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How To Overclock Your Graphics Card

ATI NvidiaOur overclocking tests ended on some fairly positive results. Our GeForce and Radeon cards both played ball, and we were able to increase speed by approximately 20% on each GPU. That’s almost like moving up to the next card in the series! All without doing any very complex or very risky manipulations, and without spending one additional cent. We trust we’ve convinced you that overclocking a graphics card is worthwhile.

If you develop a taste for graphic overclocking, you’ll soon find out that we’re a long way from having covered all the territory. The Web and its forums are full of advice from much more adventurous users who aren’t afraid to try some much hairier overclocking. We’re talking about modifications to the cooling system, changing voltages by soldering additional resistors in the right places on the card and using pens with conductive ink (hard vmod). Those are the kinds of approaches that are being used to go far beyond the limits we’ve stayed within here.

For example, numerous Radeon HD 3870s have been pushed beyond a gigahertz, which is a really extreme GPU clock speed. All these complex modifications are described in numerous tutorials on numerous specialized forums. We’ll let the more fearless among you venture into that territory if you want to.

Finally, note that while we’ve focused only on overclocking, the utilities and BIOS editors we’ve used can also lower your card’s frequencies in order to limit power consumption, heating and noise when all your GPU’s firepower isn’t needed. After all, you can be a fan of high performance and still care about the environment!

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