If you want a power-conscious PC build, or are looking to increase your PC’s battery life, then you may want to consider underclocking (or downclocking) your graphics card. To underclock your GPU means to slow down how fast its cores run. There is a multitude of good reasons to underclock your graphics cards. Some of them include increasing your battery life, reducing the amount of heat your GPU puts out, increasing your system’s lifespan or reliability, and reducing the power consumption that your PC uses.
In a hurry? To put it shortly, if you want to underclock your GPU, there are a few applications that can make this process easy. One of them is MSI Afterburner. The Afterburner is a great way to underclock any AMD graphics card. Just install the application, lower the core clock meter, and hit apply changes. If you’re looking for a new GPU then the highly rated GeForce RTX 2080 TI, and the Radeon RX 6900 XT are excellent options. Have a different brand graphics card? Worry not, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out how to easily downclock any GPU.
Underclocking GPU: Easy Step by Step Guide
To Underclock your GPU, We are going to be using MSI Afterburner. Unlike some of the ones that come with your installed graphics cards, MSI Afterburning is a quick installation and makes underclocking or overclock very easy.
1. Download the MSI Afterburner installer
With the given link, navigate to the MSI website to easily install the Afterburner Application. Make sure you get Afterburner from this website, as others could be malware.
2. Open the application, and finalize the installation
The link provided only installs the launcher and will need to be accepted in order for the full application to be installed. Allow Afterburner access to all the necessary areas to be able to run the application.
3. Open MSI Afterburner
After you have accepted the necessary requirements and finished your installation, open MSI Afterburner from your desktop or navigate to your search bar and look for it there.
4. Check to see if your graphics card is recognized by the system and that it is the one you want to underclock
If your PC is one that has multiple GPUs and you only want to underclock one, there will be a small drop-down menu that you can check to make sure the chosen graphics card is in fact the one you would like to underclock.
5. Check to see if the Core Clock bar is present and able to be adjusted
Once you have selected the appropriate GPU, there should be two sliding bars above the drop-down menu you just checked. One should be a Core Clock slider, while the other will be a Memory Clock slider.
6. Proceed to adjust the sliders to your preferred settings
Depending on how deeply you want to underclock your GPU, you may have a different slider goal to check. Make sure you research how low you can safely underclock your GPU and what potential side effects it may have on your other processing units and applications.
7. Check the Apply Changes button to finalize your underclocking speed
This is an important step, as you may have spent a long time adjusting your underclocking goal and you do not want to lose progress. If you do not apply your settings (the checkmark symbol on the left side of your interface) you may have to restart your underclocking progress after you close the application.
8. [OPTIONAL] Save your preferred underclock speed and other settings to a profile for easy access next time you want to underclock your GPU
This is an optional step for those who have multiple different under or overclocking settings they want to use based on the requirements of your day-to-day jobs.
If you are someone who wishes to underclock for mining crypto but overclock to play a game, then you will want to have different profiles associated with those tasks that you can access easily.
How to Underclock NVIDIA GPU
Underclocking an NVIDIA GPU is not much different to an AMD or another graphics card. The main difference is the applications available. While you can use the MSI Afterburner just as easily as you would for an AMD card, you can also use some of the NVIDIA exclusive options, like the NVIDIA Inspector.
The only issue with the NVIDIA Inspector is the interface. The MSI Afterburning has a much simpler interface for beginners and will work just as well for an NVIDIA card.
MSI Afterburner Underclock Guide
The MSI Afterburner is a great program for underclocking or overclocking your GPU because it does not discriminate on graphics card brands. The only difference you will face is the actual name for your graphics cards, as well as the MSI has an additional feature and information for your GPU if it is an MSI or AMD.
The interface is customizable, so if your application does not look like the images you see online, it is just because you do not have the specific skin setting that another person has put on to look more aesthetically pleasing.
As well as being customizable, the MSI Afterburner interface is very easy to use. Everything is clearly labeled, as well as having tips ingrained into its interface to help give you an easier over or underclocking experience.
How to Downclock Graphics Card FAQ
Can I Underclock GPU?
You can underclock your GPU, depending on the brand there are a few different applications that can help you easily underclock or overclock your graphics card.
For some pre-built PCs, you can get yours underclocked by the factory that manufactures it, but for most PCs or separately bought GPU’s you will need to manually underclock it by using MSI Afterburner or another application depending on your graphics card type.
Is Underclocking GPU Good?
Underclocking your GPU can be good if you experiencing an issue with your computer getting very hot while running applications or games that shouldn’t cause it. When you underclock it, it should solve the issue of your cores speeding up unnecessarily, which in turn stops it from overheating. Underclocking it should also keep you at a stable FPS, although it may be lower than the desired rate.
Does Underclocking GPU Reduce Performance?
Underclocking your GPU shouldn’t lead to reduced performance, since it is just lowering how fast the cores run. It may mess with your stability if you lower it too far and then expect to run a high-intensity application. It is always good to take it slow by underclocking your graphics card a little bit and then seeing how the desired applications run.
Final Words About How to Underclock GPU
While there are quite a few reasons to underclock your graphics card, you have to remember to do it safely. If you aren’t careful, you can mess up your PC as a whole and will need to get it professionally fixed. There are always risks when adjusting your PC’s hardware from the factory settings that come with any unit.
Underclocking your GPU can be a good decision to make if you find that your PC is heating up quickly due to your cores running unnecessarily fast. As well, you need to make sure that you adjust the settings back to their regular settings if you are doing something that would require more clock speed than is currently available.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for a new GPU then the highly rated GeForce RTX 2080 TI Graphics Card, or the Radeon RX 6900 XT GPU are excellent options.