How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (2022)

Looking to underclock your graphics card? Look no further, this comprehensive guide tells you everything you need to know

Updated: Aug 22, 2022 10:57 am

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (1)

Sebastian Kozlowski

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How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (2)

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Is it possible for you to underclock your GPU?

Do you need to underclock your GPU?

So what are the benefits of underclocking the GPU

Watch our how-to underclock your GPU video

How to underclock your GPU – Step by Step instructions

Download the MSI Afterburner software

Download the MSI Afterburner software

Install the MSI Afterburner software

Install the MSI Afterburner software

Open the MSI Afterburner programme

Open the MSI Afterburner programme

Check that GPU is detected

Check that GPU is detected

Lower the Core Clock Meter

Lower the Core Clock Meter

(Video) How to Easily Underclock Your GPU Using Only Software 2021!

Apply changes

Apply changes

Save profile

Save profile

Underclocking your GPU FAQs

Is underclocking the same as undervolting your GPU?

Does underclocking a GPU reduce heat?

Is undervolting your GPU safe?

Does underclocking reduce FPS?

Is it safe to underclock a CPU?

Does underclocking GPU void warranty?

Does underclocking GPU void warranty?

What happens if I undervolt too much?

Can you undervolt and underclock an Nvidia or AMD GPU?

How much does it cost to underclock a GPU?

Summary

Downclocking your AMD or Nvidia graphics card may seem rather counterintuitive but there are reasons for wanting to do so. Maybe it’s to lower your electricity bills, with ever-increasing costs and it not being all so eco-friendly then it might be a worry for you. Or if you want to preserve your GPU and make sure your one can at least outlast this shortage so you could find a new one if needed.

Messing with the settings of your card may seem worrying but we promise you it’s not that hard or dangerous. We show you the way to easily underclock your GPU with just the installation and use of one software MSI Afterburner. After this, you’ll have acquired greater control of your hardware and become more of a computer whiz.

Is it possible for you to underclock your GPU?

The answer is a simple yes, as easy as over you can underclock your GPU. In a world of overclocking and ever-increasing performance, it is an interesting question but it may be a good idea.

If you’re looking for ways to safely underclock your GPU, then you are in the right place! Here, we talk about the benefits of underclocking a GPU and a detailed step-by-step process on how to do it right. Either to underclock your Nvidia or AMD GPU.

Before we go to the actual process, let’s check whether or not you need an underclocked GPU.

Do you need to underclock your GPU?

While most gamers overclocktheir rig (both CPU and GPU) to get a performance boost. Underclocking your graphics card means lowering the clock rate. This means slowing down how fast the core processes its tasks and slowing its computation speed down.

If you use your computer mostly to browse the internet or only do mild gaming, underclocking your GPU is fine and a good option. So if you’re not utilizing your GPU to 100% or have more performance than you need you can underclock your GPU with ease.

This should reflect lower electricity bills with your GPU having to use less power working in its less powerful state. Another reason to underclock your graphics card is to decrease the temperature of your card. All that computing gives off plenty of heat, especially with rising TDPs of newer components.

Temperatures during warmer seasons and hotter climates could raise the temperature of your build by many degrees. Other factors that contribute to such an increase in temperature include having poorly optimized airflow and limited cooling systems that may have gone uncleaned for a while.

Alongside poor airflow and clogged cooling, you may need to replace the thermal paste. After a few years, the original paste may become less effective and dry. So replacing it will mean a better connection between the die and cooling plate.

So what are the benefits of underclocking the GPU

  • Lower power consumption– lowering the clock speeds of your GPU leads to running the hardware at a slower pace – which means it consumesless power.
  • Cooler GPU – Since your hardware is running at lower speeds, so your graphics card is not running at maximum. This results in it running at lower temperatures which means less heat dissipated into your room.
  • A more silent fan – With lower temperatures, you hear less noise from the fans. A GPU fan curve doesn’t turn on until a certain load or temperature. So if you’re running it lower you can find a quieter system overall.
  • Preserving your hardware – running your card underpowered will increase its lifespan. Without pushing your hardware you’ll preserve its lifetime especially handy when it’s hard to get a new one.

If you arecertain you will benefitby underclockingyour graphics card, then proceed to the steps below.

