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Overclocking Graphics Card

It is possible to overclock a modern Graphics Card to increase its speed. You can increase the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) clock speed and also the memory clock speed.

It should be said that overclocking could damage or shorten the life of your Graphics Card (especially if you increase the voltage), and invalidate your warranty. You should only attempt it if you are confident and aware of the risks.

Benchmark your Graphics Card.

Before overclocking you will want to benchmark the performance of your Graphics Card. This will give you a performance score which you can compare with your overclocked Graphics card.

Benchmark programs.
You could just use a 3D game and try to improve the frame rate but it is easier and more accurate to use a proper benchmark program such as 'Unigine Heaven Benchmark' or '3D Mark 11'. Both these programs will display 3D Graphics and will give you a performance score based on your Graphics card. These program can be downloaded and used for free but you have the option to buy a version which has more features included.


Another excellent and invaluable program is GPU-Z which will give you detailed information on your Graphics Card and confirm your GPU clock speed and memory clock speed. It also gives details of the GPU temperature and fan speed. This small utility is free and available at

Graphics Overclock Software.

There are various utilities available for overclocking your Graphics Card. An AMD/ATI Graphics card can be overclocked with 'AMD Overdrive' which is included in the 'Catalyst Control Center' in the 'Performance' tab. A Nvidia Graphics Card can be overclocked using Nvidia's own utility called 'ntune' which is available to download from the Nvidia website.

You can also use popular third party utilities such as 'MSI Afterburner' and 'Rivatuner'. Rivatuner has support for many Nvidia cards but more limited support for AMD/ATI cards.

MSI Afterburner - Graphics Card Overclock Utility.
MSI Afterburner lets you overclock your Graphics Card by changing the values of the 'Core Clock' and 'Memory Clock' as well as the 'Fan speed' using sliders.

It also displays the 'GPU Temperature', 'GPU Usage', and 'Fan Speed'

Overclocking Graphics Card Procedure.

It is a good idea to first check that you have the most up-to-date driver for your Graphics Card by going to the manufacturer's website.

Next, run your benchmark software to obtain your performance score, and note your Graphics Card details in GPU-Z. Now you are ready to run your overclocking utility.

Overclocking should be done in small increments (about 10MHz), and after each small adjustment you should then test the Graphics Card to make sure it is stable and does not crash. You can test the card by running a demanding 3D game or by using your benchmark software.

Make a note of the original Graphics Card settings in your overclocking utility and save them for future reference. You should then increase the GPU core clock first until you reach the limit that it still remains stable. If your overclocking utility includes a 'shader clock' then link it to the core clock. You must also keep an eye on the GPU temperature, and may increase the speed of the fan slightly to compensate. A modern Graphics card can operate at about 90 degrees celsius under load but 80 degrees celsius or less may be preferred. Next increase the memory clock until you find a stable limit.

Below is a procedure to overclock:

1. Increase GPU core clock by about 10MHz and click 'apply'. Save your new settings.
2. You can confirm that the GPU core clock has been increased by looking at the GPU-Z utility.
3. Run your benchmark program and confirm that the graphics are stable with no glitches or crashes.
4. Keep an eye on your GPU temperature.
5. Repeat process 1 to 5 until there are stability problems.
6. Reduce the GPU core clock to a previous stable setting.
7. Increase memory clock by about 10MHz and click 'apply'. Save your new settings.
8. You can confirm that the memory core clock has been increased by looking at the GPU-Z utility.
9. Run your benchmark program and confirm that the graphics are stable with no glitches or crashes.
10. Keep an eye on your GPU temperature.
11. Repeat process 7 to 11 until there are stability problems.
12. Reduce the memory core clock to a previous stable setting.
13. Give your Graphics Card a thorough test by playing a demanding 3D game for a few hours to make sure there are no problems.

It is possible to increase the performance of the Graphics Card further by increasing the voltage, however, this does increase the risk to your card, and may possibly shortening its life, while also raising temperatures even more. Some overclocking utilities allow you to adjust the voltage, and if you do, then it should be done in very small increments of about 10mV. After increasing the voltage you would go through the above overclock procedure again.

MENU (Graphics Card):
1. Graphics Card 2. Upgrade Graphics Card 3. Dual Graphics Cards
4. Overclocking