Vendor Cards: EVGA e-GeForce 7800 GTXby Derek Wilson & Josh Venning on July 16, 2005 12:05 AM EST
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OverclockingLet's talk about overclocking for a second. There are a few factors that affect how a card overclocks, the most important being the type of heat sink on it. Overclocking boosts the performance of the card, but in turn, causes the processor to heat up more. The heat sink is made to expel the heat generated by the card's graphics processing unit, which keeps it running smooth and stable. The risk with overclocking is the possibility of causing damage to the card because of excessive heat. Generally, every card has a "sweet spot" where the clock speed is set high enough to get good performance, yet low enough to ensure that the heat sink will be able to handle the temperature.
Every card overclocks differently, so the data that you see here won't necessarily be the same for every EVGA e-GeForce 7800 GTX. We found our fastest clock speed through trial and error, basically bumping it up more and more until it wouldn't run.
We used Coolbits to detect the optimal settings for overclocking the card and came up with 487MHz for the core clock and 1.27GHz for the memory. We then tested these settings out by looping high- res Battlefield 2 demos over and over for about 45 minutes. Although it ran, there were some graphical tearing and artifacts that showed up on the screen, so we tried a few lower settings and eventually we were able to get it to run cleanly with the clocks set at 475MHz and 1.25ghz. This is as compared to 430/1.2 for a stock 7800 GTX.
After overclocking, we ran some benchmarks to see how well three choice games performed. We'll look at those next.