Top 5 GPU Overclocking Utilities

Hassan Mujtaba

GPU Overclocking - Then and Now!

Overclocking Graphics card was a tough job since day one. Unlike the Processor, GPU has a completely different architecture and the older generation cards were mostly passive cooled and had to undergo Voltmods to allow even minor overclocks. Technology changed and different companies came up with better cooling solutions to allow end users and enthusiasts more headroom for overclocking and with the introduction of utilities which allow realtime overclocking, not only it became easier but safer too.


An successor to this article has been posted, bring it up to speed on information regarding GPU Overclocking Utilities in 2013. Click here to read about most up-to-date information on Top GPU Overclocking Utilities.

The utilities allow you to track and control voltages, temperatures and fan speeds all at the same time. Voltage adjustment which itself was one fearsome job is now made easier due to these utilities which allow voltage increment till a safer limit. If your GPU wants more juice than most of the current gen cards are equipped with better and more efficient voltage regulators which can bear any volt mod.

However, one should still know that overclocking causes a negative effect on the card's life and more the overclock - higher the temperature will go. This is where the utilities fan speed control feature comes in to save the day, You can automatically adjust the fan speeds when the temps go high or even set adjustable profiles so the fan sets itself to a specified speed when the temperature reaches a certain limit.

A few GPU manufacturers have released some great overclocking utilities to get the best out of their products, You can see them listed below:

5. AMD OverDrive - ATI CCC (Catalyst Control Center):

The AMD Overdrive Utility is bundled with the AMD Catalyst drivers and is a really user friendly tool for new users to overclock their cards. The utility is built specifically for AMD/ATI GPUs. It has limited features such as GPU Core/Memory clock adjustments along with little control over voltages and manual fan speed control. The Temps/Activity/Fan speed are displayed in tiny dials on the right sight of the menu while current clocks are displayed at the bottom. There's option to use Crossfire overclocking/diagnostic mode from the left side menu bar. You can also set both 2D and 3D profiles through the utility.

Download Link:

There's a separate utility for AMD CPU overclock named "AMD Overdrive" and this one should not be mistaken with it. The utility is bundled with AMD Catalyst drivers which you can download here.

Note - The utility only works with AMD/ATi Radeon card.

4. Gigabyte OC Guru:

Gigabyte released their new GPU overclocking utility "OC Guru" which came with basic overclocking options for Nvidia geforce cards such as Core/Memory/Shader Clocks, Fan speed and Voltage adjustment. However it lacks the advanced fan controls and also the voltage meter seemed to be stuck but its likely to be fixed after an update. The interface is quite hard to understand but after a couple of usage you'll get used to it.

The monitoring graphs on the left allow you to check GPU/PCB temps, fan speed, voltage and GPU current. You can also check total GPU watts in numbers along with total power savings since the date you installed the utility. However these features seem to work only with Gigabyte products. The utility also comes with in game screenshots capture and monitoring utility.


You can download the latest built of Gigabyte OC Guru here.

Note - The Gigabyte OC Guru only works with Nvidia cards while some features are limited to Gigabyte only products.

3. Sapphire TriXX:

Sapphire recently launched its own overclocking utility named "TriXX" which allows overclocking on AMD/ATI Graphic Cards. The utility offer features such as adjusting fan speeds, core voltages and clock speeds for different occasions such as the utility will maximize performance by overclocking the GPU while gaming and reduce clocks and fan speed to lower noise while watching videos. You can set a maximum of three profiles for different usage under any name.

The utility can also create a log file for future analysis, and the user can save the current VGA BIOS. Being a new utility it still needs to be enhanced more and updates are released after a while for it to add compatibility with latest AMD Radeon Graphic cards.


The latest version of Sapphire's TriXX can be downloaded here.

2. EVGA Precision:

EVGA, A leading Graphic card manufacturer also came up with its own GPU overclocking Utility "EVGA Precision". The utility offers overclocking for Nvidia Geforce based cards and offers the best overclocking performance out of your card. The basic features of the utility are GPU Core/Shader/Memory OC, Fan speed Control but doesn't include voltage adjustments.

However, It does add something extra like support for Logitech Keyboard LCD Display and In-Game GPU Monitoring support. It also features a system tray monitoring icon and allows you to take screenshots with the In game monitoring option enabled. The In game monitoring utility shows you Real-Time on-screen display support for ingame temp, framerate, and clock speed. You can even chose different skins for the utility or make your own which is a nice option to make it match your PC's theme.


You can download EVGA Precision from its official site here.

Note -This utility only allows overclocking on Nvidia Cards.

1. MSI Afterburner:

MSI Afterburner is by far the best GPU Overclocking tool released till date. The Utility offers real time Overclocking support for all the latest Nvidia/AMD Cards released. Basic features such as overclocking Core/Shader/Memory are there along with control over voltage (Triple Over Voltage) and manual fan speed adjustments. Other than that you can set upto five overclock profiles which would can be activated during startup. You can change the utilities theme from a variety of colors.

The software is bundled with MSI Kombuster which is a great software for letting you know the stability of your card, It can also show if your overclock is stable or higher temperatures are causing artifacts to appear.

The Utility allows to change through both 2D/3D modes depending on the work load. You can monitor temps, gpu usage, fan speed and voltage from the graphs located on the right side and also through the in game interface along with FPS. A great feature the utility offers is both in game screenshots and video capture for free on supported MSI graphics card. Video can be captured in both Avi and MPG formats. There's also a tray icon which shows Temps and other specs of the GPU.


Latest version of MSI Afterburner can be downloaded from here.


An successor to this article has been posted, bring it up to speed on information regarding GPU Overclocking Utilities in 2013. Click here to read about most up-to-date information on Top GPU Overclocking Utilities.

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