Now it’s time to talk about your graphics card, a component that can generally be overclocked through software, even though you can also do it via the card’s BIOS. On this particular topic, we recommended that you take a look at the article we published on the subject earlier this year: (How To Overclock Your Graphics Card).
The Simplest Way: AMD Drivers
The simplest way to overclock a graphics card is to use the drivers. With AMD, that’s easy, as there’s an OverDrive panel that’s accessible directly in the vendor’s Catalyst driver. The downside is that there’s a limit to the frequencies that are accessible, since AMD obviously doesn’t want to open up frequencies that’d likely cause heat and stability issues, flooding tech support lines with frustrated gamers.
If you’re looking for the latest drivers for your AMD card, you’ll find those here.
Tip: The Auto-Tune function takes care of everything—it automatically checks to see that overclocking settings are stable, then uses the new frequencies automatically. It’s less effective than manual overclocking, but it’s simpler.
Nvidia: ForceWare + nTune
At Nvidia, overclocking isn’t built into the standard ForceWare drivers, but you can activate it with nTune. As with AMD’s drivers, this method limits the frequencies available. Note that to use nTune with a graphics card, you don’t necessarily need an nForce chipset.
Nvidia makes its latest drivers available on this page.
- Two Favorites: CPU-Z And GPU-Z
- For The CPU: SetFSB
- Motherboard Utilities
- nTune and OverDrive: Overclocking With AMD and Nvidia
- Memset: For Memory Optimization
- Overclocking Made Easy: Drivers
- For Nvidia/AMD Graphics Cards: RivaTuner
- PowerStrip: The Veteran
- ATI Tray Tools And ATITool: Two Different Programs
- Overclock a Netbook? Yes, It’s Possible