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NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Preview


Let's take a look at what many nVIDIOT's, or visitors to nV News, have come to expect with their NVIDIA based graphics cards - OVERCLOCKING!  After increasing the GeForce2 GTS core and memory speeds, based on my experience with the Annihilator Pro, I managed to get the reference card running at a core speed of 225MHz and memory speed of 370MHz. The default speeds of the reference board I received from NVIDIA is 200MHz/333MHz.

I did managed to get the memory speed up to 380MHz, but graphics artifacts began to appear in Quake 3 at this speed. Note that the reference board does not have any heatsinks on the memory. Certain GeForce2 GTS based graphics cards, such as ELSA's GLADIAC, will have memory heatsinks. Here is a screen shot of the overclocking applet in NVIDIA's Detonator drivers:

Hardware Options - Overclocking

Did overclocking make a difference? It certainly did! How about a 10% increase in Quake 3 performance at 1024x768 in 32-bit color - from 78.4 to 87.1 frames per second. A faster processor and/or higher memory clock speeds may even be able to reach 90 or more frames per second.

Quake 3 - High Quality Settings - Overclocking

Percent Increase in Frames Per Second

Next, let's take a look a how much memory clock speed has an impact on performance. In these tests, the core clock speed remained constant at 200MHz while the memory clock speeds were increased from the default 333MHz up to 380MHz.

A couple points of interest here. First, and what I expected, is that increasing the core clock speed has almost no effect under the Quake 3 High Quality at 1024x768 on my processor (P3-550E @683MHz). At clock speeds of 200MHz/370MHz, the result was 86.5 fps (compared to 87.1 fps at a 225MHz core clock speed).

Second, and even more interesting, is the next chart, which shows the percent increase in clock speeds and frame rates. This could be a feature of the way DDR memory operates but notice the way the percent increase in FPS changes (blue line) from 3 to 2 back to 3 and down to 2 again. Increases of 3 percent occur at odd numbered clock speeds (350MHz and 370MHz) while increases of 2 percent occur at 340MHz and 360MHz.

Next Page: FSAA and S3TC

Last Updated on May 12, 2000

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