Even if a video card is capable for rendering more than 60 FPS on any graphical settings in your favorite games, there is no much sense in it if a monitor is clocked at 60 Hz. You simply won’t be able to see any difference between 60 FPS and 100 FPS except the screen tearing. In order to notice a difference, you need a higher refresh rate. There are plenty of decent and quite inexpensive monitors that support 90, 100, 120 or 144 GHz, but not everyone can afford monitor upgrade no matter how inexpensive it is. If you are going to spent all your cash on GPU and can’t buy a high-frequency monitor, you should definitely try monitor overclocking. Good news is that you can overclock almost any modern monitor and get a bit smoother picture. It is a free performance for everyone. Here what you need to know about screen overclocking.
Overclocking monitor refresh rate is possible with any GPU, even on integrated one (Intel HD Graphics, for example). AMD, Nvidia, and Intel have their own control panels where you can overclock a monitor using a custom resolution. There is also a separate app, capable of monitor refresh rate overclocking on any GPU.
Here are a few things you should consider before monitor overclocking. Two monitors are not physically the same even if they both are the same model. Each monitor has its own overclocking potential that differs from other models. If your friend was able to overclock monitor to 90 Hz, that does not mean you will be able to do the same, even if you have the same monitor model.
There are always some monitor overclocking risks. Sure, your screen won’t burn in the flames, but radical refresh rate increasing may lead to some damage. Good news is that if you are careful and have a reasonable expectation, everything will be fine. Remember, that you won’t be able to increase frequency drastically. In a best case, you will get a bump from 60 Hz to 75-80 Hz. Don’t expect pushing your basic 60 Hz screen to 120 Hz or even 90 Hz.
After you change monitor frequency it will blink and shut off for a second or two. Don’t panic, that is how it works. Also, don’t be afraid to get some weird images, corruptions or artifacts. These are just a signal that you have crossed the border of monitor capabilities and it is not able to push frequency further, just like a system deadlock points to the limits of CPU overclocking.
Another thing you need to consider is the fact that monitor overclocking capabilities may vary depending on a cable between a GPU and a monitor. We were able to overclock screen from 60 Hz just to 65 Hz using DVI-D, but HDMI allowed to get 78 Hz. Try experimenting using different cables if a screen supports them.
Make sure you have the latest drivers for your video card. Update them if there are newer versions.
Enough with preparation, let’s overclock some screens.
How to Overclock Monitor on Nvidia GPU?
We will describe monitor refresh rate overclocking step by step on Nvidia GPU. Below you will find details about overclocking on AMD and Intel.
- Right-click your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
- Navigate to the Display > Change Resolution setting. Press Customize.
- You will see a new window with a custom resolutions list. In here you need to add a resolution with custom monitor refresh rate. Check Enable resolutions not exposed by the display and then press Create custom resolutions.
- Accept the terms and conditions of custom resolution settings. We recommend you read it carefully and consider the risks of monitor overclocking. You know, better safe than sorry.
- Now we are looking for Refresh rate (Hz) settings. Leave everything as is. You do not need to set any resolution except the native, so do not change anything. Increase Refresh rate (Hz) only by 1-2 points from the default one. If a default is 60 Hz, set it to 62 Hz.
- Press Test. Control panel should tell you that the test was successful. Make sure that picture is the same as it was with a default screen refresh rate. There should be no any toxic colors or weird corruptions.
- Do not save the new resolution. Increase refresh rate by additional 2-3 Hz and retry the test. Keep increasing frequency until you see a color shift, any warnings of unsupported resolution or failed test messages.
- After you find a perfect refresh rate, save new resolution. It will appear on the list of custom resolutions. Press Ok.
- In the list of resolutions select the one you have just made and make sure Refresh rate setting is set to the one you have set up earlier. Press Apply and you are done.
- Now open Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings and make sure you have a correct display refresh rate.
How to Overclock Monitor on AMD GPU?
This procedure is basically the same with the minor differences in the GPU settings application interface.
- Open Radeon Settings and press Display at the bottom of the window.
- You will see a button Create at the right side of the window.
- Locate the Refresh Rate (Hz) parameter and increase it by 1-2 Hz from default. Press Save.
- Select the new resolution and make sure your monitor works fine. Keep increasing refresh rate until it is possible.
- Just like with the case of Nvidia GPU, don’t forget to check Settings to make sure that a new refresh rate was applied correctly.
How to Overclock Monitor on Intel iGPU?
- Open Intel Graphics control panel and select Display. Click Custom resolutions at the left side of the windows.
- The app will warn you about the risks of setting custom resolutions and refresh rates. Confirm your decision to try.
- Click Add, set native resolution and increase the display frequency by 1-2 Hz from default. And again, keep experimenting and increasing until you’ll find the best possible refresh rate.
That’s it. Now you can enjoy your overclocked monitor with a higher framerate in the games.