GPU Boost 2.0: Overclocking & Overclocking Your Monitor

The first half of the GPU Boost 2 story is of course the fact that with 2.0 NVIDIA is switching from power based controls to temperature based controls. However there is also a second story here, and that is the impact to overclocking.

With the GTX 680, overclocking capabilities were limited, particularly in comparison to the GeForce 500 series. The GTX 680 could have its power target raised (guaranteed “overclocking”), and further overclocking could be achieved by using clock offsets. But perhaps most importantly, voltage control was forbidden, with NVIDIA going so far as to nix EVGA and MSI’s voltage adjustable products after a short time on the market.

There are a number of reasons for this, and hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to get into NVIDIA’s Project Greenlight video card approval process in significant detail so that we can better explain this, but the primary concern was that without strict voltage limits some of the more excessive users may blow out their cards with voltages set too high. And while the responsibility for this ultimately falls to the user, and in some cases the manufacturer of their card (depending on the warranty), it makes NVIDIA look bad regardless. The end result being that voltage control on the GTX 680 (and lower cards) was disabled for everyone, regardless of what a card was capable of.

With Titan this has finally changed, at least to some degree. In short, NVIDIA is bringing back overvoltage control, albeit in a more limited fashion.

For Titan cards, partners will have the final say in whether they wish to allow overvolting or not. If they choose to allow it, they get to set a maximum voltage (Vmax) figure in their VBIOS. The user in turn is allowed to increase their voltage beyond NVIDIA’s default reliability voltage limit (Vrel) up to Vmax. As part of the process however users have to acknowledge that increasing their voltage beyond Vrel puts their card at risk and may reduce the lifetime of the card. Only once that’s acknowledged will users be able to increase their voltages beyond Vrel.

With that in mind, beyond overvolting overclocking has also changed in some subtler ways. Memory and core offsets are still in place, but with the switch from power based monitoring to temperature based monitoring, the power target slider has been augmented with a separate temperature target slider.

The power target slider is still responsible for controlling the TDP as before, but with the ability to prioritize temperatures over power consumption it appears to be somewhat redundant (or at least unnecessary) for more significant overclocking. That leaves us with the temperature slider, which is really a control for two functions.

First and foremost of course is that the temperature slider controls what the target temperature is for Titan. By default for Titan this is 80C, and it may be turned all the way up to 95C. The higher the temperature setting the more frequently Titan can reach its highest boost bins, in essence making this a weaker form of overclocking just like the power target adjustment was on GTX 680.

The second function controlled by the temperature slider is the fan curve, which for all practical purposes follows the temperature slider. With modern video cards ramping up their fan speeds rather quickly once cards get into the 80C range, merely increasing the power target alone wouldn’t be particularly desirable in most cases due to the extra noise it generates, so NVIDIA tied in the fan curve to the temperature slider. By doing so it ensures that fan speeds stay relatively low until they start exceeding the temperature target. This seems a bit counterintuitive at first, but when put in perspective of the goal – higher temperatures without an increase in fan speed – this starts to make sense.

Finally, in what can only be described as a love letter to the boys over at 120hz.net, NVIDIA is also introducing a simplified monitor overclocking option, which can be used to increase the refresh rate sent to a monitor in order to coerce it into operating at that higher refresh rate. Notably, this isn’t anything that couldn’t be done before with some careful manipulation of the GeForce control panel’s custom resolution option, but with the monitor overclocking option exposed in PrecisionX and other utilities, monitor overclocking has been reduced to a simple slider rather than a complex mix of timings and pixel counts.

Though this feature can technically work with any monitor, it’s primarily geared towards monitors such as the various Korean LG-based 2560x1440 monitors that have hit the market in the past year, a number of which have come with electronics capable of operating far in excess of the 60Hz that is standard for those monitors. On the models that have been able to handle it, modders have been able to get some of these 2560x1440 monitors up to and above 120Hz, essentially doubling their native 60Hz refresh rate to 120Hz, greatly improving smoothness to levels similar to a native 120Hz TN panel, but without the resolution and quality drawbacks inherent to those TN products.

