As most of you know, with most video cards 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 to 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 tools for overclocking NVIDIA and ATI videocards is our own AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphics cards out there. We can really recommend it, 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, to not 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.
Core Clock: 980 MHz
Core Clock: 1033 MHz
Core Clock: 1132MHz
Boost Clock: 1033 MHz
Boost Clock:1098 MHz
Boost Clock: ~1265MHz
Memory Clock: 6008 MHz
Memory Clock: 6008 MHz
Memory Clock: 6696 Mhz
Now then, overclocking did get more complicated as increasing the Boost functionality has an effect on voltage and thus power consumption which effects the maximum allowed board power and so on. So really it is a matter of trial and error and finding your preferred or maximum balance in terms of extra performance versus noise levels.
We found a very sweet tweak that will bring your boost frequency towards 1267 MHz stable, it will fluctuate depending on power draw / limits. Feel free to try our settings yourself. We applied:
Power Target 110%
GPU clock +98 MHz
Memory clock +350 MHz
Fan control RPM default
With the physical board power limit you are going see all card roughly ending at this overclock and boost frequency. For the memory we ended at 6696 MHz. At this stage the cooler RPM was set at default which kept the noise levels under control at 39 DBa and thus at silent noise levels.
We now have a hint extra performance at our hands on top of the factory overclock, have a peek at the results when overclocked.
For all overclocked games above we have used the very same image quality settings as shown before. Overall we have been able to get another 10% performance out of those graphics card.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming SOC Review In this review we take the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming (SOC edition) for a test-drive, the product is superb, awesome cooling, it's silent, it's factory overclocked and combined with the ...
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC Mini-ITX review We test the 17cm long Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC Mini-ITX graphics card. The product does not vary much from any other 970 other than it's size. housed in a compact design this card might just be w...
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming 4GB review In this review we check out the 4GB version of the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960. The GTX 960 is the mainstream product that we figured has too little memory, will this 4GB version resolve our co...
Gigabyte G1.Sniper B6 review Let's review the budget enthusiast board G1.Sniper B6 from Gigabyte, it is based on the lower cost B85 chipset from Intel. B85 based motherboards typically end up in business desktops and normally ar...