Feature Article

Overclocking for Beginners

Level up.

Sometimes getting the best bang for your buck with PC components means putting a little extra work in, whether that's shopping around for the best prices online, or researching which CPU or GPU is best suited to the task at hand. But, if you're willing to go the extra mile, the best returns often come from overclocking. For the uninitiated, overclocking means taking a piece of hardware--most commonly a CPU or GPU--and running it at a faster speed than the manufacturer intended, giving you the performance of higher-priced models for less cash. While there's an element of risk to the process--you can significantly shorten the life of your components or permanently damage them if something goes awry--if you're sensible, disasters are rare. The process of overclocking isn't as complicated as some would have you believe either, and with a bit of computing know-how, and some patience, it's possible to significantly boost your PC's performance with just a few tweaks.

The Basics

Image Credit: flicker.com/trishamanasan

Before you begin overclocking, it's good to know some of the basic principles behind the process, beginning with how a CPU's speed is calculated. While the overall speed of a CPU is based on a number of factors, one of the most important is its clock speed, which tells you how quickly the CPU switches from one cycle of instructions to the next, and is measured in gigahertz (GHz). For example, Intel's new Core i5-4690K has a standard clock speed of 3.5GHz, while AMD's FX 9590 Black Edition has a standard clock speed of 4.7GHz. Both processors also feature a turbo mode, which dynamically increases the clock speed in small bursts, as well as power-saving features that decrease the clock speed when the CPU is idling.

What we're most interested in when overclocking is the standard clock speed. You calculate it by taking the base clock (BCLK, a signal supplied by the clock generator on the motherboard, or reference clock in AMD systems) and applying a multiplier to it. For example, the Intel Core i5-4690K is designed for motherboards that feature a base clock of 100MHz, while the CPU itself has a default multiplier of 35. All you do is take that multiplier of 35 and multiply it by the 100MHz of the base clock, which equals 3500MHz, or 3.5GHz. Therefore, to make the processor run at a higher speed, we need to increase either the base clock or the multiplier. Increasing the BCLK used to be common practice in the old days of overclocking, but these days, adjustments are limited to just a few MHz, and only with specific motherboards.

The preferred method whether you're using an Intel or an AMD CPU is to increase the multiplier until a stable speed is reached. However, this increase in speed causes the CPU to suck down more power, and if not properly accounted for, this can cause system instability. The solution is to manually adjust the CPU core voltage (VCORE) while still keeping the system stable. Bear in mind, though, that there's a cutoff point where too much VCORE actually introduces instability and can damage or shorten the useful life of your CPU. Plus, with more VCORE comes more heat, which brings us neatly to what exactly you need in your system before you start overclocking.

Get the Right Gear

Motherboards like ASUS' Z97-Deluxe are designed for overclocking.

Thanks to the extra heat put out by overclocking, you need to make sure you've got adequate cooling in place before attempting it. While you can achieve small overclocks using stock cooling solutions supplied by the CPU manufacturer, it's far better to go with a large third-party cooling solution from the likes of Noctua or Corsair. The more efficiently you can move heat away from your CPU, the more stable your overclock will be. It's also worth looking at the overall cooling setup in your PC, and making sure that you have decent fans and good airflow throughout the case. For more on keeping your PC cool (and quiet), be sure to check out our guide.

Aside from decent cooling, you also need to make sure you have the right type of CPU and motherboard. Not all CPUs support multiplier overclocking; the vast majority have their multipliers locked. On the Intel side, look out for CPUs with a "K" in the product name, such as the Intel Core i5-4690K. On the AMD side, you need a Black Edition chip, such as the AMD FX-8350 Black Edition. Older CPUs from older product lines may differ, so do your research before proceeding. You can read more about CPUs in our extensive guide. And if you're planning to overclock your GPU, we've got a guide on what to look out for there too.

To go alongside your overclockable CPU, you need a motherboard that supports overclocking. On the Intel side, that's any motherboard with a "Z" designation, such as the Z77, the Z87, or the more recent Z97, depending on what CPU socket you have. Things are a little easier over on the AMD side in that most motherboards support overclocking of some sort. However, bear in mind that overclocking increases the amount of power flowing through the motherboard to the CPU. That power is delivered by a section of a motherboard called the voltage regulator module (VRM). Cheaper boards don't have particularly hardy VRMs, which makes them bad for overclocking. Essentially, you want a VRM with good-quality leak-resistant capacitors, high-quality chokes (used to improve efficiency, often called super ferrite chokes), and a decent cooling solution in the form of a heatsink or even a fan over the MOSFETS.

