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Other Graphics Cards and 3D Technologies Discussion forum for any graphics hardware not provided by AMD/ATI. Also place to discuss 3D technologies such as 3D Stereo, PhysX and other interesting developments/rumours in the 3D industry.

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Old Feb 14, 2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Spyhawk
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Default Does overclocking a graphics card really make a difference in games?

From my expeience gpu/mem overclocks dont really add much but instability, heat and stress and a few more fps . Maybe if we could get 10+ more fps out of it, it would be worth the risk and effort.

Whats your average FPS gain after OC
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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Depends on the game and the settings.

Overclocking when you game at say 2560x1600 (which I do) makes the difference between unplayable and smooth sometimes. At that resolution ever little bit helps.

I suppose I could always do a few benchmarks and see for me self the difference.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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IMO its not worth it unless you got some exotic cooling set up that will allow you to volt mod and push the card to its limits. You will see better gains just buying a second card for a SLI or Crossfire setup.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 01:14 PM   #4
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I concur. The gains do not seem worth the risk. It amazes me that some people around here get a new video card and the first thing they do is see as high as they can push them.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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I do over-clock but very modest and it's mostly to raise minimums a bit more than anything else. Everything revolves around sustained minimums and believe this is what makes or breaks the gaming experiences more than crazy highs that just inflate averages at times.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 01:33 PM   #6
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In the case of the 295 then yes. Nvidia released those cards with very conservative clocks. I have yet to hear of a card that won't do at least 620 on the core. Going from stock to modest overclock is 5 fps easy. That's a free 5 fps increase. I'll take it. As far as hurting the card, when you buy from a respectable vendor like EVGA, then no worry's.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 07:47 PM   #7
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OCing isn't about more FPS in gaming. It's about the challenge and hobby aspect of it. An extra 10FPS won't help in most games and if it does, you can just tic down the FSAA/AF and get the same result and not shorten the life span of your card.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 09:32 PM   #8
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Makes negligible difference on the hd4870x2
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 12:04 AM   #9
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I OC'd my 285...just because. Not very much though. Just raised it up to the XFX Black Edition specs. Runs perfect and gained me about 3,000 Marks in 3DMark06.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:02 AM   #10
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an extra 5-10% performance for free is worth spending a little time oc'ing imo, but I only oc as far as I can on air.. I'v never used water cooling, the price doesnt justify the performance gains imo..
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 02:30 AM   #11
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I could never tell much difference when overclocking the video card in games, and I just didn't feel comfortable doing it with amount of cash I've been putting into the latest and greatest.

I stopped overclocking video cards completely a while back, and only overclock the CPU now for the fun of it. I suspect that there may be more noticeable gains from overclocking an SLI setup, but I'm not willing to be the guinea pig.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 03:24 AM   #12
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Well since i run most things fanless, overclocking is the last thing i would do since cooling them passivly is already hard with default clocks (HD2900 <.<).

But of course i have tried pushing the system to its max, wich boosts 3dmark scores but for gaming, never noticed the diffrence apart from louder system. Benchmarks usually show 2-4fps boosts so...

But as someone said, its mostly a hobby of tweaking, same as i enjoy tweaking components/replace fans to get the computer as silent as possible.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 04:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetz View Post
I concur. The gains do not seem worth the risk. It amazes me that some people around here get a new video card and the first thing they do is see as high as they can push them.
Well, depends how far you can push it.
My HD4850 (625Mhz stock clocks) will do 750Mhz on the core. Thats a real performance gain there.
IMHO though, we do it for the sport. To say we are willing to take that risk.
Kinda like the Phenom II Overclockers club. I am proudly a member of that club. I don't break records with mine but I still got it OC'd and am a member of that club.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 09:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybo View Post
OCing isn't about more FPS in gaming. It's about the challenge and hobby aspect of it. An extra 10FPS won't help in most games and if it does, you can just tic down the FSAA/AF and get the same result and not shorten the life span of your card.
+1 to all said.

We don't OC because we feel we have to, we do it because we want to tweak it just a little bit; and maybe be part of the engineering process.

CPUs on the other hand...OC for life since we can get a 50% speed boost which WILL appear in games.


(same reason a lot of us geeks use performance rims, synthetic oils, strut braces, and fuel additives in our cars)
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 10:33 AM   #15
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^^This.

My PC runs all the games I want just fine stock. I just did it...because. Why have something that you can push if you're not gonna push it? If it breaks...oh well. Save up the money try again later.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 11:40 AM   #16
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(same reason a lot of us geeks use performance rims, synthetic oils, strut braces, and fuel additives in our cars)
There is such a thing as rims that add performance? My mind is officially blown and amused.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 12:57 PM   #17
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I agree with the tuning hobby aspect. Im like that also. I aways try to see how much I can push my new systems, CPU, Ram, GPU, but ultimately, they all have gone back to stock speeds. No wait..back in the day, I had a celeron that I kept OCed for a few years.

