Question Overclocking Graphics Card Properly?

prince_xaine

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Things I know:

Voltage: Increasing voltage, just like with the processor, can increase stability at higher clock speeds. The ratio in which voltage increases stability at higher clock speeds gradually declines until it takes a much higher voltage to add a little more clock speed.
Power Limit: Increasing the power limit allows the card to use more power. This essentially allows the card to overclock further, and gives it more headroom at lower temperatures.
Temperature Limit: As the card comes closer to this limit, the clock speed gradually drops to prevent overheating. An overclock at 60C that is stable may not be stable at 30C as a result of this.
Clock Speed: Core speed typically makes a larger difference than memory speed, but causes instability more quickly. Most people overclock this first until the card crashes, then adjusts memory speed afterwards.
Memory Speed: Memory speed makes less of a difference in overall performance than core speed. However, once core speed is maxed out at the desired voltage, you can add extra performance by increasing this value.
Fan Speed: Can be adjusted to preference between noise and performance. Increasing this value with a stable overclock could make it unstable due to the power draw of the fans, thus it is better to leave this at 100 when finding a stable overclock.

Okay now that I have said what I know, where is what I don't understand.

When monitoring the card in MSI Afterburner, I have noticed that the power limit and the voltage limit are almost always at 1.

Question: Does this mean the card needs more voltage and/or power in order to perform faster? Thank you.
 
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prince_xaine

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Those things are not issues I am having, the question I asked (At the bottom) is what this post is for. Everything above that is just stuff I have learned over the course of my PC building.
 

Gmoney06ss

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When it's showing 1, it means it's hit that limit. So yes it needs more voltage/power. What I tend to do is just max the power limit slider right away, then I'll slowly add additional voltage if needed. Just keep in mind the power slider is usually locked to the temp limit slider. I'm on a custom loop, so I worry less about heat than when I was on stock cooler.
 

Gmoney06ss

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I want to say yes, but I'm not certain. So I don't want to say anything with 100% certainty. You could always try adding more voltage, it'll either work or crash. Of it crashes, back it down to a level you know works, and assume you've hit your limit.
 

Gmoney06ss

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I don't really understand 100% what it means for overclocking, but assume you want to use the highest available setting without overheating. Same as cpu more volts usually equals more mhz. The card will only use what it needs, so if set to 150% and it only needs 125, it will only use 125. I rarely, if ever, use manual voltage and only use the slider and then manually adjust core and memory. Except on my new RTX which I've only done the power slider and let the card oc itself. I don't see any memory increase, but running 1935 on the core. I could probably manually adjust and get more, but I'm happy with it right now.

I hope someone more knowledgeable can chime in and let us know what it truly does.
 

prince_xaine

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I hope someone more knowledgeable can chime in and let us know what it truly does.
I agree. It just sucks that most overclocking videos and tutorials say to increase the power to max to increase performance, but don't tell you what it is actually limiting. Like, from my understanding, it won't use more than a certain amount of power (in watts). But does that mean if it is hitting the power limit, it can't get any faster? You can't be hitting 130W and increase the performance more for free? lol
 

tennis2

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Power (Watts is a measurements of power draw) Limit (maximum) would certainly imply that once you've got the power limit maxed out, that's the best you're going to get. These limits are put in place as a safety precaution by the manufacturer to make sure you don't crank 600W into a card's and board's circuitry that can only handle, say, 150W. That's also the reason there's always a maximum voltage you can set.

Manual voltage adjustments (as opposed to "auto" voltage) will almost always give you more Power Limit headroom since GPUs/CPUs operate with a "safety factor" of additional voltage out of the box. Hence why you can always find "Overclock ___ CPU at stock voltage".
For instance, my personal PC has an RX480 that draws 130W @ 1305MHz on Auto voltage in Furmark. Manually setting/testing voltages allowed me to bring that number slightly below 100W at the same frequency. I've saved 30W. I chose to use it for lower temps, but I could also apply that additional power budget to a higher core frequency.

What GPU do you have?
 
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prince_xaine

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Well...I have built dozens of systems since I learned about PCs in 2018.

I have owned:
Zotac GeForce GT 1030
XFX AMD Radeon HD 7750
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7850
PNY Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti XLR8
Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini
Sapphire AMD Nitro R9 Fury 4G
Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 AMP
Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Mini
Asus ROG Strix 2080 Ti

As many as I could remember. Just trying to make sure you see I have experience, but haven't really found the right answer.
 

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