Finally, if you're driving extra VCORE to the CPU, your PC is going to use more power. That's particularly true for AMD CPUs, which already have a thermal design power as high as 225W at stock speeds. That means your power supply unit (PSU) has to be up to the task. We're going to be taking a more in-depth look at PSUs at a later date, but the PSU is one thing you don't want to skimp on. Look for 80-plus-rated units and research what sort of power output, rails, and efficiency you need. Also, be sure to pick up a PSU from a reputable manufacturer like Corsair or Silverstone. The last thing you want is to fry all your expensive components because of a cheap PSU!

Preparing Your System for Overclocking

There are three main methods for overclocking your CPU via the multiplier: using the automatic overclocking tools of your motherboard, manually overclocking using software in your operating system, or manually overclocking using your motherboard's BIOS or UEFI BIOS (a page of system settings you access when you boot up your PC). It's the latter two we're going to be focusing on here. Automatic overclocking tools can work brilliantly sometimes, depending on the motherboard manufacturer, but they don't always result in the best performance gains. If you're totally new to the process and don't want to dive in too deep, automatic overclocking tools are a good place to start. Just check out your motherboard's manual and see what it offers.

CPUz is an essential program for overclocking.

The process for manually overclocking by using software tools (often provided by the CPU or motherboard manufacturer) or by diving into the BIOS is very similar, but it's generally better to overclock using the BIOS if you can. In software, the settings are loaded only when your OS boots, and you can get better, more stable performance gains using the BIOS. The exception to this is GPU overclocking, which can be achieved only via software. For the purposes of this guide, we're going to focus on BIOS overclocking, but you can apply many of the same principles to software tools.

Before you begin your overclocking journey, make sure that you've backed up any important data and that you're running the latest version of your motherboard's BIOS. You'll also need to install a few bits of software in your OS to test the overclock and system stability, and get some baseline figures for comparison, all of which are free. First, grab a copy of CPU-Z. This tool gives you all sorts of real-time system information, but here you'll be using it to keep an eye on the clock speed of your processor and how much voltage is being applied to it. Next, download Prime95, Cinebench, and PassMark BurnInTest. These tools are used to ramp up your processor usage to test system stability.

Finally, install Real Temp. As its name suggests, Real Temp lets you monitor your CPU temperature, so you can check that it's not straying over 75 degrees centigrade when the CPU is under full load, with 60 being much more comfortable. Once you've got everything installed, run a "blend test" in Prime95 and note down the core voltage figure with your system under load. Also check the CPU temperatures in Real Temp. Do the same again, except this time with the system idle. You'll notice that your CPU speed and voltage drop significantly when the CPU is not in use, which is a handy power-saving feature, and one that we'll show you how to still make use of when overclocking.

How to Overclock

Look out for an advanced settings page in your BIOS to tweak your voltage and multiplier settings.

Boot into your motherboard BIOS at startup (how you do this varies, but it's usually accomplished by pressing the delete or F8 key), load up the optimised default settings (again, usually accomplished by a key press), and then reboot and enter the BIOS again. Open up the advanced settings and find the page that contains setting for your CPU and/or memory. You should see things like "BCLK Frequency" or "CPU Voltage" in there. Sometimes these settings are hidden away, so consult your motherboard manual for how to unlock them. In the case of our ASUS motherboard, we had to set "Ai Overclock Tuner" to "Manual" and then "EPU Power Saving Mode" to "Disabled" to see the full gamut of options.

While a significant overclock usually means applying more VCORE to the CPU, for now you need to find out how far you can push your CPU without adding any voltage. Find the setting for your multiplier (called CPU core ratio on ASUS motherboards) and change it from "Auto" to "Sync Across All Cores." Some motherboards feature a "Per Core" option, which allows you to change the speed of each CPU core individually. It's a useful way to get a higher overclock on individual cores, but for simplicity's sake, go ahead and select "Sync Across All Cores" or a "Manual" option. To start with, increase the multiplier number by 1. So, for the Core i5-4690K mentioned earlier, the default multiplier is 35, giving us a speed of 3.5GHz. With an addition of 1 to the multiplier, we hit a speed of 3.6GHz.

