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Overclocking And Multi-Monitor Performance

Five Overclocked GeForce GTX 560 Cards, Rounded-Up
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We'll use Battlefield 3 to assess the performance of these cards overclocked as far as we're able to push them.

Stock, these cards are all about five frames per second away from each other, as we established a couple of pages ago (between 38.5 and 43.5 FPS).

When we overclock them, the finishing order changes. However, we maintain that approximately 5 FPS spread, which rises to somewhere between 45.1 and 51.5 FPS.

Considering the overclocked cores are all within 40 MHz of each other, memory bandwidth probably plays the biggest role in differentiating these boards. Interestingly, the lowest-priced card from ECS manages to achieve the highest overclocked performance, suggesting that your mileage will almost certainly vary.

Now, let’s look at multi-monitor performance with Galaxy’s GeForce GTX 560 MDT x4:

Using Ultra quality settings in Battlefield 3, multi-monitor performance drops off too fast to remain playable. We'll need to shift down to less-attractive detail settings in order to figure out where we're able to use three screens.

Dropping all the way down to Low quality is the only way to enable semi-playable performance, unfortunately. None of these results are ideal, mind you. The fact of the matter is that a GeForce GTX 560 isn't quite powerful enough on its own to facilitate hardcore gaming on a trio of displays. For that, you'd likely want a higher-end card like one of Galaxy's GeForce GTX 580 MDT boards or an SLI configuration from any Nvidia partner.

But with lowered settings and smaller triple-monitor configurations, the GeForce GTX 560 MDT x4 could be useful for driving less-demanding titles.

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  • 5 Hide
    pensivevulcan , January 19, 2012 3:47 AM
    Kepler is around the corner, so are lower end AMD 7000 series parts, this was interesting but wouldn't one want to wait for a plethora of reasons.
  • 4 Hide
    payneg1 , January 19, 2012 4:19 AM
    The Galaxy model comes closest with its 830/1002 MHz clocks, but Zotac's AMP! edition goes all the way to 950/1100 MHz.

    This dosent match with the above chart
  • 0 Hide
    salad10203 , January 19, 2012 4:43 AM
    Are those temps for real? My 280 gtx has never idled under 40C.
  • -2 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , January 19, 2012 4:51 AM
    so, basicaly if someone plays on a single monitor, there is no point going beyond a gtx 560 or a 6950 in today's games. (it slike in the "best gaming CPU chart", no point going beyond i5 2500k for gaming.
  • 0 Hide
    giovanni86 , January 19, 2012 4:52 AM
    salad10203Are those temps for real? My 280 gtx has never idled under 40C.

    Your kidding right, my overclocked 580GTX at 60% fan speed idles at 32c. Cards down clock themselves which allows them to run cooler at idle temps even if it were clocked at upwards i don't think a card would get hot unless it was being used.
  • -2 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , January 19, 2012 4:52 AM
    sorry, i ment single monitor @ 1080p :p .
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , January 19, 2012 6:37 AM
    Im surprised they got 5 OCed GPUs to run BF3 without crashing
  • -1 Hide
    justme1977 , January 19, 2012 6:53 AM
    crisan_tiberiu[/nom..... (it slike in the "best gaming CPU chart", no point going beyond i5 2500k for gaming.


    I have the feeling that even a i5 2500k@4ghz bottlenecks a 7970 @1080p in most newer games.
    If the GPU market goes the way it does, it won't take long that even midrange cards will be bottlenecked @1080p by the cpu.


  • 1 Hide
    wizloa , January 19, 2012 7:04 AM
    heh, my 4870 runs at 80c regardless of idle or load
  • 3 Hide
    FunSurfer , January 19, 2012 8:22 AM
    I think there is an error on the Asus idle voltage: instead "0.192 V Idle" it should be 0.912
  • 0 Hide
    Memnarchon , January 19, 2012 8:49 AM
    justme1977
    crisan_tiberiu[/nom..... (it slike in the "best gaming CPU chart", no point going beyond i5 2500k for gaming.
    I have the feeling that even a i5 2500k@4ghz bottlenecks a 7970 @1080p in most newer games. If the GPU market goes the way it does, it won't take long that even midrange cards will be bottlenecked @1080p by the cpu.


