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How To Use MSI Afterburner To Boost Performance

How To Use MSI Afterburner

Almost every gamer loves to rev up the computer to perform at it’s best. Who doesn’t love smooth displays and a system that’s churning enough power to make your gameplay hit the next mile?

Luckily, we have the MSI Afterburner utility. But, how to use MSI Afterburner?

Let’s find out!

MSI’s Afterburner is every gamer’s dream. It is a graphics-based utility that can help you take control of your graphics card. From overclocking to basic monitoring, it’s capable of taking care of everything when it comes to your gaming experience.

What Does MSI Afterburner Do?

As it is clear from the introduction that MSI burner is one of the best graphic card utilities for overclocking, which helps users to make the most of their chipset.

However, apart from overclocking, there are several other things that Afterburner is capable of doing so.

It gives complete control over the graphics card. It is responsible for monitoring, benchmarking, customizing fan profiles, troubleshooting, and much more (keep reading to know more about the features).

MSI Afterburner Features

#1- Overclocking

Overclocking is potentially a disastrous task, however, thanks to the MSI Afterburner, which keeps this process simplified.

It allows you to push your GP to its maximum capabilities while keeping the permanent hardware damage at bay.

Talking about how does it do that, Well, MSI Afterburner gives you control over a variety of settings such as core voltage, temperature limit, power limit, fan speed, core and memory clock speed.

This control over options is given only to find a balance between performance and capability.

The recent iteration of MSI Afterburner integrates OC Scanner. OC Scanner uses Nvidia developed algorithms that can scan any model and determine the best performance and stable overclocking settings corresponding to that model.

Msi Afterburner Panel

#2- Monitoring

Since the overclocking allows you to tweak to the parameters such as GPU temperature, memory and core clock speed, FPS, voltage, and so on, it also provides a mechanism to monitor the changes.

MSI Afterburner displays the changes in the series of graphs and on-screen display that can help you monitor the tweaks in the game.

Msi Afterburner Hardware Monitor

#3- Benchmarking

MSI Afterburner comes with a built-in tool “Kombustor”. Kombuster is a burn-in GPU stress utility used for comparing stability and thermal performance.

Kombuster provides detailed information the tweaks that you have made in overclocking along with how they will affect the performance. It is compatible with OpenGL and DirectX.

#4- Custom Fan Profiles

Heat distribution plays an important role when it comes to graphics cards. You can use a preset fan speed curveball, which makes the fan decrease or increase the speed on the basis of GPU temperature.

In this way, you can safely overclock the GPU without worrying about the damages, as this feature will take care of it by determining the cooling performance when the heat builds up.

This also allows you to save presets to use them later on. In this way, this utility will automatically configure to your desired settings while switching games.

#5- Predator Video Capture

Do you know you can record videos of your game with MSI Afterburner and that too very efficiently? Yes, MSI Afterburner comes with an add-on application called Predator. The Predator can record gameplay without even missing a single frame rate.

Moreover, Predator allows you to capture the games in various formats such as WMV and AVI. This tool is even compatible with the H.264 codec.

It also gives you leverage to configure different settings such as frame rate limit, quality, and compression types.

#6- Custom User Skins and Multi-Language Support

MSI Afterburner gives little treats to the gamers as well. It gives gamers an option to select from various different skins that give your gaming experience a makeover. There are many skins available in the app, and you can download more online.

To entertain users across the globe, MSI Afterburner offers language support in several languages. You can change the language from the User Interface menu.

#7- In-Game FPS Counter

If you ask us, what is our favorite feature about the MSI Afterburner?

Apart from all the rainbows and unicorns about overclocking, the in-game FPS counter is by far the handiest yet best feature.

In-game FPS counter displays real-time information on how the system is working in-game. In other words, it allows you to monitor the performance of GPU while you enjoy your game!

How To Download MSI Afterburner

Downloading MSI Afterburner is no brainer. It is simply like all other games and software that you probably have downloaded once in your lifetime. And, even if you are new to this, keep following to download the MSI Afterburner.

