How to overlock your monitor explained


How to overclock your monitor
Credit: Original unedited image by Joshua Kettle

Have you ever thought why your opponents have a significantly faster reaction time in games, and you get 1-tapped before you even see them on your screen? They’re likely playing on a monitor with a higher Refresh Rate than yours. So, increasing your monitor’s Refresh Rate is a great way to enhance your in-game performance. Here’s a guide on how to overclock your monitor to improve its Refresh Rate.

Read on to find why you should overclock your monitor and the benefits you can reap in competitive games. Furthermore, our step-by-step guide will teach you how to overclock your monitor using two of the best methods. Keep reading to find out more!

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Why should you overclock your monitor?

Your monitor’s Refresh Rate determines how many times it loads a new image in 1 second. It is measured in Hz; for example, a 144 Hz monitor loads 144 separate frames in a second. Most people have a 60 Hz monitor capable of producing 60 frames of images per second. So, your in-game FPS is capped by your monitor’s limitations, regardless of your system’s performance.

This limitation may not be noticeable in most games as 60 FPS is enough to have a fun gaming experience. However, when it comes to competitive shooters like Valorant, CS:GO, and Apex Legends, with precise aiming and movement, you need every bit of FPS you can get. So, a higher Refresh Rate monitor makes your game run buttery smooth and gives you a competitive edge against your enemies.

Most 60 Hz monitors can be easily overclocked up to 75 Hz as monitor overclocking is much more stable and straightforward than CPU or GPU. Now, let’s look at the two methods to overclock your monitor and get the desired performance.

How to overclock your monitor

There are two primary ways to overclock your monitor. These are:

Overclocking The Monitor Using Nvidia Control Panel

The first method of overlocking your monitor is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require any 3rd party utility software. However, it only works if your system has an Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU). In this case, you can select your monitor’s display, resolution, and refresh rate directly from the Nvidia Control Panel. The following steps will guide you through overclocking your monitor using the Nvidia Control Panel.

  • If you have a GeForce graphics card and drivers installed, right-click your desktop and go to NVIDIA Control Panel.
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  • Under the Resolutions tab, you can see the possible resolution configurations for your system. Click the Customize button.
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  • You can add custom resolutions on this screen. By default, it should be empty. Click the Create Custom Resolution button to start.
  • You will see some settings you can tweak under the Display mode heading. Leave all the settings to their defaults, but change the Refresh rate. You can overclock a 60 Hz monitor to 75 Hz, so go with that and click the Test button.
  • If you notice any screen jittering or tearing, you’re going above the allowed Refresh Rate. In that case, try lowering it to 70 and Test again. You can keep repeating it until you find a stable Refresh Rate that doesn’t affect your screen display.
  • Remember that 4K or 2K screens might not overclock as well as the 1080p screens. So, if you have a higher resolution display, try lowering it to 1920 x 1080 settings for stable overclocking. It’s worth doing so for competitive shooters where performance takes precedence over the visuals.
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  • Once you’ve found your stable Refresh Rate for overclocking, click Ok to add the custom resolutions in your settings.
  • Finally, find the custom resolution that you’ve just added to the resolution settings in NVIDIA Control Panel. You will see the newly tweaked Refresh Rate next to the resolution. Now click the Apply button for the settings to be applied to your system, and enjoy the improved FPS you’ll get in your games with the overclocked monitor.
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Overclocking The Monitor Using Custom Resolution Utility (CRU)

If you don’t have an Nvidia GPU or want to use a dedicated 3rd party tool to tweak your monitor’s settings, you can use the Custom Resolution Utility. CRU is designed to customize your screen’s resolution and refresh rate on the go with the clicks of just a few buttons so that you can enjoy a smoother gaming experience. Follow the steps described next to understand how to overclock the monitor using CRU.

  • Go to the Custom Resolution Utility page and download the latest version of the CRU tool. Once you’re done downloading, extract the files in a folder.
  • Open the file titled CRU.exe, and you will see the interface with all the possible resolutions you can choose from for your systems. However, we are looking to add our custom resolution.
Custom Resolution Utility Overclock Monitor interface
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  • Click the Add button under the Detailed Resolutions tab. You will see all the settings you can play around with. It’s okay to ignore the rest of the settings and focus on the Refresh Rate under the Frequency settings. Add the value you want your display to have, most likely 75.00 Hz, and hit Ok.
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  • Next, go to the folder where you extracted CRU files and right-click on the restart64 file. Click Run as administrator to restart your graphics and test the new Refresh Rate. If you notice jitters in your screen, try lowering the Refresh Rate or changing the resolution from 4k or 2k to 1080p. Once all is set, you can safely switch your monitor’s display settings.
  • Right-click on your desktop and open the Display Settings. Scroll down to find the Advanced display settings and click on it.
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  • Scroll down to the Refresh Rate part and select the settings of your choice (75 Hz in most cases), and your new settings will be applied.
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Now you have successfully overclocked your monitor with the help of the CRU tool and can play your competitive shooters with an advantage unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

To learn more about your monitor’s specs, check your monitor’s response time and solve your monitor flickering problem with these easy fixes!

For more articles like this, take a look at our Hardware and How To page.