A short guide on how to overclock the Official way using AMD's powerplay tables but without the restricted clock limits you encounter with CCC whilst using msi afterburner. This guide will also show you how to completely sweep your system of AMD driver files, including registry entries which can be very handy if you're experiencing crashes or instability. Overclock Preparation 1. Download the Latest AMD Drivers (Latest caps always included with the latest Beta) http://www2.ati.com/drivers/13-12_win7_win8_64_dd_ccc_whql.exe - Currently 13.12 WHQL 2. Download & install Driver Fusion. Check the contents of the rar file closely. Look for the README file. http://www.sendspace.com/file/d4hcii 3. Download the latest version of afterburner. (Currently Beta 18) http://www.guru3d.com/files_get/msi_afterburner_beta_download,20.html 4. Un-install any other versions of Afterburner, Trixxx, GPU Tweak etc. Don't want other apps interfering. Do not keep user settings, delete everything. 5. Uninstall the AMD drivers+Caps via Add/Remove Programs. 6. Restart your pc. Once back into windows run Driver Fusion. Analyse amd and then delete all entries. Restart. 7. Now you can install the new drivers. Use the express install option unless you have a specific reason not to. Follow the prompt and after installing the drivers, install the caps file. Restart your pc. 8. Once booted back into windows, install afterburner. If it prompts you to restart, restart your pc. 9. Take note of these settings. Crossfire users should definitely tick to disable ULPS if they wish to overclock xfire. 10. Go to settings in afterburner and use the settings from step 9. Click ok to apply settings, restart if prompted. 11. Do not unlock overdrive in CCC. You should now be able to overclock the official way without the clock limits imposed by AMD. 12. Crossfire users ensure disable ULPS is ticked in afterburner settings if you wish to overclock your gpu's. If you don't you won't be able to monitor the temps of your second card and gpu-z may report incorrect values. Overclocking may also be restricted or problematic with it enabled. You will also struggle to get full gpu usage on both gpu's unless you disable ULPS in my experience. Note that if you disable ULPS then zerocore will no longer function. You will need to restart after disabling ULPS before the changes take effect. Overclocking Preparation Continued Now that you've updated your drivers and installed afterburner you're ready to begin overclocking your AMD card. You will need the following. Unigine Valley - http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2208/Unigine_Valley_Benchmark_1.0.html GPU-Z - http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/ You should also make sure that you're using an aggressive fan profile so that high gpu temps do not restrict your overclock. You can either create a custom profile in afterburner under the Fan tab. Or you can just set it manually to 100% or however loud you can tolerate during this overclock. At this point you should set the power limit to +20% (or +50% on 270X/280X/290X cards) so that the card does not attempt to throttle while overclocking. Throttle will show itself as the core clock dropping lower than its set value. This can also show up as a decreased benchmark score. Next we need to find out if your GPU is voltage locked. If you don't see an option to change the voltage in afterburner like in the picture below and you have ticked 'Unlock voltage control & monitoring' in afterburner then your card is voltage locked. Or afterburner is unable to change the voltage on your card. One other way to check if your card is voltage locked, and a much more reliable way is to use GPU-Z which we downloaded earlier. Simply run GPU-Z, go to the sensors tab at the top. At the bottom you should some voltages. The main one to look for is VDDC, this is the main core voltage for your card. MVDDC relates to memory voltage. Your card should be running in a low clock powerplay state, so the clocks and voltage will be low. What we need to do is trigger 3d clocks to ensure you can make a change to the voltage in afterburner and then see if the voltage bumps shows up in the GPU-Z sensors tab. If it doesn't then you're voltage locked. To do this we will use the Basic Preset on Unigine Valley. With Unigine Valley running in the background go into afterburner and increase your voltage to 1.3v. Now go back to GPU-Z and see if your voltage has increased above its stock value. For me that was 1.112v. Here is what mine looks like with 1.3 volts applied through it. Ok so now you should know whether or not you can change voltage. If you can great the force is strong with this one. If you can't lets hope you still have enough headroom at stock voltage to do some overclocking. The Overclocking Guide - The Core Put everything back to stock settings. Voltage, core and memory. Run Unigine Valley, use the extreme preset. Crossfire users should put a tick in the Disable ULPS box while overclocking. You can always enable it again once you've finished. ULPS will shut the second card off while the pc is idle. For now though we want energy saving features disabled. Start Valley and press F9 to initiate the full benchmark procedure. Assuming