How to Use Rivatuner (Afterburner) On Screen Display and More

Note: This article has not been updated since it was written. Much of the info might be outdated. I’ve been out of the computer world for some time now and it would not do much good for me to update it. If someone here on OCN would like to update it, shoot me a PM.


Rivatuner On Screen Display (OSD) is one of my favorite little features of many overclocking programs. It comes bundled with Msi Afterburner, Evga Precision X, and more. It’s primary purpose is to allow you to monitor gpu statistics while in a game or fullscreen application.

For all of the following examples I will be using Msi afterburner.

We can set which values we want to be monitored in the monitoring tab of afterburner.

At the top of the tab you have a Hardware polling period, which is how often Afterburner polls the gpu stats. Setting this to a low value is unnecessary as it causes lag, bad performance, and really isn’t necessary. I stick with 1000 ms.

Next we have the option to log the values. This is very handy when trying to diagnose a crash or other problems, as you can check the time stamps and look for abnormalities.

Next is the most important feature of this tab, and this is what makes things actually show up on the OSD. To enable one of the statistics, first, make sure that the check beside it is checked, then click on it, and then check the “Show in On-Screen Display” option down below.

You can also use this to show fps, just like Fraps

The next tab you won’t need to do much, but it does allow you to edit the hotkey that toggles the OSD. I just leave mine on the default of Control + B.


Additional Sensors.

So what if you want to monitor more than just your gpu statistics? Well, that’s possible as well. 😀 To do this you will first need to download a programs called HWiNFO. When HWiNFO first starts you will be greeted with a window called system summary, close that as we are only interested in the “Sensors” section. (In the future you can check the “Sensors only” checkbox at the welcome screen.
When the Sensors tab loads up you will be given a plethora of sensor options, any and all of which can be monitored by the OSD.

To select which ones to monitor, click configure. Then set the scan interval to the same as afterburner. Then click on any value you want to be monitored, go the to the “RIVA Tuner OSD section”, and check “show”. You can also have it label what the value is and tell it which line to display on. (Note, line one is the first line after any AB OSD lines.)

HWiNFO will have to be running, and with the sensors tab opened, for these to show up in the OSD. You can set HWiNFO to start minimized, and start with windows as well, but I never got the latter to work properly.

If done right, you should get something like this:


Customizing the OSD:

In the the Process tray there will be another Icon as well called Rivatuner Statistics Server Technology which allows you to customize the color, size and other things about the OSD. I can’t really care, so I just leave this alone. You can also add applications for the OSD to show up on if it does not already. All features here are well documented, so I do not need to explain much.


Screen Capture:

This is great and all, but my favorite feature of Afterburner is its ability to capture video and screenshots.
This is set up automatically, but there will be some settings we want to change.
Lets start with the Screen Capture tab. I left the hotkey at the default,but some games may require you to change this. I also set the Screenshot format to JPG, and 97% quality, which is the same as output from my DSLR. If you want lossless screenshots, you will want to use PNG.

On the Video Capture tab, you have a lot of the same.
I use MJPG compression at 85%. This uses up about 10-15% of my CPU when recording, and makes a good looking 1080p video at 1GB per hour. Do not set the quality too high, or you will get very bad performance. You might also want to experiment around with RTV1 compression, if you have available CPU cycles. I do not recommend uncompressed as it will give you a video of about 20GB per minute IIRC, while not looking all that much better.

For frame size, you will probably want to stick with full frame, unless you have larger then 1080p or something other than 1080p or 720p. Frame rate is pretty self explanatory. You do not want this option higher than your in game fps, and any more than 30 is pointless if you are only uploading to Youtube, unless you use it for slow motion. Note: 60 fps will make the file twice as large as 30fps.
You may also want to uncheck “Show ON-Screen Display on captured screenshots and videos” in the monitoring tab if you do not want the OSD to show up in pictures in videos.
Lastly, we have the ability to limit IN GAME FPS. I do not like this feature, but it can work wonders for people who do not use v-sync. There is no point in going over your monitor’s refresh rate though, so you might try setting this to 59 or 60 if you don’t use v-sync.

That’s all the tips and tricks that I know for Rivatuners OSD. If you have any questions for comments feel free to leave them in the thread here.

A version of this article already exists, but it is very outdated, and lacks information. So I figured I would make my own with new info. The old one can be found here.

8 thoughts on “How to Use Rivatuner (Afterburner) On Screen Display and More”

  1. So, I installed AB to be used with my Sapphire 290. But I opted out of installing RivaTuner when I installed AB. Is RivaTuner necessary for proper AB function? Im asking because every once in a while I get small spikes in gpu usage when idle and the only thing I can think of to stop that is to limit 3d apps within RTSS. I know its Origin doing it and I can stop it by exiting Origin. But it jsut makes me wonder if AB is not functioning right if RivaTuner is not installed. Ive heard that it does not make a difference to AB working properly

    https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=163615.0

    same OP here on the basic “How To Use” AB thread so I figured he must know. However, Im confused by his response towards the end of the first thread (above)

    http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=161235.0

  2. That appears to be a better and more comprehensive guide than mine, I would recommend using it for anything except OSD section. As far I know, afterburner is built off of rivatuner. So I would think it would kill the basic functionality, but maybe not. Either way, I would leave it alone if it's not hurting anything. You could always reistall it if it messed anything up, so it couldn't hurt to try.

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