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Old 02-08-2008, 06:42 AM   #1
Stuart
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Default Overclock your Graphics Card

*DISCLAIMER: CAUTION, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I (STUART) AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER THAT THIS TUTORIAL MAY CAUSE*

EDIT (02AUG08): Updated ATITool link, thanks goes to Netrix for the link. - Gow
EDIT: Added NGOHQ Drivers
EDIT: Added Omega Drivers
EDIT: Added Rivatuner
EDIT: Note for Nvidia users, if on n-tune you cannot see the "find optimal clock" button it is recommended that you use either the ATItool or Rivatuner.

I’m back, this time with a different way to overclock. Overclocking your GPU (graphics processing unit). Its pretty straight forward and unlike CPU manufactures the GPU manufacturers don’t mind you to take your gaming to the extreme and sometimes encourage you to fiddle with their stuff.

Overclocking your GPU works in pretty much the same way as overclocking your CPU, only thing is that it uses software instead of the BIOS. Most of the stock clock speeds on GPUs are extra “safe” so there is room to tweak.

I’ve overclocked my NVidia GeForce 7900GS and it helps me get the edge when i'm playing Team Fortress 2. And it’s worth it if you want to play high-end spec games such as Crysis or COD4.

Since 95% of everyone with a graphics card has either an NVidia or an ATI this tutorial is in three parts; the first is for those with NVidia GPUs, the second is for ATIs running XP and the third is for ATI’s running vista (also compatible with nvidia if you have any problems with the first one).

FOR NVIDIA GRAPHIC CARDS

Before we can start you overclocking we need to make sure you have the latest drivers for your card.
For your latest driver go Here (US version)
Or if your in the U.K go Here

Once you download and install your correct driver you will need to restart your computer.

NOTE: For vista users it is recommended that you install the latest vista hotfixes for nvidia here

Now that we have the driver you need to download the NVidia’s own tweaking software N-Tune

NVidia Overview:
NVIDIA® nTune is the ultimate utility for accessing, monitoring, and adjusting your system components, including temperature and voltages with clear, user-friendly control panels. Overclock your system for highest performance or underclock it for near silent operation. All changes are performed within the Microsoft® Windows® interface – enabling full functionality without the need to make changes in the BIOS and reboot your system.

Once you have downloaded and installed N-Tune, you will need to restart your computer again.

The NVIDIA nTune software will add new features to the new NVIDIA Control Panel interface which is where you will find the options to overclock your graphics card. Start by right-clicking on the Windows Desktop -> select "NVIDIA Control Panel".



When the control panel comes up select performance.



Now, select Adjust GPU settings or for vista users it should say accept licence agreement.



This will bring up the Adjust GPU Settings panel, select Custom clock frequencies. If your GPU has thermal monitoring built in, you will see a Find Optimal button.



This button will use the thermal monitoring ability of your GPU to automatically set a core and memory speed which is safe to operate at. This is the safest method to overclock your graphics card. This nTune software will then perform a test. After it has been completed, you should see a new Core bus and Memory bus speed. Press the Apply button at the bottom of the page to save these settings.

If there is no find optimal button you will need to search around on Google for your card’s max clock speeds. Because I’m nice I have gathered a few sites with some charts. Be warned though, some of the people who got those speeds went to the extreme, its better to stay a bit behind them.

PC Stats — Videocard Maximum Overclocking Results
Cyber Slam Forum’s User Overclock Stats – Browse and compare what other people got

If your card isn’t on their try a Google search, for example in typed 7900 GS max overclock in Google and I found quite a few results.
Quote:
Without any physical modifications to the card our 7900 GS can easily achieve a 38% core overclock along with a 22% memory frequency boost.
NOTE: When finding your max GPU RAM speeds note that your control panel won’t go up that far, this is because it is always x2 to get your total, so put it at half of the speed you found.
Also, try looking for your max GPU max temperature. You don’t want to fry your GPU whilst overclocking it.

If you are a bit more adventurous you could try manually overclocking it yourself. Just adjust the slider upwards by tiny amounts (10 MHz at a time) and if when you press apply you see tiny purple squares on your screen or any other problems, you’ve gone too far and need to tweak back the settings a bit.

Also the control panel has its own stability test, under system stability go to perform stability test. Then uncheck all components and select GPU. Leave use current settings checked and run the test for how ever long you want. When it’s finished press results and see how many passes the component had. Also you might want to run a few games and if you see any problems make sure to tweak your settings back a bit.

That’s it for Nvidia, but if you’ve had any problems with the overclocking or you can’t find your max GPU core clock or temp post it in the forum so as to help other members with the same problem. If I don’t reply, be patient, I’ll get back to you. Also if you’re having major problems feel free to use the ATI tool that is also compatible with NVidia cards.

