If what you’re looking for is if you can speed up your PC, RivaTuner is the perfect app for that. Thanks to it, you will be able to know the performance of your system in real time while you are playing.
What is RivaTuner?
It is an open source software application used to monitor performance and overclock NVIDIA graphics cards. Its name is mainly due to the line of NVIDIA cards that came out before GeForce in the late 90s of the 20th century, but it is a product that has no direct relationship with NVIDIA.
The application is now integrated into the majority of overclocking applications supplied by various graphics card manufacturers. So we can find it in ASUS GPU Tweak, EVGA Precision X and MSI Afterburner. Of the three tools, only the one from EVGA and MSI can be downloaded from their website.
We opted for the MSI, which we need to install to use in conjunction with RivaTuner.
Install MSI Afterburner before RivaTuner
The first thing we need to do is download the MSI Afterburner, which is distributed as a file with a zip extension, unzip it and you will see an installation file called msiafterburnersetupxyy, where x is the version name and yy the Name sub-version.
Double click on the file to start the installation, agree to the typical legal terms for each installation, and make sure the RivaTuner Statistics Server box is checked.
From there, you just need to click Next and wait for it to install, which it will do in a very short time since it is a very lightweight program.
How to use MSI Afterburner
The MSI Afterburner window is very easy to use, we have a main window with two columns of options on the left and on the right, for the moment we will focus on the central part where we can see the following options:
At the bottom of the window we have the real time information about the GPU, its clock speed, memory clock speed, voltage and temperature. These are provided in real time by the telemetry systems of the GPU itself.
At the bottom, however, it’s split into three different sections:
- The first section is used to manipulate the voltage, which is given in millivolts, from there you can perform undervoltage and overvoltage exercises.
- The second section allows us to manipulate the GPU clock speed and the interface with VRAM. This section also tells us what is the GPU of our system and the version of the driver that we have installed.
- The third section is to control the fan speed, temperature and power consumption of the graphics card
- We have a section where we can save the profile that we have created. If we click on the floppy disk icon, we will see how the numbers in the right bar light up, select one and you can store that profile there.
Menus in MSI Afterburner
Regarding the left menu, the options available to us are as follows:
- The first option in the menu on the left activates help, which brings us to the MSI page, so right now we’re not going to pay attention to it, having help handy isn’t always bad.
- The second option is the information icon, which will give us more detailed information about our system, but not much more complete than a DXDiag console.
- The third option is about settings, which we’ll talk about in the next section.
On the other hand, the right menu allows direct selection of profiles, the lock icon, if selected, prevents selecting options such as MSI Afterburner starts at Windows startup or storing profiles, the other four options belong to the selection of each one of the 4 profiles.
The settings menu in MSI Afterburner
We have a total of four tabs, the first one allows us to choose whether we want the tool to run when Windows starts up or not, as well as how we can choose how the program controls the voltage of the graphics card as well. as the control of the same, where we can turn off the voltage control and even force a constant voltage to avoid speed drops.
The second tab is the monitoring one, where we can select the way we want the information to be presented, you can add and remove fields, assign a font type and even a color to have information easier to read.
In it, we can choose a series of options such as the information update period where you can choose every few milliseconds the monitoring graph is updated, this will have an impact on the x-axis and therefore the time of the monitoring graph.
Regarding the properties of the graph, if we have selected the option display information on the screen (OSD) then you can see it as an additional hub in games without needing a second window, use it if you don’t have a second monitor, but especially to find out if the game is overloading the graphics or, failing that, it there is room to increase the clock speed. You can also have it displayed in the Windows taskbar by selecting display in the notification area
The third tab corresponds to the profiles, from which you can create keyboard shortcuts to be able to switch from one profile to another, it is a tab that has no secrets and no greater complexity.
The fourth and last tab of the interface menu, where you can select which interface type for the MSI afterburner is most convenient for you, as well as how to give the information.
The hardware monitor in MSI Afterburner
If we select the menu icon where you see a monitor with a graphic, the one at the bottom we will see how a window opens, which is the one that monitors the GPU, which gives us the following information:
- The workload on GPU1, in case you have a gaming laptop, it will be the dedicated graphics that will take up this space, if your PC has a built-in GPU, you will also see a series of equivalent graphics.
- There are a number of charts to monitor the GPU: GPU FB refers to the use of the memory channel with its VRAM, Using the GPU VID monitors dedicated GPU voltage, Using the GPU bus refers to the PCI Express bus that communicates the CPU with the dedicated GPU, this graphic does not exist for dedicated graphics.
- GPU1 and GPU2 memory usage It tells us how much VRAM they are using, not to be confused with memory bus usage.
- The basic clock indicates the speed of each of the two GPUs, instead the memory clock does the same but with that of the VRAM memory.
- Regarding the health of the GPU, the information graphics are as follows: GPU Power monitors the GPU power consumption, GPU Temp the temperature at all times, GPU power limit
- The graph also gives us information about the temperatures and usage of each of the processor cores, as well as the clock speeds.
Once that is done we just have to play around with RivaTuner a bit, but for that we will have to install it first.
Installing and configuring RivaTuner
The process is the same as that of MSI Afterburner, the download will come to you in a file with a zip extension that you will have to unzip, once there you double click on the RTSSSetupXYY.exe file, which is the installer. Once you’ve run it, select the language and start the installation, which is straightforward and comes with no additional complications.
Once you install it, launch it, unfortunately the installer does not start the application directly and you will have to look for it in the start menu. When you start it, it will be placed on the system taskbar on the right.
If you click on its icon, the main window will appear, you can now use the application. If you want to add a specific application for use with RivaTuner, you just need to click on the Add button, find its executable and add it. This allows you to create different profiles for each of the games.
As for the options on the right, the first is Application detection level, This helps us to have RivaTuner automatically activated to a greater or lesser degree when opening an app. If you leave it on Low, it will be activated when you activate any of the affected executables in the application database and with High it will do so in almost all applications. We recommend that you add apps one by one and not based on activation.
If you enable stealth mode, the app will try to change the settings that blocked RivaTuner, as with custom Direct3D, it is disabled by default. Frame rate limit allows us to mute or fix the frame rate which is great for preventing some games from going so fast that they become unplayable due to their high speed, Scanline synchronization allows us to make the graph control when V-Sync is started, which is a way to turn on Adaptive Sync and remove annoying tears from the image.
If you select Screen Display, you will be able to see RivaTuner information while playing the games, which is ideal if you are running performance tests and want to monitor things like temperature, clock speed, and energy consumption.