Now to the part you have been waiting for in excitement. The part where I tell you how you squeeze the last juice out of your graphics card. It is not as hard as you might think, and it is the theory that is the most difficult and the most important part.
First and foremost, you have to learn how it’s done, and I am using MSI Afterburner since it’s the best, easiest and most compatible OC-tool made.
Core Voltage (mV)
Here you decide the voltage of your GPU. On a few graphics cards only, this also allows you to adjust the RAM voltage. Be careful with this one, since a higher voltage generates more heat. The voltage matters a lot on how much you will be able to overclock.
Power Limit (%)
This is a relatively new part of Afterburner, but that doesn’t make it less relevant. This option lets you decide how much higher than the TDP the card goes. By setting Power Limit to 20 % you’ll be able to get 20 watts more from a 100 watt card. You are though doing se same (breaking the TDP) by adjusting the GPU voltage.
Core Clock (MHz)
Here can you adjust the clock frequency of the GPU. The higher, the better. You will hit you cards maximum though. In the past, this part was limited, so OC was only allowed to a certain number. Today there is no limit to the common overclocker.
Memory Clock (MHz)
Here you choose the speed of the RAM of the GPU. This one, you can increase as much as you want, you will not be in doubt when you hit the limit.
Fan Speed (%)
Here you choose the speed of the fan of the graphics card. If you make a 24/7 OC, choose “auto”, if you make OC for benchmarking, set it for your requirements.
Now it’s time. It is very important that you read the following procedure and follow it slavish. If you don’t, something easily goes wrong.
- Check your software for updates. This happens to everything from drivers to GPU-Z
- Open MSI Afterburner
- Open GPU-Z
- Check all temperatures and check if everything is right. (During overclocking, keep an eye on your temperatures and adjust “Fan Speed (%)” as needed)
When you have done all the above, it’s time to have fun!
- Set “GPU Voltage (mV)” to maximum. (Not possible on all cards!)
- Set “Power Limit (%)” to maximum. (Not possible on all cards!)
- Increase “Core Clock” with 100 MHz. (Almost all modern cards can handle this for a start)
- Increase “Memory Clock” with 150 MHz. (Only very few cards can’t handle this for a start)
- By turns, increase “Core Clock” and “Memory Clock” with 15 MHz.
- Open Kombuster and let the program run for 10 minutes.
- If you want, test your OC for stability with your favourite game, rather than Kombuster. (May give a higher OC in some cases, since Kombuster has a higher impact on your system than many games)
If you overclock seems to be stable, repeat step 5-7 until you hit the limit. Remember to overclock GPU and RAM by turns, so you find the limit of them both. (Sometimes the RAM may continue when the GPU has hit the limit.)