Of course it goes without saying that just like any other form of overclocking, monitor overclocking can be dangerous and risks breaking the monitor. On that note, out of our monitor collection we were able to get our Samsung 305T up to 75Hz, but whether that’s due to the panel or the driving electronics it didn’t seem to have any impact on performance, smoothness, or responsiveness. This is truly a “your mileage may vary” situation.

GPU Boost 2.0: Temperature Based Boosting Origin’s Genesis: Titan on Water & More to Come
POST A COMMENT

157 Comments

View All Comments

  • ehpexs - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Great card, too rich for my blood though. For those who can afford one or two (or four) enjoy. I'll stick to my $550 pair of 7950s. Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Remember the 7970's were $1100 at launch. Reply
  • TheCrackLing - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Then how did I manage to pay only $1150 for 2 at launch?

    The 7970s were around $550-600 at launch, nowhere near $1100.
    Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    I was (obviously) responding to his statement "pair of 7950s". If I could edit my post I suppose I could change it to CF and up the price $50. Either way Titan is in line with AMD pricing. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    So according to your logic, we can expect to pay 2k for cards that are twice as fast as the titan in the future? Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Well... I recall paying almost 800 for a Geforce3 at launch. So hmmm.. i don't think the high end has gone up much (if at all..) over the past decade. Sometimes it comes down if Nvidia/Amd are duking it out on pricing but overall it's remainded fairly consistant. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    And it shouldn't. These cards get cheaper and cheaper for them to produce. Their profit margins just continue to climb. In other words, we're getting poorer and poorer in comparison to the upper class but nobody is taking notice...game on, until you can't afford to live. Reply
  • shompa - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Cheaper and cheaper to produce? How do you know that? Do you have wafer prices from TSMC and Global foundries? Or are you like many uneducated people who believes everything gets automatic cheaper with smaller process technology? *hint* Wafer prices goes up for each shrink. Thats why the majority of all microprocessors are manufactured at 65-90nm!

    Look also at AMDs profit margins. Oh... They are loosing money. Guess they have zero profit.

    To many uneducated people on the internet!
    Reply
  • rupert3k - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    Is that tone really necessary? Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ROFL. AMD lost 1.18B this last year and NV only made 725mil (with a 300mil Intel payment).

    NV made ~800mil in FY07 and lost money in 08 & 09 FY's lost 100mil, '10 made 235, '11 530m, last year finally hitting 725...It's taken them 5yrs to come close to what they USED TO MAKE.

    You apparently don't read balance sheets or earnings reports.

    For AMD I'll just give you the sum of the last 5-6. They lost a total of 5.1B roughly...THEY HAVEN'T MADE MONEY over the last 5 years they lost their fabs, wrote down ATI, laid off 30% of employees etc...They just lost 1.18B last year for christ's sake. You'd better PRAY amd stops giving away games and raises the price of their gpus/cpus before they go bankrupt. At the rate they are burning cash now they will be out of funding by the end of the year. Do you understand that? 5 years=5B+ in losses. Read a balance sheet once in a while before you say junk like this.

    Also note, just looking at NV, they are getting ~300mil per year right now from INTC. So they aren't even making what I said! AMD's margins are at 15%! NV 53%. Regardless of what you think of the price, neither is sticking it to you compared to the performance gains they are giving you every year and what it costs to get them. AMD, looking at the entire life of the company (I'm not going to actually do it), I don't think has actually made a $1 profit...LOL. They're gouging you? Feel free to pull up every year of earnings they have had since existence. I think you'll find they have actually LOST money.
    http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/financi...
    AMD's 10yr, has lost at least a few billion with a quick look. Is this computing in your head yet? In the last 10yrs AMD total has lost ~3-4Billion dollars. They aren't making SQUAT! If it weren't for large backers they'd be bankrupt ages ago. They were just downgraded by Fitch TWO grades to JUNK BOND status (just like USA two downgrades since obama took office)...In financial terms, it means NOT INVESTMENT GRADE.

    They are getting killed by INTC/NVDA. Now a cadre of a good 5 players are entering their cpu/server business. They will continue to lose money and be lucky to make it to 2014 without yet another borrowing fiasco and this time and even higher rates of interest due to junk status.

