Page 1:A More Affordable Gaming Alternative
Page 2:CPU And Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 6:Assembling My Gaming Box
Page 7:Improving High-Res Gaming By Overclocking Graphics
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Results: Synthetics
Page 10:Results: Audio And Video
Page 11:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 12:Results: Productivity
Page 13:Results: Compression
Page 14:Results: Battlefield 4 And Battlefield 3
Page 15:Results: F1 2012, Grid 2, and Arma 3
Page 16:Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
Page 17:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 18:Summarizing The Performance Of Three Gaming Builds
Page 19:Did I Achieve My Goals, Or Is This A Failure?
Improving High-Res Gaming By Overclocking Graphics
Intel's Core i3 can't be overclocked at all, and I didn't bother trying to eke out gains from the system memory. Rather, I focused all of my tuning efforts where they mattered most: extending the high-resolution gaming capabilities of Zotac's GeForce GTX 770 graphics card through aggressive overclocking.
Right out of the box, the graphics card ran coolly and quietly, with in-game GPU Boost frequencies pinned at 1150 MHz under heavy load. In CPU-limited workloads, clock rate dropped as low as 719 MHz at 0.9 V. That's normal behavior with GPU Boost-enabled hardware, as power-saving features kick in to save power in lighter tasks.
Nvidia's drivers are set to "Adaptive" Power Management Mode by default. While overclocking, however, I changed that to “Prefer Maximum Performance”, which prevents 3D clocks from dipping below the GPU's base value. Since neither the CPU nor the memory are overclocked, today's story gives us the bonus angle of benchmarking the effectiveness of Nvidia's efficiency concession, and see if it has any side effects. You can see slight variations in our charts using CPU-limited quality settings. In short, though, the driver option didn't make a bit of difference. At least in this configuration, the technology works as it should, paring back power consumption and heat without adversely affecting performance.
I had ambitious hopes to hit a 1300 MHz GPU Boost clock rate with this GeForce GTX 770, but ran into instability at 1267 MHz using 1.2 V. Unwilling to give up, I switched to the latest beta build of MSI's Afterburner software, which unlocked a 12 mV bump. The GPU then passed my initial stability testing at 1306 MHz.
The GDDR5 probably had more headroom, but I stopped at a stable 7806 MT/s data rate. To ensure extended stability, I backed both frequency settings down a bit, yielding a 1283 MHz GPU Boost clock rate and 7610 MT/s memory.
- A More Affordable Gaming Alternative
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling My Gaming Box
- Improving High-Res Gaming By Overclocking Graphics
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Battlefield 3
- Results: F1 2012, Grid 2, and Arma 3
- Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Summarizing The Performance Of Three Gaming Builds
- Did I Achieve My Goals, Or Is This A Failure?