Most of the time, I dont notice any real improvement in the applications I use, and coupled with the heat that summer brings along, I find that keeping my system 100% reliable under all conditions usng stock speads is less of a hassle.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:02 PM   #18
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How am I not going to see any gain going from 602/1296/1026 to 756/1512/1269? Honestly I see more gain from that then I do going from 2.66ghz to 3.5ghz on my cpu. I like to play my games at 1900x1080 with aa and af. If we didnt care about such things we wouldnt use SLI or crossfire or buy new cards every year. Also I dont really see where there is a risk in ocing a video card. I have never had one die on me and I would think it would become unstable at clocks that were dangerouse to it. Also if they say a certain card is safe up to say 85c and the temps remain in the 60's and 70's then where is the danger?

When the 6800 cards came out I bought a gt and clocked it well above the ultra clocks, but I guess I should have just spent the xtra money on an ultra and left it alone and gotten less performance for more money?

Its not like I can already run all my games at there highest settings with or withought either. Clear sky for example at my current clocks in the morning my fps can drop as low as 30 at 1900x1080 with only 2x aa. Hell even WoW drops down to 35fps sometimes (though that has more to do with its poor performance with vista then any thing given that in xp with a single card i dont think it fell below 70 and changing settings doesnt change much)

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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyhawk View Post
From my expeience gpu/mem overclocks dont really add much but instability, heat and stress and a few more fps . Maybe if we could get 10+ more fps out of it, it would be worth the risk and effort.

Whats your average FPS gain after OC
Well the ironic thing is that a given percentage overclock will have a bigger impact on absolute framerates the higher your baseline performance. So you get the biggest improvement when you need it the least. There's no "average FPS gain" as it all depends on your starting position.

Having said that it depends on the overclock. With my 8800GTS I went from a stock 500/1200 to 600/1600. That's 33% on the shaders which is a massive difference say 45fps up to 60fps if you're shader bound. On the other hand I got a relatively paltry 6% OC on my GTX 285, that's not gonna help much in situations where I need more performance.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjobob View Post
How am I not going to see any gain going from 602/1296/1026 to 756/1512/1269? Honestly I see more gain from that then I do going from 2.66ghz to 3.5ghz on my cpu. I like to play my games at 1900x1080 with aa and af. If we didnt care about such things we wouldnt use SLI or crossfire or buy new cards every year. Also I dont really see where there is a risk in ocing a video card. I have never had one die on me and I would think it would become unstable at clocks that were dangerouse to it. Also if they say a certain card is safe up to say 85c and the temps remain in the 60's and 70's then where is the danger?

When the 6800 cards came out I bought a gt and clocked it well above the ultra clocks, but I guess I should have just spent the xtra money on an ultra and left it alone and gotten less performance for more money?

Its not like I can already run all my games at there highest settings with or withought either. Clear sky for example at my current clocks in the morning my fps can drop as low as 30 at 1900x1080 with only 2x aa. Hell even WoW drops down to 35fps sometimes (though that has more to do with its poor performance with vista then any thing given that in xp with a single card i dont think it fell below 70 and changing settings doesnt change much)

Thats awesome if you can get noticible performance gains in the games you play. I just dont see that much of a gain going from stock GTX285 clocks to
Core=720
Shaders= 1620
Mem 2808
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:35 PM   #21
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Thats awesome if you can get noticible performance gains in the games you play. I just dont see that much of a gain going from stock GTX285 clocks to
Core=720
Shaders= 1620
Mem 2808
I think overall gains might be based on what games you are currently playing, settings you play at and other potential bottlenecks.

The 285 is a great card and will play games well with and without the oc so if it doesnt give gains in the games your playing and your uncomfortable with it then you might as well just leave it at stock. Peace of mind > FPS any day.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I think overall gains might be based on what games you are currently playing, settings you play at and other potential bottlenecks.

The 285 is a great card and will play games well with and without the oc so if it doesnt give gains in the games your playing and your uncomfortable with it then you might as well just leave it at stock. Peace of mind > FPS any day.

