As Fast As Possible
Open up your NVIDIA or AMD drivers settings and find the option to create a custom resolution. Start by increasing the refresh rate until you notice side effects such as frame skipping. Then, decrease the refresh rate by 1Hz until you find the sweet spot.
As you might already know, you can overclock a lot of hardware easily for a higher performance. That applies to computer hardware as well, as you can overclock your graphics card, RAM, and CPU. A lot of people already know this, but what fewer people know is that you can also overclock your monitor and get a higher refresh rate!
Overclocking your hardware is rather simple and is something that many people actually do. If you have a quality panel, you can push the refresh rate of your gaming or everyday use monitor beyond the specifications for a more fluid gaming experience.
Overclocking your monitor takes very little effort and can be easily done by adjusting the driver settings for both AMD and NVIDIA users. In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to overclock a monitor.
When should you overclock your monitor?
If you have a 60Hz monitor and you are getting over 60 FPS in your video games, you will only be seeing up to 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) because that’s the maximum your monitor can display.
You can overclock your monitor by a few Hz, depending on the quality of the panel, which will allow you to enjoy a higher framerate i.e. a smoother gameplay.
Overclocking For AMD Users
If you have an AMD graphics card, open up your Raden settings, and under the ‘Display’ section click on ‘Create’ next to ‘Custom Resolutions’. In the ‘Refresh Rate (Hz)’ field, type in the desired refresh rate.
We recommend overclocking by 5Hz until you either notice side effects or the screen goes blank for several seconds and reverts to original settings. After that, you can decrease from that point by 1Hz to find the optimal refresh rate.
Alternatively, you can use CRU (Custom Resolution Utility) which is very popular for increasing the FreeSync dynamic range. With this software, you can also easily increase the frequency (Hz) with the automatic modes in it. If you are more experienced, then you can enjoy additional features that this program offers, such as creating custom display modes.
Overclocking For NVIDIA Users
For NVIDIA users, the custom refresh rate adjustment is built in the GeForce driver, so you can overclock your monitor just by opening the NVIDIA Control Panel, click on “Change Resolution” under Display Tasks followed by “Customize”.
That will show a list of all the currently available screen modes. From here, you click on “Create Custom Resolutions” and increase the Hz until you get synchronization errors.
Testing & Other Tools
Run some games that you play, move some windows around, and watch some videos while you keep a close eye on blinking horizontal lines, skipped frames or other weird behavior.
If you experience one or more of those, simply lower the refresh rate a few ticks and try again. It’s a trial and error process, as even the same model of a monitor can be overclocked to different refresh rates. It’s all about finding the sweet spot for your particular monitor.
We also highly recommend using online tools for testing.
As an NVIDIA user, you can also use the Precision X16 utility, which is a very simple program that you can use to adjust the refresh rate of your monitor via the slider.
One thing to keep in mind is that cables do in fact matter. Make sure that the cable and the connector versions have enough bandwidth for the resolution/refresh rate you’re aiming for. Also, try to keep the cable length short to prevent signal degradation. Avoid adapters whenever possible.
Lastly, be cautious about overclocking any hardware. It will most likely void your warranty so be prepared to accept the consequences if things went south. We have yet to hear about anyone destroying their monitor by overclocking it, but that doesn’t mean that it can not happen, so overclock at your own risk.
Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.