Watch our how-to underclock your GPU video

How to underclock your GPU – Step by Step instructions

Step

1

(Video) How To Undervolt Your Graphics Card (And Why You Should)

Download the MSI Afterburner software

Navigate to https://www.msi.com/Landing/afterburner/graphics-cards to download the MSI Afterburner software.

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (3)

Step

2

Install the MSI Afterburner software

Open the Zip file and run the .exe. installation file. Follow the on-screen instructions to install MSI Afterburner

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (4)

Step

3

Open the MSI Afterburner programme

Once installed, open the MSI Afterburner software (your skin may look different but all steps should be the same)

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (5)

Step

4

Check that GPU is detected

See that your graphics card is detected and the one you’re wanting to adjust

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (6)

Step

(Video) How (and why) you should undervolt your GPU - A step by step guide (Deep Learning/Gaming/Mining)

5

Lower the Core Clock Meter

Lower (or underclock) the Core Clock (MHz) meter you will find at the bottom to your preferred setting. You can also adjust memory clock at the same time.

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (7)

Step

6

Apply changes

Click on the Apply (a check icon) button to override the adjustments you have made

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (8)

Step

7

Save profile

Save the adjustments you made to your preferred profile slot number.

How to easily underclock your AMD or Nvidia GPU (9)

This is helpful for those who want to make fast adjustments or want to have multiple configs depending on what you’re doing.

Underclocking your GPU FAQs

Is underclocking the same as undervolting your GPU?

No, they are both different from each other. Underclocking is the process of lowering the clock speeds of your graphics card. Undervolting, on the other hand, is the process of lowering the amount of power the GPU can consume. This will lower the amount of electricity the card can use up.

IMPORTANT: Unless you know what you are doing,under-volting a GPU is not advisedas this leads to an unstable GPU and possibly damaging it.

Not everyone needs an overclocked GPU or doesn’t use all the power of their card. There are users who don’t utilize the full extent of their hardware and so GPU underclocking can save you in other areas.

If you are certain thatyou don’t need too much of your GPU’s capacity, follow the steps indicated above and adjust your settings to your respective needs. Underclocking should give you the benefit of reduced energy bills and still get the same gaming experience without much degrading in performance day to day uses and lower performance titles.

Not everyone needs an overclocked GPU or doesn’t use all the power of their card. There are users who don’t utilize the full extent of their hardware and so GPU underclocking can save you in other areas.

If you are certain thatyou don’t need too much of your GPU’s capacity, follow the steps indicated above and adjust your settings to your respective needs. Underclocking should give you the benefit of reduced energy bills and still get the same gaming experience without much degrading in performance day to day uses and lower performance titles.

Does underclocking a GPU reduce heat?

Underclocking your GPU is the best way to reduce buildups of heat and prevent throttling. The amount of heat your GPU emits is directly related to the amount of power it draws. When it’s running with clock speeds at full capacity, it’s using more power, and thus becomes quite hot.

By manually reducing the thermal output of your GPU with some nifty underclocking, you can ensure stability in hot climates when those sweltering summer months come around. It can also help you get by if you don’t have a suitable thermal solution in your case yet, not to mention the fact that your GPU will run way quieter than normal and save you some pennies on the energy bill too.

(Video) How to Undervolt a GPU - NVidia / AMD Undervolting Tutorial - Lower Temps and Consistent Clocks

Is undervolting your GPU safe?

Undervolting seems like a fairly safe practice on the surface, especially compared to increasing the voltage output, which we all know can have adverse effects on our hardware. In some ways; however, undervolting can be problematic.

The important thing to remember is that stability is key. Much like when we feed our GPU too much juice, cutting out too much power will create an unstable system, after all, an electrical component needs a certain amount of power to run consistently. Reduce the voltage output by too much, and you’re going to encounter some problems.

The good news is that unlike boosting the voltage, going too far in the other direction with severe undervolting won’t cause your GPU any damage; however, it’s best to try and get it right.

For a successful undervolt, you should decrease the voltage in very small increments whilst keeping track of your GPU’s temperature under load. Once you’ve reached your desired thermal rate, stop undervolting, and give your GPU a few tasks to test its performance.

Does underclocking reduce FPS?

