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GPU overclocking: is it even worth it?

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June 20, 2011 7:32:00 AM

Hey guys, just after your opinion on something. I recently overclocked my GTX 570, (default 797mhz core, 810mhz shader and 324mhz memory) to 835mhz core, 810mhz shader and 324mhz memory. Quite a bump up in my humble opinion. I was rather surprised to find this barely effected my framerate though! Here's a few benchmarks:

Just Cause 2 ("Dark Tower")
No overclock = 56.93 average FPS
Overclocked = 58.74 average FPS

Just Cause 2 ("Concrete Jungle")
No overclock = 40.73 average FPS
Overclock = 41.45 average FPS

Heaven Benchmark
Normal clock
FPS: 47.0
Scores: 1184
Min FPS: 28.8
Max FPS: 118.5

Overclocked
FPS: 49.0
Scores: 1235
Min FPS: 9.8
Max FPS: 120.6

To me, it hardly seems worth shortening the life of your GPU for an extra 2 frames. I guess if you were water-cooling and were able to get ridiculous FPS, it might be worthwhile. Unless I've done something wrong, my final consensus would be it's not worth it. But what are your opinions guys?

More about : gpu overclocking worth

a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 11:35:36 AM

That's actually not bad for a 40mhz overclock. Your not going to shorten the life of the card unless you start adding voltage and run your card to the point of thermal throttle all the time. You didn't overclock the shaders or memory why? That will probably give you another 2 to 3 fps without pushing them hard.
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June 20, 2011 12:29:50 PM

Ah, my bad, I had overclocked the shaders and memory (1670mhz and 2060mhz respectively), it wasn't showing up at the time I wrote the OP :p  Even with core, shaders and memory overclocked, I still only got 2 extra frames. I don't really call that a success since doing this results in my card running at 85c and actually makes the exhaust hot to the touch. Which, again, makes me wonder if it was worth it. What kinda things would you have to do to get a decent boost (say, an extra 10 or 20 frames) to make overclocking worthwhile?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 1:46:29 PM

What are you running for a cpu?
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June 20, 2011 1:54:59 PM

Intel i7 960 @ 3.20ghz. I had one guy think that my CPU might be a bottleneck, but then I had two techs from the local hardware store say no way it would be.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 2:38:16 PM

No it shouldn't bottle neck that is fast enough on the cpu IMO. It could be that Nvidia squeezed most of the performance out of the card at stock clocks. Maybe with a more aggressive overclock you will see better results. As it sits right now I don't think 2fps is worth sweating over, but the 2fps are free and isn't hurting your card any. You can try setting up a fan profile in Msi Afterburn to kick down the temps a little.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 9:29:25 PM

You increased the clocks by about 4% and gained about 4% performance. That seems very inline with what you'd logically get. I don't know many, if any cases, where overclocking gives you a higher percentage increase than the clock change.

What were you expecting?

Edit: btw, that was a very mild overclock. I would not be concerned with that increase. People are pushing their overclocks on these cards by 100+ and getting 10%+ increases in performance.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 9:46:18 PM

Push your cpu to 4ghz.. then run test and see.
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June 21, 2011 1:03:10 AM

bystander said:
You increased the clocks by about 4% and gained about 4% performance. That seems very inline with what you'd logically get. I don't know many, if any cases, where overclocking gives you a higher percentage increase than the clock change.

What were you expecting?

Edit: btw, that was a very mild overclock. I would not be concerned with that increase. People are pushing their overclocks on these cards by 100+ and getting 10%+ increases in performance.

Hmmmm... I guess so. I'd also guess that the people who are doing those kinda overclocks have water-cooled their GPUs? Because I'm at the stable limit for my GPU's stock cooler, and it's still quite hot.

christop said:
Push your cpu to 4ghz.. then run test and see.