Save your BIOS settings, and boot into Windows. We'll be doing much longer stability tests later, but for now, run a few passes in Cinebench to check that things are relatively stable, and keep Real Temp open to make sure things aren't getting too toasty. Repeat this process until your PC no longer boots, or your PC blue screens. If your PC no longer boots, you'll need to reset your BIOS. Many motherboards now have a button on them that lets you do this with little effort, but some older boards may require you to move a jumper on the physical board. Consult your motherboard manual for how to do it.

Cinebench is just of the great tools you can use to stress test your PC.

Once you've encountered an error, back the multiplier down to the last stable point. Now it's time to start fiddling with the VCORE. Find the setting for "CPU Voltage" or similar in your BIOS, and set this to "Manual" for now. This is the setting for a fixed voltage, meaning that regardless of whether your CPU is under load or idle, it will receive the same amount of voltage from the motherboard. You'll notice that you're also given the option of "Offset" or, if you're using an Intel Haswell CPU, "Adaptive." What these do is work in conjunction with the power-saving features of your processor to step the voltage down when the CPU is under a light load or is idle. We'll look at enabling these later in the article.

There are two options from here. The more involved method is to begin to increase your VCORE in gradual steps. Remember that VCORE figure you noted down when the CPU was under load at stock speed? Take that figure (you might also find the figure listed in your BIOS) and add 0.5v to it. Save and reboot and then begin to increase your CPU multiplier again. Increase the multiplier--testing it out each time with Cinebench and monitoring your temperatures with Real Temp--until you hit another blue screen or failed boot. Make sure you're noting down the figures each time in case you need to do a BIOS reset to boot your system. Add another 0.5v to the VCORE and start increasing the multiplier again. Repeat the process until you reach your desired overclock, your temperature gets too high under load, or you're putting more than 1.4v into the CPU.

Higher voltages are possible, but you risk shortening the life of your CPU, and they certainly aren't recommended if you're running an air-cooling setup. Most recent Intel Haswell CPUs will hit 4.5GHz at around 1.2v, although AMD systems will need a little more juice. The alternative method, which is especially useful for more modern CPUs, is to jump straight in at 1.2v and go about increasing the multiplier from there, which speeds up the process a little. Either way, once you find a point where the system is mostly stable, you need to run some more substantial tests to make sure it's not going to crash under extended loads.

Keep an eye on your CPU temperature using Real Temp.

There are various opinions around the best method for stress-testing your PC. One of the most popular is running Prime95's blend test over a 24-hour period. If your PC manages it without any error messages in Prime95 or without crashing, your overclock is stable. However, Prime95 is what's known as a synthetic benchmark, in that it doesn't entirely reflect real work usage. For that, things like Cinebench and PassMark BurnInTest provide a much more realistic type of CPU load. Either way, if your PC crashes or fails a test at any point, either increase your voltage again in smaller 0.01 steps or decrease your CPU multiplier, keeping an eye on temperatures the whole time. Eventually, you'll find the sweet spot for your CPU.

Success: you've overclocked your CPU! From there you can go ahead and enable X.M.P. profiles for your RAM, or manually input its speed (in MHz) and timings (listed on the RAM itself in a 9-9-9-24 format) to make sure everything is running at its correct speed. You can also enable "Adaptive" mode on your motherboard, so your CPU's voltage is stepped down when it's under less load. You'll find two extra settings to fill in with Adaptive mode: Idle VCORE and Turbo VCORE. Essentially, all you do is input a +value into Turbo VCORE that adds up to your desired overclocked voltage. So, for example, if your stock VCORE is 1.10v and your stable overclock is at 1.25v, input +0.15. You may find that under Adaptive mode, your CPU becomes unstable at idle speeds, because it's not getting enough voltage. In that case, input a +value into Idle VCORE to account for it.

Be aware that when using Adaptive mode, synthetic benchmarks like Prime95 that use certain advanced vector extensions (AVX) can cause the motherboard to deliver a higher voltage than necessary. This shouldn't affect you unless you're doing a lot of scientific floating-point calculations, but if that's your bag, a fixed voltage is best. If your motherboard doesn't offer Adaptive mode, you can use Offset mode. There's a lot more trial and error involved in setting up Offset mode, but the principal is the same. Essentially, the CPU has a voltage it thinks it needs in order to run at a given speed, called the VID. That may or may not be the actual voltage it needs, so all offset does is to add (or subtract) a set amount from the VID to get the correct voltage.

