ATI Buyer's Guide, Part III: All Graphics Cards!

Overclocking And Heat

The default clock speeds are given as 500/594 MHz (GPU/memory) in the driver's information center. The overclocking presets in the Overdrive tab of the driver are set to 648/774 MHz, which are the values preset for all of our X1900 XTX samples in that section. In order to overclock the card, the automated clock configuration utility has to be run first, which takes a few minutes. During our test, this procedure was aborted twice due to the driver's VPU recover module. We acknowledged the error message and let the configuration process continue. Once it completed, we accepted the speeds suggested, which automatically set the card to run at these frequencies. MSI's X1900 XTX reached a maximum overclock of 679/797, which is slightly lower than what the HIS sample reached (see that card's test in Part 2). Overall performance was increased by about 1.5 percent as a result of overclocking. The memory frequency displayed in the screenshot refers to the physical clockspeed. Since this is DDR memory, the clock speeds are doubled in the technical specifications.

This chip gets quite hot. It idles at 53°C in 2D mode and reaches up to 93°C under extended 3D load. The chip seems to cope with the heat quite well, though the powerful cooler is very loud.