How to Underclock your GPU for Better Gaming Performance

Most people don’t know that they can underclock their GPU to get better gaming performance without sacrificing quality. In this article, we will show you how to do just that. By following these simple steps, you can decrease the load on your graphics card and improve your gaming experience. So, whether you’re a PC gamer or a console gamer, read on for tips on how to get the best performance possible from your hardware.

GPUs are an important part of any gaming computer, but they can also be quite expensive. That’s why it’s important to get the most out of them by overclocking (running them at a higher clock rate than their default) or underclocking (running them at a more sedate speed). In this article, we will show you how to underlock your GPU and overlock your video card to get the best performance possible from your hardware.

What is Overclocking and Underclocking Your GPU?

Every GPU, whether it’s an integrated chipset on the motherboard or a standalone graphics card, comes with its own clock speed. This is expressed in MHz and GHZ, just like the CPU clock speed that most people are familiar with. 

For example, the Nvidia GTX 295 has a default clock speed of 576 mhz (576 million cycles per second). The speed at which the GPU clock runs determines how quickly it can crunch the numbers to draw the images on your screen. This is expressed in FPS (frames per second), and anything higher than 60 fps is considered a refresh rate that’s high enough for what we consider to be acceptable visuals.

Overclocking simply means running your graphics card faster than the factory default clock speed, while underclocking is running it at a lower rate. This can be done by modifying BIOS settings or using third-party software applications. The actual process for doing this varies from brand to brand, but most manufacturers provide easy access to these clocks speeds in their control panel options.

The Benefits of Overclocking and Underclocking Your GPU:

Running your GPU at a lower clock rate often results in the need for less power, which means that you can run it on an old (and non-factory rated) power supply unit. It also means that you’re using less electricity and generating less heat. This helps extend the life of your PC components, as well as keep your GPU cool even after hours of gaming.

It also improves your PC’s battery life if you’re using it to play games on a laptop, but won’t have as much impact if your GPU is plugged into the wall directly.

Finally, running your hardware at lower speeds will help you save money since you’ll be spending less on electricity bills! 

Drawbacks:

The downside of overclocking and underclocking is that you might experience hardware errors if it’s not done correctly. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, read the instructions on your graphics card carefully before attempting to change any settings. If you don’t want to take the risk yourself, there are plenty of services like CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme or PC Pitstop which can do it for you.

Remember, if your GPU is overclocked too far the system may become unstable and crash. When this happens, you’ll need to reset your graphics card BIOS settings so that it runs at default speeds again. This will mean that you lose all of your customised fan speeds and voltages, so it’s important to back them up beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll have to set them all again from scratch.

While overclocking and underclocking your video card can be beneficial for gamers of all levels, the more extreme modifications will only benefit those who are hard-core PC enthusiasts. That said, even if this sounds like something that’s way over your head, it’s always good to learn more about PC hardware so that you can keep it running smoothly for as long as possible.

How to Underclock the GPU on Laptops?

If you’re using a laptop, you also have the option of underclocking your graphics card. However, this is only an option if your GPU isn’t running at its max clock speed. If it is, you’ll have to adjust the base clock instead.

Most laptops have an indicator on their power adapter that tells you if there are any problems with it. This might be in watts or Amps, but most likely both. If this number is listed in Amps, it means your GPU is already running at its max speed and you’ll need to adjust the base clock instead.

In most cases, the maximum power you can get from a laptop adapter is 150 Watts or less. So if you have a 110 Watt PSU (Power Supply Unit) and your graphics card uses 133 Watts, then your PSU doesn’t have enough power to properly run your GPU. If this is the case, you’ll need to underclock your graphics card instead because it’s running too fast for maximum efficiency.

To figure out what clock speed your GPU is currently at, open your NVIDIA Control Panel and click “Manage 3D Settings” on the left-hand side of the screen. Scroll down until you find “Power Management Mode” and click it. Next, choose “Prefer Maximum Performance” in order to view all of your clock speeds. If the number next to this option isn’t higher than what you see in the list below, then your GPU is already running at its max speed.

How to Overclock and Underclock your GPU for Better Gaming Performance?

For this guide, we’ll be using NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software so that it’s easy for everyone to follow along with. If you use AMD Radeon cards, don’t worry! You can do the exact same thing in your Catalyst Control Center (if you’re still on Windows 7) or Crimson Software (Windows 10).

Once you download and open NVIDIA GeForce Experience, click on the settings button in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Next, change “Maximum pre-rendered frames” to 8 or 6 if you see any stuttering or freezing in your game.

By reducing this number, you’ll be giving your GPU more work to do which means it will process all of the action in the game faster. This, in turn, will give you a significant performance boost. If your game is already running nicely (60 FPS or higher) with this setting at 8 or 6, then there’s no need to change it.

Now go back to the main menu and click on “My Rig”. Next, find your CPU in the list and check its clock speed in the Core column. If you’re using a laptop, chances are your Core speed is inaccurate and it’s probably counting the number of cores in your CPU instead. To fix this, right-click on your Core number and select “Override high-performance mode”. From there, set the dropdown menu to “Prefer maximum performance”.

Tips for Keeping your GPU Cool While Overclocked or Underclocked:

Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you’re doing before attempting to undervolt your GPU or overclock it. If you accidentally set the wrong values, then your card could be damaged.

If your PC is overclocked, keep in mind that rising temperatures may cause instability and crash while playing games. It’s important to know how hot your PC gets without the graphics card being overclocked so that you can adjust other components accordingly.

To prevent overheating, try using MSI Afterburner or GPU Tweak to help control your clock speeds automatically. 

Conclusion: 

Overclocking and underclocking your GPU can give you a performance boost in games, but it’s important to do it safely. Make sure you keep an eye on your temperatures and take measures to cool your card if necessary. Also be aware of the risks involved in overclocking if you push your hardware too hard, you could end up with a fried graphics card! If you want to try overclocking or underclocking your GPU, follow our tips to do it safely and get the best gaming performance possible. 


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Chris Slambery
By Chris Slambery

Chris Slambery is the founder of Gamingerra, a website devoted to technology and gaming. He's been passionate about both subjects since he was a child, and has been working in tech journalism for over a decade. When Chris isn't writing or gaming, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. Chris loves keeping up to date with the latest tech news and he wants to share that information with as many people as possible. He's always been fascinated by the latest technologies and loves sharing his knowledge with others.


Gaming Erra is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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