Overclocking an AMD Radeon graphics card
Not all video cards (even quite modern ones) can handle demanding modern games and/or professional software for 3D-modeling, video editing at maximum settings. Fortunately, sometimes instead of buying or purchasing a new graphics card you can do with overclocking.
It is worth remembering that you can overclock your video card only if it uses less than 100% of its power by default. Otherwise you will have to be satisfied with what you have.
Here are a few caveats for those who still dare to overclock an AMD Radeon graphics card:
- Make sure that the system and the video card do not overheat. Since AMD problems with overheating are particularly acute it is recommended to pay maximum attention to this point – perform stress tests, temperature measurements of video card, CPU and power supply;
- Overclocking will cause the graphics card to consume more power than it normally does, which will increase the load on the power supply. Make sure that the power supply can handle the new load without overheating;
- If we’re talking about overclocking your laptop’s graphics card, then seriously think about it, and if you do decide to overclock it gradually. The thing is that graphics cards in laptops overheat more due to the fact that all the components are too tightly fitted to each other.
If you do everything according to the instructions, as well as in advance to make temperature measurements of the video card and stop overclocking when reaching critical values, the probability that the video adapter will fail is extremely small.
The best way is to flash the BIOS of the video card itself, but this requires a lot of knowledge, so ordinary PC users (even those who are familiar with it) will not work. However, you can use specialized software instead, which is only slightly inferior to the way with the BIOS.
Step 1: Monitor temperatures and conduct tests
At this point you need to check whether the video card is suitable for overclocking, as very high operating temperatures and/or unstable operation can have very unpleasant consequences for the computer.
Both before and during overclocking you need to keep an eye on the temperature readings to stop in time. The ideal program for this is SpeedFan. It occupies little disk space, and when running in the background will not interfere with the overclocking process. The data is updated in real time, and to work with the program you do not need to have any specific knowledge, because all the required information will be displayed immediately after startup.
Also before you overclock your AMD Radeon graphics card, it is recommended to perform a special stress test which will show the behavior of the device during minimum, medium and maximum loads on it. This test can be performed by running certain applications that affect the video card in a certain way, or using specialized software, such as FurMark.
The instructions for FurMark are as follows:
Start the program. On the main screen, click on the large “GPU stress test” button.
To evaluate the performance of your graphics card before overclocking, you can perform another test – benchmarking. During it you will be shown the parameters of video card performance at a particular resolution (there are 4 variants). The instructions for the test are as follows:
Start the program and notice the four buttons whose name starts with the word “Preset”. In total you can view the video adapter’s performance in 720p, 1080p, 1440p and 2160p resolutions. You can also set your own resolution using the “Custom preset” button. However, please note that the resolution set by the user may not work correctly.
Before you proceed directly to the overclocking it is necessary to view the characteristics of the video card. For this purpose it is recommended to use a third-party software – CPU-Z, which allows you to see all the characteristics of the graphics adapter. This program is completely free and perfectly suitable even for beginners. A small instruction for it looks like this:
- Open the program and in the top tabs go to “Graphic card”.
- Pay attention to the following parameters: “Pixel Fillrate”, “Texture Fillrate”, “Bandwidth”. They are the main ones, as they have a strong influence on the video card performance increase. They can be somewhat increased at overclocking, but only by increasing the values of other parameters: “GPU Clock” and “Memory”.
Step 2: Change operating frequencies
This is where the overclocking itself takes place by adding frequencies to the CPU and video memory. The process is to add some frequencies and run the test. If all goes well, you can add more frequencies and run the test again. So until the tests begin to show bad results, for example, the temperature of the adapter approaches 90 degrees (critical temperature). In this case, on the contrary, start lowering the frequencies until the tests show normal results again.
There are many programs for overclocking graphics adapters, but in the case of AMD video cards, the best solution is a special utility MSI Afterburner. The instructions for working with graphics card frequencies in this program are as follows:
- Open the program, find and click on the settings icon (which looks like a gear wheel).