Unfortunately, yes, underclocking either your GPU or CPU will reduce your frames per second during gameplay. That’s the price you pay for a cool, highly stable system. How many frames you drop depends on the game you’re playing and how drastically underclocked your hardware is.

Generally speaking, when underclocking your GPU, you can expect the lost frames to match the percentage drop in clock speeds give or take 5%. So, for example, if your GPU pushes 60fps at 1000MHz, dropping the clockspeed to 750Mhz (¼ or 25%) that means your frames may drop between 20-30%.

We’d recommend trying to hold a 50-60fps average for fluid gameplay, so our hypothetical 60fps GPU wouldn’t be the best unit to underclock. It’s also important to note, that as GPUs are complex bits of gear, underclocking can be quite unpredictable. You shouldn’t expect the same performance reductions across a range of titles and tasks.

Is it safe to underclock a CPU?

We’re happy to report that just like with your GPU, underclocking your CPU is completely, 100% safe! Not only is it electrically impossible to damage your CPU by slightly reducing clock speeds, but it’s also a great way to keep temperatures down and increase system stability.

When you’re done gaming for the day, and you wish to use your computer in a more general fashion, say, for browsing the web or typing up a few documents, underclocking your CPU is a fantastic idea. These minimal tasks simply don’t require maximum clock speeds.

Does underclocking GPU void warranty?

On the contrary, underclocking your GPU is seen as something that will extend the life of your GPU, so it does not void your warranty. In fact, undervolting is normally a standard option in your GPU’s software. If that’s not the company’s express consent to give it a go, we don’t know what is.

Having said that, we can’t vouch for every GPU out there, so it’s always best to do your own research before engaging in any tinkering. They will likely specify in that long boring booklet that comes with it or in one of those long boring terms we all definitely read.

Does underclocking GPU void warranty?

On the contrary, underclocking your GPU is seen as something that will extend the life of your GPU, so it does not void your warranty. In fact, undervolting is normally a standard option in your GPU’s software. If that’s not the company’s express consent to give it a go, we don’t know what is.

Having said that, we can’t vouch for every GPU out there, so it’s always best to do your own research before engaging in any tinkering. They will likely specify in that long boring booklet that comes with it or in one of those long boring terms we all definitely read.

What happens if I undervolt too much?

Although undervolting is safe, it’s not completely problem-free. Gradually undervolting your components won’t just cause a steady performative slow down until you hit zero volts. They have a minimum energy requirement. Once the voltage drops below this base threshold, the device isn’t fully functioning. Consequences of starving your GPU or CPU of power may range from slightly laggy gameplay to sluggish loading times to full-blown crashes.

Can you undervolt and underclock an Nvidia or AMD GPU?

Yes, our technique lets you underclock or undervolt any graphics card no matter which team it’s from. MSI Afterburner doesn’t discriminate which graphics card you’re using. The only difference you may notice in afterburner is their naming scheme. And the fact that AMD cards show you the target frequency compared to the offset on Nvidia cards.

How much does it cost to underclock a GPU?

In terms of monetary cost, nothing. As the programs we suggest are free to use and can be done at no cost.

However, for performance there is a drop in framerate whilst underclocking. Reducing the power of the card will rreduce how much it can achieve. It can potentially be a one-top-one ratio when reducing the power of the card.

Summary

Not everyone needs anoverclocked GPUor doesn’t use all the power of their card. There are users who don’t utilize the full extent of their hardware and so GPU underclocking can save you in other areas.

If you are certain thatyou don’t need too much of your GPU’s capacity, follow the steps indicated above and adjust your settings to your respective needs. Underclocking should give you the benefit of reduced energy bills and still get the same gaming experience without much degrading in performance day to day uses and lower performance titles.

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(Video) Quick & Easy Undervolting | MSI Afterburner Tutorial

FAQs

Is it safe to underclock my GPU? ›

Can I harm my GPU by underclocking? No. This is impossible by the laws of physics. Silicon, under normal use, only gets damaged by thermal stress (be it temperature fluctuation or overall extreme temperature).