Aye thats what i figured as well after playing with it a bit. I was happy I could push the card by that much with only air cooling, but it wasnt 100% stable in Crysis. AoC on the other hand was rock stable. Both were giving me great performance at stock clocks so in the end I opted to go back to stock till I could figure out why crysis was so sensitive. Furmark didnt give me any issues so maybe Crysis is pushing my Antec 550 over its limits.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 01:57 PM   #23
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Aye thats what i figured as well after playing with it a bit. I was happy I could push the card by that much with only air cooling, but it wasnt 100% stable in Crysis. AoC on the other hand was rock stable. Both were giving me great performance at stock clocks so in the end I opted to go back to stock till I could figure out why crysis was so sensitive. Furmark didnt give me any issues so maybe Crysis is pushing my Antec 550 over its limits.
That could be though I'm not sure how the Neo's compair to the True power trio's but I was running two power hungry 260's at 710/1456/1260 with a 650w trio with no isseues for about a month before I finally got arround to replacing my psu.

But if your unstable in any game its not really worth it. I always test with my most tempermental games and then back them off a little from what can run stable there.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 06:07 PM   #24
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There is such a thing as rims that add performance? My mind is officially blown and amused.
Not to get TOO far off field, but yes, 17lb Al-alloy rims that replace 25lb steelies will make a VERY noticeable difference.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 06:10 PM   #25
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Not to get TOO far off field, but yes, 17lb Al-alloy rims that replace 25lb steelies will make a VERY noticeable difference.
Really? 8lbs off of each tire makes that big of a difference eh? Guess I learned something new.

EDIT: Wow, I've been checking out a lot of that stuff, and it is way out of my price range. Looks like people a lot richer than me get to enjoy it.

Ah well, thanks for the info.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 08:32 AM   #26
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For me oc`ing is all about releasing the untapped potential, personally i don`t like to throw voltage at the hardware because that`s what will ultimately kill it, secondly having aftermarket heatsinks is really a must, my 8800 is bumped up 100 Mhz over stock but with the better cooler my temps never ever exceed 50 c, same goes for my Q6600 voltage is still running within Intels specified operational range after an 800Mhz bump but with the Ultima my CPU temps stay below 50c during any usage i throw at it.

I guess i spent a little more money on cooling, which was actually more than made up for at the time in cost/performance, i could push harder yet but for me it`s all about getting what i can out of it while retaining rock solid stability. My hardware is running fast, stable and cooler than stock, i don`t really see any negatives... it does`nt even matter if i see a performance difference although i`m sure there is one.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 09:34 AM   #27
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It made a crapload of difference on my 9600GT that overclocked to perform close to an overclocked 8800GT speeds. On my other cards as well it made a difference, like clocking the 7900GT to overclocked speeds provided gains in terms of smoothness in games like NFS Carbon, DiRT and some shooters as well.

On the 4870 not so much because it starts artifacting after 20-30 MHz of overclock. Also because the games are not demanding enough to benefit from the overclock.

Games like crysis benefit a bit in terms of increasing 1 or 2 settings from gamer to enthusiast when overclocked.

Overall I suggest overclocking when you see noticeable improvement in smoothness of games and not necessarily framerates. Otherwise, sit tight and enjoy the cards since they are already pretty fast enough these days (talking about 4870, GTX 260 and above).
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 09:38 AM   #28
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It made a crapload of difference on my 9600GT that overclocked to perform close to an overclocked 8800GT speeds. On my other cards as well it made a difference, like clocking the 7900GT to overclocked speeds provided gains in terms of smoothness in games like NFS Carbon, DiRT and some shooters as well.

On the 4870 not so much because it starts artifacting after 20-30 MHz of overclock. Also because the games are not demanding enough to benefit from the overclock.

Games like crysis benefit a bit in terms of increasing 1 or 2 settings from gamer to enthusiast when overclocked.

Overall I suggest overclocking when you see noticeable improvement in smoothness of games and not necessarily framerates. Otherwise, sit tight and enjoy the cards since they are already pretty fast enough these days (talking about 4870, GTX 260 and above).
They are never fast enough... EVER!! I have an insatiable need for more graphics power.

All my cards are mildly overclocked, but just so their clocks would all match.
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Old Feb 24, 2009, 11:05 PM   #29
Kowan
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Prior to F@H which shows a benefit overclocking the shaders, I only overclocked for 3DMark. That was when I thought it honest fun going against another system similar to mine, (rampant cheating closed that chapter...).
For gaming, I run stock speeds. I am running SLI though.
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 12:41 PM   #30
FrAg Of FuRy
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If you're playing @ 1920x1200 or higher, oc'ing your gpu might give some decent results. Even so, 2 or 3 fps max. Which imo isn't worth the risk.

These days games are so cpu dependent that ocing a gpu seems pointless.

Oc'ing a cpu would be much more beneficial in 95% of the games out there and/or if you play @ 1600x1200 or lower.
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