MSI GeForce N260GTX Lightning 1792 MB review

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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.

We used Rivatuner 2.24, our end results:

So above we spot BIA: Hell's Highway again:

  • Texture Quality HIGH
  • Shadow Texture Quality HIGH
  • Shadow Detail HIGH
  • Vsync OFF

GeForce GTX 260 SP216 MSI Lightning BE with AF panel OC  Our Overclock with Rivatuner
Core Clock: 576MHz Core Clock: 680MHz Core Clock: 750MHz
Shader Clock: 1242MHz Shader Clock: 1458MHz Shader Clock: 1575MHz
Memory Data Rate: 999MHz Memory Data Rate: 1053MHz Memory Data Rate: 1100MHz

As you can see we instantly gained another 5%~10% additional performance on top of the already nice MSI clock frequencies (which are pre-overclocked). But granted we are seriously maxing things out here. None the less, temperatures remain below 70 Degrees C when stressed. This is a pretty nice overclock considering the default GTX 260 starts at 576 MHz !

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