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Overclocking for dummies (Guide step-by-step)

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Here is a little guide that I have put together to help newcomers to overclocking.

Warning!:Overclocking your graphics card may void your warrenty and/or damage it <--(rare).

Ok so before we begin quickly download these programs...:

Overclocking tool:
http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm

Monitoring tool:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1921/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.5.0.html

Stability testers:
http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
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http://www.geeks3d.com/20100819/gpu-tool-tessmark-0-2-2-new-opengl-4-tessellation-benchmark/
-
http://www.ocbase.com/perestroika_en/index.php?Download

Ok so now that you have everything downloaded, lets begin...biggrin.gif

Step one.
Open up GPU-Z and copy down the name of your graphics card (Skip this if you already now) Once you have the name, go to Google and paste it in. Find a review of the card and depending on which review you choose there should be an overclocking overview of that card. We need this step to just get a rough idea of the clocks that your perticular card could achieve (like a guideline).

Step two:
Open up MSI Afterburner and take a few seconds to get to grips where everything is (it's a fairly simple program).

For now ignore the voltage control (mv).
We will start with the gpu clock first, remember the clocks you found out earlier as a guideline...? ok so using your common sense, start with what you think is reasonable compared to the clocks you found out... example: Say my card runs at 625mhz stock and the review I read had the person achieve 820mhz... I would set it at maybe 680-700mhz as a start (this saves time).

Step three:
Open up furmark and run it at your default screen resolution with sfx and msaa turned off.
Run it for around 5 minutes, 10 minutes if you want to be sure of it's stability. While running it make sure your card doesnt exceed 90c, any higher and your entering risking buisness. Furmark has a temperature monitor at the bottom of the test.
If all is well, move onto Tessmark, run that at whatever settings you want, perhaps extreme tessalation to stress the card for around 3 minutes or so.
If your card has passed the test so far without any artifacts being visible, or obviously any crashes then it's time for the big test...
Open up OCCT and select GPU Test: Under time, select custom and type in 10-20 minutes (your choice), under that, check the box 'error check'. Now select your screen resolution and refresh rate. Now select shader complexity 8.
Ok now it's time to run the test... It will idle monitor for half the time you typed in, once it starts be warned that your card will run hot! anyway, let it run and come back to your computer once it has finished. Hopefully you will have 0 errors... if you have 1 or 2 errors then it may be passable for gaming or benchmarks.

Step four:
Now go back to Afterburner and raise the clocks by 10mhz at a time, run OCCT inbertween for 10 minutes to check it's stability.
Keep raising the clock by 10 mhz, once you start nearing the upper end of the clock you viewed earlier, start raising it by 5 mhz instead. Once your pc locks up or crahses, dont worrry, restart your pc (hold power button for 7 seconds) now go back to Afterburner and lower the clock by 10-25mhz to give the card some headroom. Once again, test it to make sure the clock is stable.

Step five:
Now set your clocks to default via the reset button in Afterburner... Now instead of using the referance clocks, raise the memory clock by 10mhz at a time and test it via the GPU MEM test: in OCCT for 20 cycles. Now open up Furmark and let it run for a few minutes to see if any artifacts pop up.
If everything is fine, then keep increasing the clock until you either start recieving errors or artifacts in furmark or occt.

Once you have found the max of both the memory and gpu, set them both to the highest stable you found. Now follow the first stability proceedure explained in step three.
Once that has completed we shall now add an extra test. Run any random game you own, more the better. Play them for a little while and see weather the card creates artifacts or crashes, if it does then go back to Afterburner and lower the clocks until it stops ceating problems in games. (Sometimes cards can be stable in stability tests but not games)
If you own Crysis then run that as it seems very sensitive to overclocks.

If this guide is helpful and I recieve posotive comments then I will edit and improve the guide including adding images to further help.

cool.gif Cya guyz
post #2 of 2
what about the CPU?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2700K @ 3.5Ghz (stock) Asus P8Z68 Deluxe Gen3 Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB (x 2) Kingston HyperX Genesis (4x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Force 3 GT SSD (120GB) Western Digital Caviar Black HDD (1.5TB) Western Digital Caviar Green HDD (1.5TB) Sony AD-7261S-0B Black  
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H80 Water Cooler Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) Asus VS24H-P Razer Anansi MMO Gaming Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850 Cooler Master HAF X Blue Edition Razer DeathAdder 3500dpi 3.5G Infrared Sensor G... Razer Vespula Dual sided Gaming Mouse Pad 
AudioAudio
Corsair Vengeance 1500, Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming He... Logitech Z506 5.1 Speaker System 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2700K @ 3.5Ghz (stock) Asus P8Z68 Deluxe Gen3 Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB (x 2) Kingston HyperX Genesis (4x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Force 3 GT SSD (120GB) Western Digital Caviar Black HDD (1.5TB) Western Digital Caviar Green HDD (1.5TB) Sony AD-7261S-0B Black  
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H80 Water Cooler Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) Asus VS24H-P Razer Anansi MMO Gaming Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850 Cooler Master HAF X Blue Edition Razer DeathAdder 3500dpi 3.5G Infrared Sensor G... Razer Vespula Dual sided Gaming Mouse Pad 
AudioAudio
Corsair Vengeance 1500, Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming He... Logitech Z506 5.1 Speaker System 
  hide details  
Reply
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