How do I overclock my monitor?


Overclocking your monitor will not affect your computer's overall performance in any way, it will just make the visuals more enjoyable. It's much better than looking at a slideshow of frames. In this article we will tell you about three software tools you can use to quickly and efficiently overclock your monitor even if you've never done it before. It makes absolutely no difference what hardware you have in your system box and what monitor you have on your desk.

Any monitor can be overclocked. The only limitation is the connection port and its bandwidth. For example, DisplayPort 1.4 supports 4K at 120 Hz refresh rate, while HDMI 2.0 is also 4K, but only at 60 Hz. It is also good to know the characteristics of the matrix, as they, too, can affect the outcome of overclocking.

How to overclock your monitor: start

First of all let us discuss which one we are going to increase. Overclocking, as on a CPU or a video card, is not an option for a monitor, as it does not have this characteristic.

Overclocking a monitor means exceeding the nominal refresh rate of the matrix.

What is the refresh rate? This is a characteristic which indicates how many times per second one image changes to another. So a 60 Hz display will refresh an image 60 times per second. Refresh rate is roughly the same as frames per second (FPS), only it implies that the monitor changes the image regardless of whether there are new frames in it or not. And FPS indicates how many new frames per second the video card is rendering each second.

If you overclock your monitor the refresh rate is set higher than the nominal refresh rate. Usually this procedure is performed for the sake of more pleasant gameplay: there is nowhere else to see the benefits of higher refresh rate, except in games. If before overclocking the FPS was higher than the refresh rate, then after you will be able to see more unique frames per second (to be more precise, you will not notice individual frames anyway, just the whole picture will become more pleasant for perception).

Although we said that you can overclock any monitor, but even two products of the same model may have small differences which can affect the final result. What to say about monitors of different brands? So keep in mind: after overclocking your monitor might show worse results than the same monitor of a colleague at the neighboring table.

And one more thing: monitor overclocking is actually not about the monitor itself, but about the matrix in it as it is responsible for the visualization. Prior to overclocking, please collect more information on the screen matrix: manual, manufacturer's website, various forums, etc.

Some monitors are sold with factory overclocking. Additional manipulation may prove ineffective.

How do I overclock my monitor?

There are several methods. We have selected three tools which work with almost all AMD, Nvidia and Intel video adapters and now we will show you how to use them. If you wish, you can also find another program but you will have to figure out by yourself which one is compatible with your video chip.

Whichever overclocking utility you choose, the first thing you need to know is how to change the refresh rate in Windows. Go to "Settings" - "System" - "Display" - "Advanced Display Settings" - "Video Adapter Properties" - "Monitor". There you will see a drop down list. Here you can select the refresh rate from the available values.

Every overclocking attempt should be started small and done gradually.

We recommend you check the initial settings as well as the overclocking result using the online frame skipping utility called Blur Busters. For the test, take a long exposure photo of the screen (not a screenshot). If you see a series of continuous squares, overclocking was successful. If there are gaps then you are missing some frames and optimization is required.

Are we moving on to the overclocking tools themselves.

Custom Resolution Utility (CRU

Custom Resolution Utility (CRU) is a free software product from ToastyX developer. It is intended for setting arbitrary resolution and refresh rate values for Nvidia and AMD monitors. As long as this function is performed by Nvidia and AMD brand utilities, there's no reason to have CRU on your computer all the time. But we need this program for overclocking purposes.

Download the archive with CRU , extract the four executables, run CRU.exe and run the following steps.

  1. From the drop down menu on top, select the active display.
  2. Under "Detailed Resolutions" click "Add".
  3. In the "Timing" dropdown list set to "Automatic (PC)" for PC IPS monitor or "Automatic (HDTV)" for TV.
  4. Enter the desired refresh rate in the field "Frequency Refresh Rate".
  5. Click OK.

Reboot the computer and carry out the Windows instructions to apply the changes. If your screen becomes black or if you notice artifacts, do not panic, something has gone wrong and in a few seconds Windows will revert to the previous refresh rate. Most likely, you specified too high parameters, and the matrix couldn't cope with them. But if you are fine, you can go back to CRU and continue your experiments.

Nvidia Control Panel

To manipulate Nvidia graphics cards you can use the firmware Nvidia Control Panel (not GeForce Experience - you update drivers through it).

How about drivers - update to the latest version and also the Control Panel itself. Then follow the steps below.

  1. In the "Display" section select "Change resolution".
  2. Click "Configure".
  3. Check "Enable resolutions not shown on display" then "Create custom resolution".
  4. Select the new value in the "Update Rate" field.
  5. Click "Test".
  6. Select a new profile, update the "Update Rate" dropdown list.
  7. Select "Apply".

The new update rate can be seen immediately in Nvidia Control Panel . However this value is not always the correct one so you will not see the results of the overclocking until you press "Apply". If Windows does not detect any error you may repeat this procedure increasing the value.


A AMD owners are also in luck: You may overclock your monitor with the default Radeon application. Make sure to use the latest version of Radeon app and the actual drivers. After that proceed to overclocking.

  1. Click the "Settings" icon in the upper right side of the window.
  2. Choose the "Display" tab.
  3. Choose "New" next to the "Custom resolution" field.
  4. Enter the desired update frequency in the "Update frequency" field.
  5. Click "Save".

Let us remember that you should gradually overclock, starting from a minor increase. Be sure to check how your monitor and system are doing with the new settings. If there are no problems, please move on.

What are the risks if you overclock your monitor?

Unlike CPU or VGA overclocking you may overclock your monitor without much risk. And if you have ever changed your screen resolution, you should be able to guess why. For those not in the know, here's an explanation: Windows , Nvidia Control Panel and Radeon automatically roll back screen settings to previous ones if changes are not confirmed within a certain amount of time. If the overclock did not go correctly, just wait about 30 seconds for the display to return to its original state.

If the screen does not show any bars, flickers or other artifacts, you can save the new values. And to make sure you really apply the new values, please refer to the Blur Busters version utility already mentioned.

Higher refresh rate increases power consumption and reduces the lifetime of the monitor.

Most overclocking problems can be avoided by knowing the hardware and operating conditions of the panel. As mentioned above, some manufacturers use factory overclocking, and this nuance may not be mentioned in the user manual or on the monitor box. Additional overclocking on top of existing overclocking will not yield good results.


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