FOR ATI GRAPHICS CARDS NON-VISTA VERSION For vista version or ATI tool, see below.
ATI also have their equivalent control centre, the Catalyst Control Centre. It pretty much works the same way as the NVidia control centre but it has some differences but unfortunately it is not compatible with Vista.

Like NVidia, ATI also requires you to install the latest drivers:
ATI Catalyst™ for Windows XP
ATI Catalyst™ Releases

Install the drivers then restart your computer.

Now if you don’t already have it, you need to download the Catalyst control centre

Install and then restart your computer again.

Run the program and select advanced mode. Next from the list of settings on the left you wan the bottom one – ATI Overdrive. If you sure you want to do this thing, then you need to click on the padlock icon over on the top to allow speed changes.

The best and safest method of overclocking is again to click Run Automated Clock Configuration Utility. This will then test the card’s GPU and RAM at various different speeds, working out what’s safe for it to run at.

Now you just have to wait for a few minutes while the configuration utility does its thing. Once it’s complete you should notice a few more MHz from the default settings. Click apply then try your new settings on a few game to see if their stable.

If your new setting isn’t causing glitches or artefacts then you can check the ‘Preserve ATI Overdrive Settings at logon’ so the card will remember its new settings at startup. However, if you did encounter some problems try lowering the sliders next to the Graphics processor and memory status by about 10 MHz at a time.

Trial and error will find you a safe speed. If your card is running just fine at the raised Hertzage you’ve discovered, try manually increasing the GPU and RAM speed a bit and see if you can beat ATI’s estimate.

That’s it for non-vista ATI cards. See below

FOR ATI GRAPHICS CARDS VISTA VERSION People who had problems with the NVidia one can also run this seeing as its multi compatible.

ATITool
ATITool is an overclocking utility designed for ATI and NVIDIA video cards.
Design target is to write a light-weight application for the enthusiast - so no questionable registry tweaks. Sorry.

Download it here



Main Features
  • No limits overclocking.
  • Support for overclocking for NVIDIA cards.
  • Adjustment of GPU and memory voltage (when supported by VGA card).
  • Tweaking of memory timings (most ATI cards).
  • Finding maximum core and memory overclock by rendering into a Direct3D window and scanning the output for visual artefacts.
  • Temperature monitoring and fan speed control (on supported cards).
  • Removal of Catalyst overclocking lock for 9000/9200/9550/9600 series.
  • Artifact scanning mode to test for stability.
  • Loading a predefined clock profile on Application/Windows startup.
  • Hotkeys that can be used any time to load clocks from a profile.
  • Extract video card BIOS to file for backup purposes.
  • 3D application detection (Direct3D 8, Direct3D 9, OpenGL) to overclock your video card only when required.
  • Gamma control

ATITool now has full vista support so this should work with just about anything.

Because I’m not very familiar with this method you’re going to have to work it for yourselves, I believe it’s pretty straight forward so you shouldn’t have any trouble. If you do have problems the feel free to post them here so we can sort them out.

RIVATUNER

Download here

Quote:
Software Description

Rivatuner is one the leading tweak Utility available for NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon based videocards.

What's a graphics card tweaker without the proper tools to do so ? Exactly; Rivatuner has been updated towards version 2.06 In this release we have included a huge number of stuff to keep you busy, obviously GeForce 8800
GT & ForceWare 169.04 support is here as well.
RivaTuner is a complete powerful tweaking environment, providing you everything you may need to tune NVIDIA GPU based display adapters. The widest driver-level Direct3D / OpenGL and system tuning options, flexible profiling system allowing to make custom settings on per-application basis, both driver-level and low-level hardware access modes, unique diagnostic and real-time hardware monitoring features and exclusive power user oriented tools like built-in registry editor and patch script engine make RivaTuner's feature set absolutely unmatched. RivaTuner supports all NVIDIA display adapters starting from Riva TNT family up to the latest GeForce 8800 series and widest range of NVIDIA drivers starting from the oldest Detonator 2.08 up to the newest ForceWare drivers family.

In addition to complete NVIDIA hardware support, RivaTuner also provides limited support for display adapters based upon ATI RADEON 8500 and newer ATI graphics processors. All RivaTuner's features besides driver-level tuning options are also available on supported ATI hardware.
Quote:
For novice users, we have a guide to help you through Rivatuner and setup fan speeds and overclocks on your graphics card. This guide will hopefully help you understand how to use the features that Rivatuner provides.