MSI Afterburner Download Screen
  • Visit the MSI Afterburner Website, or simply just search on google for it.
  • From the google page, find the official link for the Afterburner and go to that website
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Download” under the MSI Afterburner option. It completely depends on you; you can also download the phone app to control the utility while playing the game.
  • Once the download completes, you need to unzip the file named as
  • The run the exe file from the file and follow the on-screen installation steps. Please note that if the installer prompts to download Kombustor, answer it in favor and install that too.

Initial Settings For MSI Afterburner

Once you have downloaded and installed the MSI Afterburner, the story doesn’t end there. There are some initial configurations that have to be done to make your Afterburner up and working just like it should.

Follow the following steps to set up your MSI Afterburner:

  1. Run the MSI Afterburner
  2. Once it opens up, navigate to the cogwheel “Settings” button and click it
  3. Now, look for the “User Interface” tab and click “Default MSI Burner skin” to change the skin as it gives a more uncluttered interface that will help you use the utility easily. Furthermore, other skins are prone to remove sliders randomly, making them inaccessible while tweaking.
  4. Now go to “General tab” and click “Unlock voltage control” and “Unlock voltage monitoring.”
  5. In case you are using multiple GPUs, go to “General” tab, and select specific GPU that you want to monitor or overlock. You can find the GPU selection under the drop-down menu named” Master graphics processor selection.”
  6. From the settings options, you can configure the Afterburner according to your preferences. You can find startup features, compatibility options, AMD properties, and much more under the settings. However, many users find default settings much easier.

How To Use MSI Kombustor?

Before getting into overclocking, there is one thing you need to understand, Kombustor. You need to know how the Kombustor works and how to read Kombustor before overclocking the card. Further, you also need to know what performance you are getting at base levels.


To know how to do this, keep following the steps:

  1. Run your MSI Afterburner
  2. On top, there are three buttons located. One of those buttons must be the letter “K.”
  3. The letter “K” stands for Kombustor. Please note that the letter “K” should be highlighted just like the rest of the buttons. However, if it is not highlighted, that means it is not downloaded yet, and the button is not clickable. If this is the case, head over to the MSI afterburner website and download Kombustor.
  4. Now, click the “K” button located over the “core voltage” meter
  5. MSI Kombustor will load right away, and it will start stress testing your card
  6. Now, through Kombustor, you can monitor several things such as GPU load, GPU Temp, and so on to give you an understanding of how your graphics card work at base levels.
  7. If you are going to close your Kombustor or you are done with the test, do make sure that you record the scores or readings to compare with the scores (performance enhanced overclocked settings) later on.

Now, you are ready to overclock your card. We recommend searching for how users have overclocked the same card as yours for better understanding. In this way, you’ll be able to push your card to its limit.

Understanding What Overclocking A GPU does?

There is just one more thing you need to understand before going to actually start overclocking (we promise it’s the last one!). That one thing is, understanding what overclocking a GPU actually does.

Firstly, the most important thing overclocking does increase the GPU’s performance by boosting the speed of the graphical processor at which it works. All GPUs have a certain running speed, which is called base speed. However, this speed might vary depending on the manufacturer.

So, by overclocking the speed of the card, the GPU will, in return, increase in temperature, and thus, the more power is drained. Therefore, it is necessary to find a balance between a stable temperature and performance for the card.

Overclocking of a cpu

You should always keep in mind one thing, that every card is different even if it’s the same manufacturer and same model!

For example, your GTX 1080 might have different safe high speed, while your friend’s GTX 1080 might have a different one. Therefore, we recommend testing your overclocking speeds on your own.

Don’t try to push your graphics card too hard with MSI Afterburner overclocking software. Doing so will result in graphical glitches or crashing of the PC. We know this might be a nightmare, but don’t worry. You can always change your speeds back to safe levels, and for the best practice, always start slow and move it upward until you start experiencing any problems.

How To Overclock Using MSI Afterburner?

Not to scare you, but overclocking is full of risks process. Tweaking your GPU might result in damaging it permanently. But, MSI Afterburner makes this process easier. However, some common sense is a prerequisite for it.

