How to Overclock Your PC Monitor and Is It Worth It?

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I have managed to push my IPS LG monitor from 60Hz to 74Hz, here is how I did it.

Disclaimer: you are overclocking on your responsibility. I am not responsible if anything goes wrong in your case. So I have to recommend buying cheap 144Hz over potentially destroying your monitor. I already know you won’t listen to me, so here we go.

If you are reading this guide, there is a big chance you are trying to increase refresh rate because you are playing some first-person shooter aka FPS. One of the most popular out there is, of course, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I think overclocking for the sake of fast-paced games makes sense.

When I did this long time ago and managed to force an overclock on my LG monitor from 60hz to 70Hz on full HD. I almost render my monitor useless by locking it into a mode which it didn’t support so be thoughtful.

You Can Already Make Your Refresh Rate Faster by Lowering Resolution

The premise of the experiment is. If I lower my monitor resolution, can I get even better refresh rate? I can already set my monitor refresh rate to 75Hz if I change my resolution from full HD 1080p 16:9 down to 1280 x 1024, which is aspect ratio 4:3. I can do this without any overclocking so you can probably do the same thing too.

It looks worse, but Counter-Strike players already prefer playing on 4:3 aspect ratio with stretch resolution. I guess it makes head or targets bigger. Many pro players do it also I do it, but there is another drawback. Weaving angles are more narrow than 16:9 resolution. I don’t know how this impacts other games, but in CS: GO, this is the case.

Pro or competitive FPS players want every tiny little bit of advantage they can get, and they will buy or get the best monitors. They afford or get high-end peripherals from their sponsors, which is not an option for more laid back and casual players. Most of us won’t get top of the line $600 monitor with 240Hz.

Get a New Monitor Instead

With that said, I have to recommend getting a cheap fast monitor before possibly destroying. Acer KG251Q Dbmiipx is one affordable monitor that has one of the highest refresh rates on the market 240Hz, but I heard it has input lag on pair with some older 144Hz models. That is another perfect example of how companies are abusing numbers and specifications to get more sales. Always check the actual reviews before you commit buying anything these days. There are plenty of sales almost any day in the week, and I bet you can get some affordable 144Hz monitor which won’t break your wallet.

Don’t forget to use display port or HDMI 2.0 or you won’t be able to set this beast on 240hz mode. This monitor is using AMD FreeSync™ technology, so use it with AMD dedicated Graphics card or GPU.

To fully utilize monitor refresh rate you got to have an excellent performance by that I mean expensive hardware except if you are buying a fast monitor for some esports titles then it should be no problem. Do not expect your new mid-tier graphics card will be able to fully take advantage of 144Hz on some new titles with the epic graphics settings and so and so on.

Before overclocking, make sure you have some Windows backup or restore point. I had to use my restore two times because I did something wrong and got a black screen. Then I had to save my computer by forcing it to go into troubleshooting tools by turning it off two times while loading windows.

The Software I Have Used Is Called CRU

It’s called Custom Resolution Utility aka CRU made by this guy ToastyX. His latest project is a program which can force custom resolution with keyboard hotkeys he also made some other useful software, support this guy if you can.

Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Press Add
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
I wanted to overclock LG 24MP47HQ native resolution 1080p
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Set your target Hz. In my case, 72Hz was maximum refresh rate my LG could handle.
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Press OK
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Hit restart, this will restart your graphics drivers so you won’t have to restart the whole system
Overclock Your PC Monitor CRU Software
Finally, change your desired Hz in Windows

After some failed attempts and even restoring my windows to the previous point, I have managed to push my monitor to 72Hz. The 20% increase may look good on the paper but actual filling I don’t know about that yet. I don’t think I feel any difference while playing CS: GO. But I guess I feel a difference when playing in 4:3 on 75Hz without overclocking. That is an entirely subjective opinion, and your experience may be different.

Because of Nvidia Graphic Card, I Could Overclock 2hz More

That is very interesting find because I thought the monitor it is limiting factor for overclocking refresh rate, that is not entirely the case. After installing Nvidia GTX 1060 6Gb, I was able to overclock even more simply via Nvidia control panel to 74Hz in 1080p.

I don’t know exactly why and I don’t want to sound like some kind Nvidia fanboy because I am not, but it is what it is. Basically, with Nvidia GPU, I am getting 2Hz more.

Nvidia Control Panel Overclock Monitor

About the main question if I could go beyond 75Hz on a lower resolution. Well, I could go past 75Hz but for only one Hz, which is not worth it in my case. But then again it could be very different in your case, depends on monitor and quality of the panel. And the funny thing was that within the Nvidia control panel, I couldn’t get to 76Hz on a lower resolution like I could with the CRU software. While in full HD Nvidia control panel beats CRU.

For all AMD users out there sorry because I had RX 570, but I have never done this with it. When I have the chance, I will update this article. I will also update this article if my overclocked monitor blows up.

Update 7. 12. 2019

Good news! After three months of abuse, my overclocked monitor didn’t blow up, and it works perfectly fine.

Article Summary

  • Have windows restore point and file backup before using CRU software
  • For Nvidia users try Nvidia control panel
  • Pro and hardcore FPS gamers want every single bit of advantage, the faster, the better and they don’t care about graphics that much
  • Some monitors are labeled “gaming,” and they work on 75Hz, actual gaming monitor should have at least 144Hz with 1ms
  • If you have the chance, then buy 240Hz or 144Hz monitor with 1ms response time
  • To fully utilize high refresh rate monitor you have to have expensive hardware except you are aiming for some e-sport titles
  • I have managed to get from 60Hz to 74Hz so in my case until this monitor is working correctly I think it is worth it

Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash

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