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Overclocking The Graphics Card

Overclocking The Graphics Card

As most of you know, with most video cards you can apply a simple series of tricks to boost the overall performance a little. Typically you can tweak on core clock frequencies and voltages.

What Do We Need?
One of the best tools for overclocking Nvidia and AMD videocards is our own AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphics cards out there. We can really recommend it, download here

Where Should We Go?

Overclocking: By increasing the frequency of the videocard's memory and GPU, we can make the videocard increase its calculation clock cycles per second. It sounds hard, but it can really be done in less than a few minutes. I always tend to recommend to novice users and beginners, to not increase the frequency any higher than 5% on the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest that you don't increase the frequency any higher than 30 to 50 MHz.

More advanced users push the frequency often way higher. Usually when your 3D graphics start to show artifacts such as white dots ("snow"), you should back down 25 MHz and leave it at that. Usually when you are overclocking too hard, it'll start to show artifacts, empty polygons or it will even freeze. Carefully find that limit and then back down at least 20 MHz from the moment you notice an artifact. Look carefully and observe well. I really wouldn't know why you need to overclock today's tested card anyway, but we'll still show it.


All in all... do it at your own risk!

Original This sample Overclocked 
Core Clock: 1,002 MHz Core Clock: 1,152 MHz Core Clock 1,262 MHz
Boost Clock: 1,076 MHz Boost Clock: 1,241 MHz Boost Clock: 1,429~1,502 MHz
Memory Clock: 7,012 MHz Memory Clock: 7,012 MHz Memory Clock: 7,906 MHz

With AfterBurner we applied the following settings:

  • Temp Target 85 Degrees C
  • CPU clock +110 MHz (from default 1178 MHz)
  • power limiter 110%
  • Mem clock +450 MHz
  • Voltage + 87Mv
  • FAN RPM 60% (recommended but a tiny bit more noisy)
Now we could add +87Mv. At the above settings you will reach roughly 1,450~1,500 MHz on the Dynamic Boost frequency. This can differ per game and application, but with certain titles that dropped to even 1,429 MHz or even lower. There are a lot of limiters active these days inside the GPU and driver doing a lot of things. Interesting to know is that at a 60% fan RPM, the card will be cooled a chunk better yet the noise levels remains really OK. But remember, the GPU will continuously be dynamically altered based on voltage and clock frequency to match the power and temperature targets versus the increased core clock.  







For all overclocked games above we have used the very same image quality settings as shown before. Overall, the generic thumb of rule here for a decent tweak and overclock is that performance can gain anywhere from 5% to 20% performance. The end result depends on a lot of variables though, including power limiters, temperature limiters, fill-rate and so on the performance increment can differ per card, brand, heck... even cooling solution and your chassis airflow.


With the cooler set at 60% fan RPM the card still isn't really noisy or an issue whatsoever. But the thermals overclocked are not better opposed to defaults ;) Just make sure you have good airflow inside your PC so that trapped hot air can get out. 

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