How to overclock your GPU

Get better graphics performance for free

Welcome to the world of overclocking, a place where dreams are realized and where having just enough of those overclocking chops may mean the difference between a world record-breaking benchmark or a session crying into a pile of burnt-out processors and GPUs.

Overclocking your Nvidia or AMD graphics card isn't for the faint-hearted. You can do a considerable amount of damage to your parts, so it's not something to be taken lightly. What's more, in some cases, the performance gains are minimal.

But, if you're interested in eking every last ounce of power from your machine, this is definitely the hobby for you.

With DirectX 11, at least, overclocking the GPU is the area of most benefit to gamers. But it's also where overclocking has most dramatically changed.

(If you're gaming with the new hotness in software and hardware, DirectX 12 paired with a 10-series Nvidia GPU, the major points in this guide will still apply, so don't sweat it.)

That's because, with Nvidia's GPU Boost and AMD's Power Tune, it's no longer possible to simply up the voltage and in turn increase cards' core clock speeds.

It's now often better to ignore the voltage and let the proprietary software do its own thing. This way, you can avoid reaching the artificial power limits set by our GPU overlords. Cores won't throttle themselves in an attempt to control imaginary temperatures that may or may not be present, even if they're running on an aftermarket cooler, or water.

Sounds ridiculous, right? You're not wrong. Still, we'll show you how far you can go with these cards right now.