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.
Check this out:
Okay let's have a peek at default GTX 280 clocks, the EVGA GeForce GTX 280 HC 16 clocks and then what we pushed the card to.
GeForce GTX 280
EVGA GTX 280 HC16
Core Clock (MHz)
Shader Clock (MHz)
Memory Clock (MHz)
We were able to push the core frequency towards 747 MHz, the Shader domain towards 1597 MHz and the memory towards 2712 (effective) MHZ. As you can see, the result is a faster performing card. The game you are looking at is Mass effect with maximum in-game quality settings enabled. You can expect to push another 5 to 10% (in GPU bound situations) additional performance out of the card, completely free.
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