As you may already know, you can increase the performance of your CPU or graphics by overclocking. Many CPU manufacturers advertise their CPU or processor as “overclocking ready.” But have you ever heard of monitor overclocking? If you have, do you know how it is safely done? Overclocking may involve a lot of alterations, but it may allow you to look for more affordable G Sync screens. For that reason, you must understand the instructions well. If you opt for a wrong choice, you may encounter issues like backlight bleed, as explained in this informational article.
Here is the ultimate guide for answering these questions and more on how to overclock a monitor. We also provide a detailed guide on how to take a backlight bleed test.
Here are top budget 144Hz monitors that you can use, or you may prefer the awesome 240 Hz monitors that offer the best experience. 1440p monitors offer impressive performance, as well. Also, for more usable screen space, look at our curved monitor reviews.
Let’s get into it.
How to Overclock a Monitor – Benefits, and Risks
What is overclocking?
Overclocking a monitor is enhancing the refresh rate beyond the stock rating. An increased refreshing rate means the monitor can draw more frames on the screen per second.
For many people, overclocking is not essential. But, does that stop you from doing it? Of course not!
Refresh rate refers to the number of times an image on the screen needs to be regenerated, thus preventing flicker when you view it with your human eye.
Are you still finding it difficult to understand?
A 60Hz monitor will regenerate the image 60 times per second, 75Hz will regenerate 75 times, while a 144Hz screen will regenerate 144 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the better, especially in PC gaming.
Most monitors have scalers which allow a 60Hz monitor to overclock up to 80Hz but not beyond. QNIX displays don’t have scales, which makes it possible to scale up to 96Hz. You can also check out how ultrawide screens vs multiple monitors compare to each others when it comes to scaling.
So, is overclocking safe?
Before you can embark on overclocking your monitor, you need to understand the risks involved. You need to know the limitations of your equipment. To that end, we recommend reading our detailed guide on how to change the refresh rate on a monitor.
If you don’t follow the right steps carefully, you might be putting your monitor at risk, including killing the hardware.
Also, check out if your warranty covers the process. If it doesn’t, then you’ll be proceeding at your own risk as the warranty will be null and void.
Overclocking shouldn’t cause harm to the monitor, although different monitors have different capacities.
The benefits of overclocking a screen are in understanding what a refresh rate is. The monitor's refresh rate refers to how many times an image is refreshed per second. High-powered graphics have higher frame rates. If the frame rate and the refresh rate don’t match, it may result in a screen tear.
Overclocking the monitor helps to prevent the tearing.
Why to Overclock and What That Means
What does overclocking do?
Monitor overclock refers to resetting the monitor to make it better than the manufacturer’s setting. The main reason for overlocking is to boost performance.
A user can overclock a monitor to conform with new settings or make the appearance better. Demanding users, such as gamers, can even overclock a new monitor to conform to their preferences and needs.
Is overclocking worth it?
Monitor overclocking is vital as it helps to change monitor refresh rate. It comes at no extra cost, and you only need to put in time and effort. Also, ensure you understand the overclocking instructions to follow the right steps.
Can Any Monitor Do It?
Before you can proceed with overclocking, check monitor refresh rate. You can carry out monitor overclocking on most monitors. However, due to having scalers, you cannot go above 80Hz.
The ability to increase the refresh rate depends on your specific panel. You may read about a monitor similar to yours being overclocked, but yours can’t.
How is it possible?
Even in monitors that look identical, their display panels may not be similar. Before you can think about increasing your monitor’s refresh rate, ensure you check the panel’s specs. Apart from the fact that the panels for monitors are not created equal, some manufacturers may have already applied monitor overclocking.
In such an instance, you will be risking a lot if you try to push the refresh rate any further.
What is Refresh Rate?
Refresh rate refers to how many times a monitor updates with new images per second. The higher the refresh rate a monitor has, the smoother the visuals.
People who work in an office spend a lot of time replying to emails, spreadsheets; you and word processing may not need super high refresh rates. Alternatively, if you are in the creatives or are a games enthusiast, a high refresh rate is ideal.
For the monitor refresh rate, the bigger the rate, the better it is. 60Hz is the bare minimum for ordinary users like office workers. For demanding users like gamers, a refresh rate of 120Hz or above is ideal. 75Hz is a reliable middle ground.
Is a higher refresh rate better for your eyes?
A high refresh rate leads to a smooth screen, which is comfortable for your eyes. A refresh rate of 120Hz is optimal if you wish to have it easy on your eyes. You may not want to go beyond 120Hz as you may not notice any difference unless you are looking for a refresh rate for gaming.
Overclocking Using Nvidia
While using NVIDIA control panels for display overclocking, you are at an advantage as you can test the settings that you create before applying them. If you are happy with what you see, apply the settings, then reboot.
Why overclock using NVIDIA?
Nvidia offers a relatively seamless overclocking process. First, go to the Nvidia control panel on your desktop. Once it is open, you should go to the “Change Resolutions” page. Scroll down the resolutions page up to the customize option and select the box.
After that, allow the “Enable Resolutions Not Exposed By the Display” and click “Create Custom Resolution.”
You can leave the other settings the way they are and only change the refresh rate. Start by increasing the refresh rate by 5Hz, and increase it with the same amount at a time.
Note, unless specified otherwise, most overclock monitor refresh rates increase by 15Hz. This can vary depending on your monitor’s capabilities, GPU, and connection type.
Overclocking Using AMD
Is it challenging using AMD to overclock your screen?
Irrespective of the overclocking software you use, increasing the refresh rate is not a challenging task. It is reasonably seamless as long as you read all the instructions, requirements, and warnings.
If you want to overclock your monitor using AMD, begin by downloading the Custom Resolution Utility (CRU) software. It will come in handy in setting a custom refresh rate for your monitor.
After that, unzip extract the Custom Resolution Utility to the desktop and launch the utility.
Under the detailed resolutions section, click on the “Add” button.
After clicking the add button, go down to the box that contains the refresh rate. Modify the entry settings to be 1Hz higher than the default. If your default is 75Hz, you should add 1Hz to have 76Hz. Then click “ok” to start overclocking.
You can have three more additional entries in the Detailed Resolutions section. If you want to speed up the process, you can have an entry that will jump 5Hz from the default refresh rate. However, the option is not safe, you might end up killing the monitor. To be on the safe side, you should stick to the 1Hz entry and do it one at a time.
Once you have all the entries, go ahead and click “ok” and restart the system.
Once the system has restarted, it’s time to work on the display settings. To go on with the settings, right-click anywhere on the desktop and then click on display settings.
Then, click on the Advanced Display Settings, and then scroll down to the Display Adapter Properties and click on it. Under the adapter properties, click on the monitor lab.
Under the Screen Refresh Rate, click on the dropdown box and choose your preferred refresh rate. The refresh rate can be 60Hz or whatever your overclocked maximum refresh rate is.
If you get a blank screen, you should know you have gone too far. You should wait for a few seconds in such an instance, and the screen will revert to the original settings. It would help if you just scale down your choice of maximum overclock and then try again.
If you get a dialog box asking you to keep the settings, click on the keep changes, and you are good to go.
How to Verify Your Overclock
It would be best to run a screen refresh rate test to see if your overclocked screen is working as it should.
You can take the online test at http://www.testufo.com/#test=frameskipping and follow the steps.
If you get unbroken shaded boxes in a line, your overclocking process was successful. If the lines are broken, then you are receiving skipped frames.
Why should you overclock? You can overclock your monitor to increase its refresh rate. However, you should know how to overclock a monitor. Otherwise, you might end up killing your monitor or voiding your warranty.