I fully understand that the whole process of overclocking your GPU is a scary one because, more often than not, people are wondering about what could go wrong. However, over the past couple of years, GPU overclocking has become a lot easier and simpler, too.
In this guide, we are going to tell you all about how to overclock GPU, so if you have been wanting to do that for some time, this is the way to go as it is not going to be complicated at all.
We have made sure that the entirety of the guide is as easy as one can be so you would not have any issues when you decide to overclock the GPU.
What Is GPU Overclocking In Gaming?
We have been asked about this numerous times, and to be honest, overclocking, whether you are talking about in gaming or just in general, is a pretty simple to understand the concept.
It involves the user overclocking their GPU to a point where it is delivering higher frequency than normal and is delivering better overall performance, too.
Sure, it is not for everyone, but if you think that you can get a better performance out of the GPU. The increase in performance varies on a number of factors, such as just how good your GPU is when it comes to having the potential for overclocking.
So, for every GPU, or CPU, for that matter, the results are always going to vary, and that is what you must always keep in mind when it comes to overclocking to begin with.
How Much Can The GPU Overclock Increases FPS & Performance?
Moving forward, this question is something that a lot of people are going to ask about the performance increase that you get when you are overclocking, and honestly, this varies.
A lot of times, you do get a nice boost in FPS boost; however, at the same time, there are games that do not scale as well when you are overclocking.
Regardless, if you plan on overclocking your GPU, I would highly suggest that you are being careful in the process because we really do not want to fry your GPU in case your overclock goes horribly wrong because that is one thing that can happen to anyone.
Rest assured, we are going to cover almost every aspect of overclocking, so you really will not have to worry about things going wrong. After all, we do not want to go through that in the first place.
What You Need To Overclock Your GPU: The Checklist
- An overclocking software
- A benchmarking tool
- Games with built-in benchmarks
- GPU-Z to check everything about your graphics card
#1- An Overclocking Software
The first thing that you are going to need in case you want to overclock your GPU is a software that allows overclocking. There are multiple offerings available in the market, but I would personally vouch for EVGA Precision X or MSI Afterburner.
Both of these are a lot similar to what one might think and work in the same way, as well. Both are extremely easy to use as long as you know what you are doing.
Now, the best thing is that these tools can be used with any GPU you wish to, so there really is not a problem in the process. Just be sure that you are fully aware of the overclocking and what goes in it, and you are all good to go.
#2- A Benchmarking Tool
Once you have the software ready, the next thing that you are going to need is a benchmark tool. If you are looking for something good, I would suggest that you use 3DMark’s suite of benchmarking tools that you can go ahead and benefit from, as these tools are excellent in all regards and will make the experience a whole lot better.
The benchmarking tool is there to tell you that the overclock you have done yielded the results you were willing to get.
However, establishing a baseline first is very, very important, and you simply cannot overlook that whenever you are going for it. Rest assured, it will not at all be complicated for anyone.
If a benchmarking tool is complicated, you can actually go ahead and skip this step and move onto the next one.
#3- Games With Built-In Benchmarks
Another important addition here is any game that has a built-in benchmarking option, and trust me, there are a lot.
I would suggest that you install a couple of graphically intensive games so you do not have any issues, and that should solve most of the problems for you and with ease, as well.
Thankfully, finding the right games is not going to be complicated. Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Doom Eternal are just some of the games, but you can find a lot more.
You will need to run at least two runs on all these games, one for the baseline readings with stock configuration and the other with overclocked settings, so you can compare and see the difference you have managed to get.
#4- GPU-Z To Check Everything About Your Graphics Card
The last thing that you are going to need, and while this might not be something that everyone is in need of, I still believe that having this software is an important thing to do because it will only make your whole experience a lot better simpler, too.
GPU Z will deliver all the information that you need to know about the GPU and the clock speeds, temperatures, as well as other vital information, and it just makes the whole process a lot better. Even if you are not overclocking, it is the one tool that every GPU owner should have installed on their computer.
How To Overclock GPU In 2023: A Simple Guide
Overclocking a GPU in 2023 is not at all complicated, but still, for everyone who is confused, we are going to make things a lot simpler for you to understand so you can go ahead and overclock your GPU without any complications coming in the way.
#1- First of All Benchmark The Current Settings
The first thing that I am going to suggest to everyone is that you should go ahead and benchmark the current settings for the simplest reason that you need to have a baseline that will tell you that the current settings that you have saved are going to deliver a certain level of performance.
