GPU Overclocking

•GPU overclocking is not complicated.
•GPU overclocking will most definitely give a performance boost in video games especially in video games that are heavy on graphics.
•BlackScreens, BlueScreens, PC Crashing is completely normal and a common occurrence when Overclocking.
•Only Overclock your GPU if other people or websites have confirmed that your GPU can overclock properly.
•Make sure all your other components are stable before you overclock your GPU.
•Currently, this guide is not updated for GTX 1000 series GPUs.

Warning: Though overclocking with the provided methods will most of the time result in success with no hardware damage, however this guide, website or author will take no responsibility if any damage to hardware, software occurs after overclocking your GPU. Proceed to overclocking at your own risk. 

Safety Measures:
•If Temperatures go above 87C on GTX 900 cards, immediately stop the overclock and programs you currently are running.
•If Temperatures go above 93C on R9 Series cards, immediately stop the overclock and programs you currently are running.
•If your PC is making out of the ordinary noise, immediately stop the overclock and programs you currently are running.
•If your PC or Monitor is showing serious signs of malfunctioning or overheating, immediately stop the overclock and programs you currently are running.

Step 1: Make Sure Your PSU Is Ready

nVidia 700 Series: 600
nVidia 900 Series: 600
nVidia 1000 Series: 600
nVidia FE/Titan Series:
nVidia 700 3/4 way SLI Series: 1200/1500
nVidia 900 3/4 way SLI Series: 1200/1500
nVidia 1000 3/4 way SLI Series: 1200/1500
nVidia FE/Titan Series: 1200/1500

Wattage Calculator
GPU Recommendation

Step 2: Install These Programs

Even if you have a Sapphire, EVGA, Gigabyte, Zotac, XFX or any other GPU brand all modern GPU's will work with the programs below. 

GPUZ
MSI Afterburner
Unigine Valley

Step 3: Test Run

Open Unigine Valley.

Preset: Custom

API: The Newest DX your system supports.
Quality: Ultra
Stereo 3D: Disabled.
Monitors: However many monitors you use when gaming.
Anti-aliasing: x8
Full Screen: Yes
Resolution: Your native monitor resolution.

Press Run.

Press "F9" on your keyboard.

Unigine Valley will now go through 18 scenes and benchmark your current GPU.

After 18 Scenes have been completed, remember the average FPS and the Score. Perhaps write it down on a sticky note.

Step 4: Overclocking Preparation

Make sure to turn off all programs.

Open MSI Afterburner.

If the interface is slightly different than this or completely different go to "settings"
Go to the "User Interface Tab"
Under "User interface skinning property"
Find "Default MSI Afterburner V3 Skin"

Make sure your "General Settings" are identical to this

Drag "Core Voltage (mV)" fully to the right. Some GPU's can have more additional voltage than others.

Press the arrow next to "Power Limit (%)"

Drag "Power Limit (%)" fully to the right. Some GPU's can have more additional power than others.

Link: Unticked

Change "Temp Limit (C)" to
GTX GPU's = 80C ~ 87C
R9 GPU's = 85C ~ 93C

Prioritized arrow should be pointing upward

Step 5: Overclocking GPU Clock

Open GPUZ to make sure your overclock is being applied correctly.

Now we need to know the average overclock others have achieved in order to have a vague idea on what we are trying to achieve.

Search for your exact graphics card here.

If your specific model and brand is not available in that website you can search in google: [Graphics Card Model] review guru3d.

Example: R9 390X review guru3d

Go to the page where your specific graphics card is reviewed.
Find this near the bottom of the page:

Find the "Overclocking" Page

Find the Maximum GPU Clock & Memory Clock. We will use the MSI GTX 970 Gaming as the example.

Open GPUZ, identify the GPU Clock.

The website that has already overclocked the MSI GTX 970 Gaming has said that it was able to achieve 1300 Mhz GPU Clock speed.

[Maximum Overclock Achieved] - [GPU Clock Speed] = [Additional Clock Speed Needed]

Applying To Example: 1300 Mhz - 1102 Mhz = +198 Mhz

We want to give ourselves some headroom so increase the core voltage to about 3/4 of the "Additional Clock Speed Needed To Achieve Maximum Community Tested Clock Speed."

198 Mhz X 3/4 = +150 Mhz

In MSI Afterburner
Increase the "Core Clock (Mhz)" +150 Mhz
Press "Apply"

After this my GPUZ will tell me if the overclock properly worked.

