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Overclocking the graphics card

Overclocking the Graphics Card

As most of you know, with most video cards you can apply a simple series of tricks to boost the overall performance a little. Typically you can tweak on core clock frequencies and voltages.

What do we need?
One of the best tools for overclocking Nvidia and AMD videocards is our own AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphics cards out there. We can really recommend it, download here. We used Precision for now though as AB still needed some work at the time of writing this article.

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 would need to overclock today's tested card anyway, but we'll still show it.


Original This sample Overclocked 
Core Clock: 1046 MHz Core Clock: 1150 MHz Core Clock: 1210 MHz
Boost Clock: 1085 MHz Boost Clock: 1202 MHz Boost Clock: 1306 MHz
Memory Clock: 7010 MHz Memory Clock: 7200 MHz Memory Clock:7894 MHz

We will have an entire article dedicated to overclocking, but just to get the tastebuds going here's an example.

We applied this as a profile:

  • Power Target 106%
  • Temp Target 95 Degrees C (priority)
  • CPU clock +60 MHz
  • Mem clock +350 MHz
  • GPU Voltage Memory +12 Mv 
  • Fan RPM, 60% (remains quite silent)

With this overclock we have extra performance at our hands, as the boost clock will now render at roughly 1300 MHz depending on the power and temperature signature. The GPU will continuously be dynamically altered on voltage and clock frequency to match the power and temperature targets versus the increased core clock. Have a peek at the results when overclocked.







For all overclocked games above we have used the very same image quality settings as shown before. Overall we have been able to get another 5% maybe 10% performance out of those graphics card. The overclock doesn't have too much effect as the board power limitations will prevent a lot of stuff from happening.

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