How do I underclock my GPU afterburner? ›

So all you have to do is google your specific gpu. So if it's an asus 4080 just type in asus 4080

How do you underclock a RTX 3060? ›

Now you wanna hit ctrl f on your keyboard. To pull up this curve here now you want to take the curve

Is underclocking harmful? ›

Underclocking is completely safe but can be unstable causing random freezes or stuff like that. Its like feeding a person too little to do their work. If you underclock yours to the extreme expect your motherboard not to post. Remove the CMOS battery and you'll be fine.

How much should I underclock my GPU? ›

The rule of thumb is you take the desired clockspeed as a percentage of your default clockspeed. That percentage difference is usually your FPS reduction give or take 5%. For example. My hypothetical GPU has a stock clockspeed of 1000mhz and produces 60FPS in game X.

Is underclocking good? ›

Underclocking refers to lowering your processor's frequency. While this does usually result in lower temperatures and power draw, it doesn't actually do anything good for your computer's performance.

What GPU temp is normal? ›

What Is a Normal GPU Temperature for Gaming? Optimum GPU gaming temperatures range from 65 to 85°C (149° to 185°F) under normal use conditions. It is important to note that GPU temperatures depend on the GPU's manufacturer and model.

Does underclocking reduce performance? ›

Undervolting a CPU will cause a decrease in performance. It will cause the CPU to work with less power, thus decreasing the clock speeds that the CPU works at. In return this will cause the CPU to be slower and give off less heat.

How hot is too hot for GPU? ›

The normal temperature range for a GPU under load is 149°F to 185°F (65°C to 85°C). So usually temperatures above 185°F (85°C) are too hot for GPU and not safe for them. When this temperature range is reached, the GPU begins to slow down in order to prevent overheating.

Is undervolting the same as underclocking? ›

Undervolting vs Underclocking

To underclock is to lower the clock speed of the of a GPU. To undervolt is to reduce the operating voltage of the GPU. Undervolting is better than underclocking keeping in mind the performance because decreasing clock speed harms performance than decreasing voltage.

Should I underclock my GPU for mining? ›

You underclock to use less power and to generate less heat. Gaming while mining will place a heavy processing load on your system, likely maxing out both your GPU and CPU and will limit gaming performance.

Does overclocking reduce GPU lifespan? ›

The safeguards built into the graphics card will force it to crash the application you're running, or your system before that happens. So the likelihood of permanently damaging your GPU from a faulty overclock is pretty much zero.

Can you damage your GPU by undervolting? ›

You won't damage your GPU by undervolting it, but you do risk losing a bit of stability. You'll have to decide if the power savings and cooler operation is worth the slight risk of instability. If you do decide to undervolt your GPU, stress test it for a few hours to make sure it holds up.

How do I Undervolt my AMD GPU? ›

How to undervolt an AMD graphics card
  1. Step 1: Enter the Radeon control panel. ...
  2. Step 2: Open Radeon Wattman. ...
  3. Step 3: Test the optimal frequency of your GPU. ...
  4. Step 4: Adjust the voltage and frequency. ...
  5. Step 5: Test your graphics card.
20 Oct 2021

Does MSI Afterburner damage GPU? ›

I got this software only for fan profile and some underclocking/overclocking, I was wondering if I can mess up my gpu by tweaking around in the settings, not that I intend to but it's so easy to Misclick in this software. No you can't damage your GPU.

Should I lower my GPU clock speed? ›

Underclock Your GPU With Ease

You may end up damaging your graphics card. Furthermore, underclocking your GPU can help to reduce heat and potentially decrease your electricity consumption, but it comes with one key loss: graphics processing power.

Does underclocking GPU void warranty? ›

Splendid. there is no harm in underclocking BUT it will definately VOID the warranty.

Is undervolting GPU worth it? ›

Reducing power consumption is a good reason to undervolt and this is why it's popular on laptop computers. Since it can make your battery last longer by drawing less power from it. Reducing heat is also important since it can curb thermal throttling, allowing a processor to run at higher clock speeds for longer.

Can undervolting cause stuttering? ›

Can Undervolting CPU Cause Stuttering? Yes! the undervloting CPU can cause the stuttering. Usually, undervolting is a process where voltage to the CPU is reduced to reduce its energy consumption and heat.

