I recently just purchased a MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 4 and man this card is a beast. But I just want to see how it performs with some overclocking, but I don't know how to properly overclock using MSI Afterburner or some other method. Could I please get some step-by-step guide in order to do this safely, here are my specs.
Motherboard: MSI 870A-G46 AM3 AMD 870
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz (Unlocked to a AMD Phenom II X6 1605T)
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Power Supply: CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX 12V v2.3
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Step 1) Download and install necessary Benchmarking, OC and Monitoring software. This includes, Unigine Heaven Benchmark, MSi Afterburner v2.2.3 (do not download the latest one for GK104-chip Keplers), and most importantly GPU-Z.
Step 2) Drivers! Update your GPU Drivers!
Step 3) Turn Off Vsync in the nvidia settings for the time-being (you can turn it back on after your OC)
Step 4) Go into MSi Afterburner, Increase Power Limit to Max and enable Voltage modifications by checking 'Unlock Voltage Control' under settings and also enable 'USER DEFINED FAN CONTROL.' Create a new Fan Curve and Adjust it to get a curve between 60% and 70% to keep temps below 70'C at all times.
Step 5) Run GPU-Z and Unigine Heaven Benchmark to give you an idea of what your Base Score is like.. Once you get that, increase your Core Voltage, Mem & Aux Voltage (these 2 volts are only available on MSI cards with Triple overvoltage) to MAX.
Step 6) Time to turn up your Clocks! Let's start with the Core clock first! After you've increased the voltage (STEP 5). Increase your clock by 20-25Mhz. Run Heaven Benchmark. Repeat this step until you crash or notice instability or loss in Benchmark score.
Step 7) Fine-Tuning your Core Clocks! Reduce by 10Mhz Until you stop seeing artifacts or stop crashing. Move on to next step if you pass the Heaven Benchmark test without artifacts or crashing.
Step 8) Time to Turn up Memory Clocks! Increase the Memory Clocks by 100Mhz. Run Heaven Benchmark. Move on to next step immediately after you see the smallest of artifacts.. If not, keep repeating this step until you notice loss in Benchmark score or crashing (and artifacts)
Step 9) Fine-Tuning your Mem-Clocks! Reduce by 25Mhz until you stop seeing artifacts or crashing. Repeat until stable and move on to next step on successfully completing Benchmark Test.
Step 10) Run 3DMark 11 if you wish to. Test a few Games like Dirt 3 and BF3. If a game crashes reduce your Core by 2Mhz until you stop crashing. Reduce 2Mhz Memory till you stop seeing artifacts (if any).
Step 11) Setup Custom Fan Curve in MSI Afterburner. Make a Linear curve or a gradually increasing curve starting from 30%. To have low noise levels,use max fan speeds of 45% or for higher performance make the max fan speed 55-65%.
Step 12) Save OC profile in MSi AfterBurner. Restore Vsync settings. And You're Set!!