Often, PC gamers overclock their PCs to better enjoy a game through increasing graphic quality, anti-aliasing, reduced lag, etc. Overclocking also increases multimedia, 3D rendering, or video editing performance.
Overclocking is when you force a device (in this case, a CPU or GPU) to perform higher than its estimated capacity by increasing the frequency it runs with an increase in input voltage. Basically, the higher the frequency of the said device, the faster it will run.
GPUs usually have monitoring software that tracks overclocking and checks framerates and hardware performance. One of the most popular is RivaTuner Statistics Server. Continue reading this article to know more about RivaTuner Statistics Server and how you can use it to optimize your PC performance.
What is RivaTuner Statistics Server?
RivaTuner Statistics Server is freeware software (a free-to-use software) used to monitor framerate and hardware and tweak the software responsible for rendering 2D and 3D graphics.
It was previously an accompanying software to RivaTuner, the original overclocking software built for NVidia video cards. It is now incorporated into graphic cards like MSI Afterburner and other APIs to support frame limiting and video capture.
Does RivaTuner affect performance?
RivaTuner’s overclocking tool helps improve computer performance by increasing its operating speed. Coupled with the ability to change fan speed by configuring automatic fan control (cooling is very important for CPU performance), it also allows users to tweak the APIs responsible for rendering vector graphics like Direct3D and OpenGL.
RivaTuner Statistics Server used to be an accompanying software of RivaTuner, which can also improve gameplay by changing frame rate timing to prevent screen tearing when gaming.
How to install and configure Rivatuner Statistics Servers
RivaTuner has been incorporated into almost all major GPU overclocking tools. RTSS comes bundled with MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision X. To show you how to install and set up RTSS, we will use the MSI Afterburner as an example. You can download the latest release of the MSI Afterburner here.
- Install the tool and select RivaTuner Statistics Server when the prompt to choose component shows. RTSS is very important if you plan to use Rivatuner to monitor hardware limits.
- Run MSI Afterburner and set the overclock settings for your GPU. You can also configure RTSS straightaway without changing the default settings by clicking on the gear icon for Settings.
- In the MSI Afterburner properties menu, go to the Monitoring tab and select the parameter(s) you want to monitor. Ensure the checkmarks beside the parameters aren’t greyed out.
- After selecting each parameter, check the checkbox named Show in On-Screen Display beneath the list of hardware parameters. The drop-down menu lets you choose whether you want the parameter data displayed as a graph, a text, or both. Repeat this process for all the parameters you want to monitor.
- Click OK to save these settings. Then, when you run a game, the parameters you selected will be shown at the top of your screen.
You can also add some customizations within RTSS itself. Search for RivaTuner in the Start menu and configure the settings you want for particular applications or games by clicking the Add at the bottom left corner of the screen.
Best RTSS customization settings for optimal performance
There are settings you could use to make your gameplay smoother; these settings help to limit your framerate, CPU, and GPU usage and reduce stuttering in games. The optimal settings for RTSS depend on your PC, and the settings allowed in-game.
Before you configure, make sure RTSS is working with overwatch. To do this, open RTSS and launch overwatch. It should show a menu that contains the fps counter (Framerate limit) and Scanline sync.
- First, if the game has VSYNC, it is better to limit the framerate in RTSS to the refresh rate of your PC’s monitor. For example, suppose you have a monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz. In that case, you can also limit the framerate to 144Hz for smoother gameplay. If your game has a v-sync setting, turn it ON.
- Enable Fast-sync and Scanline sync. By clicking Scanline sync, you can cycle between Scanline settings. Set Scanline sync by x2.
- Set On-Screen Display to ON.
- Set On-Screen Display rendering mode to Raster 3D, and coordinate space to Frame buffer.
- When gaming, switch to Overwatch in RTSS and move your mouse quickly from left to right to detect screen-tearing, and you should see a tear line somewhere on your screen. If you don’t see a tear line, set Scanline sync to 500 and repeat. Pay attention to how the line vibrates. If the line is stationary, your PC is fast enough to handle your graphics settings. If the line oscillates too much, then you need to lower your graphic settings (or upgrade your PC).
- Set the Scanline sync slightly above your vertical resolution (for example, 1400 on 1366p or 1540 on 1440p). If you notice the tear line at the bottom of the screen, increase the value and decrease the value if you see it at the top. Repeat this until the tear line disappears. Now you should have no tearing, or input lag while gaming.
Read also: What does the MSI game boost do?
How to Use RivaTuner to Monitor Gaming Performance
After setting up MSI Afterburner as described above, you should configure RTSS to show the data. Then, while MSI Afterburner is open, run RTSS by searching for it in the Start menu.
- Under the General properties menu, turn ON On-Screen Display, then select your preferred Application detection level. Next, you should see information about the game show up.
- In the Monitoring tab of MSI Afterburner, tick the checkboxes for GPU usage and temperature, memory usage, CPU usage, clock and temperature, RAM usage, and other metrics you want to see on your screen while gaming.
- To add a color to the name of a metric, click the “…” button in the Properties section, and go to Group Color.
- In Group Color, look for the parameter you want to change and double-click on its current color to open a drop-down of colors.
- Select the color you want, and click Apply.
- Repeat the method for all the parameters you want, but choose the red color for Framerate.
Does MSI Afterburner require RivaTuner Statistics Server for custom fan curves?
You would only need RTSS to see your fan’s setting while gaming. Your fan’s curve is a graph of your fan’s speed as your CPU increases in temperature. CPU performance is tied to how hot it gets when you’re using your computer. You can check your fan’s curve in MSI Afterburner’s menu. So, no, you do not need RTSS to set your custom fan curve.
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