Overclock Your Graphics Card in 5 Minutes

Oblivion Performance Up By 9.5%

Overclocking the MSI Geforce 8600 GTS Diamond Plus with Nibitor

While graphics drivers and third-party utilities allow you to overclock your graphics card's GPU and memory, pixel shader clock speeds can only be increased through the card's BIOS. These settings are permanent and independent of the graphics driver, and the process is easily reversible. Games like Oblivion, which make extensive use of shader effects, benefit greatly from the increased pixel shader clock speed. Since graphics drivers do not permit changing the pixel shader unit's speed, setting the frequencies manually by adjusting the card's BIOS is the quickest way to achieve your own optimized overclock.

For this article, Tom's Hardware experimented on the MSI Geforce 8600 GTS Diamond Plus card Compare Prices on Top Video Cards . It sports a powerful fan, and comes with a heatpipe cooling solution. MSI also allows the card to be overclocked dynamically by up to 10% through the driver. These are ideal conditions for the GPU, memory and shader units to run stably at their new frequencies, while the graphics chip remains cool.

In order to reprogram an Nvidia card's BIOS, you'll need the tools Nibitor (3.5), Nvflash (5.5) and a boot medium such as a DOS floppy or a USB stick. While the process as described here covers the Geforce 8600 GTS, the individual steps can also be applied to any other Nvidia graphics card just as easily.

The MSI 8600 GTS Diamond Plus sports a very powerful fan and heatpipe-based cooling.

The card is sold at default clock speeds, but the MSI driver allows overclocking of up to 10 percent.

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