GeForce GTX 480 liquid cooling Danger Den review

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Liquid Cooled Graphics card overclocking


Liquid Cooled Graphics card overclocking

The one group of people that will really benefit from overclocking are the people that opt for a liquid cooled GeForce GTX 470 or 480 as they will be in control of noise levels and get much better GPU temperatures. Our setup decreased the graphics card temperature by a stunning 45 degrees C.

As such we should be able to, fairly straightforward, get another 15 to 20% performance out of the GTX 480. First stop, grab MSI AfterBurner and install Kombustor (included) as well. So here's what we need to do, please download the following utility:


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 1.125V. Don't worry, the card can perfectly handle this voltage and it remains quite safe.

With MSI's AfterBurner sitting next to it, you can gradually increase clock and memory frequency real-time and on the fly, while harshly stressing the GPU. 

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 its 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!).


Your graphics card will now slowly heat up. Increase the core frequency, you want to monitor GPU temperatures always. Increase GPU Core clock in 25 MHz increments. After each incremental clock frequency increase, hit apply. Keep an eye on temperatures - on water-cooling 70 degrees C is your limit really as you need a little extra reserve for when the weather is warm and hot (we test at a room temperature of 21 degrees C).

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 of 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:

Original Overclocked + VTweak 1.125v
Core Clock: 700MHz Core Clock: 900MHz
Shader Clock: 1400MHz Shader Clock: 1800MHz
Memory Clock: 3696MHz Memory Clock: 4400MHz

Note -- neither the ODM or Guru3D is responsible for a damaged card. Mind you that while we've never been able to break a card with an overclock, that doesn't mean it cannot happen. You are driving the graphics card closer to its maximum limit. As such do it wisely, do it carefully... but most of all you do it at your own risk.

So we settled at 900 MHz on the core, 1800 MHz on the shaders (!). We now again have Kombustor/Furmark stress the card for half an hour. And here's the final temperature:

Graphics card (reference)


GeForce GT 240 512MB 47
GTX 480 Liquid Cooled 49
GTX 480 Liquid Cooled OC 59
Radeon HD 5570 1024MB 60
HIS 5850 iCooler Turbo 61
GBT R5870 SOC 68
Radeon HD 5670 512MB 70
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 72
Radeon HD 5750 1024MB 73
Radeon HD 5870 1024MB 75
Radeon HD 5850 1024MB 77
Radeon HD 5830 1024MB 78
GeForce GTX 275 896MB 82
Radeon HD 5970 2048MB 83
GeForce GTX 285  83
GeForce GTX 260 SP216 84
GeForce GTX 470 94
GeForce GTX 480 95

Correct, at 900 MHz on the core, 1800 MHz on the shaders fully stressed we only reached 59 degrees C. These are brilliant temperatures alright.

Danger Den GeForce GTX 480 Liquid Cooling

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