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How to Overclock your video card and improve performance (Nvidia / AMD) – TUTORIAL

Today we bring you a simple tutorial that can help you a lot to have those precious FPS more without having to spend anything more on your computer. In addition to the process being simple and not taking too long to do, the results are immediate and can help mainly those who are facing FPS under 60 in Racing / FPS games.

We brought the tutorial to both AMD and Nvidia, so regardless of the brand you purchased it will be possible to enjoy the tutorial and get more performance out of your hardware.

But first of all, I need to reinforce that overclocking video cards voids the warranty, in addition to permanently damage your hardware. Do it with caution and be aware of the possible consequences of the procedure.

Now that everyone is aware of the risks of our tutorial, let's go ahead and start our procedures!

Necessary programs

We will need external programs not only to validate the tests but also to monitor the video card, ensuring that it is not overheated and that we have the best possible performance.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

This benchmark will serve to stress your video card to the maximum, making it 99-100% in use all the time. The good thing about this tool is that it works well regardless of your CPU, so you don't have to worry too much about it.

The program will serve as a stress test for video cards of both brands, so you can download it immediately. The link to it is here below and it is totally free.

MSI Afterburner

The MSI Afterburner is for several things and will be used on both cards, but with some differences between the use with Nvidia and AMD, and I will explain them to you right now.

While we will use the program to monitor the use, temperature and speed of any video card model from both brands, it will also be used to perform the Overclock procedure on Nvidia models, while on AMD models we will use the card's own drivers. for this.

Ah, first of all, MSI Afterburner is free as well as Heaven and works very well – in most cases. The link to download it is also below.

Video Drivers (AMD / Nvidia)

Video drivers are necessary even if you don't overclock your card, updating them normally helps you with compatibility and better performance especially on AMD hardware, except that in this tutorial we will use Radeon Software to overclock AMD cards and so download it is mandatory.

Down here I will leave links for you to insert your respective models of video card and Operating System.

Starting Overclocking

Nvidia

Well, let's start the tutorial on Nvidia. Much of what I will talk about here is for AMD video cards as well, but relax and I?ll explain everything again.

To start our Overclock, we will open the MSI Afterburner and configure it so that we can observe all the information necessary to monitor the GPU.

We will click on the gear icon in the program, and this will take us to a new settings tab. Now let's go to the Monitoring tab and select the following options: Frames Per Second, GPU Usage, GPU Temperature, GPU Frequency, GPU Memory Frequency, GPU Memory Usage, GPU Fan Speed.

After selecting these opes, come down the settings page and check the "Show On-Screen Display" option, so that information will appear on the screen while we are putting the card under stress in the Heaven Benchmark. Click apply and OK.

It should look something like thisIt should look something like this

Now that our MSI Afterburner is already configured correctly, we will open the Heaven Benchmark and we will configure it to make the most of the video card usage and thus help to make the Overclock more stable. A print below has all the settings you should use, the only change would be the resolution, which will vary according to your monitor.

Heaven Benchmark settingsHeaven Benchmark settings

Now that we have all the steps ready, let's start the Benchmark by clicking on Run and go to MSI Afterburner to raise the frequencies of the video card and thus extract more power from it.

In MSI Afterburner we will find 5 options that go in the following order:

  1. Power Limit;
  2. Temperature Limit;
  3. Core Clock;
  4. Memory Clock;
  5. Fan Speed.

All of the above are important and will help us extract the best possible performance from our video card, so we will go by parts and change only what is necessary.

  on this MSI Afterburner panel that we will do the Overclock on this MSI Afterburner panel that we will do the Overclock

Our guinea pig card is the ASUS GTX 1060 6GB Dual, and each card will be a little different from what we talked about here after all there is no card totally the same as another one and so on.

Power Limit

Power Limit is the first option that we will use to improve the performance of our board, and here is the very simple rule: push the bar as far to the right. The 1060 Dual has a maximum of 116%, so that we will leave.