- In the new window, go to the “Main” tab. There you must tick the checkboxes “Unlock voltage control” and “Unlock voltage monitoring”. After that, click on “OK”.
Towards the end of the program you need to configure the profile. This is required so that each time you restart the system the overclocking parameters of the video card are not lost and you don’t have to enter them again. To do this, click on the floppy disk icon located against the profile number in the central part of the screen.
However, in this case you will still have to enter the overclocking program again and select the profile settings. Therefore, it is desirable to make some additional settings so that the overclocking parameters are applied immediately when you turn on the computer or computer games. The instructions for this are as follows:
- Go to the program settings again, using the gear icon in the center of the screen.
- Now open the “Profiles” tab.
- To make the configurations start automatically when you enter the game, pay attention to the line “3D profile”. In it you should select the number of the newly created profile. It is not recommended to run the video card every time you start the computer, so let it run only in games and programs where its resources are required, for example, in 3D-editors.
Step 3: Check results
After the overclocking, you need to check its results in special programs, such as CPU-Z and FurMark. However, there is an alternative from AMD, which comes with drivers and is installed in the operating system.
You can also do a little acceleration according to the following scheme:
- Initially, take a look at the changes in CPU-Z. They should change slightly, but if your graphics card is currently running in normal mode, you may not see these changes.
- You can also view the properties of your graphics card through a special utility that comes with AMD drivers by default. To use it, click on the free space on the “Desktop” and select “Graphics Properties” from the pop-up menu.
To overclock AMD Radeon graphics cards you need to carefully check the temperature readings, because these graphics cards (and AMD products in general) are famous for constantly overheating.
How do I overclock my AMD Radeon graphics card with Wattman (OverDrive)?
Your computer has an AMD Radeon graphics card and you don’t have enough power to play games on ultra settings? Then you should think about overclocking your AMD GPU!
I think there is no one who likes to play games with very bad graphics, right? But in order to play on ultra settings you need a powerful video card. If you do not have one but want to increase FPS and raise the quality of graphics you can resort to overclocking your AMD Radeon graphics card.
Overclocking an AMD Radeon graphics card with Wattman (OverDrive)?
In this article we will show you how to overclock your Radeon graphics cards using the standard tools included in the Wattman or OverDrive driver package.
Before you start doing anything, I advise you to open the computer case and at first clean the video card and the CPU of dust, as this can greatly affect the degree of overclocking.
This procedure should be performed at least once every three months, especially for pet owners.
Updating drivers and other software
Absolutely any manufacturer recommends installing the latest versions of the software, because with each new version comes some improvements and bug fixes.
- Download AMD driver
After you download and update the AMD driver, it is also worth downloading and installing a program called 3DMARK, in which we will test the video card’s ability to “hold” overclocking.
Overclocking AMD Radeon graphics card
- Go to “Radeon Settings”
- Next, under “Games
- Go to “Global Settings
- Go to “Global Wattman (OverDrive)
- The first thing to do is to raise the power consumption of the graphics card, otherwise overclocking will fail. Find the “Limit power consumption” section and move the slider to the right and click “Apply”.
- Next, we can start overclocking the video memory (Memory) and video core (GPU). To do this, find these items and gradually increase the frequency of the core and memory (you can adjust all together and separately).After a small increase, click “Apply”
- Then go to 3DMARK and run the test, if you suddenly begin to notice freezing picture artifacts or “blue screen of death”, then the video card is working at its peak and need to reduce the frequency of the core or memory, or all together. Repeat the test. If you did not notice any flaws in the video, you can raise the frequency again and again testing, until you get the video card is working at its limit!
How can I overclock my monitor using an AMD Radeon graphics card?
In addition to overclocking your AMD graphics card, you can also overclock your monitor. To do this you will need to:
- Go to “Display” and then click “Create” custom resolution
- Slowly raise the “Screen refresh rate” in 1GHz increments and press and after “Save
Do you still have more questions? Ask them in the comments, tell us what worked for you or vice versa!
