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How to Overclock Your Video Card and Boost Your Gaming Performance [How To]

How to Overclock Your Video Card and Boost Your Gaming PerformanceWhile it won't likely mean your old card can magically run the latest games on ultra settings, overclocking your video card is a solid way to eke a bit of extra gaming performance out of your computer. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it properly.

Overclocking—or running your video card at higher speeds than it runs by default—is a good way to boost the performance of your computer, but it isn't as simple as clicking a few "turbo" buttons and getting back to your game. Just like overclocking your computer's processor, overclocking a video card takes some patience, some stability testing, and carries a bit of a risk if not done properly. Thankfully, it isn't quite as involved as overclocking a processor, and it's probably the best way to increase your PC's gaming performance without actually buying new parts. Here's how it's done.

What You'll Need

Everyone has different opinions on what tools are the most effective for overclocking your video card, but I've found these tools strike a balance between ease of use, effectiveness, and safety:

  • A Windows machine. Our tutorial today is for Windows machines, since that's where the vast majority of gaming is done.

  • An NVIDIA or AMD video card. It doesn't matter which one; our method will work with nearly any video card out there.

  • An overclocking program like EVGA Precision or MSI Afterburner. Despite their names, neither requires an EVGA or MSI graphics card. They'll work with almost any video card out there, no matter the manufacturer. They're nearly identical programs, so it really doesn't matter which one you use (though we'll be using EVGA Precision in our examples, since it's what I use).

  • The Furmark video card stress test. Some people like to use ATITool, though I haven't found this to be quite as effective as Furmark.

  • Patience. Seriously, this is going to take awhile. Grab yourself a cup of tea.
  • Step One: Raise Your Clock Values