Should I Overclock My GPU? The Good, the Bad and the Burn

Should I overclock my GPU

Squeezing out the last drop of performance from our GPUs can be tricky. That’s when we often think about overclocking. You just can’t slide the bar in an overclocking software and call it a day. There are a lot of things to keep in mind. But that’s not the point here.

The question is: Should you overclock at all? There are various opinions throughout the web that support the OC upgrade, and some just outright advise to stay away from it.

Fear not, we’re here to tell you what to do after explaining both the benefits and demerits of overclocking your GPU. After we’re done with the article, you should have a clear idea about it all.

Common Question: Will It Affect My CPU?

Well, first of all, GPUS and CPUs are different components entirely. So, the answer is simple. Overclocking one will not affect the other. If you want to overclock at all, you’ll have to overclock them independently.

The only component that might take the pressure here when you try overclocking any component is the PSU. So, if the PSU has enough wattage and power the system properly, there’s no need to worry at all.

The Bad Outcomes of GPU Overclocking

Well, overclocking a GPU isn’t actually toll-free. So, I’m gonna discuss the negatives first, and I’ll add in the ways to reduce or avoid the repercussions. So, let’s begin.

Lesser Lifespan

Lesser lifespan of GPU

You see, this is the biggest problem of overclocking. When you overclock your GPU, you allow extra voltage to pass through. Not all GPUs can handle this well. Even the ones that do show promise won’t live as long as they would if not overclocked.

The extra voltage causes extra heat to go through the GPU. And extra heat will cause the lifespan to shorten.

Solution

Just don’t push it too hard. Even if you overclock your GPU, try not to overdo it. The decreased lifespan shouldn’t matter too much if you’re running the card on a steady voltage and clock speed. The GPU will die sooner or later. It’s highly possible that you’ll upgrade your rig before it actually dies out on you.

If you wanna go for a lifelong build and never upgrade… well, that might be a problem. If that’s the case, then you better not consider overclocking at all.

Burning it out!

Burn out the GPU

Remember the thing I said about overheating? Well, it might actually kill your GPU. Too much voltage pass-throughs can seriously cause harm. The instability increases even further if you’re using an old and weak PSU.

Burning GPUs through overclocking is not that easy though. The same can’t be said for CPUs. Most OC programs predetermine the maximum load that the GPU can handle. So, it’s not that easy to go to the unfathomable extremes.

However, it’s not impossible to burn out the GPU entirely with too much voltage and additional clock speeds.

Solution

Take it slow and steady. Increase the voltage, core clock and memory clock step by step. Each time you do it, run a valid benchmark for stress testing. If you follow this procedure, the chances of you actually burning your graphics card come close to zero.

Crash Scenarios

Yes, overclocking your GPU to a stable speed might not be too easy. You will face a lot of crashing before you hit the sweet spot. There’s nothing much to worry about here. I’d rather say that it’s part of the process.

Solution

Just don’t worry too much. Great things take time. So do free performance boosts. Be patient and keep testing different outputs, and you’ll get to it sooner or later.

The Benefits of GPU Overclocking

Benefits of GPU overclocking

This whole section can be summed up by two words; “Increased performance.” I mean, why would you even go through the risks if the reward wasn’t all that great? With proper overclocking, you can take your GPU to the next level of performance.

Seeing some extra FPS in games doesn’t seem all that bad now, does it? It even has a good role to play in rendering, video editing, and other productive workflows.

By increasing the clock speed of your graphics card, you enable it to handle a higher volume of information over time.

Keep note: Each GPU is different and can’t be overclocked to the exact same results. Some cards perform the best at their base clock speeds. Whereas another GPU of the same model can have massive overclocking potential. So, it’s mostly a matter of chance.

Finally, Should You Overclock your GPU?

Sorry to say, it all comes down to your personal preference and needs. If you want your system to stay healthy and last as long as it possibly can, there’s really no need to OC your GPU. You can always get a high-end GPU to fulfil your needs and get better performance out of the box.

Then again, overclocking can give you some performance boost in games which is appreciated by many. Especially gamers who need the extra juice out of their systems. Just don’t overdo it and destroy your card’s warranty and lifetime.

Be smart about the whole thing, and you’ll do good in the long run.

A few Parting Words

Hey, I’m not gonna lie; the whole concept of overclocking is pretty darn interesting. Now, the question is, “Is it worth it for you?’ I’ve laid out both the risk factors and the potentials of GPU overclocking.

If you’re still asking, “Should I?” Then I’d suggest you to be decisive about it with a clear head. A faster GPU is nice. But a dead GPU is way worse. Just calculate the cost to benefit ratio, and you should have your answer.

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