Overclocking: how good are auto-overclocking programs?

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
edited December 2019 in Help / Advice Forum
Earlier this year, I bought a PC with a 9900k CPU, an ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-F GAMING motherboard and a Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. From what I've read, I should be able to overclock both CPU and GPU, but overclocking is something I've hesitated to do, mainly because my earlier attempts 5-10 years ago never really worked that well.

However, since these days there are apps that do the overclocking for you, I wanted to ask: are they worth using? Do they generally produce results that are both worthwhile and stable? And what auto-tuning programs would you recommend I use?

P.S.: I wasn't sure if this should go in the Technology Tavern instead. If so, let me know and I'll go and ask there.

webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
Thirith on

Posts

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    First things first, you want to be sure you have adequate cooling and power. The stock cooling for your CPU and graphics card should allow for modest overclocking, but to get really noticeable improvements in performance, you’ll need to get up to some after market cooling solutions and possibly upgraded power supply, depending on what you have now and what you want out of the overclocking.

    You should be able to just boot to your motherboard’s bios and fiddle with the CPU clock speeds there. It’s safe and easy since it will do all the work for you and if the system is unstable it will just reset to the previous stable setting or the default. I’d start there and see what you can get up to just for fun before investing the money and time it takes to push things further.

    Because after that, you’ll be installing bigger and better cooling solutions then doing the overclock, followed by stress testing for quite some time until you’ve eeked out every last MHz you can because this stuff gets addictive.

    So yeah, what’s the cooling situation you have now? The stock fan on the CPU and GPU? When you boot into the bios, does it give you the option to play with click speeds?

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Zilla360
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    The last thing I overclocked was the 7700k that I am currently using, and my experience is that Auto OC programs are usually bad. I'm not sure if that is still the case, but I would guess it probably is. They tended to set core clocks lower, and voltages higher (sometimes MUCH higher) than what you can achieve with a manual overclock.

    The 9900k has been out for a while; there are probably a lot of good guides you can read/watch on how to overclock it properly. I would suggest doing that.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    So yeah, what’s the cooling situation you have now? The stock fan on the CPU and GPU? When you boot into the bios, does it give you the option to play with click speeds?
    The CPU is cooled by an NZXT Kraken X62 V2. The GPU seems to be the standard Gainward RTX 2080 Ti. At a glance, some of the Bios seems to be locked off but unlockable, but I haven't really tinkered much with the BIOS. In fact, my preferred option would be to go with the auto-OC software if it does a reasonably decent job, i.e. stability before performance.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Before starting out with overclocking make sure to have flashed the bios of your system and of the GPU to the latest version, that and also running the latest drivers and optimal RAM timing settings makes for the best possible starting point. That and of course, as mentioned above by daviddurions, make sure you have good cooling and a stable sufficient PSU.

    However there is also something else to consider. What do you want out of doing the overclocking, doing just because one can is a fine reason and a faster computer likewise. Only if it looks like your efforts will not really make a lot of different, since you are not really pushing the limits of your system in non-overclocked state then ask your self if it is really worth it. Ie. is having to spend time doing it, maybe even time testing an unstable system or worse damaging something if the gain is say 20% on top on what is plenty fast.

    At times there are golden moments where overclocking brings a lot percentage wise. Like one time back in the day where I and others overclocked a CPU from 300 Mhz to 504 Mhz and thus making a mid-range PC faster than the fastest most expensive thing one could buy (and the cost was merely a piece of wire as stock cooling was sufficient). However overclocking rarely brings anything like that.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I'm not expecting magic, but I am hoping for some moderately improved framerates. I have a very good PC, but some new games in combination with an ultrawide screen can make it sweat, in particular the games that use raytracing.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    There’s little to no point in manually OCing ram

    Buy RAM with XMP then set the Bios to use the XMP settings. It’s essentially a pretested overclock.

    SatsumomoZilla360Javen
  • 1205Dennis1205Dennis Registered User regular
    I used MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision X 16 in the past, satisfied by both. But like davidsdurions said, you need powerful cooling, so don't take your chances.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    I'm not expecting magic, but I am hoping for some moderately improved framerates. I have a very good PC, but some new games in combination with an ultrawide screen can make it sweat, in particular the games that use raytracing.

    Raytraceing is till mostly a novelty and lots of optimization is needed before there is hope of good frame rates, but of course every bit helps. I suspect it is only really the GPU overclocking that will impact on raytraceing, but as I am yet to take the plunge into that world I have no actual evidence to back that (I am holding out fro AMD to bring a new high end card).

    This article on raytraceing, the impacts on performance and all might be helpful:
    https://techspot.com/article/1934-the-state-of-ray-tracing/

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Afterburner is pretty good if you just want a light GPU overclock. You can let it scan and do the adjustments automatically

    I def squeezed a few more FPS out of Control through it

  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    Overclocking is indeed much easier than it was a decade ago, through improved BIOS settings and applications.

    Doing it manually, messing with voltage and whatnot, is just as risky, but you can achieve mostly the same results with far less risk by buying components that are "designed" to be overclocked, and using tweaking it from the BIOS

    Thirith
Sign In or Register to comment.