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TIL overclocking monitors is a thing

Do you overclock your monitor?


  • Total voters
    171

Elven_Star

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,097
So, I just used this guide to overclock my 60Hz monitor to 75Hz:

It's quite an easy process and the difference in games are noticeable even with my relatively poor eyesight. When watching YouTube videos at 60 FPS, I always wonder why my games are never as smooth even when they are running at the same framerate. Games feel as smooth now. Playing Cold Steel 2 at 4K75 (through Nvidia's DSR) is something else.
 

Samaritan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,597
Idaho
It's pretty incredible how big of a difference 60 to 75 is, so it's rad to hear that even 60Hz panels are overclockable. The only overclockable monitors I have access to are 144Hz OC'd to 165Hz, so I don't even bother. The difference there is negligible, and I'd rather just use that overhead for better fidelity.
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
10,888
I discovered it a few years ago. My laptop is able to go up to 100hz, but I can't play much on it so kinda useless :P

Good for OsuMania tho
 

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,213
I discovered it a few years ago. My laptop is able to go up to 100hz, but I can't play much on it so kinda useless :P

Good for OsuMania tho

If you have a relatively weak computer/laptop that can't exactly do 60 FPS but still want to do >30 FPS gaming.

Step 1: Overclock monitor to 75hz
Step 2: Run desired game with NVidia or AMD's half refresh rate options
Step 3: Now your game is running at approx 38 FPS but since it's half refresh, it will play perfectly smooth. No judder.
Step 4: ???
Step 5: Profit.
 

tokkun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,633
Overclocking those Asian monitors from eBay was a big thing for a few years, because at the time it was the only way to get a 1440p 120 Hz IPS monitor. Nowadays you can buy them from major brands, so it is less of a thing.

These days there are more displays that officially support overclocking. Like my Valve Index headset considers 120 Hz to be in the normal operating range whereas 144 Hz is "overclocked", even though it is a normal setting you can select in the menu. Basically I think it is just a way for companies to get away with not doing QC or compatibility testing. They aren't obligated to offer you a refund if your display does not run at the "overclocked" setting.
 

Polk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
879
I think most of those cheap korean monitors so popular few years back were overclocked.
 

Olaf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,413
Asus actually has some 144 Hz that they advertise as being overclockable to 165 Hz or something. But my question always is, why don't you ship it at 165 Hz then?
 

ClassicLevi

Member
Jan 4, 2018
1,659
I actually did that just last week and it's a game changer. 75hz is making me value refresh rate a lot more than I did previously.
 

EloKa

GSP
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
779
Asus actually has some 144 Hz that they advertise as being overclockable to 165 Hz or something. But my question always is, why don't you ship it at 165 Hz then?
Because of liability. Overclocking your monitor does always hurt the hardware to some degree. But we're talking about something like your screen has a lifespan of exactly 10 years and overclocked its lifespan shrinks down to 9 or 9 1/2 years.

Also the additional Hz that you can get by overclocking does highly depend on the individual monitor. Within the same model series some screens could reach for example 168 Hz and others might only reach 163 Hz due to slight differences within the used hardware for each product.

Overclocking in general is mostly usefull in the range of 60 Hz - 90 Hz. Above that? Nah.
 
Last edited:

JustinH

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,736
I knew about it, but I don't do it myself.

I might've first heard about it on ERA though, lol.
 

wsbceo

Member
Apr 29, 2019
74
Can I overclock my Viotek GN34C?

It has Freesync which newer Nvidia drivers should now enable Gsync but it doesn’t work :(
 

RivalGT

Member
Dec 13, 2017
1,405
Some 144hz monitors can go up to 165hz. But there is no performance gains to be had. I forget the specifics but I think the input lag on them gets worse or the response time.
 

