Downclocking Manufacturer Overclocked Video Cards

Some video card related issues can happen due to unstable manufacturer overclock. While most of these overclocks are thoroughly tested, they can occasionally cause problems in certain games and/or applications. Reducing the clocks can help the overall stability of the card and this guide will show you exactly how to do it.

Introduction

Some video card related issues can happen due to unstable manufacturer overclock. While most of these overclocks are thoroughly tested, they can occasionally cause problems in certain games and/or applications. Reducing the clocks can help the overall stability of the card and this guide will show you exactly how to do it.
 
The Problem
 

Most video cards manufacturers offer overclocked versions of existing video cards. The benefit of buying these cards is that you get extra performance over stock card, and it’s actually approved by manufacturer. Therefore if there are any issues with the card, the overclock was done from the factory so the card will be repaired/replaced at no cost to you.

The problem with these cards is that manufacturer’s can’t always test them with every game out there. Some games come out after the production of the card that may not work well with overclocked settings. Some games are never even tested.

DISCLAIMER:

The following guide is only a temporary resolution. It does not get around the fact that you may have a defective video card. If your card is actually defective, then you will need to submit a request for RMA with either the manufacturer or your custom pc builder. The guide is meant to be used as a temporary solution until one of the following happens:

1)      Better video driver comes out that fixes problems

2)      Patch for the game comes out that fixes problems

Also, if you change any other values other than the ones specified in this guide you risk voiding your manufacturers warranty.

The Program

There are few programs out there that will allow you to change the clock speed of the video card. I personally like to use the MSI Afterburner because of its features and aesthetics.

You can download afterburner at:

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

The download should be a zip file containing 2 installers, one for Afterburner and one for Kombustor. Kombustor is a benchmarking/testing program that accompanies Afterburner. You don’t need to install it for the purposes of this guide, but should you decide to experiment with the program, you’re welcome to install it as well.

Before you run the program and start modifying settings you should gather some information first. Every video card out there has a reference model with the stock speed settings. You must find out the following:

1)      Your current card speed (core clock, memory and shader, if applicable)

2)      Reference speeds (core, memory and shader if applicable)

Usually cards are overclocked by couple Mhz, typically 40-100 depending on the model.

For example, if your card has core clock of 950, but the reference model  has the core clock of 900 Mhz, then that means that the card was overclocked by 50Mhz. So the best place to start is to downclock the card using the software to 900 (it’s original values) and start raising up by 5-10 mhz increments until your card becomes unstable again.

THOSE NUMBERS ARE ONLY EXAMPLES, MAKE SURE YOU OBTAIN CORRECT INFORMATION FOR YOUR CARD.

Using the program

By default you do not have to change any options in this program. Leave everything on default and only adjust core clock. Shader will follow if applicable. Only adjust core and memory according to reference specs.

 

You can setup profiles for certain games. If you only have problem with 1 game, you can setup a profile and activate it when you’re about to play that game.

You can either leave the settings at reference speeds, or you can begin to increase them in 5-10mhz increments until you reach stability problems again. Then back down 5-10 mhz until everything is back to normal again. If you wish to maintain the profile settings you can tick the “Apply at startup” radio button.

For further instructions on how to use the program, please consult the help file in the installation directory.

Keep in mind that adjusting these values OUTSIDE OF MANUFACTURER RANGE WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY. If you wish to overclock or underclock the card beyond the range that the manufacturer has provided, you risk voiding the warranty.

 *Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.