Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Benchmarks: Nvidia And GeForce 186.18

Graphics Overclocking: Getting The Most From Your GPU
By

As our maximum setting, we used the highest overclock we could achieve using the AirForce panel. Using a third-party tool doesn’t make any sense, since we had to increase the voltages to stabilize the card, which is something the panel enables and MSI sanctions.

O/C Mode
Clock Speeds (GPU/Shader/Memory)
Watts (3D)
Temperature (3D)
dB(A) 3D
Standard (default)
655/1,404/999277
67.0
43.0
MSI D.O.T Captain
694/1,488/1,058285
59.0
47.3
MSI Game Maximum
680/1,458/1,050294
61.0
53.4


Thanks to the combination of MSI’s Lightning software and AirForce panel, you are completely independent of the graphics driver. And the difference an updated driver can make becomes evident once we leave the (outdated) MSI version with its D.O.T. modification behind and upgrade to release 186.18. Even at our card’s overclocked default speeds, the newer driver is faster than MSI’s “Captain” settings, offering an extra 2 fps with AA enabled. Tweaked to its limit (Game Maximum), the results are even better, and the newer driver enjoys an advantage of almost 5 fps. If we compare the results achieved at reference clock speeds with those of the Game Maximum setting, we see performance gains of between 5 and 10 fps.

Far Cry 2, GeForce GTX 260 (GPU/Shader/Memory)
1920x1200 0xAA 0xAF
1920x1200 4xAA 4xAF
1920x1200 8xAA 16xAF
O/C Mode/Clock Speeds/CPU/DriverMin
Average
Max
Min
Average
Max
Min
Average
Max
GTX 260 Reference, 576/1,242/999, i7@3.845.5
55.9
73.6
36.3
44.7
62.2
27.9
35.1
52.4
D.O.T. Captain, 694/1,488/1,058, i7@3.8, 182.0650.4
62.6
83.3
38.5
48.7
66.8
29.5
36.9
53.8
Standard Game, 655/1,404/1,000, i7@3.8, 186.1849.3
61.7
85.2
39.1
50.9
71.4
29.6
39.0
56.8
Game Maximum, 680/1,458/1,050, i7@3.8, 186.1851.0
65.2
109.4
41.0
53.0
77.4
30.8
40.6
59.1


This time the delta between Nvidia’s reference clock speeds and the Game Maximum setting of our highest overclock ranges from 8 to 16 fps. The gap closes with increasing AA levels. While the fastest frequencies allow for a performance increase of 16 percent, that advantage drops to 12 percent at 8xAA.

Left 4 Dead, GeForce GTX 260 (GPU/Shader/Memory)
1920x1200 0xAA 0xAF
1920x1200 4xAA 8xAF
1920x1200 8xAF 16xAA
O/C Mode/Clock Speeds/CPU/DriverAverage
Average
Average
GTX 260 Reference, 576/1,242/999, i7@3.8100.5
78.0
64.7
D.O.T. Captain, 694/1,488/1,058, i7@3.8, 182.06115.4
89.5
72.7
Standard Game, 655/1,404/1,000, i7@3.8, 186.18112.2
84.8
69.2
Game Maximum, 680/1,458/1,050, i7@3.8, 186.18116.5
89.1
72.4
React To This Article