How to Use MSI Afterburner?

By now, you already know about the prominent features of MSI Afterburner, so it’s time to put those into action. In this section, we will walk you through step by step process and demonstrate how you can do the initial settings and use Afterburner for different purposes. 

Getting started with Afterburner is simple. After you have the software installed on your system, open it by clicking on its icon. You will see a black and grey interface with two dials containing metrics related to your graphics card’s current status. It includes information on GPU frequencies, memory clocks, voltage, and temperature. Between those dials, you will see all the GPU settings, which you can tweak by using sliders. If you wish, you can change the interface’s skin, but we will advise you to keep it default. Well, it doesn’t really matter.

NOTE: While you are running tests on Afterburner, make sure you don’t close the windows because it will end the program as well. You can minimize the windows; however, that will make the software disappear from the taskbar. You can then find it on the system tray. Simply click on its icon, and it will be on the screen. 

Below we have the dedicated tutorials for the popular features of MSI Afterburner. 

How to Use MSI Kombustor?

As you already know, Kombustor is a benchmarking tool that comes with MSI Afterburner. Running benchmark is more of a pre-requisite if you wish to achieve a stable overclock for your card. It helps you determine your GPU’s upper limits, thus assessing criteria for the card you can hope to push and set performance at.

  • Open Afterburner, click on the K icon located at the top left of the window, above the ‘core voltage’ meter. 

The letter “K” stands for Kombustor. Likely it should be clickable, but if it’s not for any reason, in that case, you will require to download and install Kombustor separately from MSI’s Afterburner website. 

  • As soon as you hit the K icon, Kombustor will start the benchmark test. 
  • Next, your job will be to monitor the GPU temperature, GPU load, and FPS. It should give you an idea about your card performance at the default setting/base level without overclocking. 
  • Upon completion of the benchmarking test, you got to make a record of your card’s performance metrics. This way, you can compare these obtained values with overclocked settings.  

How to Use Afterburner for Overclocking?

After benchmarking, you should be all set to overclock your GPU. MSI Afterburner is arguably one of the top choices among gaming pros. Before getting started with overclocking any hardware component, you should know what you are doing. It is suggested to be cautious of the risk involved in overclocking because there will be no way to undo the damage once it is done. We don’t want to exaggerate it, but if you come from a completely non-technical background, you should probably not entertain the idea of overclocking without any expert assistance. Or maybe you can first try OC Scanner to see the highly stable overclock settings the tool comes with. Test it and then accordingly make slight changes to those automated settings to squeeze every bit of performance left on the table. Upon iteration, you will learn and get immensely good at overclocking. 

Read the instructions carefully before following, and make sure you don’t mess it up.

  • Start with setting the both Power Limit and Temperate Limit sliders to the maximum. As a result, it will increase the GPU’s power efficiency, causing a spike in the temperature. 

Don’t get panic if you experience a high-temperature, perhaps way beyond any ideal measure. The tool is trying to reach your GPU’s upper limit, and it’s almost not practical to get to the utmost potential without crashing. Also, this doesn’t pose any risks to the GPU, so don’t worry about it. 

  • Next, gradually increment the Core Clock slider. Each unit in the slider is equivalent to one MHz. You have to aim about increasing it up to 20-30 MHz each time. Keep hitting the Apply button every time you raise the bar. 
  • Let the Kombustor run in the background so you can monitor the effects of the overclocked settings you keep on tweaking. This will let you know how your GPU is reacting or handling the pressure in different settings. You have to keep raising the bar by little until you encounter any artifacts, flickers, glitches, blackouts, or crashes. 
  • And once you see any graphical issues start to emerge, stop increasing the Core Clock speed. It’s a clear sign of your card not being able to work stably with the current settings, probably because the GPU has reached its absolute limits. From there, you will be required to dial-back or reduce the clock speed by 5 MHz to the point where Kombustor is back to the stable state, and there are no artifacts or glitches whatsoever.
  • After that, you will have to apply the same stress to the Memory Clock speed by incrementing it anywhere between 50 to 100 MHz each time. Keep repeating while applying the changes after every step. You have to reach the point where you start experiencing regular graphical issues, so you can reduce the Memory Clock speed by as small as 10 MHz to get to the stable settings for your card.
  • Next, test the newly found Core Clock and Memory Clock speeds for a prolonged period. Open Kombustor and let it run for 15 minutes straight to ensure the current settings are stable for the card to run without any crashes. If you face any problem, simply dial-back/lower the speeds in a small increment by ten until you find a stable combination of both clock speeds. 

Once you are satisfied with the overload stability and performance you have obtained by tweaking all of the mentioned GPU settings, hit the floppy disk icon to save the settings as a profile out of 1-5 profile buttons. Always keep in mind what you are looking for is stability at all costs. 

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