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How to Underclock a GPU? [2023]

How to Underclock a GPU? [2023]

Generally, all of the interest revolves around overclocking a processor and determining how much capacity a chip has for multi-core clock speeds. Everyone is aware that both CPUs and GPUs are different sorts of processors and hobbyists like modifying both. The same cannot be said about underclocking, even though numerous instructions for overclocking graphics cards exist. It’s a terrific way to control excessive temperatures and cut power use while underclocking a graphics card. But if you’re curious about getting the exact method, wait. We’ll discuss it later in the post. 

A graphics card is a robust component of a computer. It relieves the CPU’s workload while allowing you to process and render 3D graphics. People frequently overclock their cards to increase performance above what is available from the factory. While overclocking is relatively widespread in the PC industry, underclocking is rarely mentioned. To achieve it, you must be insane! Oh, no, not at all. You will get to Discover the art of optimizing performance while reducing power consumption by reading about how to underclock a GPU in this comprehensive guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Underclocking your GPU means lowering its clock speed and voltage to reduce its power consumption and heat output.
  • Underclocking your GPU can help you save energy, extend your battery life, lower your fan noise and prevent thermal throttling.
  • Underclocking your GPU can also reduce its performance and stability, so you should only do it if you don’t need the extra power or if you have overheating issues.
  • You can use software tools such as MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision X1 or AMD Radeon Software to underclock your GPU easily and safely.
  • You should test your GPU before and after underclocking to see the effects on your FPS, temperature and power usage.

What is underclocking? What are the benefits of underclocking?

A graphics card contains several cores that are in charge of performing the real work and rendering everything that appears on your screen. The clock speed or frequency at which these cores operate varies. Additionally, if you increase the clock speed, you can get more fps and better gaming resolution. The engine clock, commonly referred to as the clock speed out of the factory, is a frequency that can be either increased or decreased. 

Underclocking, which is exactly the opposite of overclocking, involves lowering the graphics card’s clock speed. This choice is made based on a variety of factors and reasons. For your information, there are several benefits of underclocking that will shock you when you hear those. The possible benefits of GPU underclocking include lesser power consumption, minimal heat production, extended battery life, enhanced system stability, and increased GPU lifespan. 

Despite the fact that there are several benefits of underclocking GPUs, not everyone should underclock. This is because it is unusual to want to deliberately reduce the efficiency of a valuable piece of hardware; after all, the point of its being expensive was to make it more effective and better. There are numerous techniques to maximize your system, but occasionally purposely lowering the clock speed might be more advantageous than overclocking.

How to underclock a GPU? Possible methods

Underclocking is not a practice for illiterates. Fortunately, you can underclock a GPU without taking it off your computer. You can modify the performance of your GPU using software that is specific to it. Let’s finally talk about how to underclock your GPU now that you understand what underclocking is, what it accomplishes, and whether you should or shouldn’t do it. Pay close attention to the instructions and don’t omit any or add any new ones without completing some investigation.

Method 1: Underclocking GPU Using MSI Afterburner

MSI’s Afterburner is widely regarded software as the industry standard in many areas, making it one of the most useful PC utilities available today. It provides the greatest detail regarding every component of your GPU and enables you to monitor and manage every area of your visuals. The software is incredibly user-friendly and suitable for even beginners because it is relatively simple to use. MSI offers MSI Afterburner without charge. It provides a wide variety of tools to control the functions and performance of your graphics card.

The method to underclock your GPU using MSI Afterburner is as follows:

  • Step 1: Open MSI Afterburner application > locate Core Clock using the left dial.

Note: There are two round dials, one on the right side and the second on the left side. We will use the left one since it has the option to set GPU clock speeds.  

  • Step 2: Set the vertical selector at the clock speed you want. 

Note: Since we want to underclock the GPU clock speed, we have to move the slider to the left side—not to the right since that is for the overclocking. 

  • Step 3Save the settings > close MSI Afterburner software.

Note: After saving the underclock settings, you have to test whether the clock speed is reduced or not. For this, you can use some software on your graphics card to test whether the setting you’ve chosen strikes a good equilibrium between performance and clock speed reduction or not.

Method 2: Underclocking GPU Using EVGA Precision X16

With EVGA Precision X 16, the future is already here. This software allows you to fine-tune your graphics card by adjusting voltage, fan speed, GPU clock offsets, and memory clock offsets. Innovative features, overclocking support, and complete compatibility with the Microsoft DirectX 12 API are all included in this edition. Use Precision X1 to modify your EVGA GPU settings. 

The method of underclocking your GPU using EVGA Precision X16 includes as follows: 

  • Step 1: Start EVGA Precision X16

Note: It’s suggested to use the latest version with the latest graphics card. But if you have an older card, you might need to use a previous version of the software called Precision XOC, but try the most recent version first. 

  • Step 2: Select the graphics card icon from the top of the window > move the slider to the left

Note: Since we want to underclock the GPU clock speed, we have to move the slider to the left side—not to the right since that is for the overclocking. 

  • Step 3Save all the changes > shut down the program. 

Note: Ensure to test the newer setting by running some stress-testing software or running games at new settings.

When Is It Necessary to Underclock a GPU? 

It is necessary to underclock a GPU when you’re browsing online, playing a low-impact game, or doing no graphics-intensive activity. There is no need for a huge GPU clock speed in all these situations. Therefore, you must underclock the clock speed to save power consumption, lower electricity costs, and enhance the life span of the graphics card. Also, the performance of their graphics cards may occasionally need to be preserved by underclocking for people who reside in hotter climates. Underclocking can be helpful when the interior of your case becomes so heated that your airflow and cooling system cannot keep up.


In conclusion, underclocking is actually a trait that defines an explorer. Running a game or application while keeping an eye on the voltage, temperature, and clock rates is the simplest method to check for stability. If you suffer crashes, change the voltage and clock rate as needed, then go through the process again until you reach the lowest underclock. Although not everyone requires an overclocked GPU, this article will assist you in determining how to underclock the graphics card. For instance, laptop gamers and cryptocurrency miners can both gain from under-volting and underclocking.

It’s a laborious procedure that requires back-and-forth testing to locate the sweet spot between your card’s maximum efficiency and its raw performance. The benefits of underclocking include lower temperatures, power consumption, noise levels, and a card that is less likely to overheat. However, these benefits come at the expense of performance, and when combined with under-volting, you can turn your computer into an energy monster. Alternatively, you might not give a damn and want to avoid underclocking at all costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to underclock a GPU?

Yes, it’s totally safe to underclock your GPU. You can not only enhance the lifespan of the graphics card by underclocking but also reduce the power bill.

Is underclocking better than overclocking?

Both underclocking and overclocking have their benefits and disadvantages. Underclocking is better in terms of saving power bills, increasing the component’s life span, and reducing heat production.

Does underclocking increase lifespan?

Yes, underclocking increases the component’s lifespan. This is because it reduces heat production, temperature, and power consumption, plus enhances the system’s stability.

Abdullah Sarfraz

Motherboards & Graphics Cards Expert

Abdullah Sarfraz is a skilled writer with a BS in Economics (Honors) from GC University Faisalabad. He began his academic journey at High School No. 1. His expertise lies in technology, specifically motherboards and graphics cards, backed by three years of practical experience. His unique blend of economics and technology knowledge allows him to write comprehensively about these intersecting fields. His work is a valuable resource for understanding complex technological concepts and their economic implications.