How to Overlock a GPU

Nowadays you cannot even imagine playing a high-quality game without a proper Graphics Card. Your graphics card is the main component of your gaming PC, or you can also say that it is the most significant determinant of the graphical fidelity and performance you see on screen.

If you want you can tinker a bit with your Graphics card by pushing it a bit farther than its out-of-the-box specs by overclocking it. Basically overclocking your video card is similar to overclocking your CPU, although it is a bit more straightforward to overclock a video card.

In order to overclock a GPU, you will have to slowly increase your graphics card’s core frequency, testing it for stability with a benchmarking tool each time you increase it a bit farther.

If you have one of Nvidia’s latest RTX cards, then the software we recommend in this guide may have the new “Nvidia Scanner” auto-overclocking feature that can bypass a lot of this process. It is pretty decent for a one-click affair, although it is still better to overclock GPU manually for maximum boost.

Therefore follow this article in order to overclock a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card.

How to overclock GPU

Tools that require for overclocking GPU

In this article, we are going to show a simple way to overclock GPU, but before moving into the main section of this article, we would like to inform you about the tools that you require to overclock GPU properly.

Basically, any graphics card can be overclocked, although you will have better results with a well-cooled card in most of the cases. If your card has a sub-par heatsink or is cramped inside a tiny Mini-ITX build, then you will generally have less headroom, and in such a case overclocking can be a tedious job.

There are various overclocking tools present in the market, but most of them come from different video card manufacturers. In this article, we will be using MSI Afterburner, but if you don’t like Afterburner’s interface, you can try EVGA Precision, Asus GPU Tweak, or AMD Wattman.

After selecting a proper overclocking tool go for a good quality benchmarking tool to stress test your card, you’ll need to run a benchmarking tool that pushes it to the absolute max. You may use both Unigine Superposition and Unigine Heaven. The former is newer and stresses recent cards a bit more heavily while the latter is slightly older but lets you run an infinitely long stress test without paying.

Finally, use a proper GPU-Z although this is not strictly required, you can use GPU-Z to ensure that your clock and voltage changes have actually taken place. So now we can move into the main section of the article as we have discussed the tools that you require to overclocking a GPU.

Also Read: How to move Games from PC to another drive

Necessary Steps to Overclock a GPU

1. Benchmark Your Stock Settings

Before starting with the overclocking process, it is always a good idea to benchmark your system, so that you can ensure its stability at its out-of-the-box clock speeds. This will also give you an idea of how much performance you have gained after the entire process is complete

  • In order to benchmark the stock settings, you have to choose an option from the Preset menu.

Note: Try to choose something around or above the settings you will run most games as you want Superposition to push your graphics card to 100 percent, without running at a dismally low frame rate 1080p high or at an Extreme level which probably isn’t a bad choice for most modern cards.

  • After selecting an option from the preset menu don’t forget to disable Vsync, since you don’t want your framerate locked to your monitor’s refresh rate.
  • After disabling the Vsync, click on the big black “Run” button. As you click on the run button, it will play through a series of scenes, which will take about five minutes. After that, you will see performance information in the corner, including clock speed, frame rate, and temperature.

So by following these steps, you will be able to benchmark your stock settings. Now as the benchmarking process is complete, you can move into the next step where you have to Increase your Core Clock and then benchmark once again.

2. Increase Your Core Clock and Re-Benchmark

  • First and foremost you have to open MSI Afterburner (or any other overclocking tool of choice), and then push the Power Limit slider all the way up.
  • After placing the Power Limit slider, you have to set the Temperature Limit slider to whatever you want

Note: The Temperature Limit slider should be positioned to its maximum value, although if you’re particularly cautious, you can move it a little lower.

  • After completing the previous step, you have to boost your Core Clock by about 10MHz. Then click on the “Apply” button, and finally run the Superposition again.

Note: Don’t forget to keep an eye on the temperature, and ensure there aren’t any artifacts (weird lines, boxes, or static that flash on the screen) as the benchmark runs.

  • Once the superposition is done, write down your frame rates and bump up the Core by 10MHz again.

Note: Keep repeating this process, again and again, boosting and benchmarking, until you run into issues.

At a certain point, the benchmark will fail, either it will crash, or you’ll see artifacts flash across the screen as it runs. When that happens, reboot your PC.

Note: Generally after a crash, Superposition will ignore your set clock speeds and return to stock until you reboot your PC.

Now you have to stop here and eventually return to your last stable clock speed and move down to the next step.

Also Read: How to Reset your Window 10 PC

3. Run a Final Stress Test and Play Some Games

  • As soon as you find stable settings, you have to move into the last step where you have to test your card for a bit longer. In order to test your graphics card a bit longer, click on the “Run’ button to start the stress test.
  • Unlike Superposition, which only allows you to run one benchmark at a time in the free version, Heaven will always run indefinitely, until it crashes or you quit the program. Let it run for a few hours, but keep a check on the temperature to make sure they are safe, and make sure it doesn’t crash or artifact flashes on the screen. So if the problem occurs, you may have to dial back your clocks just a tad to make sure they’re super stable.
  • Finally, fire up your favorite games and play for a while as GPU overclocking can be tricky at times, and sometimes a benchmark will remain stable even if a particular game crashes. After a bit of time, you should find the ideal settings for your rig, and hence you can enjoy a small boost in performance.

So you can easily overclock your GPU by simply executing all these steps (Benchmark Your Stock Settings, Increase Your Core Clock and Re-Benchmark, and Run a Final Stress Test and Play Some Games) properly.

Conclusion

Generally, after completing all the steps accurately at lower graphics settings with high frame rates you will notice an increase of 7 to 11 frames per rate, on average while at high graphics settings and lower frame rates you will get 3 to 5 more frames per second.

So in order to overclock a GPU and eventually harness all the advantages from an overclocked GPU go through this article properly.

About Mayank Sachdeva

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