How To Overclock Your Graphics Card

Conclusion

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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  • I OC'ed my HD2900Pro 1GB to a 850MHz GPU (from 600MHz) and 2250MHz memory (from 1850MHz). So I technically got alomost a 50% OC. But mine is just a HD2900XT 1GB just down clocked.
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  • The HP disk utility asks me for DOS files to write to the disk where would I find these?
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  • Better than the "Overclock your card in 5 minutes" article.
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  • By the way, the first step in Nibitor is to select the device, before you can read the BIOS ;) I'd like to know how you "deleted" the "Extra" frequencies. Did you set them to 0 or did you actually set the number of performance levels to 3 instead?
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  • brendano257 visit www.bootdisk.com and get those files.
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  • A good idea for doing blind flashes is to have a second floppy (with the DOS files on obviously) but add a file called autoexec.bat with the following line in it:

    nvlfash -4 -5 -6 -a -y file.rom

    where file.rom is the filename and it could also be a .bin file. That will flash the card without you having to hope you typed it in right, just make sure you gave it a good minute or two before restarting so you don't corrupt the BIOS.
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  • Typo correction - the line in the autoexec.bat file should read:

    nvflash -4 -5 -6 -a -y file.rom

    Why can't I edit my own comments?
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  • randomizerBy the way, the first step in Nibitor is to select the device, before you can read the BIOS I'd like to know how you "deleted" the "Extra" frequencies. Did you set them to 0 or did you actually set the number of performance levels to 3 instead?


    Setting them to zero wouldn't work, you have to set them to dash ( - ), as you can see in the screenshot on page 6. AFAIK, Geforce 8 won't boot correctly if you suppress their "extra" performance level.
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  • with the really extremly bad cooling on todays GPU's ...a little plastic fan with sleeve bearings that runs slower and slower before it stops completly.. i'm very cautious. New cooling? Yeah, but that costs and then i get a 10% oc. Hmm.
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  • matthieu lamelotSetting them to zero wouldn't work, you have to set them to dash ( - ), as you can see in the screenshot on page 6. AFAIK, Geforce 8 won't boot correctly if you suppress their "extra" performance level.

    It's worth a try, you might get lucky. ;) Besides, you can always blind flash back. Try setting the number of performance levels to 3 (first ticking the "change amount of active performance levels" box of course).
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  • perzywith the really extremly bad cooling on todays GPU's ...a little plastic fan with sleeve bearings that runs slower and slower before it stops completly.. i'm very cautious. New cooling? Yeah, but that costs and then i get a 10% oc. Hmm.

    So you want them to jack the prices up more? We get ripped off as it is until a year after stuff get's released.
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  • benchmarks anywhere? i'd like to see performance in gaming benchmarks. Fairly interesting article. Could save me some $
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  • The performance benefit is usually
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  • radium69benchmarks anywhere? i'd like to see performance in gaming benchmarks. Fairly interesting article. Could save me some $


    Performance is as you would expect it to be : fairly on par with the frequency increase. Don't expect miracles here, but it's enough to climb one step on a manufacturer's performance scale. i.e. our overclocked Geforce 9600 GT was as fast as a regular 8800 GT. Of course you could go beyond that, should you manage to reach higher frequencies than us (better card, better cooling, voltage mod, etc.)
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  • My Radeon 2900 pro 512MB,
    went from 507Mhz GPU and 514Mhz memory
    to 846Mhz GPU and 890MHz memory.

    Thank you fore the ispiration!
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  • You got a nice overclock on that 9600GT. Mine won't play nicely in Crysis until I drop to 750MHz. Unfortunately ATITool can't detect artifacts no matter how much they fill the window with yellow, but just looking for them myself I didn't see any at 770MHz. Crysis just caused driver crashes all the time, which fortunately recovered every time. I only have my memory at 936MHz, I don't know how high I can go with that, but probably not far. The same crashes occur with the shader clock above 1770MHz. This was done via rivatuner with 174.74 drivers.

    Just to let you know, the coders of NiBiTor are working on fan control, but they don't have enough 9 series BIOSs (especially 9600GT).
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  • I got my 8800GT overclocked from 600Mhz Core to 691Mhz, 900Mhz memory to 1065Mhz and Shaders from 1500Mhz to 1728Mhz. It also ran stable at 700/1100/1750 but I decided to choose a little safer settings to flash the bios with. This overclock of about 17% gave me 16.3% better performance in 3D Mark 06! all that in no time! Thanks guys!!!
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  • Well you don't really need a floppy and it's really rare and hard to use it, what I did was, I have a windows 98 installation cd and i used that, works just fine...
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  • It's hard to use a floppy? I find it easier than using CDs, there's one less button to push. They are just real slow.
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