How To Overclock Graphic Card
Learning how to overclock your graphic card can be a big benefit to those with mid-level graphic cards. Overclocking a card can, in most cases, give a mid-level card an added performance boost, enough to momentarily take upgrading to a more powerful card off the table. Those with high-end graphic cards can also benefit from overclocking, especially if they play graphics-intensive games that need all the power from a graphic card they can get. When learning how to overclock your graphic card, keep in mind that it is a process that, if done incorrectly, can possibly damage your card and other computer components. Also keep in mind that if you have a computer equipped with only an onboard graphics chip, you may not be able to benefit from overclocking.
What you’ll need:
- Dedicated graphic card
- Overclocking software (such as ATITool or NVTweak)
- Several graphics-intensive games (for benchmarking)
- Benchmarking program (such as 3DMark)
- Find your card’s optimum clock speed. Every graphic card has a maximum 2D and 3D clock speed, usually set to the manufacturer’s spec. Finding the 3D clock speed will be the main focus. You can use your overclocking software to find this maximum clock speed. It will usually be shown in the area where you will eventually adjust the speed. Write both the GPU and video memory clock speed numbers down, in case you have to return these settings back to stock.
- Increase the clock speed. Carefully raise the GPU clock speed in increments of no more than 5%. Every time you increase the speed, always check for pixel errors or artifacts. Continue until you find the highest clock speed that your card can handle without causing system errors. Repeat this step for the video memory clock speed. Use the overclocking program to save these new settings in a profile.
- Test and benchmark the new settings. Use a benchmarking program such as 3DMark to get an idea of where your graphic card’s capability stacks up with other cards and systems. Some of these programs also allow for stress testing and other diagnostics. Also run a few graphics-intensive games for at least ten minutes in order to check your overclocked card’s stability and performance.