How To Overclock Your Graphics Card
Learn how to overclock your graphics card if you’re looking to squeeze as much performance out of it as possible. Overclocking can benefit those who are stuck with mid-level cards and are looking for an extra boost, and it can add even more performance potential to a high-end graphics card. But be warned, overclocking a graphics card is a risky move that can permanently ruin your graphics card if pushed too far. With many overclocking programs, the settings are not stored permanently. These settings only exist as long as the program itself is running. In many cases, this can be a good thing, as in the event of a system crash, the clock speeds for the card are reset to their default factory settings. Overclocking is only recommended for dedicated graphics cards. Onboard graphics chips are normally useless when it comes to overclocking.
To overclock your graphics card you will need:
- Dedicated Graphics card
- Overclocking program such as ATITool for ATI cards or NVTweak for nVidia cards
- Find the optimum clock speed. Before attempting to overclock, you will need the maximum clock speed for both the GPU and the video memory as set by the manufacturer. From here, you can begin overclocking in small increments.
- Slowly increase the clock speed. After finding the optimum clock speed, slowly raise the speed of the GPU in increments of five percent. If you see pixel errors or artifacts, lower the clock speed immediately. Continue until you find the exact clock speed your system can handle without errors or crashing. Repeat this step for the video memory clock.
- Test the new settings. Run two or more current games in its benchmarking mode for at least ten minutes. This will let you know if your settings are stable and give you a chance to find errors or other stability issues.
- Don’t overdo it. There’s a good reason why overclocking is done in small increments. Taking your card above and beyond its capabilities can cause it to overheat, permanently damaging your graphics cards and quite possibly other components in your computer.