GPU overclocking is the process in which the users modifies the stock’s core clock and memory clock of the GPU. It means going beyond the designed power of a GPU and modifying it. The purpose of this activity is to enhance the GPU’s performance and raw power. Also, how to overclock laptop gpu is the main concern for the laptop gamers.
It is one of the most common practices for extensive gamers to squeeze their hardware to make their systems deliver maximum performance. Although the hardware we buy is already over-clocked it does not mean that it is safe.
The main job of a GPU is to deliver good gaming performance. Overclocking the GPU helps in increasing the gaming performance in any circumstances. Overclocking the components requires a lot of patience and skills. Here is our guide to overclocking your system’s GPU.
Why We Overclock The GPU?
Overclocking the system’s GPU has many advantages that we have listed below:
Enhanced performance and Faster response times (FPS)
You can have better performance and a faster response rate (FPS) with the same hardware. Overclocking the laptop GPU has an overall increase in the system’s performance. It helps you to run faster with better frame rates (FPS) so you can run your high graphics games better. If you can previously be getting distortions or lag while running the games, by overclocking you can recover from those.
Yes! You can save a lot- a ton of money by overclocking the system’s GPU by avoiding the hassle of upgrading the GPU Cards. As the new graphics cards cost a lot of money, so you don’t have to go for this to enhance your system’s performance! Hence, overclocking helps you to save money, you can increase GPU performance without investing in a new GPU.
GPU Overclocking of a Laptop vs Desktop PC
The steps for overclocking the laptop and desktop PCs are almost the same. In laptops, we use mobile GPUs. Overclocking the laptop’s GPU can help improve the frame rate. You can almost squeeze out 20-25 % FPS from your laptop’s GPU processors.
In this case, the downside is that the desktop PCs have decent fans and a cooling system with great full-on graphics cards. It’s not the same case for laptops. Mobile GPUs produce more heat and have smaller hardware units. Overclocking can hit the thermal limits sooner than expected, Also, overclocking the GPU increases power consumption that ultimately drains out the battery.
How To Overclock Laptop GPU?
Overclocking is an easy process and it does not cost that much. It ensures that your PC is optimized and ready to run. Here are the things you will need to overclock your GPU.
1. Setting Up A GPU Overclocking Software
Firstly, you need to get an overclocking tool. One of the best overclocking tools is the MSI afterburn. Install and launch it. The main dashboard will display the graphics chip’s current clock (GPU clock) and a memory clock. On the right side, you will see the temperature. The values differ and depend upon your PC. Ideally, it should be less than 90 degrees Celsius.
The three sliders you are seeing are as follows:
Power Level: This card allows you to draw power from the PSU (Power Supply Unit). If your card is limited to 300 watts, you can increase it to 360 watts by setting it to 180.
Core Clock: It is used to specify your desired clock.
Memory Clock: It is used to specify the desired GPU memory.
2. Installing and Using a Stress-Test Tool
Install a stress-test tool. We will recommend you a 3D Mark or Funmark. It will identify and check your current system’s performance. This step helps you to get a reference point for the GPU’s performance, temperature, clock speed, and FPS. Pro-tip is here is to take a screenshot or note down these values on paper.
3. Overclocking GPU Chip
You have to start slow. Raise the core clock to 10%. See if you are running into some strange graphical objects, malfunctions, or distortions. Low the core clock to 5%. See at what level in this it gets stable. At this stage, you will not see much improvement. It can be just a test check.
4. Overclocking The Memory
For memory, try a 10 percent or more accurately a 50-100 MHz boost. Again, the 5-10 percent range should be able to give a stable performance. But, even at this percentage your system is giving up and crashes or the game shows glitches – it means that your hardware is not designed to be overclocked. Another issue can be the temperature, increase the system’s temperature and see if the glitch recovers.
5. Fine Tuning
Increase the system’s GPU clock by about 10 MHz and test it again. If it does not recover, increase it up by another 10 MHz and keep doing it again and again till it clear out. Run a benchmark and a stress test. You can also try playing your game for a few hours. Check the system’s stability and performance.
If the windows freezes or reboots, it means you have reached the limit. Lower the value to 10-20 MHz below. If you will overclock to the crashing point, your system will cease after some hours of the gameplay. It is like your game will run great at 200 plus MHz on the core clock, it will overheat after 2-3 hours. It is better to run at 170 MHz once you have found yourself a stable core, you can same with the memory clock.
6. Increase The Power Limit
This step is like ‘walking an extra mile. You can crank up the power limit and temperature limit toggle using the overclocking tool, the MSI Afterburn. Now, start playing your game. You can see that even without overclocking your fans will turn loud and cards will not reduce as the clock fastens drastically.
7. Testing the Overclocked Performance
Once you have unlocked and achieved your desired power, return to the 10 MHz trick. At this point, you will be getting a proper 170 MHz instead of a messed up 100 MHz Hence your system who could previously crash at a certain crash point, would be flying fast there now. Once, you have achieved the system’s clock, benchmark your system with a stress-test tool such as a 3D mark or Funmark. Once, you have successfully overclocked your GPU, you will see a clear difference in your gameplay.
Important Terms of Overclocking GPU
Here are the terms YOU NEED TO KNOW if you are looking forward to overclocking your GPU by yourself.
GPU Core Clock
Core clock is the speed at which various cores of your GPU will operate. An average GPU has hundreds of cores that run at the same speed. They are also termed, stream processors. The core clock is measured in Megahertz (MHz) or Gigahertz (GHz). We tend to increase the overclock the normal clock speed to enhance the performance.
GPU Memory Clock
It is the frequency at which the VRAM on the graphic processor runs. VRAM means the amount of dedicated video memory that is available on the GPU. It stores all the graphics-related information and data displayed on your computer. Why overclock it? A GPU with a high memory clock – High frequency of VRAM- can render the images and other assets that will run faster than a system with a low VRAM frequency.
Things to Avoid While Overclocking
If you want to avoid over-stressing and crashing your system, you have to avoid the below things!
Avoid overheating the system
Keep a tight hawk’s eye on the system’s GPU temperature. Invest in proper cooling of the GPU. It is ideal to have a custom-made card with proper cooling. Water-cooling is a much better option.
Over- expectations hurt, too!
Would you expect your ten-year-old bicycle to turn new with a few modifications? No. Same as that don’t expect that if you are overclocking your 10-year-old GPU, its performance will match today’s high-end GPUs. You can expect the system’s performance to boost up to 10- 20 percent.
Don’t over-shock, don’t overclock above the limit
Overclocking puts stress on your system. You have to avoid it. Overclock when your game only and requires it. The best tip here is that after you have overclocked your GPU successfully, run the MSI Afterburner’s profile system and take a screenshot of all the values. Now when you are playing a demanding game, you can overclock your GPU and assign the final overclock value then.
Is Overclocking Considered Safe?
Yes, if you will follow the correct procedure then overclocking is safe. The key to overclocking is to find the balance between the clock speeds of GPU and the temperature you will achieve after setting them to that clock speed.
If you will cross the maximum temperature, you can cause serious damage to the GPU. The hazards of overclocking can result in thermal strangling, damage to internal components, and reduced battery life in the case of a laptop.
By following the steps correctly as we have mentioned, we can increase the GPU performance while you are playing the high-end graphics game or 3D adapted games. It also improves video editing and VFZ designing software performance. Overclocking saves your money and increases speed. But, if not overclocked properly, your system can overheat and fall prey to system crash down or damage to internal components. We use software for overclocking such as MSI Afterburn- which is a famous overclock tool. Stick to the instructions and enjoy the benefits of gaming at a much better speed and performance!