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Nvidia's OC Scanner Receives Major Changes for RTX 3000 Series GPUs

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Nvidia's automatic overclocking algorithm, OC Scanner is getting a major rework in the way it runs and the way it's incorporated into overclocking utilities such as MSI Afterburner and EVGA's Precision X1 software. Fixing a lot of issues the previous OC Scanner had. MSI's latest patch notes for Afterburner version 4.6.3 Beta 2 showcase all the new changes made to Nvidia's automatic overclocking program.

  • OC Scanner is now integrated into Nvidia's drivers, instead of being integrated into the overclocking utility. This allows Nvidia to update OC Scanner on the fly without needing to consult programmers for each overclocking utility and get them to update their software. Third-party software will communicate with OC Scanner via the NVAPI.
  • MSI Afterburner will support both versions of OC Scanner, depending on what graphics drivers you are using. you'll need Nvidia driver 456.xx or newer to use the new OC Scanner implementation.
  • OC Scanner now supports automatic overclocking for both GPU and graphics memory.
  • OC Scanner will save and apply its overclocks on a driver level and automatically apply them on reboot. So leaving your overclocking utility running in the background is no longer necessary.
  • Manual adjustment of the voltage/frequency curve is no longer available. (i.e. this applies to OC Scanner overclocks only, you should have manual control of the voltage/frequency curve still.)

These changes fix a lot of headaches with the original OC scanner, namely better stability and identical overclocking results across all overclocking utilities which was not the case with the original implementation.

On a side note, this new implementation of OC Scanner should have good implications on Nvidia's new Ampere GPUs as they are very power limited and struggle to maintain stability above 2GHz. GPUs inherently have excellent efficiency at lower clock speeds and voltages, as a result, OC Scanner will take advantage of this and keep your GPU frequency more stable and allow core clocks to drop less as you start hitting power limit or temperature limits.

You can try the new OC scanner yourself, all you need is an Nvidia 456.xx driver or newer plus MSI Afterburner 4.6.3 Beta 2 or the latest EVGA Precision X1 update. For now, it appears Ampere GPUs are only supported according to EVGA Precision X1's latest patch notes. Hopefully, this is temporary and support will extend to Turing GPUs as well.