GPU Overclocking

The good news is that all the principles of CPU overclocking also apply to GPU overclocking. Both AMD and Nvidia actually include overclocking support as part of their drivers. AMD's are in the Performance section of Catalyst Control Center, while Nvidia's are unlocked by installing its System Tools utility. The process is as simple as adjusting the sliders for memory speed, clock speed, and fan speed and testing the results in your favourite game. The beauty of the built-in overclocking tools is that they don't adjust voltage, so you can pretty much go crazy with the sliders and find an overclock that works well for your GPU. If you want to go further, tools like MSI's Afterburner let you tweak voltages, but aren't recommended unless you've got a hefty cooling solution in place.

Tempted to overclock your PC? Already an advanced overclocker? Let us know your overclocking stories in the comments below.

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Discussion

347 comments
sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

Thank you for making these articles Gamespot, this is my favourite one. I`m about to get a PC myself and thus I`D like to ask you guys something. As someone who`s never tried overclocking, should I go for it or should I use the automatic overclocking tools provided by Asus? I`ll be getting an i5 4690K and the Z97 M2, please help me out.

wowwow27
wowwow27

back when i was into over clocking the gains weren't substantial enough to warrant.  i decided under clocking was a much more effective method given the architecture of the chip.  much rather have stability over performance.

TruSake
TruSake

If I need a faster computer, I rather upgrade safely.

jellyman68
jellyman68

I remember the days of overclocking my ATI X800 SE so that I could play this new game called The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The GPU didn't last for too long but I got a solid month or so of game time before its fan packed up and the card overheated. And I didn't have to worry about killing a £300 card as that thing was bought to play San Andreas and cost about £80. Those were the days...

oldtobie
oldtobie

Why is that picture of the i7-950 so hardcore?

rlakhani11
rlakhani11

IMO...this article is by far the best out of all the ones GS has done so far under Gametech..

lawson_raider
lawson_raider

Also to note that just because user A can get a processor to OC to a certain speed doesn't mean user B will be able to take the same processor and even same equipment to similar speed.   It's luck of the draw even with the same hardware because not all CPU's are alike when it comes to OC.   Some CPU's are notorious good OC'ers and that is why you have to baby step the OC process.. It's time consuming.    

I OC'ed a Pentium D 805 back in 2005 and it was a popular CPU at the time to OC...one guy got it to 3.8Ghz with air cooling..higher with water cooling.   My CPU didn't fare as well as that guy's did but I got almost a Ghz more out of it and it was stable....

Rushaoz
Rushaoz

I5-2500k. My vote for best overclockable chip. Intel really shot themselves in the foot with this CPU. I got mine to 4.4 GHz and it performs on par with a Haswell i5 2670k in gaming. My friend has his clocked to 4.9 GHz ON AIR using a Hyper 212 with only one fan. 

I love this CPU and I won't need to upgrade for years to come. 

Geowil
Geowil

Been an overclocker since 2005 with my Intel P4 Prescott (though I could only get about an extra 200mhz off of it).  My current system uses an I7-3930K overclocked to 4.2 Ghz.  Have had to throttle it down over the last year and a half due to heat issues (think my Corsair H100 is losing its edge), when I first got it though I was able to get it to 4.6Ghz stable.  Required that for some Gamecube emulation (LLE audio interpreter for Tales of Symphonia takes a hell of a lot of power).

Looking forward to HAswell-E laster this year/2015.  Should be an awesome chipset especially since Intel is finally getting into the 8-core range.

sethfrost
sethfrost

It is July 2014. Overclocking has become a rare sport for a few people who have enough money and time and who do not fear to kill their mainboards and cpu's/gpu's. - If you have to ask, this sport is not for you. AMD & Intel over the last years had their focus on energy efficiency and lower power/performance. They made sure, that the range of cpu wavers is more efficient. Less yield. Less overclocking space. The K-Series from Intel is a marketing gag more than anything. Haswell overclocking is good for 30 min of bragging rights, nothing more. The latest overclocking move these weeks is just a bow to their customers ("We did not forget you"), but not a real change in their roadmap.

