This post will cover several things, namely:
- What I think of factory overclocked graphics cards (cards that are overclocked already; perfect for those that do not know how to OC theirs)
- If I think it is worth it
- How you should determine if it is worth it
- What you should do if you do not think it is worth it
Some of those I will go in-depth with and others I will not. Just read on and give me feedback in the comments or on my YouTube channel. Actually, Twitter is a fairly good place to start as well since I just made mine: @Devin_McRowen
EVGA is a company that sells a lot, and I mean a lot, of overclocked cards. I mean, they have 10 models of the GTX 980 Ti overclocked for crying out loud. This is one of the companies that you should go to if you do want to buy overclocked video cards. But for those that have a little bit more speculation on OC’ed cards, read on.
Some of these models from EVGA are really expensive. They can range from $500 to $700, depending on which model you are looking at. Also, I should mention that all of these cards are liquid cooled, which does add additional money to the final cost, as mentioned in my last post.
— Note: all test runs were run at identical speeds, since many of the cards are advertised to go faster and better than some other models —
So Why Overclock?
It is really simple. Here are my 2 favorite reasons for overclocking (I OC almost every card I come across, whether it is for me or for when I building a friend a computer):
- Sizable frames per second gains
- Really easy to do
Now, those reasons can vary from person to person, depending on if you like overclocking in the first place. But when I am talking about OCing, I am talking about OCing like a pro. When I overclock my cards, I do it right. And when I do this, the frames per second number jumps a surprising amount.
I was once playing Star Wars: Battlefront on my custom built computer a week or so from launch date. I did a test run of the game’s performance with a regular classified EVGA card, and then took that same card and overclocked it up just a few notches the way I usually do. Please note that I am running on maximum settings, since my computer is beefed up to do so anyway (I spent probably $4,000 total on the setup and can probably run maximum settings for a long, long time). My frames per second went from an already stellar 110 frames per second to roughly 130 frames per second, according to my FPS tracker. That is incredible gains, and obviously can affect people with lower PC specs too.
I would guess that even if you were to get a budget hardware — edit; I found some affordable PC gaming stuff here, especially on this article on the best AMD CPU for gaming — like a cheaper video card than mine, your performance would be much better if you overclock it versus keeping it the same as when the manufacturer sent it to you. I have seen gains from around 30 frames per second, which is perfectly playable as long as you are not on multiplayer or playing a racing game, to about 50 frames per second just from overclocking. That makes a world of a difference to some folks.
But are overclocked graphics cards worth the money though?
Ah, looks like I subtracted from the whole question. I told you guys I am not the best blogger out there 😛
I just gave you guys the rundown of what overclocking is and how it can benefit your PC gaming performance. Well, surprisingly, I am going to say that factory OCed cards are not worth the money they are asking. First, I will refer you to the heading titled “Price”. They cost an insane amount of money.
Now, I will refer you to where I mentioned why I like overclocking my hardware. If you did not read that, it is because it is relatively easy to do (I might publish a post regarding how to do that), but also because the performance increases are great.
If you know what you are doing or are at least curious enough to read on tutorials or watch videos on how to do things with your PC hardware, then you should not be buying overclocked cards straight from graphics card sellers. They are overpriced and in my opinion, you are paying for the labor to OC them.
My statement would be, why do that when you can buy a significantly cheaper one and then do the overclocking yourself? I mean, I am willing to write the tutorial if enough heads bother me to do it, so there really is no excuse not to know how to do it yourself. You save a ton of money, which you can then spend on something good for your computer setup.
If I did not answer the question as well as you guys would have liked, I included a decent video I found on it, though he does blurb a lot on things that some newbies might not understand. Watch it below: