BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC edition review -
12 - Overclocking & Tweaking
Overclocking & Tweaking
As most of you with most videocards know, you can apply a simple series of tricks to boost the overall performance a little. You can do this at two levels, namely tweaking by enabling registry or BIOS hacks, or very simple, tamper with Image Quality. And then there is overclocking, which will give you the best possible results by far.
What do we need?
One of the best tool for overclocking NVIDIA and ATI videocards is our own Rivatuner that you can download here. If you own an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card then the manufacturer actually has very nice built in options for you that can be found in the display driver properties.
Where should we go ?
Overclocking: By increasing the frequency of the videocard's memory and GPU, we can make the videocard increase its calculation clock cycles per second. It sounds hard, but it really can be done in less than a few minutes. I always tend to recommend to novice users and beginners not to increase the frequency any higher then 5% of the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest you don't increase the frequency any higher than 30 to 50 MHz.
More advanced users push the frequency often way higher. Usually when your 3D graphics start to show artifacts such as white dots ("snow"), you should back down 10-15 MHz and leave it at that. Usually when you are overclocking too hard, it'll start to show artifacts, empty polygons or it will even freeze. Carefully find that limit and then back down at least 20 MHz from the moment you notice an artifact. Look carefully and observe well. I really wouldn't know why you need to overclock today tested cards anyway, but we'll still show it ;)
All in all... do it at your own risk.
- A reference GeForce GTX 280 is clocked at default at 602 / 1296 / 2106 clocks (core / shaders / memory).
- The BFG GeForce GTX 280 is clocked at default at 617 / 1350 / 2214 clocks (core / shaders / memory).
- We clocked it easily towards 617 / 1451 / 2408 (core / shaders / memory).
We took Rivatuner (what else eh?) and selected to clock the shader domain separately from the core clock. The latest version already works with the GTX 200 series. There was still more leverage though, yet we figured enough is enough as we are dealing with the fastest GPU money can buy already.
As you can see, the result over a reference model is a slightly faster performing card. The game you are looking at is Call of Duty 4 with maximum in-game quality settings enabled. You can expect to push another 5% maybe 10% additional performance out of the card, completely free. This cooler will really help you reach good results. Don't over-do your tweaks though.
Image Quality setting:
- 4x Anti Aliasing
- 16x anisotropic filtering
- All settings maxed out
Overclocking results typically result into slightly more heat build-up in the GPU as well, but not with this cooler. Heavily stressed the core temperature rose towards ~86 degrees C.
BFG have worked their magic again and teamed up with the guys and gals from CoolLIT systems, a company designing sometimes awkward yet always interesting cooling products. As such BFG released two products based on CoolIT's cooling; here at Guru3D we will test and review the BFG GeForce GTX 295 H2OC (limited edition), that's a self-contained easy to install liquid cooling solution preinstalled onto the GeForce GTX 295 filled with coolant and everything; this kit has a 120mm fan, radiator, pump, graphics card cooling block, tubing and reservoir all ready to be inserted into the PC for some tender love and care in your gaming experience.
BFG GeForce GTX 295 H20 review (water cooling)
BFG is the first to bring a liquid-cooled GeForce GTX 295 to the market. As extravagant liquid cooling a GeForce GTX 295 really is, the end results in cooling performance, gaming performance and the incredible aesthetics a product like this offers is extraordinary. So in this article we'll chat a little about the GTX 295 technology, then have a look at BFG's bundle, a really extensive photo-shoot, look at performance with the hottest games available, overclock it until it nearly dies... and then sum it all up in our verdict.
BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCX review
We'll look at BFG finest GeForce GTX 285 offering. See, just like many of NVIDIA's board partners BFG offers the product in several flavors. The offer their regular OC edition, yet also OC+, OC2 and OCX editions. They've got quite a range. We'll explain the difference over the next few pages. Let us have a peek of what's under the hood of the BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCX.
BFG GeForce GTX 280 OCX review
OCX is short for 'Overclocking eXtreme' and it literally boils down to the fact that this is BFG's most high-end specced product in whatever the product range might be. Today we take the fastest NVIDIA graphics card available on the planet. The GeForce GTX 280. A 1400 million transistor counting piece of merchandise that raises the bar of single-GPU graphics processing.