How To Overclock Graphics Card
Most gamers will be building their rigs from scratch, and the most detail will be spent studying video cards—knowing how to overclock a graphics card can help you squeeze some performance out of a weaker card, and squeeze more value out of your hard earned dollars. While overclocking a graphics card is not the most difficult thing in the world, it does take more than a passing knowledge of computers to do. Trying to overclock your card without knowing the risks or without being careful can lead to voided warranties, overheating systems, and a litany of hard to fix problems.
- Get with the program. While there are more advanced ways to overclock a graphics card, the easiest way for most computer users is to download a third party program for your graphics card. Generally, this breaks down to ATItools for an ATI card and Rivatuner for a nVidia card. Both programs and graphics cards have their own nuances, but are similar enough to address them together.
- Overclock Tower. With the program related to your card downloaded, installed, and opened, you will want to explore the preferences. You will most likely find the overclocking tab. If it doesn't explicitly read 'overclocking' it will most likely say things like 'core clock' on it. This is where you will be doing your overclocking. Some programs come with an automatic discovery setting that will run a stress test on your system automatically, this is obviously the easiest option. Most of these tests will stay on the conservative side by a few percentage points.
- Overclock Tower 2: Electric Boogaloo. The average percentage of performance you can boost across the board on a graphics card is between 10 and 15 percent. Usually, the core and memory clocks should be bumped up until you begin to see artifacts, and then bumped slightly down when you do. Usually they are increased in a relative manner. It is also important to check your fans and temperatures. You will most likely need to change your stock fan speeds to better cool your overclocked card.