Overclocking your graphics card is not necessary, but we always recommend it as it unlocks the full potential of the card. The graphics card overclocking process increases the frequencies of GPU and enhances the video memory to boost the overall performance. However, some graphics card have higher overclocking potential than others and it is good to go for the ones that have this feature.
Each graphics card has its own overclocking potential and if it’s not done correctly, then the GPU might get damaged. The overclocking of a graphics card depends on the cooling solutions and overall capability of the card. Today, we’ll guide you through the process of finding a graphics card with higher overclocking potential.
What to look for in a graphics card to check its overclocking potential?
We have jotted down the most important things that you must look for in a graphics card if you’re considering the overclocking potential. So whether you’re going to buy a Nvidia or AMD graphics card, consider these factors:
The cooling option of a graphics card is an important factor to consider, because when you overclock a graphics card, the temperature of its major components rises quickly. The major components of a graphics card include VRAM, GPU, and VRM whose temperature rise to a great amount if you overclock. So, it is imperative that you go for an option that is equipped with a nice cooling solution.
A graphics card that is equipped with a good cooler such as two or three fans for bringing the temperature of the major components down when they are overheated. The heat sink of the graphics card should be equipped with copper plates and heat pipes. Graphics cards with good cooling solutions are those that feature a water block cooler or a hybrid cooler.
If your graphics card is equipped with a good cooling solution then you can easily push its GPU to higher frequencies without worrying about the temperature. GPU overclocking has more potential as compared to overclocking the video memory. Following are some of the cooling options explained:
Passive cooling solutions are the most common ones that are found in graphics cards. The passive cooling solutions use a heat sink which cools down the components of the graphics card. This type of cooling solution isn’t equipped with a fan and is mostly applied into entry level graphics cards. The passive cooling solution is a silent one and there is no maintenance required. However, this type of cooling solution is used only for graphics card that are not equipped with a powerful GPU. Thus, this type of cooling solution isn’t beneficial for overclocking.
Active cooling method is also used widely for graphics cards. This method uses a heat sink that cools down the graphics card components and keep the card in a stable condition. There are many types of graphics cards such as the entry level, mid-level, and high level ones that use active cooling method as a cooling solution. The active cooling method features single or dual fans for cooling and it provides better overclocking too. This method is, however, noisier as compared to the passive cooling solution.
Liquid cooling solution
Liquid cooling solution is one of the bests as it delivers great cooling performance along with silent operation. The cooling system consists of a liquid that is circulated through the GPU surface through the radiators and pipes. The hot liquid that runs through the pipes is cooled down by the radiator fan and this keeps the whole environment cool.
The circulation of liquid continues till the temperature of the GPU goes down and is maintained to a stable level. The liquid cooling system is good for overclocking but is a bit expensive. There are some risks associate with the cooling system too, such as it requires maintenance, needs more space on the PC case, and there is a risk of liquid leakage too.
The hybrid cooling method is the one which is equipped with liquid cooling as well as fan assembly and a heat sink. This is an expensive method and it features a combination of all the above cooling methods. The hybrid cooling method can lower down the temperature of the graphics card very quickly and is quite effective for overclocking.
The cooling system plays an important role in the overclocking of a graphics card as it maintains the temperature of the card. If the cooling system doesn’t meet the requirements, it can cause damage to the graphics card and it can get burnt when overclocked.
Power phase is an important thing and it also governs the overclocking potential of the graphics cards. With more phases, you can easily push more voltage to GPU. This allows you to overclock the GPU to a high level and that too without worrying about the temperature of the VRMs and the stability of the graphics card. Now let us explain you why power phase is importance for overclocking.
Phase is the difference between the sine waves; these waves are those that form AC current. A single phase consists of one sine wave only with a phase difference of 360 degrees while a three-phase system features 3 sine waves with a phase difference of 120 degrees and an angle of separation of 120 degrees each. The lesser the degree, the higher the stability of the graphics card. The three phase system results in stable voltages, cleaner power, and better load carrying capacity.
Thus, if a graphics card has more power phases, it means that it has more VRMs and can be overclocked smoothly. However, these graphics cards are more expensive than those with lesser power phases. Graphics card with a triple phase will be expensive than the one with a dual or single phase. Following are the advantages of more power phases:
- It offers more overclocking potential.
- It provides good power delivery and stability.
- The efficiency increases.
- There is continuous supply of voltage to the system.
How to overclock the GPU safely for enhancing the performance
If you’re a PC enthusiast, you might know how to overclock the GPU of a graphics card, but if you’re new to it, you might not find it easy. You might be thinking that if you didn’t overclock it properly, you’ll end up causing damage to your PC. However, let us tell you that overclocking is a safe process overall and you can do it easily if you take some factors into consideration. This is because, the graphics cards of today are equipped with enough protective measures that keep them from being damaged seriously. Following are the points to remember for overclocking the GPU safely:
Prepare the overclocking software
For overclocking the GPU, you’ll need software. You’ll need software that could help you set new speeds for the GPU. Also, a software will be needed that will allow you to stress test the system so that you know that the whole settings are in a stable condition. There are software available for checking the GPU temperature too, and they are quite handy.
Prepare the graphics card for overclocking
One good software for overclocking is ‘MSI Afterburner’ which you can download from Msn.com. When you open the software, it will indicate the core clock speed, memory clock speed, temperature of the GPU, and the control panel. Now is the time to stress test your system and check the graphics clock, temperature frames, and memory clock. At the end of the test you must note the FPS, temperature, and the score. Do the settings for core clock speed and memory clock speed and save them.
Try the new overclocked graphics for your favorite games, you’ll find that the performance is improved overall. If you notice any crashes or graphical glitches in the game, you must know that they aren’t working well with the overclocked settings. To solve the issue, click the reset button and go back to the default settings.
If you’re a PC enthusiast and want the best graphics card for overclocking, you must consider the factors discussed above. Overclocking improves the performance of the graphics card but you must know how to do it properly. The higher you overclock the GPU, the more processing power you’ll get. This will ensure fast and smooth running of games and faster rendering for multimedia files.
Overclocking is a smooth process and it goes well if you follow some points properly. There are some tools and software that make overclocking easy and help you do your task more efficiently. You just have to find the perfect combination of temperature, performance, and compatibility with games so that you can overclock the GPU. Overclocking does increase the stress and temperature on the GPU, but these days the graphics cards are equipped with failsafe mechanisms that prevent severe damage. Some of the things to look out while overclocking are: avoid over-heating and avoid auto-overclock. Hopefully this overclocking guide will help you find a graphics card with higher overclock potential.