Good Overclocking – Benchmarks and BSOD

Today we’re looking at the software and methods used for overclocking different systems with various brands/combinations of hardware inside. If you’ve never done this before it’s easier than ever before, with new Ai scanning tools that will help dodge the blue screen of death that occurs when we push our systems just that little bit too far 🙂 As always, overclock at your own risk! Doing this will void your warranty and it can also damage your components. As we reach the limits on OC, our computers will likely freeze, BSOD and display odd graphical colour pops – all indications that we should pull back.

The basics are: Some Asus, Gigabyte Aorus and ASRock motherboards will allow you to overclock certain processors, graphics cards and memory to achieve better performance.

This could be for a ranking competition or simply for better frames in your favourite games.

While the overclocking process is similar with all, the software used for each varies depending on which brand you’re working with, be it AMD or Intel, EVGA or ROG & so on.

Before we jump into all the overclocking itself though, we’ll need something to test the system with. This is a good place to start as you’ll be running these benchmarks over and over again while you do the actual overclocking – and if you don’t run them first you’ll have to base performance marks to compare with!

Testing the Overclock – Benchmarks

Benchmarks provide a repeatable test, letting us check the system stability or performance, with a score at the end to compare with others from around the world. The game themed ones can be used by players seeking more information on what a certain upgrade/configuration would result in more FPS, while others provide a score to get you onto the global leaderboards.

There are lots of options, links to our GG favourites below!

Free Benchmarks

Prime 95 – A handy tool for overclockers and system stability checkers, Prime95 has a feature called “Torture Test” that allows maximum stress testing on the CPU and RAM. There are several options allowing the stress test to focus on the memory, processor, or a balance of both.

Prime 95 – https://www.guru3d.com/files-details/prime95-download.html

Final Fantasy Series – These run through various scenes in the game, counting the FPS to give you a final score at the end.

Final Fantasy XV – http://benchmark.finalfantasyxv.com/na/

Final Fantasy Shadowbringers – https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/benchmark/

UNIGENE – The free mode lets you check performance and stability in a beautiful, detailed environment.

Heaven UNIGINE – https://benchmark.unigine.com/heaven

Vally UNIGINE – https://benchmark.unigine.com/valley

Paid Benchmarks

3D Mark – The king of the hill when it comes to competitive overlocking, with leaderboards and loads of modes.

3D Mark – https://www.3dmark.com/

With any of the software above downloaded & installed, we’re ready to get the tools needed to do the actual overclocks. We’ll break this into different groups to keep things super easy.

Overclock GPU

By far the easiest to do, and able to be done with most graphics cards from the entry-level GTX 1650 to the highest end RTX 2080 Ti, overclocking your GPU is a fun way to get into the swing of things. The tools used focus on 2 main customisation points, core clock and memory clock – increases to either result in more performance.

Software: Brand dependant, you can find these on the brand websites for your specific graphics card too (the best place to get the latest version)

Asus GPU Tweak II – https://www.asus.com/us/site/graphics-cards/gpu-tweak-ii/
EVGA Precision X1 – https://www.evga.com/precisionx1/
Aorus Engine – http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Utility/vga_utility_aorus_setup_v1.6.8.exe

All the software packages work in the same way, but the interface for each is a little different. Be sure to run your benchmark first, at normal settings, and note the score before you start to play with these tools.

If you’re using RTX you can actually have the software OC for you, finding the limits and adjusting the settings automatically. If you want to do this select OC Scanner.

If you’re keen to manually overclock though, ensure fans are set to AUTO or 100%, and turn the power limit slider to max!

Then we slowly tweak up the Boost Clock with +100, with each increase, we click the tick to apply the settings – and then run the benchmark again and note the score.

Once the system starts to freak out, freeze or display error we ease back on the Boost Clock, and start increasing the Memory Clock.

The process is the same, raising the Memory Clock +100 until system failure strikes.

You can also click and type in target clock speed rather than using the sliders too, this becomes more helpful when you start to reach limits!

You’ll see the results in your benchmarks, and with our graphics card now overclocked we can move onto the CPU.

This one’s a little more involved so we’re going to grab a bunch of screenshots – keep your eyes on GGPC Blog for the latest!