UltimateIke

Member
Oct 26, 2017
64
If you are overclocking your monitor, you should use this site's tool to test that it is actually working correctly. A lot of monitors I have owned wouldn't even accept 65Hz without skipping the extra frames.

https://www.testufo.com/frameskipping

They mention it in that guide, and it's an important step people want to forget.
 

ToD_

Member
Oct 27, 2017
175
My (now ancient) Dell U2711 does not go much higher than 60Hz last time I tried this. Even the little bit it would go above resulted in skipping frames, which looks worse than 60Hz. So for those who do overclock, please make sure to check if it's functioning properly.
 

Flon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
606
Yeah, even my hp22w can go up to 75Hz with no frame drops, although the color depth starts to take a hit so I like to stay at 60Hz.
 

ProtoSound

Member
Oct 28, 2017
359
I over clocked my BenQ EW277HDR to 75Hz and noticed the same thing as the OP. My games are now as smooth as what I see in YouTube videos. Now I want to go beyond and get a higher refresh monitor but this VA panel has spoiled me on color so I'm trying to find the perfect balance of visuals and speed.
 

NumberThree

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,088
I haven't increased the refresh rate, but I use the same tool to increase the supported freesync range on my monitor.
 

b0uncyfr0

Member
Apr 2, 2018
201
People have been overclocking monitors for years, its' nothing new. I think its very important to point out these though :

1) Just because your monitor is capable of refreshing at 75 (or whatever the OC is) doesnt mean it can do it reliably to show all frames. Sometime's frames will skip or you might encounter judder here and there. This means the refresh rate might be too high and its advisable to drop abit lower. You can always use the UFO test here to check it - https://www.testufo.com/frameskipping.

---- Another really important thing about this is also not to confuse judder from any smoothing you've enabled on your TV with the new refresh rate (I have this on my old 2016 4K TV). Its best to disable any motion smoothing (Or whatever your TV has) so you're sure the OC is working properly.

2) Alot of monitor's will lose contrast saturation when you overclock, there is no way to counteract this afaik. My last two screens were both overclocked and on the 1080p VA panel i lost about 1/3rd of my contrast. On My current 4K TV i can go to 73hz at 1080p but colours are much dimmer and blacks are not really black anymore. So this is also one side effect. Some montor's don't get affected by this at all.

3) If you haven't tried it yet - you're loosing out. It can be really worth it to OC. You never know what your screen might be capable off, but please always read guides/tutorials thoroughly.

My preferred way to test OC'ing : is to remote desktop to the machine from another computer. Start off small so it works - Use CRU to adjust as you go and after you have restarted the display (Using CRU restart exe) - wait for the display to come back up. Since you're still logged in from the remote machine, all you should see is the lock screen. If it doesnt - you've gone too far, but If it does - Congrats - you're one hz higher than you were before. Simply back down the hz and restart again to fix.
 

MadMike

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,005
144Hz is already impossible to maintain at 1440p. No sense in me even trying to OC my monitor.
 
OP
OP
Elven_Star

Elven_Star

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,097
If you are overclocking your monitor, you should use this site's tool to test that it is actually working correctly. A lot of monitors I have owned wouldn't even accept 65Hz without skipping the extra frames.

https://www.testufo.com/frameskipping

They mention it in that guide, and it's an important step people want to forget.
People have been overclocking monitors for years, its' nothing new. I think its very important to point out these though :

1) Just because your monitor is capable of refreshing at 75 (or whatever the OC is) doesnt mean it can do it reliably to show all frames. Sometime's frames will skip or you might encounter judder here and there. This means the refresh rate might be too high and its advisable to drop abit lower. You can always use the UFO test here to check it - https://www.testufo.com/frameskipping.

---- Another really important thing about this is also not to confuse judder from any smoothing you've enabled on your TV with the new refresh rate (I have this on my old 2016 4K TV). Its best to disable any motion smoothing (Or whatever your TV has) so you're sure the OC is working properly.

