How to Increase GPU Performance Without Overclocking

You probably just got a new GPU or maybe your current GPU isn’t giving you the performance boost you expected.

If you’re relatively new to the computer/gaming scene, or you are worried that your might damage your system due to overclocking there are still plenty of ways to get the most out of your graphics card and improve your performance when gaming.

Although overclocking your graphics card is relatively easy, it can seem like a pretty daunting task to someone who isn’t very experienced with overclocking their computer, and could damage your computer if not done correctly (Although very unlikely)

However, if you are interested in learning how to overclock your GPU I did write an article that provides instructions on how to overclock and the benefits of overclocking your computer.

Then again you are reading this article to figure out how to boost your performance without overclocking so let’s get into it.

1. Reduce Your Screen Resolution

This first step is a no-brainer. Although the quality of your game might not be as good you will make up for it with the FPS increase while playing.

Most games nowadays are usually made to run on high resolutions such as 1440p, 4K, and even 8K, but if I’m going, to be honest, the quality difference between these resolutions isn’t even that noticeable.

Image used to show Screen resolution on a monitor screen

Even if you are able to play certain games at these higher screen resolutions, you probably aren’t getting the full effect out of it unless you are using a high-end monitor.

The reason for this is that most gaming monitors have a resolution cap at 1080p to prioritize FPS performance over quality, so when your settings are at 1440p or above you really aren’t seeing the full effect of these high resolutions.

I would recommend turning your resolution settings down to at least 1080p in whatever game you are playing, and if you are really looking for a performance boost then 720p will be just fine.

However, you should note that going under a 720p resolution will have a noticeable quality difference, but if you want to prioritize FPS performance then going lower than 720p will help boost performance increase.

The reason why lowering your screen resolution will increase performance is because your GPU will be able to work less on the quality because there is a lesser number of pixels and focus more on the movement and actions of what is going on, on your screen,

2. Update Graphics Card Drivers to The Latest Version

This next step is overlooked a lot and often forgotten.

One reason for your GPU not performing as well as it should is because the drivers are out of date and it needs the latest GPU drivers in order to perform at its maximum potential.

If you own an Nvidia graphics card, then you will be able to scan for the latest GPU drivers on the GeForce Experience application on your computer.

Screenshot of Nvidia GeForce Experience

GeForce Experience automatically scans for the latest graphics drivers for whatever GPU model you have installed inside your gaming rig and doesn’t take long to install either.

The GeForce Experience application usually comes installed on your computer if you own an Nvidia graphics card, however, it can easily be installed by going to the Nvidia website and searching for the Nvidia Experience application.

On the other hand, if you own an AMD GPU then checking for the latest graphics drivers can be done by searching for your GPU model on the AMD website where you will be able to download the latest version there.

3. Increase Cooling and Airflow to Your GPU

Even if you don’t want to overclock your GPU having sufficient cooling and airflow directed at your GPU can improve performance.

When your graphics card starts to get hot your drivers will automatically lower its performance in order to keep your GPU at a stable temperature. Even if you have a stock GPU it still has the potential to overheat even when it is not overclocked.

4. Turn Game Mode on in Settings

Little did you know that there is a setting on your computer that is specifically targeted towards gamers.

That setting is called Game mode. Game mode will optimize your GPU performance without the need to overclock. It does this by shutting down background apps, and optimizing your settings for performance when you are in a game.

5. Switch Power Setting to High Performance Mode

If you are running a laptop especially it is most likely that your computer is in energy-saving mode. Switching your power setting to high-performance mode will prioritize performance over energy consumption, which will in turn allow you to improve the performance of your GPU without overclocking.

Although this step will consume more power/energy from your household and shorten the battery life of your laptop, it’s the price to pay for better performance and improved FPS.

6. Use PC Optimization Software to Boost Performance

When you are playing a game there are still many different programs operating in the background of your PC. Which can lead to performance issues due to both your GPU and CPU having to prioritize certain programs to keep them running.

You can prevent this problem by using PC optimization software which will stop any unnecessary programs from running in the background so you can have your GPU fully focus its power on whatever game you are playing at the time.

This optimization software can usually be downloaded online by a third party, or you can use one that is already built-in on your Windows PC if you run Windows.

Is There a Reason Why You Shouldn’t Overclock Your GPU?

In short, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t overclock your GPU. Yes, there is potential to damage your GPU if not done properly, but the process has been made very easy with programs such as MSI Afterburner which makes it easy to overclock your GPU.

Moreover, the performance boost you get from overclocking your GPU is determined based on the silicon lottery, which means that every graphics card has a different performance cap, so you could end up with a graphics card that doesn’t see much performance difference when overclocked.

Another reason why you shouldn’t overclock is if you don’t have a sufficient cooling system. This is because overclocking your computer causes a lot of stress on your system which in the end causes a lot of heat to be made.

If you don’t have a good cooling system then your GPU could overheat which can damage it, and you will see a significant performance loss.

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