    Not really. This is mostly game depended. Depends on how much stress each graphics engine push at cpu and gpu.
    Games like Dragon Age 2 and SWTOR are gpu intensive. So a GTX570 (that I have) is being used at 1080p at 99% of its usage with a low performance nowadays Q6600 in SWTOR (used MSI after burner to monitor it).
    But with games such Skyrim which cpu is more important than other games, a highly clocked sandybridge is required in order to play smoothly at 1080p.
    One thing is certain for sure. The higher the resolution the more gpu power and less cpu power requires a game.
  • -3 Hide
    nevertell , January 19, 2012 11:00 AM
    Hey, I have a gtx 460 and I play with tesselation and DX11 enabled in metro 2033 @1080p. It has some drops to 25 and lower, but that's never in the middle of a firefight.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , January 19, 2012 11:14 AM
    giovanni86Your kidding right, my overclocked 580GTX at 60% fan speed idles at 32c. Cards down clock themselves which allows them to run cooler at idle temps even if it were clocked at upwards i don't think a card would get hot unless it was being used.

    The 280 idles higher than the 580 to the best of my knowledge, plus it's a 65nm part and the largest gaming GPU ever created.
  • -4 Hide
    GhosT94 , January 19, 2012 11:44 AM
    would you please add Crysis 2 to all GPU benchmarks
  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , January 19, 2012 12:41 PM
    silverblueThe 280 idles higher than the 580 to the best of my knowledge, plus it's a 65nm part and the largest gaming GPU ever created.

    That's an enormous amount of fan speed for an Idle GPU. Hope you're happy having a nice loud fan at idle. I can't imagine how loud it gets under a light load.

    To the article, I don't think these comparisons are really necessary. All the cards are going to have different overclocking capabilities, which is what anyone from tom's is going to check. Hell, the worst card you guys test according to this comparison might overclock the most, and be the best card for the money on someone else's comparison.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 19, 2012 12:46 PM
    Any subjective comments about the Asus cooler's noise? I'm wondering if the different fans reduce harmonic whine, or some similar effect of having two identical fans in close proximity. I have this cooler on my GTX560Ti, and I never hear it.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , January 19, 2012 12:55 PM
    Hmm...Missing something here...Where's any EVGA??? See -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=50001402%2040000048%20600094002%20600158457&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=REVIEWS&PageSize=20 EVGA on GTX 570/580 (-AR lines) also includes Lifetime Warranties. IMO EVGA and ASUS are the best choices for nVidia GPUs.

    For a $30 savings the ASUS ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI is worth a look. Sure if you run the fans at 100% a higher CFM fan is going to be very loud, but no one runs their fans @ 100% either.

    With Apps like MSI Afterburner and others it's incredibly easy to OC any GPU. It's a balancing act between performance, temperatures, and dDA (noise). One of the big reasons for water blocks on higher end cards, etc.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , January 19, 2012 1:12 PM
    Duh me, typo dBA...coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

    BTW - I appreciate the Article, it's enlightening and offers good info. Thanks! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , January 19, 2012 1:42 PM
    payneg1The Galaxy model comes closest with its 830/1002 MHz clocks, but Zotac's AMP! edition goes all the way to 950/1100 MHz.This dosent match with the above chart


    Quite right! Fixed.
  • 2 Hide
    wolfram23 , January 19, 2012 1:42 PM
    Quote:
    so, basicaly if someone plays on a single monitor, there is no point going beyond a gtx 560 or a 6950 in today's games. (it slike in the "best gaming CPU chart", no point going beyond i5 2500k for gaming.


    The GTX 560 is comparable to the 6870, though generally thought to be a little slower but with better OC headroom. The 6950 is much faster, and is comparable to the GTX 560 Ti.
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