I do understand that this can be complicated for a lot of people but establishing a baseline is the right way to go about it.
Save those settings or write them down, so you know that when you do need them, you are not going to be left stuck wondering what needs to be done.
Once the benchmarks are done, we can move to the next step, which will involve overclocking, and well, let’s get started.
#2- Open The MSI Afterburner Software
Once you have established a baseline, it is time to start overclocking and see what the results are going to be.
Assuming you already have the software installed, I would suggest that you go ahead and launch MSI Afterburner, so we can get started with the process of overclocking.
As the name suggests, core clock refers to the clock speed at which the GPU clock is running, the faster the clock speed, the better.
However, I would not advise anyone to go ahead and tinker with it without proper knowledge. You can adjust the core clock but do it with smaller increments as you do not want to ruin anything.
The next one is the memory clock, and just like the core clock, the memory clock is going to refers to the speed at which the memory is running.
Now, the memory clock is usually a lot higher than the core clock and can be overclocked using larger increments.
However, you have to be careful still because we are not looking to put any extra load on the core or the memory.
Moving further, we are going to shed some light on the power limit, and as the name suggests, the power limit is what your GPU is allowed to use. Normally, all GPUs are limited to 100%.
However, when you are overclocking your GPU, you can go ahead and slightly increase the power limit, allowing your GPU to use more power.
But it is important to understand that some GPUs might not allow you to go ahead and increase the power limit, so it is better to know.
One more thing that you are going to run into when you are using MSI Afterburner is something called the temperature limit.
Now, it is a known fact that GPUs tend to get hot, much like other components, when they are being used for a longer time and what the temp limit does is it ensures that your GPU is not crossing the set limit and keeps performing as it should.
It might not be an important aspect for a lot of people, but certainly, something that you should keep in mind.
Stock GPU And Memory Clock
Now, when you run MSI Afterburner for the first time, you will see that all the settings that are there are going to be the default or stock settings that you will be able to use.
Sure, you can go ahead and change them, but it is always better that you know what the stock settings of your GPU are because if you need to roll back, you at least remember.
The Current Voltage of Your GPU
Over the past couple of years, I have realized just how little attention a lot of people pay to voltage, and while it might not be a concern to many, I would highly suggest that you are being careful when it comes to tinkering with the voltage as you can easily ruin your GPU if you are not being careful with your GPU and the voltage, as well.
#3- You Need To Increase Your Core Clock And Then Check
When you are in the process of overclocking, the first step that I am going to tell everyone to follow is that you should go ahead and increase the core clock and then check to see if it makes a difference.
Now, before you go forward, I have to tell you that you should do it in small increments. Ideally, I would suggest that you are increasing the core clock with increments of 20 Mhz. I know it does not look a lot, but hey, it is only going to help you have a proper understanding.
If you are not noticing any improvement, you can go ahead and increase the clock speed a bit more to see if it makes any difference, but to be honest, don’t go and overclock to an extensive amount, or you could destroy your GPU.
#4- Increase Your Memory Clock And Do The Same Thing
Now, you must understand that the memory clock does not have a lot of impact on the performance, but we usually go ahead and overclock that as well. After all, if you are overclocking the core clock, the memory clock should also get the same love.
For the memory clock, the process is the same, but there is a bit more leeway as far as the overclocking is concerned, so you can increase the memory clock with increments of 50 MHz.
Once done, you can go ahead and check. If the difference is there, you are good to go. If not, you can increase it a bit further.
#5- Now It’s Time To Increase Your Power And Temperature Limit
Next up, I would also suggest that you are going ahead and increase the power limit as well as the temperature limit of your GPU. Now, this time around, you have to be careful because you should not increase the temperature limit a lot because you can damage your GPU.
With a power limit, you do not have to worry as much because, in most cases, you will not be allowed to increase the limit beyond a certain point, and that is a good thing as it keeps your GPU safe.
You have to be very careful with such settings because we really do not want to go ahead and ruin anything.
#6- Fine-Tune It Until You Find The Best Combo And Test Again
The whole process of overclocking is more or less a trial and error, and there are times when you get the right settings in the first attempt, and there are times when you cannot really get the right settings no matter how hard you try.
It should not be complicated, but in case it is, you have to be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.
Rest assured, it is always rewarding to get the settings right because it allows you to get more performance without any issues.