you complete the benchmark safely and get to the final screen and get your score, exit the benchmark. Go back into afterburner and bump your core speed 25mhz. Now run the benchmark again. If you pass the next benchmarking run successfully with no crashes or anything, bump another 25mhz and do it again. At some point you will reach a stage where your overclock tops out. You suddenly start getting crashes, error messages, black screens, driver stopped responding messages. At this point you have two options. Back out and settle for what you've got or carry on but start adding voltage. If you're voltage locked and have to back out, reduce the core speed by 25mhz and go play some games. Generally games require slightly lower clocks than benchmarks to be stable, so backing off 25mhz should be enough to see you fully game stable. Those of us with voltage unlocked cards may continue. Assuming you reached a stage where by the benchmark froze, crashed, black screened or you have a driver stopped responding message, immediately restart your pc. Once back into windows apply your overclock settings and this time bump the voltage up a notch. I say a notch, its actually 6 clicks to the right of the voltage tab as seen in this picture below. Note my default voltage was 1.112v. So with my voltage now bumped up a notch i complete the next benchmarking run successfully. I then rinse and repeat and bump my clocks another 25mhz. Unfortunately this time the benchmark freezes and i get a black screen. So i immediately restart my pc, get back into windows apply my clock settings + fan settings and give the voltage another bump. Now keep going until you reach a limit you're happy with. Or until you get to a stage where despite how much voltage you add the card will not remain stable or you get white dots or a black checker board on the screen. Your card might artifact at high core speeds if it does not like them, or if its getting too hot. Generally the higher you go on the core, the more you need to keep temps in check. Try to stay at or below 75c for heavy overclocking. Ideally 70c or below is best for large overclocks. If the card gets too hot it will cause a driver crash. Some cards handle heat better than others so it really is suck it and see. If you're doing all you can to keep your card cool and you still get artifacts you need to back down the core clock until they go away. Once you're happy with your final core speed and voltage settings, give it one extra bump of voltage to help ensure 100% stability when gaming. You might find you even need two extra bumps of voltage to be fully game stable. Get playing some demanding games to find out. So this is the limit i reached on my card. Any higher and i struggle to keep the temps under control. I'm happy with this and this will be my maximum core overclock. The Overclocking Guide - The Memory Now we will use the same procedure to overclock the memory. So we start with the memory at stock, we add 25mhz onto the memory and run unigine. Providing we complete the benchmark safely then we add another 25mhz onto the memory. Keep going until you get a crash, freeze, pc hang, or some weird stripes down the screen, or a decreased or lower benchmark score. Sometimes memory has error correction built in so if you see your typical benchmark score lower, or you see reduced fps on the screen you will know your memory either needs more voltage or to be down clocked slightly. Not all cards have memory voltage. If yours does you need to click this arrow button in afterburner. So we use the same method as before. Adding 25mhz onto the memory until we get stability problems. Then you can either add another notch of voltage like so. Note its also 6 notches to the right. Or you can back off the memory speed 25mhz and get on to some game testing if you don't have memory voltage control or you're happy with the speed you've reached. As i pushed my memory up to 1750 i had a weird crash, with stripey lines on my screen. That means my memory has reached its maximum stable speed and exceeded it. So i bump the memory a notch, and another notch after that. After some more benchmarks, clock increases and voltage bumps i finally decide to settle on final clocks and voltage of 1825mhz and a memory voltage of 1.625v. As before the same rules apply. I will probably need an extra notch of voltage on the memory to be fully game stable so i bump the memory voltage up to 1.631v and go off to test some games. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Custom Fan Profiles - Based on a reference 7970 cooler Silent - Stock Quiet - Light overclock Normal - Decent overclock Balanced - Performance version of normal, no increase in sound level but better, quicker cooling. Performance - For Large Overclocks Performance Extreme - Extreme version of performance with no increase in sound level but better, quicker cooling. Benchmark - For extreme overclocks to bench Benchmark Extreme - Extreme version of benchmark with no increase in sound level but better, quicker cooling. Credits Thanks to the creator of afterburner - Alexey Nicolaychuk for this great overclocking tool which makes AMD cards so enjoyable to use. Guru3D forum where i sourced some of this information in the OP from.