Increase video card performance with Afterburner

Faster video card Having a dedicated graphics card, even if it is not the latest model, it is possible to use it to enhance the computer by pushing its processor to maximum power, with an overclocking procedure.

Overclocking a processor means increasing its energy and calculation capacity which the manufacturer keeps lower for reasons of safety and energy saving.

Although the risk is very low and almost zero, overclocking can, theoretically, damage the graphics card processor or other components in your computer. The important thing is to proceed with caution, increasing the power step by step, without immediately going to the maximum. As we will see, it can overclock your computer’s GPU safely, using the program Afterburner per Windows which works on both NVIDIA video cards and AMD GPUs.

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1) Identify graphics card in use

Each graphics card is different: in its basic design NVIDIA or AMD, in the customizations added by manufacturers such as ASUS, Gigabyte or Sapphire, in the generation and then in the small variations and imperfections of the production process itself.

Furthermore, overclocking results and maximum performance of the same graphics card may differ from one computer to another depending on the hardware configuration.

To know everything about computer hardware you can use a program like Speccyfree, simple and precise.

Not to forget then update the graphics card driver to the latest version, which is always very important to maintain high performance.

2) Run benchmarks before overclocking

Before starting, we need to see where we are starting from and, therefore, use the benchmark tool indicated in point 1, measuring the performance of the GPU when it is pushed to 100% of its current possibilities.

Keep GPU-Z open to check real-time processor usage even during the benchmark. Save the values ​​shown or write them down somewhere.

3) Programs to install

The best program for overclocking your video card is MSI Afterburnerfree and compatible with any NVIDIA or AMD GPU.

To measure performance we should also have a benchmark programcome Unigine Heavento compare performance before, during and after.

GPU-Z is another program to keep open while overclocking to measure temperature, fan speed, and graphics card power in real time.

4) Overclock the GPU

Afterburner’s overclocking tool has an interface that looks like the odometer in a car video game, which makes it look very sophisticated.

What we are interested in for an overclocking of the video card are the values ​​of core clock which is the speed measured in MHz and the electric voltage (Core Voltage), measured in Volts that the card is able to absorb from the PC power supply.

In the latest version of Afterburner you need to press the gear icon to open the program options and activate voltage control unlocking. Randomly changing one of these values ​​can make the GPU and computer unstable, so it’s important to proceed gradually and gently raise the speed and voltage until you experience stability problems, then go back and stabilize at a stable maximum value.

Change the clock speed firstusing the center control, going to +10 or +20.
Press on Applica and note that in GPU-Z the GPU-Clock value grows and is higher than Default Clock, which is the initial speed.

If everything went well and there were no problems, you can rerun the benchmark to see if, by now pushing the GPU to the maximum, the computer freezes or crashes. Also notice if any visual artifacts appear in the benchmark graphics or black dots or colored dots that are not right.

If there is none of this, you can try pushing the GPU clock forward another 10 points, otherwise you need to move it back and retry the benchmark until the performance is stable and error-free.

As mentioned above, it is possible too increase GPU voltage to allow clock values ​​higher than the initial limit, increasing the Core Voltage value which is in percentage. Raise it by 5% and then run the benchmark to check for instability. Increasing the voltage also causes an increase in heat which must be kept under control.

The value of Temp limit in Afterburner it tells us that when the graphics card reaches that temperature the PC shuts down for safety.


The process of slowly increasing the clock and voltage values ​​can be repeated, always measuring the performance with the benchmark, until the first problems appear. At that point, go back to the previous values, make sure the temperature does not rise too much by using the benchmark again and stabilize overclocking in Afterburner.

The end result should be a performance improvement of about 10% or maybe more depending on your PC configuration.

Overclockare la GPU (i.e. the graphics card) is a procedure permitted by the manufacturers that anyone can do on his computer without too much difficulty, using a program that does not require special knowledge or advanced computer skills.

The graphics card will automatically increase or decrease the speed of its cooling fans when its temperature sensors detect the need to do so. Once you have finished overclocking in Afterburner, look at the lock at the bottom right that needs to be unlocked and then click on the disk to save the configuration and then click one of the numbers to save the profile.

In case of problems you can always press the button that restores the initial valuesespecially if we notice the appearance of graphic artifacts when running a game, a video or any multimedia content from the Internet (for example a web program).

To learn more we can read the guide on how Change CPU, Graphics Card and RAM speed: best programs.

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