I had been considering overclocking it (though I'd definitely need a new cooler for it, it runs hot as it is), but would have thought 3.20ghz (and more, since it seems to automatically overclock itself when it's under load, I've seen it get aroud 3.35ghz) would be enough CPU for most games, and they'd rather more GPU. No?
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June 21, 2011 4:34:46 AM

What is the "stable limit"for your stock cooler? Are you you controlling the fan speed for the GPU? I assume yes but I have to ask.
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June 21, 2011 5:20:29 AM

835mhz core and 2060mhz memory seems to be the limit. I've got the fan set to automatic, since part of the reason for getting this new card was that my old card used to howl like a banshee since it ran so damned hot. Thus, I want the fan to only run as much as it needs to.
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June 21, 2011 2:49:19 PM

fireaza said:
835mhz core and 2060mhz memory seems to be the limit. I've got the fan set to automatic, since part of the reason for getting this new card was that my old card used to howl like a banshee since it ran so damned hot. Thus, I want the fan to only run as much as it needs to.


Your GPU will fail above those temps or it gets too hot? If it fails then there is nothing that I know of to do except raise voltages. If its too hot, then you need the fan howling away and you'll lose 5-10 degrees. If its the heat and noise you are worried about, then only overclock when needed, like for playing games. I turn all my fans on high when I play games so the GPU fan is just one more fan although it is the smallest and the fastest so it is the loudest of all. I start to hear it over the other fans at around 70% speed. I wear headphones so it doesn't bother me. Anyway, that's a nice GPU and stock speeds should meet all your needs.
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June 21, 2011 3:05:31 PM

Well, I start getting artifacts, so I figure there's a good place to stop :p  And yeah, it is a nice GPU, but hey, if it could be nicer :D 
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June 21, 2011 11:28:48 PM

You can also fiddle with different BIOS', changing the voltage is another option for a more stable clock. You should be able clock it higher though, I've done a solid 900mhz.

What brand do you have?

Had myself confused with another thread, changed the OC speed achieved.
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June 22, 2011 6:44:21 AM

It's an eVGA SuperClock version. Now voltages, I can't quite grasp how they relate to overclocking. So, you need to somtimes increase the voltage so your CPU/GPU has enough power to run at overclocked speeds right? Too little voltage and it can't get enough juice, and too high and it frys. But I don't understand how increasing your voltage makes for a cooler overclock! I thought it would get hotter!
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 22, 2011 2:56:08 PM

Increasing the voltage does not make it a cooler overclock, it does the opposite, it makes it run hotter. However, it allows you to achieve higher frequencies before it becomes unstable. It's best to search around to find out what is considered safe voltage for your card.

Also, don't go rushing out and trying an 1100mhz overclock. I've never head anyone come close to that with a 570 before. Do small increments at a time and test it's stability as you go.
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June 22, 2011 3:10:37 PM

fireaza said:
But I don't understand how increasing your voltage makes for a cooler overclock! I thought it would get hotter!


You are right, raising voltages will make it run hotter. Power dissipated in the CPU and any chip for that matter is directly related to clock speed and voltages. I forget the formula.

fireaza said:
So, you need to somtimes increase the voltage so your CPU/GPU has enough power to run at overclocked speeds right? Too little voltage and it can't get enough juice, and too high and it frys.


I don't think its that your chip needs power but it needs more voltage to overcome the parasitic RC nature of the transistors. The transistors themselves have resistance and capacitance associated with them. This is unwanted because you end up with an RC circuit which causes delay on the line. Raising the voltage will decrease this delay. I did not read this from anywhere, its just my theory from what I know about transistors. Search RC circuit and that concept is fairly easy albeit it takes some time to read the wiki page. The parasitic nature of the transistors is a little more complicated.
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Best solution

March 19, 2012 9:17:04 PM

I just wanted to add my two cents also.

I own two GTX 580 Superclocked Editions in SLI from EVGA and did a little OC testing.

From the stock voltage of 1.05 volts and 797Mhz on the core/1594Mhz shader clock, I OC to the EVGA Classified Edition settings of 1.13 (approx) and 855mhz on the core/1710Mhz on the shader clock.

Results using Heaven 3.0 Benchmark at Max tesselation and AA @ 1920X1080 resolution.

Stock: 68.2 FPS
Overclocked: 72.4 FPS

While temps only went up 2 degrees, the fans ramped up automatically to a higher RPM to keep the cards at 84 degrees under load.

As you can see, I only gained about 4 Frames Per Second extra.

Seems like OC video cards doesn't provide much benefit, even if I were to push the cards further.

I think I'm going to keep my GPUs at stock speed and voltages.
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