That’s it! Stay tuned with Android +1, it’s going to get even more interesting! Read more articles and tutorials in the Android Articles and Hacks section.
How to overclock with MSI Afterburner
Overclocking your graphics card can absolutely free increase its performance by 5-10%. Some particularly successful models can show even a greater increase. That is why users often wonder, how to overclock a video card?
In this article we will try to answer this question in as much detail as possible. Here you will learn how to overclock your graphics card with MSI Afterburner.
MSI Afterburner – graphics card overclocking software
MSI Afterburner is one of the most popular programs for overclocking your graphics card, adjusting its power and cooling system, as well as for monitoring system parameters in computer games. Full listing of all the features that MSI Afterburner has would take a whole article, so let’s indicate only the most basic and frequently used ones:
- Control the voltage and power consumption of the graphics card chip;
- Clock frequency control of the video memory and graphics chip on the graphics card;
- Cooler control, adjusting the rotation speed depending on the load level;
- Save settings to profiles, autoload profiles and reset to default settings;
- Monitor video card, processor, memory, frame rate, frame time and other parameters in computer games;
- Recording video and capturing screenshots from the screen;
All these features are available for all modern video cards. MSI Afterburner allows you to work with both AMD and NVIDIA-based graphics cards, regardless of manufacturer (MSI, ASUS and others). It supports all graphics gas pedals starting from NVIDIA GeForce 8X00 and AMD Radeon 3000.
It should also be noted that MSI Afterburner is completely free and can be downloaded from the developer’s website:
Preparing to overclock your graphics card with MSI Afterburner
We will use the MSI Afterburner program to overclock the graphics card. It is a free software developed by MSI and based on RivaTuner program. MSI Afterburner allows you to overclock any modern video card from NVIDIA and AMD starting from NVIDIA GeForce 8X00 and AMD Radeon 3000. You can download this program from MSI official site or Guru3d site.
Installation of MSI Afterburner should not cause any difficulties. Just agree to the license agreement and install.
At the stage of selecting components do not change anything and continue the installation.
After MSI Afterburner installation is finished you will be offered to install RivaTuner Statistics Server. Let’s agree and install it.
After you install and run MSI Afterburner, you should see an interface similar to the one in the screenshot below.
If in your case the interface of MSI Afterburner is different from the screenshots, you can change it in the settings. To do this, click on the settings button, go to the tab “Interface” and activate the option “Default MSI Afterburner v3 skin”.
Also in the settings you need to enable all compatibility properties. To do that, go to the “General” tab and check the checkboxes as shown in the screenshot below. After that you can close the MSI Afterburner program settings and move directly to graphics card overclocking.
Also to overclock your graphics card we need FurMark . It is a free video card stress test which can be downloaded from the official website. The installation of FurMark is also nothing difficult, run the installer, agree and install.
After starting FurMark you will see a window like this.
In FurMark, there are graphics settings and a “GPU Stress test” button that starts the test.
A brief introduction to the MSI Afterburner interface
You can overclock your graphics card using the sliders on the MSI Afterburner main screen. The following options are available here:
- Core Voltage (mV) – voltage of the graphics chip (GPU). Increasing the voltage can increase the stability of the video card after overclocking. But a voltage increase also increases heating and increases the risk of GPU damage. That is why it is better to leave this parameter as it is, moreover on many video cards it is not available at all.
- Power Limit (%) – limits the power consumption of the graphics card. Increasing this parameter improves the stability of the video card after overclocking. Changing this parameter is relatively safe, so when overclocking it is always set to maximum.
- Core Clock (MHz) – the clock frequency of the graphics chip (GPU). The main parameter for overclocking. It is increased in small steps with regular stability tests.
- Limit (C) – the maximum temperature of the graphics card chip. Potentially dangerous parameter, so it is better to leave it as it is.
