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#1
Old 10th March 2007, 10:15 PM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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How To Overclock the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Series

Although this guide covers how to overclock all recent NVIDIA video cards, I have selected the FOXCONN NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS as my test subject, which I reviewed back in November 2006. Presently, the 640MB version of the GeForce 8800 GTS is the second-best video card available on the market. Gamers and computer enthusiasts alike have already speculated on how the GTS could be made to perform to the same level as the GeForce 8800 GTX with some tweaking. Unfortunately, this just isn't possible. What is possible though is taking a great product and making it even better; and do it all for free.

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#2
Old 11th March 2007, 10:24 AM
XJnine XJnine is offline
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I didn't pay attention enough to see if you did your overclocking on Vista or XP. I haven't been able to get ATI Tool to run under Vista. Have you?
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#3
Old 11th March 2007, 12:06 PM
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It was done in Windows XP. Unfortunatly, Windows Vista will not allow driver-level access, so it doesn't work there. I'm not sure if it ever will, since that is the primary function of the program.
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#4
Old 14th March 2007, 04:15 AM
BigBamBoom BigBamBoom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Capitolin View Post
If I could find a better program with a smaller footprint which would enable me to manually adjust 8800 series blower fan speeds, I would be using it. But since this is the only one I am aware of, it is a necessary evil.
You can always try RivaTuner... http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner

It is a very good program with amazing tools, settings and options. But why I posted it was that it has very dependable fan settings and does have a relatively small footprint, I suggest you give it a try. The author has taken a break from updating but only for a short while and a new version will be released. It will tell you that it has not been updated to work with the latest drivers but in-fact works like a charm with all settings. I am currently using it without a problem.

Good job with the article.
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#5
Old 14th March 2007, 08:10 AM
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Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Good post! Once RivaTuner comes out with a new version, it may be in the time frame of working SLi Vista drivers, and either a new article or at least an update can follow up. The one reason I like ATITool more then RivaTuner is for its testing tools, which have done a better job loading the video card in my experience.

Welcome to the forums!
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#6
Old 26th March 2007, 07:41 PM
jsimmons jsimmons is offline
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Some odd behavior with 8800 GTS (320 Mb version)

Great article and well written. I decided to try the O/C on my new EVGA 8800 GTS - but its the 320 Meg version, not the 640 Meg card as tweaked in the article. The default clocks on this card were 513 MHz on the GPU and 792 on the Memory.

With AtiTool, I could manually set the GPU/MEM clocks to 605 MHz/985 MHz and run full 3-D loads on the card for hours on end with no visible artifacts or errors. After flashing the card with these values, the system booted into Windows, but was very unstable. BSOD errors and reboots were frequent.

I flashed the card back to defaults and the system is 100% stable again. Of couse the obvious conclusion was the clock settings were too high. But it doesn't fully explain why the card could run for hours on end under heavy load when the clocks were set Using AtiTool, but not when flashed with those same settings.

I will likely back the clocks down and try again, but I'm a little hesitant given that I was not expecting this behavior and don't want to brick a perfectly good new video card.

I'm open to any thoughts on the topic. Thanks.
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#7
Old 26th March 2007, 07:53 PM
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Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Hello Jim, and welcome to Benchmark Reviews.

I appreciate your feedback, and mentioning the details in your email message. First and foremost, make sure you stick with ATITool until you are absolutely certain your settings will be safe "if" you choose to flash them again. I don't want you to ruin your investment either.

In my project, ATITool allowed me to assign 2D, low power 3D, and performance 3D speeds. However, in NiBiTor I could only enter the performance 3D speeds. This leads me to believe that the settings are maxed all the time, even when not playing a game.

I suggest that you simulate this by using the max settings across the board for all three areas, and test (at length) again. Let us know what happens!
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#8
Old 27th March 2007, 09:31 AM
jsimmons jsimmons is offline
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Will do.

Interestingly enough, my work with AtiTool always had all 3 clock settings (2D, Low Power, and 3D) set exactly the same when manually testing the clock speeds.

My testing procedure was to first set GPU and Memory at default (513 and 792), set min/max limits of 792/1000 on the Memory, and set min/max limits on CPU at 513/610 in the AtiTool settings and then run the Find Max Mem test until it completed.

After getting max mem speed of slightly over 1000, I set memory back to default 792 and ran Find Max GPU. This gave me results of 620 on the GPU.

I then manually set GPU limit at 605 and Memory limit at 985 and set both clocks to these speeds. I then ran find MAX GPU for a complete cycle that took over an hour to run. Of course with the starting speeds for both memory and GPU set at the max values, no increases took place, the heat-up and Scan for atrifacts phases repeated over and over until it completed with no errors. I periodically inspected the Cube window to see if any atrifacts were being generated.. None were.

I then let the 3D Cube "spin" in the background for several hours while I ran some 3D games in the foreground, Did normal web surfing, ran outlook, etc. Again no issues seen, and the system was 100% stable.

Only after this process did I venture into the world of flashing the 8800 Bios.

I think my next step will be to set my GPU and Mem clocks down to the highest defaults for the EVGA 320 MB GTS cards out of the box. EVGA lists their default for the 320 MB "Superclocked" board at 576 GPU, and 1700 MB (850 MHz). This is quite a bit lower than the 605/985 I've been testing with, though.

If it will flash and run stable with those speeds, then I may raise it some more.

There is an article I found on Anandtech's site comapring a number of the 8800 cards and how well they overclock. In the article, they discuss also altering the shader clocks using NiBiTor and testing the O/C of shaders via BIOS flash (since Shader Clocks aren't exposed in AtiTool or nVTune). Their results show that shader clocks can also withstand some significant increases.

Finally, in reading up more on nvflash, I came across this tid-bit:

"*Remember* To always change out the drivers after a flash, most people forget this and then wonder why the drivers are giving them problems or why they get strange effects in there games. Always re-install the drivers and turn off any anti-virus before doing so. Rename the file to something thats easy to remember and point the string path too."

I clearly did not do this after flashing my 8800 GTS. Perhaps it could account for the behavior I encountered.
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#9
Old 28th March 2007, 09:30 AM
jsimmons jsimmons is offline
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Using AtiTool as opposed to flashing.

I am currently opting to use a "low tech" approach to overclocking the 8800 GTS. At least for a while.

I'm using the AtiTool "Startup" options set as follows:

1 - Every Time AtiTool is launched, Load Profile "Superclocked"
2 - Load on Windows Startup via "Registry Key"
3 - When loaded via Windows Startup, exit after loading above profile.
4 - Wait 30 seconds for system to stabilize.

My "Superclocked" profile uses the EVGA settings for the "Superclocked" version of the GTS card - 576 MHz GPU, 1350 Shader clock, and 800 MHz Memory Clock.

This has the advantage of not requiring a BIOS flash. I will run this way for a few weeks, then possibly try flashing the BIOS to these settings.

Call me gun shy, but I'll leave the BIOS alone for the time being.
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#10
Old 28th March 2007, 02:02 PM
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Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Jim: Athough the startup via registry key is convenient, you should also mark the box to enable 3d detection and have it load your "superclocked profile" then. I sometimes even grossly underclock my card for 2d use, so that power consumption is at it's lowest and the hardware has a longer life. Once I open a game, ATITool ups the speeds to the profile I specified.

I cannot blame you for not wanting to flash the card. Most would also agree that it is not totally worth the risk. However, in SLi and other environments it is required.
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