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 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: 822MHz
Core Clock: 880MHz
Core Clock: 974MHz
Shader Clock: 1644MHz
Shader Clock: 1948MHz
Memory Clock: 4008MHz
Memory Clock: 4800MHz
Now we left fan control at default, thus self regulating and during the overclock it did not become noisy. Our stable end result was quite an impressive overclock, a good 974MHz on the core and 4800 on the memory. Temp went up merely a few degrees C but remains under 60 Degrees C. We did not apply any voltage tweak or anything and we can't help wondering what these cards do WITH voltage tweaking supported.
Here's what that does towards overall game performance, I've included the reference card as well to understand and grasp overclock scaling in terms of performance increases a little better.
Above Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, maxed out image quality settings as before with 4xAA 16xAF
Above Battlefield Bad Company 2, maxed out image quality settings as before with 8xAA 16xAF
MSI N560GTX Ti Twin Frozer II review The MSI GTX560 Ti Twin Frozer II tested today indeed comes all customized and factory overclocked, Armed with some Military grade components and a robust build the dark PCB of the MSI GTX560 Ti Twin Frozer II will carry a GPU clocked at 880 MHz and it's memory at 4200 MHz, both thus a nice chunk faster than reference. To top things off, MSI put the Twin Frozr II cooler on this card and that admittedly does do wonder as we measure peak temperatures BELOW 55 Degrees C.