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Overclocking/Monitoring Software Discussion

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I've noticed it's difficult finding a comprehensive guide online for overclocking and monitoring the GPU respective to the M14x so I've comprised one of my own. It's important to note that this discussion strictly involves overclocking the GPU and not the CPU. Using the built-in Turbo Mode or other CPU overclocking software is officially NOT recommended in this thread. CPU overclocking has been known to cause serious overheating and even permanent damage to the physical composition of the laptop. In addition, most who have overclocked the CPU have noted that it does not significantly increase gaming performance and is not worth the risk.

What this thread is not.

A place to discuss CPU overclocking or compare benchmarks.

What this thread is.

A comprehensive guide on overclocking and monitoring the GPU of the M14x and related discussion.

Feel free to share information about different software tools and configurations you have used for overclocking and monitoring your GPU. What overclocking/monitoring software have you had experience with? What are the pros and the cons of each software tool you have used? Once I have verified your information, I will add it to the OP.

Overclocking/Monitoring Guide

F.A.Q.

Q: What is overclocking?

A: Overclocking is the process of running a computer component at a higher clock rate (more clock cycles per second) than it was designed for or was specified by the manufacturer. (Thanks wikipedia!)

Q: Is overclocking safe?

A: It depends on your definition of safe. Generally, it will not blow your computer up if done properly but will shorten the lifespan somewhat depending on how high you overclock it. It's usually safer to OC the GPU rather than the CPU. Overclocking the CPU is much more dangerous and is therefor not covered in this guide. Using the following tools will normally not harm your computer HOWEVER going beyond the limit of most of these tools can potentially harm your PC. That doesn't mean that there aren't cases of simple overclocking harming a GPU or PC overall. It happens but it is extremely rare.

Q: But don't I have to overclock my CPU and my GPU to get MAXIMUM PWNAGE PERFORMACE?!?!

A: No. It has been thoroughly tested that for gaming (which is what most of us use alienware's for), overclocking the CPU does not produce significant enough results to be worth the risk.

Q: Well I want to overclock my CPU anyway! How do I do it?

A: Go away.

Q: Okay so I'd like to try overcocking my GPU. Where do I start?

A: First off, try playing the games that you want to play on your system as is with your desired settings. In many cases, overclocking isn't even necessary and you will get great framerates with the default settings. In this instance, overclocking really isn't worth it.

Q: My games aren't running at my desired speed. Let's do this!

A: Okay. Check out some of the tools below and choose based on your personal preferences and suggestions people have made. You're going to want at least 2 tools. One for overclocking and monitoring your GPU and (even though you're not overclocking your CPU) a CPU monitoring tool. CPU monitoring is still very, very necessary when overclocking your GPU. If you want to use multiple tools to utilize different unique functions, feel free but generally most people want to compartmentalize the process as much as possible.

Q: What do I need to look out for?

A: Start off slow. Don't max out your clocks, max out in-game graphics settings and hop on Crysis 2 for 8 hours straight. Be nice to your M14X. It is a beast but it is a cute and cuddly beast. We must treat them with care. Slightly increase your settings, load your game for 10 to 20 minutes, and monitor your temperatures. Rinse and repeat until you've found your comfort zones. The preferred CPU temp is 60-80°C. 80-90° is generally doable but anything above 90° is not recommended for non-advanced users. So far for the M14X the sweet spot is 750mhz core clock, 1500mhz shader, and 1080mhz memory clock. Anything above that, enter at your own risk!

Q: So what type of results should I be getting?

A: Here are a few graphics to give you an idea of what overclocking should be doing for you.

m14x-oc-g.png

Q: Okay I'm feeling froggy! I want to flex my stuff and post some benchmarks. What do I do?

A: Hold your horses young buck. There's a thread for that.

Overclocking/Monitoring Tools

Nvidia System Tools

pros: All in one GPU overclocking and monitoring tool. Made my GPU manufacturer, is safe and stable, has fan controls and basic system health monitoring.

cons: limited in overclocking M14X GPU

Nvidia Inspector

pros: GPU overclocking tool with "unlock max" which allows you to maximize overlocking performance and basic system health monitoring.

cons: Can't control M14x fans. (Please verify)

MSI Afterburner

pros: GPU overclocking tool with built in real-time onscreen monitoring of clock, voltag, temperature, fan speed, and framerate. Has built in benchmark and screen capture tools. Great reporting system.

cons: Has overclock limit for M14x and some have reported glitches. Benchmark has been known to produce unreliable results.

