Before you start -- if using the standard air-cooled GTX 470 version, please make sure you have a properly ventilated chassis -- create cold air airflow as overclocking with a voltage tweak means increased GPU temperatures. Please know and understand what you are doing -- otherwise please stay away from overclocking whatsoever.
Please install AfterBurner and then Kombustor as well. Kombustor (GPU stress test) comes optional in the install package of AfterBurner, it is based on Furmark and is tied into AfterBurner. Press the K button within AfterBurner, and the application will start completely pre-configured.
Step 1: After proper driver installation please start-up AfterBurner.
Step 2: Using the software increase the voltage on the GPU core to 1.087V. Don't worry, the card can perfectly handle this voltage and it remains quite save.
Now if you are NOT working with a custom cooled GTX 470 graphics card (liquid cooling) really, please increase the fan speed to 100% and yes, that will make a nasty noise, but the noise levels are not the point of this article.
With MSI's AfterBurner sitting next to it, you can gradually increase clock and memory frequency in real-time and on the fly, while stressing the GPU harsh.
Some people prefer other software, OCCT GPU stress, Running 3DMark or a game each time after a frequency change. Everybody has his/her own preferences. Just use an application that is hard on your graphics card. Yet for ease of use we recommend Furmark or Kombustor as it will get the GPU down on it's knees.
Step 3: We are now ready to start overclocking. Slowly increase the Shader clock frequency until your card starts showing artifacts or crashes (with Kombustor activated !).
Starting an overclock / Voltage Tweak
Your graphics card will now slowly heat up. Increase the core frequency, you want to monitor GPU temperatures as the GPUs can rise to 95 Degrees C now. Increase GPU Core clock in 25 MHz increments. After each incremental clock frequency increase, hit apply. Keep an eye out on temperatures. 95~100 Degrees C really is your limit for GTX series 400.
If you see artifacts either stop Kombustor immediately or restart. If you system locks up, restart, repeat procedure and drop down at least 25 MHZ, preferably 50 MHz. Keep monitoring that temperature. Above 100 Degrees C is not okay at all. Don't be to afraid about a few system lockups and restarts, really. If you are afraid to do so, please don't overclock. It's not for you my man. It is needed to find the maximum threshold of what you can achieve.
Our end results:
Overclocked + VTweak 1.087v
Core Clock: 600MHz
Core Clock: 774MHz
Shader Clock: 1200MHz
Shader Clock: 1548MHz
Memory Clock: 3348
Memory Clock: 3400MHz
With a little added voltage the card becomes quite tweakable, but not as much as the GTX 480 alright.
Tweaking on memory even the slightest bit ended up in the card clocking down real fast when stressed (NV safe sentinel kicks in). The GPU itself with some extra voltage could be taken from roughly 600 MHz towards ~775 MHz, and that's a very decent 175 MHz overclock. Anything higher would either create instability after a while or again that NV SAFE sentinel kicking in and downclocking the card to 400 MHz. NVIDIA's SAFE sentinel is activated in case of a thermal issue, hardware stability issue (GPU issue is detected and recovered) or if the GPU load is not too high and it is safe to downclock (power saving)
Anyway, always keep an eye on your GPU temperature. Since we forced 100% fan RPM we got really decent temperatures, roughly 65 Degrees C though with 100% fan RPM.
GeForce GTX 470
System in IDLE = 205 Watts
System with GPU in FULL Stress = 419 Watts
Overclock GPU in FULL Stress = 446 Watts
Note -- neither the ODM or Guru3D is responsible for a damaged card. Mind you that we've never been able to break a card with an overclock, that doesn't mean it can not happen. You are driving the graphics card closer to it's maximum limit. As such do it wise, do it careful .. but most of all you do it at your own risk.
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