How to Use the NVIDIA Control Panel to Overclock Your Monitor

Nvidia Feature

If you know even a little about technology, you’ve probably at least heard of overclocking before. But even those who spend their time tweaking their cmputer may not know how easy it is to overclock your monitor. This goes beyond resolution tweaks: you can actually increase your monitor’s refresh rate without spending a dime. this won’t work for every monitor, though, as it depends on your specific panel, if you can overclock and how much will be entirely variable.

Luckily, finding out what’s possible with your monitor is incredibly simple, and it can be done from within NVIDIA’s Control Panel in just a few clicks. Read on to learn what you need to know to see if you can squeeze a few extra hz out of your monitor with NVIDIA’s Control Panel!

Note: the NVIDIA Control Panel is only available if you are using a NVIDIA graphic card. If it is not installed, you can get it from the App Store.

How to overclock your monitor

First, open the NVIDIA Control Panel and click on “Change resolution” under the Display section on the left side of the window. Make sure the monitor you want to overclock is selected. If you don’t have multiple monitors, don’t worry about this because your one and only monitor will already be selected.

Nvidia Panel Change Resolution

From here, click the “Customize … ” button, which will open a new Customize window. Check the box next to “Enable resolutions not exposed by the display,” and then click the “Create Custom Resolution” button, which will open a new Create Custom Resolution window. You’re going to create a “custom resolution” for your monitor that runs at a refresh rate above your monitor’s advertised refresh rate.

Nvidia Panel Customize

From within the Create Custom Resolution window, look for the value next to “Refresh rate (Hz):” and click the up arrow next to it to increase the number by one. Click the “Test” button. If your screen goes black, and your monitor complains it’s not receiving a signal, don’t panic. Wait a few moments and your desktop will reappear. This means your monitor failed the test and was not able to run at a higher refresh rate. If your screen doesn’t go black but you encounter strange visual artifacting, that’s also a sign you’ve failed the test.

However, even if you failed your first test, all hope isn’t lost. As far as testing goes, you’ll have a better shot trying for higher framerates at lower resolutions. For example, if you happen to have a 144hz 1440p monitor, trying to run at 145hz 1080p may work while 145hz 1440p doesn’t. There is no guarantee, of course. It also goes without saying that if you fail a test at a single hertz above your refresh rate, you won’t be able to pass tests at even higher refresh rates.

Nvidia Panel Create Custom Resolution

Though, if you do manage to pass the test, dismiss the “Test passed” prompt window and click the “Okay” button in the Customize window, which returns you back to the “Change Resolution” area of Control Panel where you started. Now you can select the custom resolution you’ve created and hit the “Apply” button at the bottom right of the screen. Congratulations! You have overclocked your monitor!

If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave the other fields in the “Create Custom Resolution” window alone, like Scan type, Timing, and Color depth. Focus your tweaking on the refresh rate and resolution.

Are you planning on seeing if your monitor can be overclocked? Let us know in the comments down below!

Ruben Circelli
Ruben Circelli

Ruben is a Staff Writer at Make Tech Easier. Ruben has a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he graduated with honors and summa cum laude. Ruben is, in fact, a normal enough guy, even if his day job is writing about tech!

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