This option demonstrates the percentage of energy that the card can use, with 100% being the maximum that the card can consume directly from the box – specified by each manufacturer and model. In this model, for example, ASUS let us use up to 116% of energy to supply the card, which should give us a legal margin for Overclock.

An important thing to mention is that the card will not use more energy than it normally does because of this option, it will only use 116% if necessary, which can happen only after we have raised the memory and graphics chip frequencies a lot.

Now let's go to the next program bar.

Temperature Limit

Usually this limit is linked to the Power Limit, but you can separate it by clicking on the chain that is just above the name and set the limit temperature of the plate. This indicator only limits the clock and power of the board when reaching the chosen temperature, so I recommend leaving it at 82C, so the board works well and we don't risk its durability.

Again, this option does not influence the fan curve of the card, so it does not help to cool the card in normal use, this is reserved for the last option on the list.

Core Clock

Here is where we really started to overclock and where numbers start to affect the card. A very large number can cause the card to stop operating completely and it is necessary to restart the computer in order to have video again, so nothing comes out by placing any random number.

Nvidia cards usually manage to make Overclocks bigger than AMD models but there will always be exceptions, so take it easy to not cause any problems to your video card.

I recommend going up every 50Mhz here until it reaches 100Mhz, from the start to jump 10 / 15Mhz once until you reach the point where the video card fails and the benchmark just closes. When you arrive at this point, decrease 15Mhz and repeat the process until the video card does not crash or graphical errors appear on the screen.

As you can see in the print above, our video card reached the 150Mhz mark higher in Core Clock, we left it running for 1 hour and it did not show any graphical error or crash, so we left it anyway. If a crash happens in any game, go back to MSI Afterburner and decrease it by 15Mhz.

And that's it, you finished overclocking your graphics chip, now it's time to do basically the same procedure on the video card's memories.

Memory Clock

Remember everything I said to you on Core Clock? So, the same goes for here. Nvidia video cards usually do a little more overclocking on the memories too, so it is common to get + 150 / 200Mhz with ease. Above that, it goes up from 25 to 25Mhz until the Crash / graphic error happens, after that decrease the clock in the same steps until it stops crashing.

And the same goes for if a crash happens in any game, decrease 25Mhz and start playing again, repeat the process until there is no more crash and yes you have a stable Overclock with good performance.

In our model we managed to reach + 300Mhz in the memories, which left it at 8600Mhz of effective clock, very good mark for a GTX 1060 6GB.

Fan Speed

On here modifications are only necessary if your video card is overheating, reaching the 82C barrier constantly. If this is the case, create a new fan profile that is more aggressive and makes them spin faster. On many video cards this is necessary, including the one I have at home, ASUS Dual that we are using for the tutorial it was not necessary to touch it because the temperatures never exceeded 75C.

Stock vs Overclock performance

Now that we have finished the whole procedure on our ASUS GTX 1060 6GB Dual let's see what was the performance gain, both in FPS and in percentage and see if it was really worth doing the OC.

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    Stock">

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    Overclocked">

Just from the numbers obtained from Core Clock and Memory Clock, I already thought it would have been worth it, and the results did not lie. We jumped from 65 FPS to 70, which translates into a performance gain of 7.7%, not bad for just changing a few small numbers without spending anything extra.

OMG

To start our Overclocking we will open the MSI Afterburner and we will configure it so that we can observe all the information necessary to monitor the GPU.

We will to click at the cone of gear in the program, and that takes us to a new settings tab. Now let's go to the On-Screen Display tab and select the following options: Frames Per Second, GPU Usage, GPU Temperature, GPU Frequency, GPU Memory Frequency, GPU Memory Usage, GPU Fan Speed.

After selecting these opes, come down the settings page and check the option On-Screen Display ", so that information will appear on the screen while we are putting the card under stress in the Heaven Benchmark. Click apply and OK.

