As mentioned earlier, the core of this card was found to be the same revision as the flagship GeForce4 Ti 4600. As a result, the card should be able to reach GeForce4 Ti 4600 core speeds when overclocking. Just to be sure that everything was in order, I ran SiSoft Sandra 2001 Professional. As expected, the AGP probe returned information indicating the presence of the "A3" core.
SiSoft Sandra 2001 Professional - AGP Report
In order to accurately overclock the card, I utilized RivaTuner version 2 RC11. This utility was used to manage image quality settings and I thought it fitting to continue to use it for the remaining variables in the review. Using the overclocking portion is incredibly easy, as you are provided with a simple slide bar to alter core and memory frequencies.
RivaTuner - Overclocking Applet
The review sample stabilized at a core clock speed of 300MHz and memory clock speed of 553MHz. Overclocking the memory increases bandwidth which is rated at 8GB/second at the default clock speeds of 250MHz/444MHz.
3DMARK2001 SE PERFORMANCE
After I had completed my search for the maximum overclocked frequencies of the card, I tried to uncover a bottleneck within the card. In previous generations of NVIDIA cards, one frequency played a larger role than the other. In such cases, overclocking the memory would yield far greater performance increases than an equivalent increase in the core frequency. In order to uncover such a scenario, I utilized the default 3DMark2001 SE settings.
Performance was measured with the standard clock speeds (250MHz/444MHz), maximum core (300MHz/444MHz), maximum memory (250MHz/553MHz), and maximum core and memory (300MHz/553MHz).
3DMark2001 SE - Overclocking Combination Results
As you can see, there are nearly identical scores when maxing out only one frequency. This indicates how well the architecture of the GeForce4 is balanced. Relative to previous generations, the frequency of the GeForce4 core now plays an imperative role in the overall performance of the card.
As seen above in the RivaTuner screenshot, the maximum limitation of the card was found to be a core frequency of 300MHz and a memory frequency of 553MHz. In doing so, the card has matched the core frequency of a GeForce4 Ti 4600 and has landed in the realm of GeForce4 Ti 4400 memory frequencies. As expected, the Samsung memory paid no attention to its theoretical limit of 500MHz. Undoubtedly, the combination of the "A3" core and the incredible heatsink were directly responsible for the stunning core frequency. When compared with the stock frequencies, the overclocked configuration returned a score that was roughly 9% faster!
For those who are curious, here is the breakdown of the overclocked cards score, which is in the top three for this system configuration!
3DMark2001 SE - Detail Overclocking Test Results
VULPINE GLMARK PERFORMANCE
In order to gain a greater appreciation for the performance increase allotted by such an overclock, I fired up the Vulpine GLmark benchmark. To truly stress the card, I maximized all of the features for the benchmark and ran the program with and without the overclocked settings.
Default Clock Speed - Frame Rates
Default Clock Speed - Performance Histogram
Overclocked Speed - Frame Rates
Overclocked Speed - Performance Histogram
After comparing the two results, one can clearly see how the majority of the frame rate is now concentrated above 90fps when the card is overclocked. In particular, the peak results circling 180fps are now much more populated as well.