Step 6: Preparing For Stress Test

Your fans should be on "Auto"

Stress Tests may result in the graphics crashing for a while or a full pc crash, this is normal.

Pictures Credits To: http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/artifacts.html
Pictures are used for educational and non commercial use.

When Stress Testing you are looking for:

GPU VRAM Issue:

GPU Artifact:

GPU Bus Artifacts:

These examples are serious degrees of artifact and GPU issues. The artifacts you see should be nowhere near the degree in which the photos above suggest. Usually you may see the screen colors having issues or other minor artifact, example being small parts of the screen being off color or black or lines on the screen.  

Step 7: Stress Testing GPU Clock

Open Unigine Valley and follow "Step 3".

This time, look carefully at the graphics to make sure you don't have any minor artifacts or screen issues.

Make sure the temperatures are in a comfortable range

If you see no issues throughout the 18 scenes it's time to do a longer stress test with MSI Kombustor.

Open MSI Kombustor

Press GPU Monitoring to make sure everything is running as it should be.

3D Set: Tessellated Spheres X64
Preset: Custom
Fullscreen: Yes
Resolution: Your native resolution
Antialiasing: 8x MSAA

Press Stress Test

Keep an eye out for any graphics issues, artifacting and temperatures.

Leave this on for 10 Minutes minimally

Step 8: Adjusting GPU Clock

Now increase the clock speed by +5 Mhz

In our example we will change it from +150 Mhz to +155 Mhz

Next we repeat "Step 7" again

Now repeat this cycle until you see issues in your screen. By doing this you will find the maximum clock speed you can run your GPU without having issues or crashing. Now subtract 5 Mhz from the stable clock speed.

For example if you are able to run Unigine Valley and Stress Test with MSI Kombustor with +200 Mhz, bring it down to +195 Mhz

Step 9: Overclocking GPU Memory

Back to the website

We can see that the maximum memory speed is 1980 Mhz

We will use the same method as overclocking the GPU Clock.

The Memory Speed is sometimes not accurately represented in MSI Afterburner so increase the Memory Speed with common sense.

I was able to add +300 Mhz and it shows I have a Memory Speed of 1903 Mhz

Step 10: Stress Testing GPU Memory

This time we will stress test the GPU with the same method as "Step: 6", however this time we need to make sure we use MSI Kombustor for at least 2 Hours to make sure it is stable.

If you are comfortable with the temperature when Unigine Valley was running you can leave the MSI Kombustor on while you do something else or going out for lunch or dinner.

A Stress Test of 2 Hours ~ 8 Hours will make sure that your GPU is stable. The longer it lasts without crashing or facing artifacts or other graphical issues the more likely it is stable.

Step 11: Tweaking To Perfection!

If your GPU was able to have no issues in the long stress test, it is time to save those values.

Press "Apply"

Press "Save"

Press "2" to save it to slot 2.

Press "2" again to make sure that slot 2 has been saved correctly. It should say "Profile 2 Loaded" on the right side.

If you want this profile to load up when windows loads up, press "apply overclocking at system startup"

If you faced issues in the stress test, start lowering the clock of the GPU memory by -10 Mhz and the GPU clock by -5 Mhz until you find a completely stable overclock.

If your current overclock can handle the hours of stress test without issues it's time to do the opposite and increase the GPU memory by +10 Mhz at a time and GPU clock by + 5 Mhz at a time to find the perfect stable overclock.

Keep in mind to give yourself some headroom. If your maximum stable overclock was "+200 Mhz GPU clock" and "+350 Mhz GPU memory" i would recommend something like "+195 Mhz GPU Clock" and "+340 Mhz GPU memory".

Even if you stress test for hours with no issues the GPU may crash once in a while, this means that you need to decrease the GPU memory or GPU clock. You can play with those settings.

FAQ

Q: Why doesn't GPUZ show that the GPU has been overclocked?
A: Remember to press "Apply"

Q: Why doesn't the overclock start with my windows?
A: Go to settings and tick the box that says, "Start With Windows"

Q: My GPU Clock speed goes higher than the boost clock stated in GPUZ, is this normal?
A: Yes, Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0 is the reason this may happen, as long as the temperatures and stability is under control, GPU Boost 2.0 will increase your clock speed, which is a great feature.

Q: How do i unlock the non X AMD GPU's?
A: http://www.overclock.net/t/1567179/activation-of-cores-...

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