven Benchmark is a stress testing app that you should get.
- Finally, you can download GPU temp if you want an extra temperature and voltage monitor.
Overclocking a GPU: What Does It Do?
Let’s talk about what overclocking a GPU actually does before we go into the overclocking procedure.
Overclocking a GPU improves its performance by increasing the speed at which the graphical processor operates.
All GPUs are programmed to run at a specific pace, known as the base clock, however various cards typically have the ability to exceed the manufacturer’s speed.
Your GPU’s temperature will rise as a result of overclocking, and it will consume more power. Finding a suitable balance between increased performance and a steady temperature for your graphics card is critical.
Every GPU is unique. Your GTX 1080, for example, might be able to safely overclock to a faster speed than your friend’s GTX 1080. As a result, you’ll have to experiment with overclocking speeds on your own to discover the sweet spot.
If you use the MSI Afterburner overclocking software to push your GPU too hard, your graphics card will either display graphical flaws or your PC will crash.
If this happens, don’t panic; you may easily reduce your GPU speeds to a safe level. It’s recommended to begin slowly and gradually increase your workload until you notice any issues.
How to Begin Using Overclocking Software?
Let’s look at how you can start overclocking your GPU now that we’ve covered the basics.
Open MSI Afterburner first. As you stress test your GPU, you’ll need to become familiar with this software.
We’ve numbered the different elements of Afterburner that you should pay attention to in the image above. Below are the specifics for each component.
- This is your core clock speed, and it’s the one you’ll be overclocking the most.
- This is the memory clock speed; it can be increased as well, but only after the core clock has been tested.
- This is the control panel; use it to increase the speed of your core, memory, and fans.
- This is your GPU’s temperature.
Now it’s time to fire up the UNiGiNE Heaven stress testing programe. Once it’s open, conduct a baseline test to check how well your graphics card performs with the default clock settings.
- After installing the UNiGiNE Heaven software, launch Heaven Benchmark 4.0 from the Start menu.
Click RUN once you’re in the UNiGiNE Heaven software.
- A 3D scene is being rendered in Heaven, with several buttons at the top. To begin the benchmarking process, click the Benchmark button in the top left corner.
- Heaven is about to conduct a series of exams. You’ll be able to see the temperature, frames, graphics clock, and memory clock during the test.
Allow the test to complete all 26 scenes. This could take up to ten minutes. Pay special attention to the stats at the upper right of the screen during the test.
Your GPU will most likely reach a particular temperature and stay there for the duration of the test. This piece of information is significant since it will tell you how much room you have for overclocking.
You’ll be given a score as well as average FPS statistics. Make a note of the outcomes so you can refer back to them later.
Take the following into consideration:
- Temperature during the experiment
- FPS towards the conclusion of the test
- At the conclusion of the test, you will receive a score.
Overclocking Your Graphics Card Preparation
It’s time to overclock your graphics card now that you’ve tested the software, obtained your base score, and gained a better understanding of how things work.
Click the Settings icon in MSI Afterburner to return to the previous screen.
You’ll need to restart your computer in a moment, so bookmark this page and return to it later.
After that, go to Afterburner’s General tab and check the boxes for Unlock voltage control, Unlock voltage monitoring, and Force constant voltage.
After you’ve applied the aforementioned changes, click OK. You’ll be prompted to reboot your computer. Click the OK button.
Open MSI Afterburner and Unigine Heaven once you’ve recovered from your restart.
- Set your temperature limit to 87 degrees Celsius this time.
- You’ll notice that your power limit (percentage) slider increases as well.
- Slide the core voltage (percent) slider to the right all the way. Your graphics card will determine the percentage you receive.
- Finally, beneath the sliders, click the Check button.
Here’s an example of the settings you’ll need. These settings ensure that you can get the highest clock speed while remaining within a safe temperature range.
Putting Your Graphics Card to the Test
Start by adjusting the core clock (MHz) slider to the right once you’ve found the best MSI Afterburner settings. Click the check button after adding +23 to the number.
After that, launch Heaven Benchmark 4.0 and press the Benchmark button once more. Wait for your test results after you’ve completed the 26 scenes. You should see that your score has improved slightly since the previous time you took the test.
Our first test, as you can see in the graphic below, boosted our average frames and test score marginally. During the test, you should observe an improvement as well as a 1-2 degree increase in temperature.
This is only the start. The following steps will need you to push your graphics card to its limits. To get the most out of your graphics card, follow the steps below.
- Increase the speed of your clock by 20-30%.
- Restart Heaven Benchmark 4.0.
- Complete all 26 scenes by pressing the benchmark button.
- If your computer doesn’t crash or you don’t notice any graphical problems, go back to step 1 and try again.
- If your computer crashes or you experience graphical issues, don’t panic – this is totally normal. Simply reopen MSI Afterburner and decrease the clock speed by 30 percent. This is the best clock speed for you.
Steps to Finish Overclocking Your GPU
You’re nearly done with your overclocking. You can repeat the instructions above for your memory clock if you want. Most new graphics cards, on the other hand, already have enough RAM, so it won’t deliver as big of a performance increase in games.
Once you’ve finished overclocking, go to MSI Afterburner and select the Save icon, then assign a number to that slot to save your settings. You can now have these settings loaded automatically if you want greater performance while playing your favourite games.
The final test is to play your favorite games with your new overclocked graphics card. Most of the time, you’ll notice that your performance has improved.
Some games may not run as smoothly with overclocked settings, so if you notice graphical defects or your game crashes, simply click the reset option to restore default settings.
Thank you for taking the time to read our comprehensive article on how to overclock your graphics card. We hope you found this tutorial to be helpful. Do you have any inquiries? Please leave a comment below and we will respond as soon as possible. Enjoy!