I’m a bit surprised that this is not common knowledge, but it is possible to overclock a monitor to improve its resolution or frame rate. This is a good way to breathe life into your 1080p 60 Hz monitor before upgrading. I have a spare 1080p 60 Hz monitor that I will rest overclocking on for this article. As long as you don’t attempt anything too crazy, your monitor almost certainly be fine. General worst case scenario, you reboot your computer and its back to normal. That being said, do this at your own risk (we don’t assume liability).
To do this, you will probably need a dedicated video card with a control panel. For my GTX 1060, NVidia’s Control Panel has many settings and you can adjust different resolutions and refresh rates freely.
These are the stable custom resolutions I created:
The first two are multiples of 1920×1080, 1.1x and 1.15x (at 60 Hz). This is to ensure that it maintains the same aspect ratio. I was not able to go far above that, so 1242p will be my maximum. The third is 900p running at 75 Hz. Many, but not all monitors, can overclock to 75 Hz. 80 Hz was not stable for my monitor, which was to be expected in a typical case. I lowered the resolution to put less stress on the monitor while it overclocks.
Overclocking the resolution basically results in your GPU increasing the amount of pixels it is putting out and the monitor tries to emulate that resolution. This overclock is not “real” 1200p and it won’t look as pretty as a native 1200p monitor for streaming and image viewing. However, overclocking the resolution does increase the amount of workspace for multi-tasking and general productivity. I will show the difference with two pictures below.
As you can see, while the difference is not gigantic, it is very noticeable. 1080p makes multi-tasking possible, although it still feels cramp. With 1200p, you are able to run two windows side by side without feeling claustrophobic. Because of this overclock, I am far more inclined to keep this as a spare monitor instead of selling it. I’m definitely staying at 1242p and I’m never going back to 1080p.