Overclocking GPUs-just how does it work?

#1 Posted by jclane (326 posts) -

I sit here staring at my monitor which is currently displaying my Steam library as well as a little piece of software called EVGA Precision X. I've had it since I bought my Nvidia GTX 680 late last year, but have never really explored what it does. Of course, hence this post, curiosity has gotten the better of me and now I'm wondering what it is exactly that I can do with this software. As I understand it, overclocking PC parts means kicking them up a notch for more power, ergo better performance.

Truth is, I'm afraid that if I even touch a slider to go across by one value, things are going to start to break. Are there any tech savvy bombers out there who know how to utilize this program, if it is needed at all?

#2 Posted by Andorski (5112 posts) -

It's possible to gain +5fps frames of better performance when OCing your card. That being said, you really need to do your research before messing around with your GPU settings. While software like EVGA Precision works on all nVidia cards the optimal settings and OCing potential vary between GPU types (and even individual GPU cards. Not all graphics cards are produced the same; some will OC better than others). And of course there are the various types of OEM cooling solutions, where some allow for higher voltages than others.

I would read this thread on basic overclocking help and look to other sources if you have more specific overclocking questions for the GTX 680.

#3 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I have the Twin Frozr GTX 470, with overclocking I got it to exceed stock GTX 570 performance and it barely runs any hotter. (under 80c full load)

#4 Edited by Troispoint (267 posts) -

Download a benchmark software like Unigine Heaven 4.0 and step by step (let's say start 40 Mhz clock offset) adding 10 Mhz after each successful runs. By this I mean if you don't see any graphical artifacts or crashes. Once you you crash or start to see artifacts to go back down a little bit and you should be good. Then you should start playing with the memory clock offset, that can go much higher but also involves more risk from I've read (you can go higher with that, for example my best stable OC on my EVGA GTX 770 SC w/ACX is 50 Mhz clock offset with 600 memory clock offset, although I tend to lower that on my own just to be safe). Of course don't forget to check your temps along the way. To be sure it's fully stable, let the Heaven benchmark loop for a couple of hours, if it didn't crashed then it means you're good to go. To go even higher with your clock offsets, you could overvolt (which, as it implies, adds more voltage coursing through your card) but I would stay away from doing that. It's the most likely way to damage your card.

Anyway, this 2 part guide is a great way to start: youtube.com/watch?v=QXTEzD_hz2Y and youtube.com/watch?v=hCn4cpkDOf0

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