Are you tired of your game stuttering? Do your multimedia applications hang frequently?
If yes, then the chances are that your graphics card is unable to take the load. While upgrading your graphics card is an option, it is an expensive option.
But, fear not, you can always get a little more out of your graphics card by overclocking it. And one of the most applications for overclocking that is quite easy to use is the MSI Afterburner software. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to successfully overclock your GPU.
What is GPU Overclocking?
Usually, a graphics card runs on a particular frequency or ‘clock speed’ that is its default setting by the manufacturer. And you have an option to fine-tune this speed to get more out of your graphics, this is known as overclocking. So, the performance of your GPU increases at a higher overclocking.
This means that you are able to run your games smoothly and can render your multimedia files faster. If you choose not to overclock, then often you need to reduce the visual settings to run your heavy applications and multimedia files.
GPU Overclocking Checklist
Overclocking is a straightforward process that doesn’t cost a lot. Plus, it can really help boost your PC’s gaming and multimedia rendering experience.
Here are a few things that you would need to overclock your GPU effectively and conveniently.
An Overclocking Tool
There are several overclocking tools available in the market but one of the best overclocking tools to consider is the MSI Afterburner. This overclocking tool has a skinnable interface, is compatible with multiple GPUs, and is extremely easy to use. You can easily download this tool from the MSI official website and install it on your PC.
One of the best things about MSI Afterburner is that it includes an OC Scan feature that automatically overclocks your GPU according to your PC settings. This tool works with most AMD and NVIDIA GeForce chips.
A Benchmarking Tool
While overclocking a GPU works perfectly at the start, you end up seeing glitches in the settings only after you start playing a game for a couple of hours. However, you want an overclocking setting that will be perfect for the entirety of the game.
So, you need to stress-test your GPU overclocking with a good benchmarking tool in order to find the best, stable setting for your GPU. You can use MSI Afterburner’s own benchmarking tool, MSI Kombustor that can efficiently stress test the GPU settings.
Apart from it, there are tools like 3DMark and Unigine Valley that can be used for GPU stress-tests.
How to Overclock Your GPU Using MSI Afterburner
Overclocking your GPU can sound a little scary but if you know what you are doing, then you end up gaining a lot more than you anticipated.
Just follow the below steps to overclock your GPU and improve the performance of your PC.
Step 1: Launch MSI Afterburner on PC
Once you have downloaded MSI Afterburner, launch the software on your PC. On the main dashboard of the software, you will see the GPU clock and memory. On the right side of the dashboard, you will see the temperature that differs according to the PC and should never be more than 90 degrees Celsius.
You will basically be manipulating the sliders shown in the middle of the dashboard for overclocking. So, you will mostly be touching the Core voltage, core clock, memory clock, and power level sliders for overclocking your GPU.
Step 2: Benchmark your Initial Settings
Before you start overclocking, it is important to benchmark your current settings to determine your performance. Note down the numbers so that you can keep this setting as a reference point for temperature, performance, FPS, and clock speeds while overclocking.
Step 3: Overclock your GPU
Now, start with the overclocking process.
Increase the power limit by 10% and keep your temperature limit to the maximum. Then, shift the Core Clock slider to the right by 50 MHz and click on the Ok button to see whether overclock works or not.
If this causes a crash then your hardware doesn’t support overclocking. However, if the overclock runs fine, then you can use the benchmarking tool to stress test your GPU. Run MSI Kombustor and check whether there are any artifacts or crashes. If not, then proceed with the next change.
Step 4: Overclock the Memory
For better gaming performance, you can overclock the GPU memory between 10-15% which works amazingly well for games with a lot of loading textures as well. So, increase the memory clock by 50-100 MHz and see if it gives you a stable performance or not.
One thing to note is that games usually react differently to a high memory clock. So, it might work brilliantly for some games, making them fast, and it might show artifacts on some other games.
Check with the benchmarking tool if the changes are okay or not for your GPU.
Step 5: Fine-tune your Settings
Once you have changed the GPU clock and see no crashes, it is time to check the highest settings that you can reach without any trouble.
For this, increment the settings by 20 – 50 MHz and keep using the benchmark stress test every time you change the GPU and memory clock. You can even play a game for a couple of hours to check the stability and the performance of your GPU.
After a time, your Windows might freeze or reboot, this is your GPU clock limit. Now, set your clock 30 MHz below the limit point so that you can enjoy a stable core clock for your games.
Similarly, do this for memory clock as well to find the most stable memory clock setting. Make sure that you don’t change both the values together as you won’t know which one is causing the crashes.
Step 6: Increase the Power and Temperature Limit
After your limit has been reached, you can choose to stick to the stable settings or you can increase the power and temperature limit to the maximum. This will help you maintain the stability and the performance and you won’t have to sacrifice the visuals as well.
You can even use the MSI Afterburner’s Rivatuner feature to view the impact of your changed settings while playing the game. This will give you a better idea of how overclocking GPU is working out for you.
Step 7: Final Fine-tuning and Test
Once the power and temperature limit is increased, you can get a higher core clock and memory clock value as well with trial and error and stress test method.
After finding the stable settings, benchmark your PC one last time with these new settings and benchmark when you are playing the game as well. This will give you a proper idea of your PC performance and allows you to choose the best yet stable overclocking settings for your GPU.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and overclock your GPU now and enjoy stable games for hours at a time!