2) Alot of monitor's will lose contrast saturation when you overclock, there is no way to counteract this afaik. My last two screens were both overclocked and on the 1080p VA panel i lost about 1/3rd of my contrast. On My current 4K TV i can go to 73hz at 1080p but colours are much dimmer and blacks are not really black anymore. So this is also one side effect. Some montor's don't get affected by this at all.

3) If you haven't tried it yet - you're loosing out. It can be really worth it to OC. You never know what your screen might be capable off, but please always read guides/tutorials thoroughly.

My preferred way to test OC'ing : is to remote desktop to the machine from another computer. Start off small so it works - Use CRU to adjust as you go and after you have restarted the display (Using CRU restart exe) - wait for the display to come back up. Since you're still logged in from the remote machine, all you should see is the lock screen. If it doesnt - you've gone too far, but If it does - Congrats - you're one hz higher than you were before. Simply back down the hz and restart again to fix.
Yeah, just gave that test a go and all seems well.

 

Aranath

Member
Jan 15, 2018
184
My Acer has a built in feature to overclock from 144 to 165. Just a simple change in the options menu and that's it. Older games at 165fps are amazing. It's got Gsync, so I don't need to worry about maintaining the framerate, thankfully.
 

jediyoshi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,376
It's just a simple menu setting in my Acer monitor so I just did it and never looked back 🤷
 

Slick Butter

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,833
yeah i used to OC my QNIX to about 200Hz a couple years ago. Was good for CS:GO, but color quality was fuckin terrible.
Now I have a 1440p 144Hz freesync.
 

Jazzem

Member
Feb 2, 2018
1,637
Ha wow, thanks so much OP, had no idea about this!

Weirdly, my monitor goes to 74hz but no higher. Still I can notice the difference even in just moving the cursor around, can't wait to try some games with it :D
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,172
Known of its existence for a long time, but no I don't. I have a 144hz monitor which has a panel that should be overclockable to 165hz or so if I cared enough. However, it's rare I get to 1440p 144hz in games anyway and the other issue you come to is pixel response times. Even if a panel can support a given refresh rate, it's possible the pixel transition times won't be able to keep up with it anyway, reducing the benefit.
 

Mohasus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
866
Tried it once, my display reaches 84 Hz but skip frames (even with a minor OC like 66 Hz), so I gave up on it.

If you have a relatively weak computer/laptop that can't exactly do 60 FPS but still want to do >30 FPS gaming.

Step 1: Overclock monitor to 75hz
Step 2: Run desired game with NVidia or AMD's half refresh rate options
Step 3: Now your game is running at approx 38 FPS but since it's half refresh, it will play perfectly smooth. No judder.
Step 4: ???
Step 5: Profit.
Wouldn't it be better to downclock the display in this case? That's what I used to do when I wanted to lock the FPS at 42 or 48.
 

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,213
Tried it once, my display reaches 84 Hz but skip frames (even with a minor OC like 66 Hz), so I gave up on it.


Wouldn't it be better to downclock the display in this case? That's what I used to do when I wanted to lock the FPS at 42 or 48.
If the monitor can support that refresh rate, then sure that sounds like the better solution.
 

∀:NARAYANA

Member
Oct 27, 2017
336
My primary display is a Yamakasi Catleap Q270 2B Extreme that's overclocked to 120hz. It was available around the time monitors with this refresh rate were fairly uncommon. Been using it for a while now. It serves me well.
 

Jazzem

Member
Feb 2, 2018
1,637
Yeah this is a gamechanger for me, my monitor doesn't seem to have any problems at all going to 74hz (though no higher) and it's noticeably smoother. I have no plans to get another monitor any time soon so I'm ecstatic about this :D

Got me down a weird rabbit hole of setting all kinds of refresh rates too, like 58hz or 48hz for NiGHTS (PC port runs at 29fps weirdly) and Strong Bad TellTale games (capped at 48fps). Even frame pacing, wheeee :D