At any point you notice that you are pushing your GPU too far, stop immediately and search for it online.

MSI Afterburner Software Screen

Follow these steps to overclock using MSI Afterburner:

  1. Firstly, set the ‘power limit’ and the ‘temperature limit’ to the maximum value you can see up there. Now, your GPU is capable of reaching much higher powers and temperatures. You might be resistant to raise the sliders of the temperature limits as they’re quite high, but don’t stress. It’s usually incorporated by the manufacturer because the GPU can take the power increase. The GPU will be much more efficient after the increase.
  2. Next, change the clock speed. Remember to increment it by 20-30 units as each unit equates to 1 MHz.
  3. Don’t change settings anymore and monitor the effect of the changes.
  4. If no graphical issues appear, you can start raising your clock speed again. Remember to hit apply and check the effects of your changes. If any issue persists, try lowering the clock speed or setting it back to the stock value.
  5. Next, change the memory clock speed. These increments can be anywhere in between 50MHz to 100MHz. Check for graphical issues again and keep lowering the rate until they disappear.
  6. Run a stress test for a few minutes. Maybe try running a game on ultra settings. Monitor your graphics, and if they’re steady, the new settings can help you rev up your gaming experience permanently. Don’t forget to save/apply the settings!

How To Enable The On-Screen Display in MSI Afterburner?

Want to know how good or bad your GPU actually is? The best way to find out is by using the MSI Afterburner for On-Screen Display Benchmarking. This utility helps you easily set the software to show you the memory clock, clock speed, temperature, and much more that is related to GPU.

On screen display to show benchmarking

To enable the on-screen display in MSI Afterburner, follow these steps:

  1. Go to settings window and navigate the “Monitoring” tab and click it
  2. Head over to the “Active Hardware Monitoring Graphs” to configure the graphs that you want to see in the OSD. You can do this by opening the descriptive name, then the settings, and change the Properties attribute to “in OSD.”
  3. As starters, you can run basic checks like framerate, temperature, usage, and other speed checks.
  4. Now, whenever you’ll run a game, the OSD will provide you the real-time information about the GPU’s performance
  5. Another configuration that you can do is, you can also assign a hotkey for toggling OSD ON and OFF. You can assign the hotkey under the ”On-Screen Display” tab. This is strongly recommended, and we also suggest to assign a very underused such as insert or page up key for toggling.

How To Set A Fan Profile?

When overclocking, setting up a fan profile is necessary as it shows how efficiently your GPU will run.

Fan Speed Measurement Screen

Here are a few steps to guide you on how to set a fan profile:

  1. Go to “Settings” located in the bottom corner
  2. Then, click on “fan” tab on the top of the settings window.
  3. Now, click ”Enable user-defined software automatic fan control” option located at the top of the menu which will allow you to adjust the fan curve below
  4. To define a new point, click anywhere on the graph and move it around according to your needs. If you want to remove a curve point, just select it and press “delete” from your keyboard.
  5. Leave the other options as they are.


One of the amazing things about MSI Afterburner is its compatibility. It is compatible with almost every GPU regardless of the model, chipset manufacturer, or card manufacturer. If your GPU has been made within the last ten years, the MSI Afterburner will support it; this makes the Afterburner the most versatile graphics controlling tool.

The amazing features of MSI Afterburner surpass all the tests as the competitors only tend to support specific GPUs. Furthermore, this utility is free of charge and intuitive, the cherry on the top!

– My Final Verdict:

If you have made till here, you must be aware of all the good things that MSI Afterburner has to offer. It must be completely clear, too, how important it is for you if you are an extensive gamer. It is the best GPU adjusting/controlling tool out there, and it gets the job done perfectly!


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Bobby Segura

Bobby Segura

A gaming enthusiast who enjoys everything from the Vagrant Story to Assassin’s Creed. His interest in gaming soon transformed into passion, and he started working as an author of NeoGamr. I keep an eye on all the latest gaming trends and cover them asap.

My expertise is in Software and Application, Internet Research, Console Gaming, Video Games and Gaming, and Gaming & Games.

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