Some power users may have already known that MSI VGA bundles with the best GPU overclock software, called “Afterburner”. This application has existed for years on MSI VGA. It’s a very good tool to overclock the core clock and memory clock of the VGA’s GPU. For some special designs, Afterburner can even add more Core Voltage and extend Power Limit %. Moreover, it’s a good tool to monitor your GPU status in detail. Users can define over 20 items for real-time monitoring.
Afterburner V4.1.0 for GTX900M series mobile GPU
Afterburner works fine on mobile platform, yet, not 100% on all GPUs.
Afterburner works smoothly on most of the MSI Gaming series notebooks (with GTX900M series and GTX800M series graphics). The suitable software version for users to overclock with is V4.1.0 with which users may adjust settings on GTX980M, GTX970M, GTX965M, GTX950M graphics easily.
Let’s now take a look at the example of GE62 which has Intel Core i7 4710HQ and GTX965M graphics. The default clock is 924MHz and the GPU Boost can rise to 950MHz when playing games.
With GPU-Z, we can see the GPU details easily. GTX965M comes with 5000MHz GDDR5, which is further divided into 1250MHz x4 base clock. The memory clock of GDDR5 is x4. Yet if it’s a DDR3, there will be only x2 multiple.
Take a look at the bottom side of GPU clock column. The default clock is the standard clock and the GPU clock is the current clock. When we adjust the GPU clock, it will change to the new number we set.
How to overclock the GPU and Memory clock
Afterburner is very simple to perform overclocking. Just follow what we show you in this article and you can try to do this yourself.
Once you turn on the Afterburner, you shall see a window pop-up as below picture. You shall see there are only two columns available for overclocking, the GPU clock and the Memory clock. This limitation is due to the mobile GPU design which locks up Core Voltage, Power limit and Fan Speed and only permits users to adjust these two variables.
GPU clock’s add on range is only up to 135MHz. Memory clock can be adjusted to over 1000MHz (but it will be impossible to work safely if the system is pushed to its limits). Here we just make an example and slightly overclock both variables to 120MHz. Don’t forget to press “Apply‘’ to confirm the settings.
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We then need to check real performance to see if this overclocking setup works or not. We use here 3D Mark 11 to test the result. It’s the easiest way to see the difference before and after overclocking.
Under standard clock settings, we get the result, P7103 score, in 5 minutes.
Before starting the 3D Mark 11 performance test, here is a trick to save your overclocking settings. You need to first change the variables you want to overclock the system with. Here we adjust both GPU clock and Memory clock to 120MHz and apply the settings. Next, choose profile 1 and press “safe” to save the settings. As you may see in the below picture, four profiles can be saved in the software. Next time when you want to use the same settings to overclock your system, just select one of the profiles.
Now, let’s take a look at the result. Under 3D Mark 11 Performance test, the system runs smoother, scoring P7728 when both GPU clock and Memory clock are tuned to 120MHz. On the DirectX11 3D benchmarks, the 3D performance boosts up over 8% at P mode.
Overclocking also works for gaming experience improvement
We then take a look at the heavy loading game title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It’s a very popular, has more advanced weapons and is selected as the best of 2014 FPS game. In the beginning, we can see the FPS rate is around 43.4 FPS, a FPS rate smooth enough for combat battle.
Now we use the Afterburner to overclock the system’s GPU and Memory clock to 120MHz. After doing so, we come back to check the FPS rate of the same theme. We can see that the FPS rate now boosts up to 50.1 FPS, 15% faster than standard clock setting.
As obvious as it is shown, overclocking does benefit and boost the system performance. If you are an advanced user, you can not only try and use Afterburner to tweak the system a little bit, but also monitor GPU, memory and FPS status during gameplay and make screen shots easily.
Conclusion of overclock with Afterburner
The overclock range may differ on different combinations and regions of the gaming notebooks. However, it is workable for most of the gaming notebooks to overclock over 100MHz on both GPU and memory, let along MSI notebooks. Compared with other brands, overclocking is going to be easier of cake on MSI notebooks thanks to the better thermal cooling design.
Anyway, it’s a simple way to boost up your graphics performance with a 8%~15% improvement on different 3D usage. It’s a really good benefit for gamers and power users without causing any problem on the notebook stability.
Time to overclock your GPU for faster gaming experience now!