Graphics card overclocking

Graphics card overclocking

For more graphics performance it doesn't always have to be a new card. With overclocking, you can tickle more speed out of your existing GPU. We'll show you how this works and what you have to keep in mind.

What is overclocking?
Measure graphics performance
Graphics card overclocking

What is overclocking?

On graphics cards, the computing work is done by the
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) taken over. The GPU basically works very similarly to your CPU at a certain clock rate. For an Intel Core i7 CPU, for example, these are 1.716 megahertz, for an Nvidia GTX-960 GPU, for example, could be 1.841 be. And the system memory also works via such a clock rate, which specifies computing operations per second. And exactly these values can be increased.

This makes you wonder why the manufacturer doesn't use optimal settings for performance right away. By default, your graphics card has a setup that ensures safe and stable operation. And higher clock frequencies result in more power consumption, higher temperatures and overall higher utilization of the entire hardware. Now, these values are kept very conservative for pretty much every card and can definitely tolerate a bit of tuning. Overclocking used to be a tricky and not entirely harmless affair for technology nerds, which also ended the warranty. Nowadays, most manufacturers supply simple Overclocking tools for the Windows desktop with. Hardware that is clocked too high gets too hot. Eventually produces errors. Here you can see that it's not only a great Nvidia or Ati GPU that matters for graphics cards, but also how the manufacturers use cooling and other components.

In addition to the two clock rates, power consumption and ventilation can also be set. More about the individual values can be found right away in the individual steps for overclocking. Values like clock rates. Read out the temperature. With the free GPU-Z get pretty much any data about your graphics card that might be interesting, including maximum default and current clock frequencies. And above all, the "rider" shows youSensors" all important values in real time as well: GPU and memory clock, fan speed, temperature, current consumption and voltage. Via the small arrows at the respective values, you can alternatively set the Highest, lowest and average values display. Via the camera icon you can change the displayed Store values as an image. And you should also do this, so that you can check after the tuning measures whether anything has changed at all.

Also You should measure performance in advance. The easiest way is to use the free version of 3DMark. The benchmark program plays a whole series of animations in different detail/effect levels and measures the graphics performance in the process. Alternatively, of course, you can just start your favorite game and let the Images displayed per second (show frames per second/FPS).

Overclock graphics card

For overclocking, you can in many cases apply to Tools of the graphics card manufacturer – but of course it looks different every time. But with the MSI Afterburner there is also a wonderfully simple program that not only works with MSI cards, but also with quite a few other Nvidia and Ati products.

First of all: If you don't like the display or it is too confusing for you, open the settings via the "gearwheel-Icon respectively the "Settings"-Button. You language. Customize appearance well.

First of all, you can do it here"Core Voltage (mV)", so the applied voltage in millivolts, and the"Power Limit", i.E. Adjust the maximum current consumption. But especially the voltage should not be touched without intensive study of your hardware and the effects – useful anyway only if you want to go to the limits. You don't need the power limit, if the hardware supports it at all.

Interesting values"Core Clock" and"Memory Clock", so the clock frequencies of core and memory. Here you should approach very carefully to still safe settings. Try it in 5 megahertz steps: Raise, with the"Apply"-button, testing computers in operation. Errors make themselves felt for example by flickering, artifacts or crashes noticeable – if something like this occurs, turn the controllers back a bit again! It's best to do two steps at once to avoid constantly maxing out the map.

Also a look at the Temperature can't hurt, vendor limits should not be exceeded. The setting"Fan Speed" can help a little here by the way, Higher fan speeds but also mean more noise and power consumption. Most of the time the default is"Automatically" completely alright. For games or in the height of summer, sometimes it's worth switching up.

If you are satisfied with the settings, you can change them save as profile. So you can quickly switch between maximum performance for gaming. Switch minimal power consumption while browsing. And in case you're wondering what it's all about: Our test system runs a GTX-960 graphics card with a default 1216 MHz core clock and 1753 MHz memory clock – these settings bring it to 1716 points in the Fire Strike Ultra 3DMark benchmark. With 150 MHz more each, the test comes to 1841 points, which is still 7.2 percent more. A further increase leads to crashes of the benchmark. Erroneous information in GPU-Z.

More on the subject:

Graphics card not recognized – what now?
Which graphics card do I have? How to find out.
Change graphics card – this is how it works

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