It should look something like thisIt should look something like this

Now that our MSI Afterburner j correctly configured, we will open the Heaven Benchmark and we will configure it to pull the maximum usage of the video card and thus help to make a More stable overclocking. A print below has all the settings you should use, the only change would be the resolution, which will vary according to your monitor.

Heaven Benchmark settingsHeaven Benchmark settings

Now that we have all the steps ready, let's start the Benchmark clicking in Run and we go to Radeon Software to go up frequencies of the video card and so extract more power of the same.

Radeon Software

In the models of AMD video card we will do the entire procedure directly from the card driver, it is no longer necessary to touch the MSI Afterburner, so I recommend minimizing it (do not close, just minimize).

Within the AMD program we will click on Performance and then on Tunning which takes us to the board's OC options. When you click on Tunning, a message advising you that the procedure may invalidate the warranty and may permanently damage the hardware appears, recalling what I said at the beginning of the article. To continue, click on I Accept and the Overclock menu will open.

Power Tuning

Power Tuning would be the equivalent of the Power Limit of MSI Afterburner, in the case of Radeon Software the company lets you increase the power by up to 50%, something we do not recommend doing unless you know exactly what you are doing. If your card is a top of the line built with Overclocking in mind, you can even increase it to 20%, above that I do not recommend it for ordinary users – our case too.

Power Tuning by 15%Power Tuning by 15%

As it is a Gigabyte RX 580 8GB Windforce OC, we will increase our limit to 15%, so we maintain a good level of security and we will have a good margin for Overclock too.

GPU Tuning

Here where we will overclock the graphics chip of the card, I recommend using Advanced Control to be able to change several cycles of the GPU Clock and thus maintain a more stable performance of the card.

Within Advanced Control, we go straight to State7, which is the moment when the card is working hard and where its maximum clock is used. The methodology is almost identical to Nvidia video cards, the difference is that on AMD cards the GPU clocks are smaller in general, so I recommend reaching 50Mhz and from going up in 10 / 15Mhz steps until the Benchmark crashes or shows errors graphics.

GPU Tuning we left at 1460MhzGPU Tuning we left at 1460Mhz

In our video card we managed to increase from 1340Mhz to 1460Mhz on the GPU, so a gain of 120Mhz compared to the clock stock of the video card and that for AMD video cards a good number, above 1460Mhz the card crashed easily.

VRAM Tuning

Here where we are going to mess with the video card's memories, in AMD's RX 5 ** series we multiplied the value shown in VRAM Tuning by 4 because the card runs at 8000Mhz effective in its memories. So for example: If we want to move 100Mhz in memory, we must put the value of 2025Mhz inside Radeon Software, and so on.

Our video card reached 2060MhzOur video card reached 2060Mhz

In our case, the limit of our memories was 2060Mhz within VRAM Tuning, or 8240Mhz of effective memory clock. I expected to be able to do a little more overclocking on the memories, but thanks to it, any greater performance is welcome.

Stock vs performance Overclocking

Now that we have finished the procedure in our Gigabyte RX 580 8GB Windforce OC let's see what was the performance gain, both in FPS and in percentage and see if it was really worth doing the OC.

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    Overclocked">

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    Stock">

Even with lower frequency numbers on both the memory and the graphics chip, our Overclock on AMD had a greater performance impact with an 8.8% improvement, jumping from 53 FPS to 57.7. Again, this performance is more than free so we are well served both in terms of performance and consumption.

Completed

Each video card will behave a little differently than what you saw here, so don't just put in our numbers and hope it will work. Do a little research on your model before doing it, do the right step by step and you should be able to get a little more performance out of your board.

The percentage will vary by model and manufacturer and there is no way to know which one is the best or the worst, a little luck. I hope this tutorial has helped you to get more performance out of your machine, and if you have any questions just ask us here and we will respond as soon as possible.

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