If you think about OC the first time in your life - don't. Buy a faster GPU.

Johny_47
Johny_47

I don't go to far with this overclocking, I tried it a couple of times after researching for a bit and I thought it was alright, loaded fine but then I was playing on different CPU demanding games like GTA IV and I had blue screens all the time so I don't go over half a GHz with a CPU. Quite a good read though. 


I've seen some mad overclockin' on youtube, people using liquid hydrogen and getting cpu's up to about 7GHz =P

gplayer5
gplayer5

Manufacturers are actually making it even easier to overclock your hardware now. My motherboard has a setting in the bios that automatically overclocks the cpu based upon the current load. That way, when I start up a game, it overclocks, then goes back down to normal speed once I shut the game off.

Fet_Thunderdome
Fet_Thunderdome

i have a AMD FX-6300 overclocked from 3,5 GHZ to 4,7 GHZ and it's perfectly stable. I could go even further but i'm happy.

dragonlance01
dragonlance01

This article should come with an article "Cooling for Beginners". Hope there will be one soon, before we beginners fry our PC parts.

death4us2
death4us2

The truth is with a good new CPU and a good video card you really don't need to overclock your CPU but for those with older ones that run under 3.0ghz then you might want too.

gordon632
gordon632

adding 0.5 volts and then another 0.5 volts to the vcore is a sure fire way to murder your cpu, my 4790k at stock speeds is around 1.22 volts under load, I am running it at 4.6 ghz stable with 1.3 volts, anything over 1.4 is really risky for haswell.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

So I wonder is Gamespot going to  take responsibility when people start  burning up their computers for nominal  gains. I say nominal when compared to the risk of burning up the motherboard. Don't do it.

Handwipe
Handwipe

One thing that needs to be mentioned is de-lidding. If you have an Intel ivy bridge or haswell cpu, de-lidding can drop your temps 25-30 degrees. If you are serious about overclocking I would say this essential.

leandrro
leandrro

i had a HD7750 graphics card preoverclocked in the manufacturer @850mhz (normally its 800), tried to overclock it to 1000 since it has the same die as the 7770, it crashed in every clock over 850, i guess the manufacturer had already done all those tests for me 

leandrro
leandrro

unless youre building a monster PC or you like the idea of playig with PC parts and see them melt, dont overclock


you can build a budget 500 dollars PC and overclock it to perform as a 700 dollars PC, but before you will need to replace the cooler, add some fans, use a better motherboard with overclocking functions and also capable of delivering more Watts to the CPU socket, and also choose more expensive overclockable CPU models


in the end you spend 200 more to make a 500 PC performs like a stock clocked 700 PC

Wyvern_OS
Wyvern_OS

Happy to see more PC articles, hope to see even more!

toothless192
toothless192

When Overclocking make sure to have a decent PSU, and Motherboard as well as a great cooler.

sigmact
sigmact

thank you gamespot, from every PC gamer you read on your surveys to make your page better

ShepardCommandr
ShepardCommandr

1:Raise your CPU voltage to 2V

2:Raise your CPU frequency to 6GHz

3:Profit????

klunt_bumskrint
klunt_bumskrint moderator moderator

@wowwow27 If you're doing it properly and know what you're doing you can have stability and performance.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@lawson_raider Yeah, found that out recently.

Followed a video guide on a set up pretty much identical to mine and copied what he did.

Under 100% load, my CPU reached 100C. So yeah, so much for the easy way.

RS13
RS13

@lawson_raider Absolutely.  All CPUs meet their core clock, but nothing is guaranteed beyond that.  If anything was, manufactuers would label *that* the core clock and hype it accordingly.

ktseymour
ktseymour

@sethfrost 
I like most of this and is well said for the most part, but OC'ng isn't really and or supposed to be pricey.

Geowil
Geowil

@sethfrost Overclocking is not for everyone anyway.  Most people do not need to overclock but those that do still have the options to do so.  Haswell-E is going to be awesome for overclockers, specifically the X processor as it will be Intel's first octocore.  Technically it is there second, the 3960X was their first but they physically disabled two of the cores after Bulldozer got dozed (my own speculation as to why they disabled, though that it has 8 physical cores is a matter of public fact).

kitty
kitty moderator moderator

@gordon632 My 4670k is @4.4ghz on 1.24 volts and stable, been at that since march. She never goes passed the low 60's.

