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NVIDIA System Utility Preview - Page 3 Of 4

NVSU – Working With It - Advanced Overclocking

Overclocking – Advanced Section

NVSU – Overclocking - Advanced Page
NVSU – Overclocking - Advanced Page

This page can be accessed by clicking on the “Overclocking – Advanced” button but your BIOS must support it. In the next revision of NVSU, the "Overclocking- Advanced" button will be hidden unless explicitly supported by the BIOS. With this tool, you can access and adjust according BIOS settings within windows. This can be a time saving feature if you do not want to get into BIOS during bootup. This page is also only accessible if your BIOS support the functions that NVSU has within this section. OEM’s have also the option not to enable this section so some of you maybe disappointed. It’s divided into 3 panels. Any changes made in this section are not immediately applied even after you click “OK” or “Apply” buttons. The configurable settings contained within this section are written to the BIOS by NVSU but, the default settings remain and the new chosen settings only get applied after the system is rebooted. With nForce2 and nForce3 motherboards, NVSU should equally be able to set all parameters here.

Chipset Performance

NVSU – Chipset Performance Panel
NVSU – Chipset Performance Panel

In this panel, you have the ability to configure chipset performance. Here you several settings in which you can play around with. The “System Performance”, “CPU Interface” and “Memory Timing” have drag and drop values of optimal, aggressive, turbo and expert. Changing the settings to these values will let you make adjustments in levels of performance. These settings are not unlike the ones you will find in the advanced chipset section of your BIOS. Choosing the turbo and aggressive values will make NVSU set various chipset settings aggressively than default values. This will make your system perform faster but maybe, at the cost of stability. Optimal will guarantee you an increased level of stability of your system.

However though, initially only the “System Performance” setting window is configurable while the others are locked. Changing the value to expert will result in making the other configurable settings windows available. Changing the “Memory Timing” setting to expert will enable you to tweak memory controller settings, the most important being CAS latency, from values of 2.0 to 3. You can also set tRAS, tRCD, tRP as well but they are already available through the “Overclocking – Basic” section.

Also note you can even change the CPU multiplier setting through the “CPU Multiplier” window here in this panel once, the expert value has been set. Remember though all changes made in the current session for this panel will only get applied on the next reboot.


NVSU – Voltage Panel
NVSU – Voltage Panel

When overclocking, voltages of CPU, memory are generally increased in efforts to keep the system more stable. This panel is virtually the same as the one in the “Overclocking –Basic” section. It again lets you overvolt certain voltages beyond default levels. Only this time the CPU voltage is adjusted with a slider. This slider is adjusted through extremes of minimum to maximum. This can be slightly confusing but, the minimum refers to the value set as minimum in a preinstall file and the maximum, also refers likewise to the value set as maximum in a preinstall file that will most probably be set by OEMs. It would probably have been better if NVSU have had the slider label correspond to the actual adjustable voltage range rather than, a “Max” or Min” label. Other voltages can be configured through a drop down menu. The settings here are again only available after you have applied them by clicking on the “OK” or “Apply” button and rebooted.

Other Performance Settings

NVSU – Other Performance Settings Panel
NVSU – Other Performance Settings Panel

This panel will let you configure other chipset performances and is quite self explanatory. These configurable settings are also similar to those you will find in the BIOS of your motherboard. In this panel, you have the option to change and set new AGP Aperture size. Changing aperture size may result you in gaining a little more video card optimal performance. This panel (depending on what type of AGP you have) will also let you enable or disable, AGP 8X support, AGP 3.0 and AGP 2.0 speeds.

You also have the ability to disable or enable “CPU Interface Cache” which probably refers to the L1 cache of the CPU and “CPU External Cache” which probably refers to the L2 cache on the CPU. Disabling this is not recommended as you will see performance take a nose dive obviously and probably only there for testing purposes. There is also an option to disable or enable the specialized instruction sets, SSE on “Bartons” and “Thoroughbreds” versions of the AMD AthlonXP CPU. On the AMD Opteron and Athlon64, you can also disable or enable SSE2. These settings should be on by default and allows any programs that are SSE/SSE2 optimized to recognize it as a SSE/SSE2 capable CPU. Disabling these instruction set will result in slower performance in SSE or SSE2 optimized software.

Lastly, for AMD Opterons and Athlon64 you can also manipulate “Hypertransport Frequency”. The more you set it would probably equate to faster performance due to the Hypertransport system being clocked higher. As with all configurable settings within the “Overclocking – Advanced” section, all settings are only applied after you have pressed the “OK” or “Apply” button and have rebooted. Before moving on, there is 1 button on the toolbar that you will find useful if, in any case you do not want to commit the changes you have made within NVSU, you can press the “Revert” button. This will set back all values to what they were before.


Perhaps one of the most time saving features of NVSU is the ability to save settings depending on what the situation dictates into files and then load them as per your requirement. You can save the profile by clicking on the “Save Profile” Button and then load it up again by clicking the “Load Profile” Button. For example, you want your system when browsing internet or idle, to run with lower fan speed, relaxed memory timings and CPU FSB speeds, and then when gaming, you want to run your system in a different setting, like increased CPU FSB, slightly more aggressive memory timings with fan speeds set higher. With NVSU all you have to do is adjust and configure the settings accordingly save it, and then do the same for gaming, save that. So when you need to pump up the system performance, you just load you gaming profile and when you are done and no longer need blistering speeds, just load the other profile to have you system back to normal. Also do note that, when loading up a profile, settings made in the “Overclocking basic” section will be applied immediately whereas changes in the “Overclocking Advanced section” will need a reboot to take effect.

Next Page: NVSU – Working With It - Getting Information and Summary

Last Updated on October 28, 2003

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