Why is my GPU clock so high? ›

If the Power Management is not set to Adaptive or Optimal, the card may be held at higher clocks. You would also want to determine if the monitor/s you are running require more pixel clock from the card than is possible at the idle frequency (usually 139 Mhz - 253 Mhz).

Should I underclock my GPU for mining? ›

You underclock to use less power and to generate less heat. Gaming while mining will place a heavy processing load on your system, likely maxing out both your GPU and CPU and will limit gaming performance.

Can you damage your GPU by undervolting? ›

You won't damage your GPU by undervolting it, but you do risk losing a bit of stability. You'll have to decide if the power savings and cooler operation is worth the slight risk of instability. If you do decide to undervolt your GPU, stress test it for a few hours to make sure it holds up.

What does underclocking GPU do Reddit? ›

With a modest undervolt the performance of your GPU should not change significantly (provided you don't overdo it), and you can significantly reduce heat output by reducing power draw, which in turn makes your fans spin slower, which means a quieter card. 1- Get MSI Afterburner and a GPU benchmark or game.

Is GPU undervolting safe Reddit? ›

0 risks. Processors only degrade from an increase in voltage and current. In this case, current stays the same, voltage gets lowered. The only risk here is you might start to artifact or your game will crash, but you get less heat.

Does undervolting reduce FPS? ›

No. Undervolting a CPU will cause a decrease in performance. It will cause the CPU to work with less power, thus decreasing the clock speeds that the CPU works at. In return this will cause the CPU to be slower and give off less heat.

Is underclocking good? ›

Underclocking refers to lowering your processor's frequency. While this does usually result in lower temperatures and power draw, it doesn't actually do anything good for your computer's performance.

Does underclocking GPU void warranty? ›

Splendid. there is no harm in underclocking BUT it will definately VOID the warranty.

Does Underclocking increase lifespan? ›

Nope. In fact it might do the same as overclocking and turn you cpu into poop after so long. Underclocking will not reduce hardware lifespan.

How do I Undervolt my AMD GPU? ›

How to undervolt an AMD graphics card
  1. Step 1: Enter the Radeon control panel. ...
  2. Step 2: Open Radeon Wattman. ...
  3. Step 3: Test the optimal frequency of your GPU. ...
  4. Step 4: Adjust the voltage and frequency. ...
  5. Step 5: Test your graphics card.
20 Oct 2021

What is better overclocking or undervolting? ›

Performance or efficiency? If you think performance is more important, start with the overclock and then see if you might be able to undervolt. If you value efficiency more, start with the undervolt and then see if you might be able to overclock from there. The main problem is that the two are often mutually exclusive.

Does undervolting help CPU temps? ›

Undervolting, simply put, reduces the amount of power/voltage being directed to your CPU. The more power sent, the hotter it gets. The less power, the cooler it gets. Simple.

What is undervolting GPU? ›

Undervolting, as the name states, is basically lowering the voltage of your GPU while maintaining the stock clock speed. Overclocking on the other hand is increasing the clock speeds. However, this may vary, sometimes during the overclocking process people can increase, decrease or even maintain the speed as stock.

How do I test my GPU Undervolt? ›

The best way to validate the GPU undervolt is to run a graphics card-specific stress test with a low tolerance for system instability. The 3D Mark Time Spy Extreme benchmark is ideal for this purpose. Choose the Time Spy Extreme Stress Test option and watch out for graphical glitches while it runs.

Can undervolting brick a GPU? ›

Undervolting alone will not lower a GPU's performance, but it may decrease its stability - it could potentially cause some graphical artifacting or lead to a BSOD or failure to boot. Underclocking would lower your GPU's maximum potential performance, but allow it to remain stable at lower voltages.

Can undervolting cause blue screen? ›

If you see a BSOD, when undervolting, it is usually because of the voltage. It is usually the cache offset that causes the problem.

How much undervolting is safe? ›

Click on “Unlock Adjustable Voltage” and undervolt the CPU core, CPU Cache and Intel GPU by -100mV initially using Offset Voltage slider and hit apply. 7. If your laptop crashes at -100mV, you need to try with -80mV. Keep on increasing the value by 20mV until you are stable without any crashes.

Videos

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3. How To Undervolt your LAPTOP GPU for FPS GAIN! (NVIDIA/AMD GPU Laptops ONLY)
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