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% of 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.
Above you can see the overclocked results for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, same image quality settings as before, in DX10 mode. Blue is the default baseline session we showed you, and then in red the overclocked results, and that is just a tremendous result.
Check out what we accomplished:
Core Clock: 600MHz
Core Clock: 600MHz
Core Clock: 790MHz
Shader Clock: 1200MHz
Shader Clock: 1580MHz
Memory Clock: 3200MHz
Memory Clock: 3200
Memory Clock: 3650MHz
Now this was a little surprising, but as you can see, the card can overclock much MUCH higher and that has a very positive effect on overall performance. We did not apply any voltage tweaking here. Play around with that and you will pass the 750 MHz marker, no doubt, maybe even 800 MHz. 790 MHz on the core was really pushing it though, two MHz more and we'd get artifacts.
There's something else I want to mention here. I'm not saying you should, by all means no. But we already informed you that the PCB, packaging and GPU on both the GTX 465 and 470 are 100% similar. We flashed a GTX 470 BIOS in one of the GTX 465 cards just to see if it would work, and it ran perfectly fine. Risky yes .. the extra disabled shader clusters could be damaged. But well let's just say, keep this little story in mind.
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