EVGA Precision

pros: GPU overclocking tool with monitoring including GPU temp and usage percentage. Can apply new clocks at startup.

cons: Cannot control M14x fans. "test" tool doest work with M14x.

Riva Tuner

pros:

cons: outdated

HWiNFO

pros: Has advanced system health monitoring (temperature, voltage, fan, and power) and controls fan speed.

cons:

ThrottleStop

pros: Great tool for overclocking and monitoring CPU with multiple profile settings.

cons:

Core Temp

pros: Simple, compact, CPU monitoring tool that displays temperature and usage for all cores simultaneously.

cons:

GPU-Z

pros: GPU monitoring tool that displays GPU temp and clocks.

cons: Kind of pointless if you're using one of the better GPU overclocking tools but for those who want separate GPU monitoring this would be the tool.

(If you have used other software, feel free to mention it. I will add it to the list.)

note: All the opinions regarding each software tool is pertaining to performance with the M14x and the M14x ONLY!

Edited by KristoferNathan
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The only tools you need are Nvidia Inspector and HWiNFO. Nvidia Inspector is (imo) the best tool for Nvidia overclocking, HWiNFO is a superior hardware monitoring software, which also allows you to control the fans of the M14x.

If you want to monitor your CPU get Throttlestop.

Riva Tuner is totally outdated and mustn't be used anymore, MSI afterburner is nice, but as far as I know it has an overclock limit for the M14x.

Also do some research, there are tons of tips, tricks and great advice here when it comes to overclocking the M14x.

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Nvidia Inspector is the only app that has a "Unlock Max" button because the sliders don't go far enough for my 580m GTX lol. No I genuinely have to unlock max to be able to take my memory up to 2000Mhz. All other apps only go to 1800Mhz.

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Well HWinfo is one of the best monitoring tools besides Throttle Stop... its important to know all the temps in your system to keep your components safe. RBE is good for overclocking via vbios on AMD GPUS. I've used Nvidia Tools and its very good indeed. Trixx is a good software too for overclocking the GPUS Nvidia or ATI.

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Thank you for the responses. I've updated the OP with some of your info. Please continue to contribute detailed information about experience with the software listed in the OP (good and bad).

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Your topic is good so why should we limit it to what works on M14x why not just say in general this list is for anyone overclocking? You should add RBE editor for vbios overclockng and if there is one that works for Nvidia we should add that too @svl7 SVL7 might know since he did a vbios overclock on an Nvidia card once. Throttle stop isn't up there either...

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Your topic is good so why should we limit it to what works on M14x why not just say in general this list is for anyone overclocking? You should add RBE editor for vbios overclockng and if there is one that works for Nvidia we should add that too @svl7 SVL7 might know since he did a vbios overclock on an Nvidia card once. Throttle stop isn't up there either...

Hey mw, thanks for your response. I agree, there should be a guide/list for general overclocking and eventually I would be interested in setting something like that up. But, after all, this is the M14X subforum and since different software performs differently on different machines I wanted to create a comprehensive guide/list of detailed information in regards to software respective to the M14X. A more general list would be of interest to a lot more people but would also take a lot more data and testing. Thank you for your suggestion and I will definitely take it into consideration in the future.

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Like I said, when it comes to the M14x the only tools you really need are the ones I mentioned. There are tons of different tools for different purposes, but not necessarily for the M14x. Nibitor from mvktech.com is a great tool for Nvidia VBIOS editing, but the 555m isn't supported.

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Like I said, when it comes to the M14x the only tools you really need are the ones I mentioned. There are tons of different tools for different purposes, but not necessarily for the M14x. Nibitor from mvktech.com is a great tool for Nvidia VBIOS editing, but the 555m isn't supported.

Thanks for your submission svl7. I included your information in the OP and I agree those two tools are very useful. Some of the other tools have more options and some have less, interfaces and options are different, etc. etc. so I feel it's important to include them all and let the user decide which is the best for them.

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Q: Is overclocking safe?

A: Generally, for the GPU, yes. Overclocking the CPU is much more dangerous and is therefor not covered in this guide. Using the following tools will normally not harm your computer HOWEVER going beyond the limit of most of these tools can potentially harm your PC. That doesn't mean that there aren't cases of simple overclocking harming a GPU or PC overall. It happens but it is extremely rare.

This is not very accurate. Overclocking will always shorten the life of the components since it leads to higher temps and larger power draw. It's hard to immediately kill a card with (sane) overclocking, but it does actually decrease the life expectancy of the components involved (GPU, CPU, and also the power supply circuits of those two, etc). Everyone should be aware of this before starting to overclock a system.

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