#7- Finally, It’s Time To Play And Enjoy Your Games
Now that you are done with all the possible settings, it is time to finally enjoy the game without any complications coming in the way.
I truly understand that the process of finding the settings is a long and arduous one, especially if you are doing it for the first time, but the more you are looking into it, the better it would be.
I would highly suggest that you save the settings so you do not have to worry about anything getting lost, as we do not want that.
Important Note: Simply click the reset button to go back to default settings.
Is It True That Overclocking Reduce GPU Life?
Yes and no. If you do overclock your GPU, you can actually get an increased performance. However, you have to understand that if you push the GPU to its limit, it can reduce the life of the GPU.
However, there are a lot of instances where overclocking your GPU is not going to reduce the life of your GPU, and in those situations, it is mainly happening because of safer overclocking.
So, if you safely overclock your GPU, you really will not have any issues that might come in the way. Therefore, the best advice that I can give to everyone is that you should only overclock if you have the need for it and you are doing it within the safer limits.
Pre-Overclocked vs Normal Cards?
There are some GPUs that you are going to find in the market with a factory overclock. This is a good thing because most of the modern GPUs do come with it and will allow you to experience better performance than stock GPUs that are on the market.
As far as the performance difference is concerned, it really depends on various factors, therefore, always be mindful before you go ahead and overclock your GPU or whenever you are looking to get your hands on a new GPU, for that matter.
Can You Overclock A Laptop GPU?
This is a common question that a lot of people have sent our way, and to be honest, I have zero issues with people who want to go ahead and overclock their GPU, but a very important thing to know here is that overclocking a laptop GPU is going to be risky because you can easily go ahead and kill the GPU in the process.
How so? Well, a laptop GPU is not as cooled as the desktop counterparts; therefore, it is very easy for this GPU to sip a lot of power and heat up beyond its threshold, which ultimately kills the GPU.
How Safe Is Overclocking?
There used to be a time when overclocking would be one of the scariest things that one could go through. However, over the past couple of years, it has become something that is a lot simpler and a lot more common.
As far as the safety of overclocking is concerned, you are not really looking at a lot of issues that might come in the way.
Thankfully, if you do want to overclock with ease, you can just go ahead and follow the factors that would help you get the process done.
Just be sure that you are not overclocking beyond the limits because that is one thing that could easily damage the GPU and, sometimes, beyond any repair, and we would always suggest that you are avoiding that.
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When you are looking at the overclocking process of your GPU, I know that a lot of people might be concerned about how it is going to perform, but honestly, GPU overclocking has evolved a lot in the past.
There are chances that you might get some exceptional results, and at the same time, there are chances that your overclock might not be as stable as you want it to be.
With this guide, you will know everything there is to know about how to overclock GPU, and we can assure you that you will not be running into issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – Is MSI Afterburner safe?
As long as you are not using the settings that are beyond your GPU’s capabilities, MSI Afterburner is completely safe.
#2 – Does MSI Afterburner damage GPU?
No, MSI Afterburner, by default, does not damage GPU. It will only damage the GPU if you end up overclocking your GPU beyond the safer limits.
#3 – Is overclocking a PC bad?
Not at all, overclocking a PC is not bad at all, you just have to be sure that you are doing everything in the safest way.
#4 – Should you overclock a gaming laptop?
Considering how laptops are meant to be overclocked, I would always suggest that you avoid going ahead and overclocking your laptop because it could potentially cause a lot of damage.
#5 – What is a good core speed?
That honestly varies from GPU to GPU, and there are a lot of GPUs available in the market. You will need to compare a number of GPUs before you are able to make a decision as to which overclock is good.
#6 – Is MSI Afterburner good for laptops?
MSI Afterburner is not going to do anything to your laptop or your computer. However, you will have to go ahead and make the changes yourself. So, by default, it is not a problem.
#7 – What happens if we overclock GPU?
Honestly, nothing will happen if you overclock the GPU aside from getting some extra performance. I know it might sound strange but overclocking is going to do you a lot of favor in terms of performance. However, it is not going to happen in all the cases.
#8 – Why not use Auto OC?
Honestly, there is nothing wrong with using auto OC. You can actually use it without any issues. This might not be useful for a lot of people, but hey, there is nothing wrong with it.
#9 – How do you tell if my GPU is overclocked?
You will notice that your GPU will show a higher than default clock and memory speed. Just check through MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision X, and you will know.