Overclocking & Tweaking
Overclocking & Tweaking
As most of you with most videocards know, 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 simple, 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 tool for overclocking NVIDIA and ATI videocards is our own Rivatuner that you can download here. If you own an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card then the manufacturer actually has very nice built in options for you that can be found in the display driver properties.
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 not to increase the frequency any higher then 5% of the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest 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.
So the Gigabyte reference GTX 285 seems to be a nice overclocker, as we already expected. Gigabyte does not have an OC model of this card available, and as such they do not test and yield on OC models for the GTX 285. Chances are pretty good you can OC really high.
We used Rivatuner 2.22, out end results:Core Clock: 718MHz (vs. 648MHz standard) Shader Clock: 1575MHz (vs. 1476MHz standard) Memory Data Rate: 2686MHz (vs. 2484MHz standard)
As you can see we just clocked a much cheaper GTX 285 model towards a really far fetched overclock. You normally pay a 50 USD premium for such an overclock out of the box. I planted the results in this chart:
This is BIA: Hell's Highway again, by the way (same setup and image quality settings). We now surpass the BFG OCX card. Though in all fairness, the BFG card offers lifetime warranty on the card overclocked, and their bundle is nicer as well. But still, if you are on a tighter budget, you can definitely achieve very similar results.