20 - CrossfireX Performance: Devil May Cry | A quicky Overclocking session
Devil may Cry 4 - DirectX 10
Typically we're not quickly impressed with games these days, at least from a graphical point of view. The game Devil May Cry however opens up a can of graphics that is just really impressive. We play the game in DX10 mode with every image quality setting available set to it's highest possible variable. The game itself -- stylish action, terrific boss fights, and beautiful, melodramatic cut scenes will inspire you to push forward, and they serve as an appropriate reward for a well-played sequence of demon slaying.
On consoles, Devil May Cry 4 might be beautiful; on the PC in DirectX 10 mode though, it completely overwhelms. What a fantastic looking title. Let's check out the performance.
Now, I learned about this game on 4870 X2 launch day, actually :) So only the three results for now. Since we'll be using this test for a long time-frame, we therefore decided to measure with DirectX 10 and 8 multi-sample Antialising levels enabled. Next to that, all setting are configured to Super High mode. This is a really tough nut to crack for mid-range graphics cards (with these settings). As you can see from the flat green line up-to 1920x1200 .. we are a little CPU bottlenecked here. Well, that's no surprise with 4 GPUs to feed and fetch data.
Obviously with so much power under the hood, the game scales incredible, in CrossFireX too by the way. Actually, it's near bizarre.
Image Quality Settings:
- 8x Multi Sample Anti Aliasing
- Textures: Super High
- Shadows: Super High
- Quality: Super High
Overclocking & Tweaking
As most of you with 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 tested cards anyway, but we'll still show it ;)
All in all... do it at your own risk.
Check this out:
When you have some much rendering muscle at your disposal it does not make much sense to overclock. However we did so anyway, and overclocked to the maximum settings the Catalyst driver allowed us to do, which is a very small amount. Anyway, we clocked the card to 780 on the core (759 default) and 980 MHz (=3920 MHz effective) on the memory (900 default).
As you can see, you can now play Call of Duty 4 -- 4 frames per second faster at 2560x1600. Again, you should really wonder if you should overclock a product when you already have this much power. Combined with the heat-levels and power consumption I personally would forfeit on it.