So you just read up on all the glory there is to be found regarding the GeForce GTX Titan in all its glory. And though we briefly touched on the topic of overclocking in our reference article, there's still one bit missing; extended tweaking performance. We really wanted to publish a separate article on it as a thing or two have changed with this new product that deserve some explaining.
First off, we have multiple articles on GeForce GTX Titan, just so that you know:
Overclocking never comes without risk, but it sure as heck is interesting to see how far you can take a card. As such today an article dedicated on overclocking the GeForce GTX Titan. You will notice that if you go for long lifespan that overclocking the old fashioned way will not disappoint. A good 1100 MHz on the GPU (reference air cooler) is certainly something you can achieve. However with Nvidia's updated Dynamic Clock Adjustment technology (GPU Boost 2.0) things have changed a bit. Regardless of that you'll be able to tweak a lot more performance out of this complex 7.1 Billion transistor GPU, more than you think.
Ever since the launch of Kepler GPUs the mainstream and high-end SKUs feature a Dynamic Clock Adjustment technology and we can explain it easily without any complexity. Typically when your graphics card is idle, the cards clock frequency will go down... yes? Well, obviously Kepler architecture cards will do this as well, yet it can work vice versa. If in a game the GPU has room left for some more, it will increase the clock frequency a little which adds some extra performance. You could say that the graphics card is maximizing it's available power threshold and target.
All this is managed by a dedicated hardware circuitry that monitors various aspects of the graphics card, from the GPU's power consumption and temperature to the actual GPU and memory utilization. All that information is processed by the GPU Boost software algorithm to determine what changes, if any, should be made to the GPU and memory clock speeds and voltages.
So what's new?
New starting at GeForce GTX Titan is a temperature target, basically GeForce GTX Titan monitors a temperature (that you can define) and will try and match that target. The nominal and default baseline temperature is 80 degrees Celsius. That is the balance in-between an acceptable temperature versus low noise levels versus Power consumtion. If you configure the temperature target at 90 degrees and the power target has room left then Titan will increase the GPU Voltage a little bit. It'll then clock faster on the Turbo frequency until it reaches the temperature and power targets.
Overclocking on that end will work the same as GPU boost will continue to work while overclocking, it stays restricted within the TDP bracket. We'll show you that over the next few pages. The overclock tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA precision will be updated during GeForce GTX Titan launch week, allowing you to tweak and overclock based on core frequency, power, voltage and now thus temperature targets.
Can you imagine what this means with liquid cooling?
Unlocked GPU core Voltage
The GeForce GTX Titan is designed to be overclocked. Nvidia has received a lot of heat when they started limiting voltages. Obviously they have done so in order to prevent high RMA rates. For GeForce GTX Titan this changes. At default your card will be locked at a maximum Core voltage of 1.162 mV.
Now read this very carefully, the board partners like MSI, EVGA and others get to decide whether or not you may unlock Voltage control. Inside the Nvidia driver, you can opt to unlock voltage by agreeing towards an EULA acknowledgement. That EULA will try to make you understand that applying higher voltages will decrease the lifespan of the product. So if the GeForce GTX Titan has been build for a theoretical 5 years productivity at 1.162 mV then tweaking voltage towards 1.20~1.250 mV could half that lifespan. Now unlocking the Voltage will not result in loosing your warranty, let me be very clear about it. However, if you have a 2 year warranty and after 3 years the card dies as a result of voltage tweaking and thus the reduced lifespan... that would be the consequence.
Some board partners thus might leave out the option and disable the voltage unlock option completely (albeit we doubt it). Still, if you plan to voltage tweak your Titan, then be sure to check out the particular SKU and it's ability to make that happen. Admittedly from what we have seen thus far are very limited Voltages being allowed, up-to 1200 Mv, that is a very shy 38 mV increase over the reference maximum. But board partners will get more control over this, and perhaps we'll see some more extreme SKUs being released.
Hey once again we'll demonstrate it all. The GeForce GTX Titan series will demonstrate one thing, they are really nice overclockers already within its defined limits. Next page please.
Heck yeah -- this is your first OC results already, coming from a reference 5000 points in X mode.
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