As most of you know, with most videocards 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 simply 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. Based on Rivatuner you can alternatively use MSI AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphics cards out there. We can recommend it very much, download here.
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 than 5% on the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest that 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's tested card anyway, but we'll still show it.
All in all... do it at your own risk.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 768MB card as well can overclock a higher and that has a positive effect on overall performance, though with the already high standard overclock from GBT you need to wonder if you really need to push any harder. Still, we were nearing 900 MHz, and settled at 861 MHz 100% rock steady stable. No GPU voltage was applied, so there's room left for more.
Core Clock: 675MHz
Core Clock: 715MHz
Core Clock: 861MHz
Shader Clock: 1350MHz
Shader Clock: 1722MHz
Memory Clock: 3600MHz
Memory Clock: 3600MHz
Memory Clock: 4392Hz
Now we left fan RPM control at default in all circumstances. The card now becomes lightly hearable nothing much though, temps remain at roughly 65 degrees C (!) and we reached a splendid overclock, guaranteeing much better results.
COD: Modern Warfare 2, same image maxed out quality settings as before with 4xAA 16xAF
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