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: 732MHz
Core Clock: 810MHz
Core Clock: 850MHz
Shader Clock: 1464MHz
Shader Clock: 1700Hz
Memory Clock: 3800MHz
Memory Clock: 4500 MHz
Now we left the fan RPM control at default, increasing it might get slightly better results yet also noise levels, and we want to prevent that from happening. We reached a very decent overclock on a pre-overclocked product, guaranteeing better results. Voltage tweaking is not yet an option. Our stable end result was 850 MHz on the core and 4500 MHz on the memory. The temps did not change very much, DBA levels remain very silent at roughly 42 DBa (measured from 75 CM distance).
Above you can observe results done with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, maxed out image quality settings as before with 4xAA 16xAF
Above you can observe Battlefield Bad Company 2, maxed out image quality settings with 8xAA 16xAF
Above you can observe a 3DMark 11 performance chart - the Performance mode within this application is applied here.
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