GeForce GTX 470 & 480 review -
Overclocking the GeForce GTX 480
Overclocking & Tweaking
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 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 some 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 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 often push the frequency 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 cards anyway, but we'll still show it.
All in all... do it at your own risk.
Overclocking GeForce GTX 480
Above, you can see the overclocked results for Resident Evil 5, same image quality settings as before, in DX10 mode. Blue is the default test session we showed you, and then in red the overclocked results.
Mind you that since we develop tools like Rivatuner, MSI AfterBurner and eVGA Precision, we were able to use the early betas to get overclocking up and running. Not all AIBs will have an OC tool ready just yet.
|Core Clock: 700MHz||Core Clock: 700MHz||Core Clock: 806MHz|
|Shader Clock: 1401MHz||Shader Clock: 1401MHz||Shader Clock: 1608MHz|
|Memory Clock: 3696MHz||Memory Clock: 3696MHz||Memory Clock: 4568MHz|
As you can see, the GTX 480 can overclock a good amount higher. We fired off extra cooling, voltage changes are not (yet) possible.
In the end if you guys want to overclock, please be aware that something changed. The Core and Shader frequency are tied together. Increase one, the other will follow automatically based on a predefined ratio. So what you'll see in our future overclock software is that you'll be overclocking based off the shader domain.
Memory wise things remained the same with one limitation, underclocking memory is no longer possible.
Let's do one more benchmark.
Above, the GTX 480 overclocked. This is Battlefield Bad Company 2, still at DX11 - 8xAA / 16xAF and all settings at maximum. As you can see, even with so much horsepower under the hood, we can get performance up quite a bit.
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