I can up my voltage to 1.25 and she's fine at 4.5ghz to.

analgrin
analgrin

@gordon632 You can prob get away with 0.5v change for the first adjustment but I would then only change it by 0.1 after that. Also you don't always even have to increase the voltage. 

I managed to overclock my intel i7 930 from 2.8Ghz up to a modest 3.2ghz and reduced the stock voltage a little. Runs faster and cooler than it did at stock speeds/voltages

lawson_raider
lawson_raider

@spartanx169x If you fry your stuff overclocking, you probably had no business overclocking in the first place.   The person doing the overclocking needs to educate themselves before even booting to the BIOS.  

Rushaoz
Rushaoz

@spartanx169x It's impossible to damamge your components nowawadays. Heat throttling and BSOD's kick in right away when something is wrong. It's more of a trial and error thing now.

analgrin
analgrin

@spartanx169x If you dont know much about overclocking then to stay safe dont increase any value by more than 10-15% total. While CPU, RAM, GPU generally have fail safes in place to stop overheating damage other parts of the motherboard do not, and can overheat and fail resulting in a new motherboard.

Handwipe
Handwipe

@spartanx169x I've never destroyed a single component from overclocking, including multiple CPUs, GPUs, and ram sticks. I even overclocked my monitor to a higher refresh rate with no problem. Stop being so dramatic.

analgrin
analgrin

@leandrro

I kind of had the opposite problem. Bought a GTX 670 amp edition which is factory overclocked. It was great to start with but some recent demanding games were crashing after 20 mins playing. So I've reduced the factory overclock of 1110mhz back down to a standard 950mhz and now it never crashes.

analgrin
analgrin

@leandrro

Bit of an exaggeration. As long as you dont buy the cheapest components then you should be able to overclock at least a little. Back in the day I bought a intel Q6600 Processor and overclocked it from 2.4ghz to 2.8ghz (I actually got it to 3ghz but reduced it for peace of mind) with the standard heatsink and no extra fans. If you're just starting out in overclocking keep all changes under 10% and you'll be fine.

rarson
rarson

@Dragon_Nexus 

If your temperatures are reaching that high, the problem is either your cooling device or the installation of it, not the clock speed. The result of an overclocking failure is a crash, not high temps. High temps indicate that your processor is operating successfully at those speeds but isn't being cooled properly.

Most people don't know how to apply thermal paste properly. It's not meant to be a thermal transfer layer, its sole purpose is to fill in microscopic gaps.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@rarson @Dragon_Nexus It was idling around 60C and was stable for the combined 20+ hours I was running it.

But yeah, when I did a prime35 test it hit 100C every time under load.

I'm planning on upgrading my GPu, and when I do I think I'll remove the HS/F I'm currently using, take the fan off, dunk the thing in water to get all the dust out then re-apply the thermal stuff. I did it the way Artic's site recommended and I used artic silver 5.


Still, that was about 4 years ago, or there abouts. Dunno how frequently you're meant to refresh it. I was under the impression it mostly stayed as it was.

rarson
rarson

@Dragon_Nexus 

60C is really high for idle temps, although most temp sensors aren't all that accurate at idle.

Good thermal paste shouldn't have to be reapplied. As long as you're not using the cheap stuff and you apply it properly, it should be fine. AS-5 is alright, but I prefer MX-4 as it tends to work a little better and, more importantly, isn't conductive.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@Handwipe @spartanx169x @KiraDEATHNOTE  I say  burn it up, I mean to ruin it. No I don't expect it to burst into a ball of flames. lol .  People can do what they want, I just think its wise to not do it, unless you know exactly what you are doing or you have enough money not to care.

Handwipe
Handwipe

@spartanx169x @Handwipe @KiraDEATHNOTE And I'm saying there is very little risk involved with a mild voltage increase and mhz bump, especially with a CPU. They are so underclocked from the factory due to a low TDP, there is a ton of headroom for safe overclocking. GPUs generally have a couple hundred mhz room for overclocking without any voltage increase whatsoever. If it fails, how could your warranty possibly be denied? It's the exact same as processor failing under normal use. Just be sure to keep it sufficiently cooled, and it will be fine.