Read this "Fan speed & Overclock guide" article.
OMEGA VIDEO CARD DRIVERS

Homepage
Drivers

Quote:
The purpose of the Omega Drivers is to provide gamers with an alternate set of drivers, ones that have more options and features than the original sets. The drivers contain optimizations, extra features (like OC capabilities), more resolutions and internal tweaks that can give them the edge in a gaming environment over the normal drivers, which are often tailored for synthetic benchmarks. All Omega driver sets are tested (unless noted) by myself in my own PC or in an alternate PC (in the case of the Nvidia drivers) to ensure maximum compatibility and reliability.

I do this hobby in my spare time, since I have a personal life and a day work, so don't expect me to be up-to-date with everybody or everything, that means, don't send me E-Mail with questions like"When is the next set going to be released?" or "Are your drivers faster than "insert company here" drivers?", cause they will NOT be answered. When new official drivers are released by a company, expect an Omega release based on them, but don't expect a release date to be given, they will be ready when they are ready...

Important note:
I'm not God, so don't be calling me like that or pretend that I'm one, I only serve Jesus and His will, that's why I do this service in my spare time, I want to leave a mark in the world and let Him know that I did something good and noble for the world... make people happy ;-)

Thanks and God bless you all,
Angel "Omegadrive" Trinidad
NGOHQ Drivers

Home
Downloads

NGOHQ is just a helpfull site full of resources for GPU overclockers.
Including:
  • Forceware Drivers
  • Tweaking programs
  • Performance software

Thanks for your time reading this, I did put effort into making this so plus rep would be helpful.

Happy Overclocking

Last edited by Gow; 08-02-2008 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Updated ATITool link, courtesy of Netrix for new link.




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Old 02-08-2008, 07:32 AM   #2
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you should add rivatuner




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Old 02-08-2008, 08:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrizz View Post
you should add rivatuner
Rivatuner has some problems

EDIT: Ill add it anyway

Last edited by Stuart; 02-08-2008 at 09:11 AM.




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Old 02-08-2008, 11:45 AM   #4
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Perfect-o. Good bit of information for people who want to squeeze more life out of their Graphics Cards. The Omega and NGOHQ drivers will work alone without Overclocking but if they are daring enough they can combine both for good results.



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Old 02-08-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gow View Post
Perfect-o. Good bit of information for people who want to squeeze more life out of their Graphics Cards. The Omega and NGOHQ drivers will work alone without Overclocking but if they are daring enough they can combine both for good results.
Thanks for the heads up on omage and ngohq, i hadnt heard of them till you told me and i searched around.




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Old 02-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #6
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ill pass this looks scary if i bust my parents comp theyll freak




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Old 02-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by IE3I STEVO View Post
ill pass this looks scary if i bust my parents comp theyll freak
I did it to my parents comp




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Old 02-27-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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ahahaha my parents suck at buying good computers, they buy overpriced junk, i was trying to convince them to let me use their credit card n build them one, lol i would have got like an nvidea 8800 ultra and like a 3.3 ghz processor 4 gb or ram with a 64 bit processor woulda been the best




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Old 05-19-2008, 01:47 PM   #9
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Stuart, you might want to change the link to ATITool from:
"http://xn--http-fb7a//www.softpedia.com/progDownload/ATITool-Download-8466.html%E2%80%9D"
to:
"http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/ATITool-Download-8466.html%E2%80%9D"






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Old 06-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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A lot of good info there, I think I'm gonna overclock my 8600GTS tonight. Hope I don't fry it >_<




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Old 06-16-2008, 04:54 PM   #11
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yay! an easy overclocking guide most people can actaully follow this one.. unlike a lot of those out there. Great for the newer people,




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Old 08-01-2008, 11:54 PM   #12
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Both of your links to the catalyst control center under the "FOR ATI GRAPHICS CARDS NON-VISTA VERSION" section are broken.. which arguably fails.



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Old 08-02-2008, 08:31 AM   #13
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Considering the links were updated on 8 February 2008...I would wager that the linked to software is probably dated as newer versions are available.

One could use Scroogle or Google to find new links and post them here.



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Old 08-02-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gow616 View Post
Considering the links were updated on 8 February 2008...I would wager that the linked to software is probably dated as newer versions are available.

One could use Scroogle or Google to find new links and post them here.
Yes that occurred to me.. i didn't feel it was my place to update someone else's guide.



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Old 08-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #15
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The ATI graphics card Vista version can be found here: ATITool Download - Softpedia




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Old 08-02-2008, 06:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neobeard View Post
Yes that occurred to me.. i didn't feel it was my place to update someone else's guide.
You can post the new links and I can edit it them if Stuart doesn't. Keeping the guide up to date is more important than worry about stepping on people's toes.

Updated the ATITool link.



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