- Memory Clock (MHz) – the clock frequency of the video memory. Second most important parameter for video card overclocking. It is also increased in small steps with regular stability tests.
- Fan Speed (%) – the rotation speed of the video card coolers. There is a separate article on the site about setting this parameter.
To change a parameter, just move the slider and click “Apply”.
On the right side of the MSI Afterburner window you can see a huge list of graphs that show the state of your graphics card in real time. Here you can observe the temperature of the graphics chip, load level, power consumption, cooler speed, etc.
Overclocking the GPU of a graphics card in MSI Afterburner
Please note that overclocking can theoretically damage your graphics card. So all below described you do only at your own risk. We recommend to be especially careful when overclocking old or budget video cards with poor cooling system. Also laptops, monoblocks and other compact systems are at risk.
Now you can directly start overclocking. The process of overclocking with MSI Afterburner includes 3 steps:
- Overclocking the graphics processor (Core Clock).
- Overclocking the video memory ( Memory Clock ).
- Overclocking the GPU and video memory together.
The first two steps allow you to determine the maximum overclocking values that can be used for the GPU and graphics card memory. And the last stage tests how it all works together. At each stage and after each parameter change the video card is tested. If everything is fine, you can continue, but if there are problems, you need to go back and reduce the overclocking.
Step #1. We start by overclocking the GPU. To do this we set the Power Limit to maximum and increase the Core Clock by 40-50 MHz. After that we save the settings with the “Apply” button.
Step #2. Start stress testing your graphics card in FurMark and watch it for about 5 minutes. If there are no problems during stress-testing (artifacts, crashes, freezes, overheating), then launch some heavy game and play for 30-60 minutes. At the same time regularly monitor the temperature of the video card. It is desirable that the temperature does not go beyond 80 degrees. If there are problems during the stress test, then slightly reduce the Core Clock and run the stress test again. If everything is normal, we test it in games.
Step #3. After the first successful increase of Core Clock you can repeat the procedure. Again increase the frequency of the graphics chip (this time by 10-20 MHz), press “Apply” and go to step number 2 (stress testing and then the game).
Then repeat steps 2 and 3 until the maximum Core Clock frequency that the video card can work with is determined. It is very important to increase the frequency gradually and in small increments while testing after each step. This is the only way to correctly and safely determine the maximum overclocking frequency at which the graphics card remains stable. Once the maximum frequency has been determined it should be reduced by 10 MHz just to get 100% stability.
Overclocking the video memory of a video card in MSI Afterburner
Step #4. Now let’s move on to overclocking the video memory (Memory Clock). Remember the maximum value of the Core Clock we defined earlier and reset it with the Reset button “.
Step #5. Again increase the Power Limit to maximum and slightly increase the Memory Clock (for example, to 50-80 MHz ). Then apply the settings.
Step #6 . We test the stability of the graphics card first in the FurMark stress test, and then in games. Everything is the same as in step 2. If there are problems, reduce the memory frequency and test again.
Step #7 . If no problems are found, then go back to step #5 and increase the memory frequency a bit more. Then we test again (step 6). Then repeat step 5 and 6 until we find the maximum frequency of video memory, with which the video card is working stably.
The resulting maximum frequency of the video memory can be further reduced by 10-20 MHz for full confidence in stable operation.
Final overclocking check in MSI Afterburner
Step #8 . After determining the maximum frequency for the GPU and the video memory, you need to check how it will all work together.
So we set Power Limit to maximum and specify the maximum values of Core Clock and Memory Clock, which were defined earlier. After that we apply the settings and repeat the test in the stress test and games. If there are problems, then slightly reduce the GPU and memory frequencies to improve stability, and test again.
Stability can also be improved by increasing the voltage with the Core Voltage parameter . You should be especially careful here, as increasing the voltage can lead to overheating or damage the GPU. It is not recommended to use this setting unless you have sufficient experience.