    NVDA finally hit record cash/revenue this year (and margins, but by a decimal, helped by Intel 300mil), after 5 years! What margins are you talking about? While a FAR better company than AMD, gaining share, entering new markets etc, NV isn't getting RICH either. Their future looks bright (AMD looks bankrupt or bought by 2014 without help), but unless you can prove otherwise they are in no way ripping you off. BOTH companies should be charging $50+ more on every card under $500. Granted the high end is what it is (middle income people don't drive Lamborghini's either), but the low end is costing them both with their current war that's been on for ~5yrs.

    AMD has 1B in cash. If they lose another 1B this year that's gone, how do you think they run the company with no cash? No money coming from consoles will go on the books until the end of the year (and those sales won't be phenomenal IMHO, look at vita/3ds/wiiu failures and cuts), and mobile won't bring them a dime until mid 2014 at best on the books with no ARM until then. Are you doing the math here?

    Get a better job, or quit buying things your budget can't afford! While your at it vote in a president who is PRO BUSINESS and ANTI TAX/SPEND. Start voting for people who CUT GOVT SPENDING & TAXES, then maybe you'll pay a little less in taxes, and more of us we'll be working to cover it because guess what happens when you cut taxes? (see Coolidge presidency, or Reagan, Coolidge was Reagan's hero...LOL...well duh - heard of the ROARING 20's?). Companies hire workers, and people start small businesses...Which causes...Wait for it...REVENUE to come in to cover the tax cuts! It should go without saying you need to CUT spending also when doing this for it to work (they keep kicking the can down the road today, again next month).

    Guess what came after the roaring 20's? A TAX AND SPENDER! What do they create? THE DEPRESSION! LOL. What is Obama creating? The depression v2.0 (well, amped up to 16.5 trillion levels I guess depression v9.9?).

    http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/coolidge-administra...

    He didn't bail out flood victims, didn't bail out farmers (piss off), not even his hometown state when they had a natural disaster! He definitely would have kicked out every one of the 20mil illegals YOU & I are about to pay for medically etc (actually you're already paying, just not getting the service, and the high risk fund is already broke...LOL). When you wonder why your medical is so high in 2015 and why service sucks, you can thank your president and the illegal aliens. Coolidge vetoed every spending bill that was pork too! NO PORK passed his plate. That's how you get the DEBT DOWN.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hoover
    1929, 8 months later depression...LOL. How does he respond, govt works projects (spend, govt growth) etc...FAILURE. Sound familiar? "SHOVEL READY" anybody?...ROFL. He raised the top tax bracket from 25-63%...ROFL. Sound familiar? Raised taxes on Business! Sound familiar?
    "Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by his failure to end the downward economic spiral, although his support for strong enforcement of prohibition was also a significant factor". This country just voted in Hoover's big brother TWICE!

    So take away your money, take away your rights (no drinking for you!) and spend spend spend, tax tax tax...Sound familiar? Obama attacking guns, our constitution, spying on everyone, raising taxes, killing business, taxing rich who create jobs (upping the brackets) unemployment everywhere...See the problem?

    Get a better job, or vote your govt out. Those are your options...LOL. Your graphics card price is NOT the problem and even if they give it to you FREE you won't live a better life...ROFLMAO

    $20 says you voted obama.
    http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/president-calvin-co...
    "He was concerned about all Americans, especially the working class man and woman. He wanted them to be free, independent, and self-reliant. Like Jefferson, he wanted them to be able to rise as far as their abilities permitted."

    The exact opposite of WELFARE obama. "you didn't build that"

    A few more for ya: "He never sought to make history for himself."... "his conservative, Constitution-based principles of government". His nickname was SILENT CALVIN.

    Obama's on TV every chance he gets. Obama's nickname? THE WELFARE PRESIDENT. He golfed with tiger woods Sunday...ROFL spent 8hrs with Tiger's coach first, golfed 18 with Tiger who left, obama went another 9...LOL. No time to fix the debt though. Obama believes in destroying the constitution & your ability to be SELF RELIANT. If you rise too high, He'll have to take your money and re-distribute it...LOL. It's YOUR job to make a better life for yourself and the govt's job to get out of your way. I clearly see you think the rich OWE you and desire govt intervention to get what you think they owe you. I want to game on, but I keep having to pay for PEOPLE like you who won't look to themselves to improve their lives. :(
    Reality bites eh? ;)
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now