Are you stuck with a 60Hz refresh monitor? You want a boost? This guide will show you how you can overclock your monitor to increase your refresh rate.
Overclocking is a popular skill among gamers and computer enthusiasts. While we are well-versed in overclocking processors and RAM, did you know that you can also tweak your monitor’s settings?
Although it may not provide significant gains, monitor overclocking can be a great way to gain an edge. It is free, safe, and relatively easy to do.
What is Monitor Overclocking?
Monitor overclocking is a process that alters a component’s stock speeds or clocks to improve its performance. If you are familiar with overclocking, you will already be familiar with it. Monitor overclocking is a variation of the above. However, your goal is to increase your monitor’s refresh rate.
Many component manufacturers include tolerance in their products. This tolerance allows the component to deliver acceptable performance without placing it under stress. It is believed that components that are not stressed last longer. They should be able to perform at their base level with little deviation for as long as possible. Manufacturers rely on this result for reduced mechanical failure and increased reliability.
Overlocking makes components work harder because we know that we can often get better performance from that component without putting too much risk. When we want to overclock a computer monitor, the stock refresh rate is manually increased to increase its tolerance. This allows us to make the component work harder and more quickly for our benefit.
Why overclock your monitor?
The short answer to this question is that we overclock because it’s possible. The long answer is that we overclock because it gives us a faster refresh rate which can improve our in-game experience. If you can get a little more performance out of the monitor you already have, why pay for a faster refresh rate?
Refresh rates can be measured in Hertz (Hz). The refresh rate is faster if the Hertz (Hz) is higher. One Hertz is the refresh rate of the screen. A 100Hz screen is refreshed 100 times per second. A screen at 144Hz refreshes its screen 144 times per second. It should be obvious that gamers can benefit from a faster refresh rate with so many things happening in an average game.
Overclocking a monitor does not affect the game’s graphics quality. It can only marginally increase the game’s fluidity. A faster refresh rate will result in a more fluid game experience. A smoother experience in-game can give competitive gamers an advantage over their rivals. It can also give visually-driven video games a more real feel.
Before you Overclock Your Monitor
You should be aware of a few things before you start to lock your monitor.
- Some monitors don’t react well to increased overclocking because they are already too overclocked. To ensure that you don’t overload your monitor, make sure to check its make and model before you start overclocking it.
- Overclocking can be dangerous. Overclocking your monitor is generally safe. However, you should be aware that strange things can occur when you overclock. You are responsible for any damage that may occur by overclocking any component.
- Test after every change. Too high a refresh rate can lead to frame skipping, artifacts or a blank screen. Reboot into Windows Safe Mode to reset the refresh rate, or decrease the CRU.
How to Overclock Your Monitor
We have now covered the why and the what, so it is time to move on to the how. Software is what actually does the overclocking. Monitors don’t come with their own processors so we use software to tell them what to do and how. ToastyX’s Custom Resolution Utility (CRU), software has done all the work for us.
CRU allows us to program the monitor with custom refresh rates. It also overrides the manufacturer’s stock rates. It is compatible with both Nvidia GPUs and AMD GPUs.
Here are some ways to increase the speed of your monitor.
- Download the Custom Resolution Utility from the developer site.
- Start CRU directly from the executable.
- From the dropdown menu in CRU, select the monitor that you wish to overclock. This is only applicable if you have multiple monitors.
- In the Detailed Resolutions box, select the resolution that you want to use and then note the Range Limit for your display. Then select Edit underneath.
- Change the rate to a higher one by selecting Refresh Rate under Frequency. You must ensure that the rate you choose is within the limit.
- Click OK to accept the change.
- Select the Restart executable you downloaded with CRU. This will restart your computer. For 32-bit systems, use Restart and for 64-bit systems, use x64.
- After rebooting, right-click on the desktop to select your AMD Catalyst Software Suite (or Nvidia Control Panel) and set the monitor refresh value to the same as in CRU.
- To ensure stability and avoid artifacts, test your new refresh rate in-game as well as out-of-game.
However, you don’t need to use CRU. You can use EVGA precision to power NVIDIA-powered displays or use AMD Radeon driver to set a custom refresh rate. The CRU makes it easier to overclock a monitor, but it is not the only way.
Is it worth overclocking your monitor?
Overclocking your monitor won’t have the same benefit as overclocking other components. If you have the money to buy a high-resolution monitor (ideally a FreeSync or GSync display), then that is the best option.
If you have an old 1080P monitor that has a 60Hz refresh rate, but you don’t have the budget to upgrade to a display with a 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rate, you can overclock your monitor to give your game experience a little boost.