If there are problems with temperature, you can increase the speed of the coolers. This will increase the noise level, but will improve cooling. For more information on this, see the article “How to adjust the coolers in MSI Afterburner”.
This completes the video card overclocking process. We have defined the maximum frequencies for the GPU and video card memory and tested how the overclocking of these two components works together. Now we just need to save the results of the work.
Saving overclocking results in MSI Afterburner
In order for the current video card overclocking settings to be triggered every time you start MSI Afterburner, you need to enable the “Apply ovecloking at system startup” option at the very bottom of the program window.
You also need to go to the settings and on the tab “General” enable the autoloading of MSI Afterburner.
In addition, it is useful to save the current video card overclocking settings as a profile. To do this, click on “Save”, double-click on the profile and press “Apply”.
If needed, you can activate MSI Afterburner’s overclocking profiles by using keyboard shortcuts or automatically when you start a game. To do this, go to the program settings and click the “Profiles” tab.
Here you can specify keyboard shortcuts for each of the 5 profiles and select 2D and 3D profiles. The 2D profile is the profile that will work in normal mode, and the 3D profile is the profile for games and other 3D applications.
Removing overclocking restrictions in MSI Afterburner
For some graphics cards the overclocking functions may be severely limited or even blocked. Usually such restrictions apply to low-end and mobile video cards (laptops). But in some cases, restrictions can be bypassed. To do this, you need to enable the MSI Afterburner program’s unofficial mode.
To do this, go to the program folder (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\MSI Afterburner), find there the file “MSIAfterburner.cfg” and open it with a simple text editor (Notepad++).
In this file, find the line with the parameter “UnofficialOverclockingEULA” and after the ” = ” and space insert the following text:
I confirm that I am aware of unofficial overclocking limitations and fully understand that MSI will not provide me any support on it
By doing so, we agree that there are additional risks associated with removing the overclocking restrictions and that MSI is not responsible for any damages that may occur.
After that, you must change the value of the parameter “UnofficialOverclockingMode ” from ” 0 ” to ” 1 “.
And also change the values of ” UnlockVoltageControl ” and ” UnlockVoltageMonitoring ” from ” 0 ” to ” 1 “.
After saving the settings file you need to restart the MSI Afterburner program. It is quite possible that the restrictions that prevented you from overclocking your graphics card will be removed. But, this trick does not always work. Sometimes overclocking is hard locked in the video card BIOS and the only way around this restriction is to re-flash it.
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Creator of the website comp-security.net, author of more than 2,000 articles on computer repair, working with programs, setting up operating systems.
How to overclock your graphics card (Detailed instructions)
Video card overclocking is a forced increase in its power by changing the clock frequency of the graphics processor and video memory. Overclocking is done either by re-flashing the BIOS, engaging additional computing blocks, specially disabled by the manufacturer, or with special utilities. The second option is safer and we will consider it below using Nvidia and AMD cards as an example.
What cards can and can’t be dispersed. Risk assessment
Before overclocking, soberly assess the degree of risk and potential of the card. Take into account that Nvidia video chips of the same type from different manufacturers work differently and have different frequencies. Asus, Zotac, Palit and other similar companies buy cards and change their performance depending on their needs: increase or decrease the core clock frequency, modify monitor connectors, etc.
It makes sense to try overclocking ASUS Matrix, Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming graphics cards: their performance increase after overclocking reaches 20 to 30%. The reserve of low-cost devices – from 10 to 20%. Overclocking flagships and cheap cards almost nothing: the first are already working at full capacity, and the latter simply will not withstand high loads due to low-grade components of the board and low-bit bus.
Do not overclock graphics cards in laptops: here video chips categorically do not tolerate overheating, and if you try, you risk losing your “iron friend”. Operation of PC components in abnormal mode leads to their combustion and failure without a chance to recover. Remember: burned components due to overclocking – not a warranty case, the store will not accept them back, and their repair will have to do at your own expense.