How to Boost GPU Performance Without a New GPU

March 5, 2018 | By Mark Ferguson | PCDIY

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Listen Up Gamers!

Take a break from pwning n00bs. We have some questions for you: Is your GPU performing as expected? Are you sure that you’re getting the maximum GPU performance for your hard earned cash? Sure, your games are running just fine but there might be some simple things that you can do to boost GPU performance and dominate those rounds with even higher framerates.


In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the reasons why your GPU may not be performing as expected. Once we’ve learned about what causes GPU performance issues, we’ll discuss ways in which we can boost GPU performance and allow that beautiful graphics card to shine at its maximum potential.

Before we get into the solutions, we must first learn about the problems. Let’s take a look at what can hinder GPU performance:

What Causes GPU Performance Issues?

So what could be preventing your GPU from reaching its maximum potential? Well, there are a number of things that may hinder GPU performance but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 4 culprits; Thermal Throttling, Outdated Drivers, Dust and Hardware Bottlenecks.

  • Thermal Throttling:

    When your GPU overheats, the graphics cards speed are reduced in order to stay within safe limits. Every card had a unique thermal throttling range and once this is reached, you will lose performance. It’s important to keep your card nice and cool in order to prevent 

  • Outdated Drivers:

    Outdated drivers can be the cause of major performance issues but it’s also the easiest solution to increase performance. Manufacturers are constantly updating their drivers and it’s important to keep up with the latest version of your graphics card driver. This can also fix random bugs and glitches in specific games.

  • Dust:

    The silent killer! Dust can accumulate over time and hinder the performance of your GPU. It will also stress out the moving parts by making it work twice as hard in order to spin the fans and keep the GPU cool. This also reduces the overall life expectancy.

  • Hardware Bottleneck:

    Your components all work together in order to deliver the highest gaming experience possible. If your CPU isn’t able to keep up with your graphics card, the overall performance will be hindered. It’s important to select components that have similar performance capabilities in order to maximize frame rates.

Now that we’ve learned about the top causes, let’s look at some suggestions on how we can boost GPU performance:

How To Boost GPU Performance

Did that section above scare you? Don’t worry, we’ve included some tips and tricks on ways to keep your games running at peak performance. We’ve even organized them in an order that will give you the most performance gains, however, be sure to complete all of them in order to truly boost GPU performance.

  • Watercool Your GPU:

    Not as simple as dusting out your PC but also not as hard as rocket science! In fact, watercooling your GPU is extremely easy thanks to our NZXT Kraken G12 bracket. You simply remove the aftermarket cooler, grab an AIO cooler such as our NZXT Kraken X62 and mount them both to your card. You will instantly see cooler temps with up to a 40% increase in cooling potential. This will greatly reduce the overall temps and allow your graphics card to stay well below the thermal throttling limit. Less overheating, more performance gains.

  • Overclock:

    Overclock your GPU! For some, the word “overclock” is confusing and scary. In reality, most manufacturers make it really easy to overclock your graphics card by applying the changes via pre-configured settings. You can also adjust the speeds manually in order to squeeze every last drop out of your graphics card. This tactic is best when you are capable of keeping your card cool. Try and pair this with our NZXT Kraken G12 listed above in order to see the best performance gains.

  • Update Drivers:

    Head on over to Nvidia or AMD’s driver website and download the latest graphics card driver for your specific GPU. Alternatively, you can download their software which will help you stay up to date automatically. This tip is easier than watercooling your graphics card but may not boost GPU performance as much as you’d like. Again, be sure to keep on going down the list!

  • Improve Airflow:

    If your overall temps are always high, it may be time to get yourself some new case fans or move your computer into a case with improved airflow! This is a quick way to keep the ambient case temperature low which results in improved airflow in order to lower component temps. This is especially true when you direct airflow directly over your graphics card.

    Luckily for you, we have some options if you prefer to fix this problem with some reliable NZXT gear. Our cases are always designed with airflow in mind so feel free to explore our new NZXT H-Series cases or some of our previous cases such as the NZXT S340 Elite.

    If you think your case has enough airflow but your fans are lacking, look into our NZXT Aer RGB, Aer F, and Aer P fans. Replace those stock 3 pin fans with some high quality 4 pin PWM fans designed to maximize airflow while giving you complete control over your fan curves with our NZXT CAM software.

  • Clean Your PC:

    Don’t let those dust bunnies build up and kill your PC. Go grab a can of air and dust out your PC! Need we say more?

  • Fix Hardware Bottleneck:

    Still not getting results? It may be time for a new CPU. Hey! We said “How to Boost GPU Performance without a New GPU” not “How to Boost GPU Performance without buying new hardware”. Sometimes you just have to upgrade some other components in order to obtain the performance you desire.

See Any Results?

Did this article help you boost GPU performance? You’re welcome! If not, let us know how what tips and tricks you have in order to boost GPU performance in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

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Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson

PC Junkie/Enthusiast/Gamer
Mark Ferguson

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