Can an MSI afterburner damage the GPU

hardware Overclock the graphics card - this will make your GPU faster


It doesn't always have to be a new card for more graphics performance. Overclocking allows you to tickle more speed out of your existing GPU. We'll show you how to do this and what you need to consider.

What is overclock?

On graphics cards, the computing work is done by the Graphics processing unit (GPU) adopted. The GPU basically works very similar to your CPU with a certain clock rate. With an Intel Core i7 CPU this is 1,716 megahertz, for example, with an Nvidia GTX 960 GPU it could be 1,841. And the system memory also works with a rate that specifies arithmetic operations per second. And it is precisely these values ​​that you can increase.

The question arises as to why the manufacturer does not immediately use optimal settings for performance. By default, your graphics card has a setup that ensures safe and stable operation. And higher clock frequencies ensure more power consumption, higher temperatures and overall higher utilization of the entire hardware. Now these values ​​are kept very conservative for pretty much every card and can do with a little tuning. Overclocking used to be a tricky and not entirely harmless affair for technology nerds, which also ended the warranty. Today, most manufacturers simply deliver themselves Overclocking tools for the Windows desktop With. Still is Attention announced: Hardware that is overclocked becomes too hot and at some point produces errors. Here you can see that graphics cards not only depend on the best possible Nvidia or Ati GPU, but also on how the manufacturers install cooling and other components.

In addition to the two clock rates, power consumption and ventilation can also be set. You can find more about the individual values ​​in the individual steps for overclocking.

Measure graphics performance

But before that, it's a good idea to do that Measure graphics performance first and read out values ​​such as clock rates and temperature. With the free GPU-Z you get pretty much all the data about your graphics card that could be of interest, including maximum standard and current clock frequencies. And above all the rider shows you "Sensors"All important values ​​also in real time: GPU and memory clock, fan speed, temperature, current consumption and voltage. As an alternative to the current value, you can also use the small arrows next to the respective values Maximum, minimum and average values display. You can use the camera symbol to view the Save values ​​as a picture. And you should also do this so that you can check after the tuning measures whether anything has changed at all.

Also the You should measure performance in advance. The easiest way to do this is with the free version of 3DMark. The benchmark program plays a whole series of animations in different detail / effect levels and measures the graphics performance. Alternatively, you can of course just start your favorite game and give you the displayed images per second (Frames per Second / FPS) can be displayed.

Overclock graphics card

For overclocking, you can in many cases Graphics card manufacturer tools fall back - but of course it looks different every time. But with that MSI Afterburner there is also a wonderfully simple program that not only works with MSI cards, but also with a number of other Nvidia and Ati products.

First: If you do not like the presentation or if it is too confusing, open the settings Via the "gear" symbol or the "Settings" button. In the tab "user interface"you can easily adapt the language and appearance.


First of all you can here "Core Voltage (mV)", the applied voltage in millivolts, and that"Power limit", ie the maximum current consumption. You should not touch the voltage in particular without carefully studying your hardware and the effects - this is only useful if you want to push the limits. Also the power limit, according to the hardware you don't need it to support it at all.

The values ​​are interesting "Core clock" and "Memory clock", that is, the clock frequencies of the core and memory. This is where you should be Carefully approach the settings that are still safe. Try it in 5 megahertz steps: Raise with the "Apply"Use the button, test the computer in operation. Errors can happen, for example Flickering, artifacts, or crashes noticeable - if something like this occurs, turn the control back a little! It's best to take two steps at the same time so that you don't keep driving the card to the limit.

Also take a look at that temperature Can't hurt, manufacturer limits shouldn't be exceeded. The setting "Fan speed"can help a little here, by the way, higher fan speeds but also mean more noise and power consumption. Mostly the default is "Automatically"totally okay. For games or in midsummer it is sometimes worth switching up.

If you are happy with the settings, you can use them save as profile. So you can quickly switch between maximum performance for gaming and minimum power consumption while surfing. And in case you are wondering what all this brings: Our test system runs a GTX-960 graphics card with a standard 1216 MHz core and 1753 MHz memory clock - these settings achieve 1716 points in the 3DMark benchmark Fire Strike Ultra. With 150 MHz more each time, the test achieved 1841 points, which is 7.2 percent more. A further increase leads to crashes of the benchmark and incorrect information in GPU-Z.