|EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Titanium Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 25 January 2011|
Page 15 of 17
Fermi GF114 GPU Overclocking
AMD and NVIDIA already stretch their GPUs pretty thin in terms of overclocking head room, but there's a difference between thin and non-existent. In this section, Benchmark Reviews overclocks the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti video card using MSI's free Afterburner utility. The MSI Afterburner "Graphics Card Performance Booster" application offers several adjustable variables to reach the desired overclock, and allows for voltage changes (increase/decrease). The aim of this project is to push the Fermi GF110 GPU as far as it could go without any extra power applied. Beginning with the maximum stable GPU clock speed, I slowly increased the settings until I began to see screen tearing or the Forceware driver crashed. Once I reached the most stable GPU speeds, I put the video card back into action with high-demand video games for additional benchmark tests. Here are those results:
Fermi GF114 GPU Overclocking Results
Overclocking Summary: NVIDIA intentionally 'overbuilt' the GeForce GTX 560 Ti with plenty of headroom for overclockers. While our testing kept stock power levels, most users (and several AIC partners) will offer over-volted versions of this product. Our test results show a 5.2-10.7% average increase in performance (at 1920x1200 resolution), which usually amounts to an added 3+ FPS in games. In comparison, an overclocked GeForce GTX 580 increased performance to 4.0-7.3% in video frame rates, while the AMD Radeon HD 6870 was limited to 6.5-9.3%. This reinforces the notion that higher-end processors have the least amount of headroom, but every extra frame translates into an advantage over your enemy.
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Temperatures
Benchmark tests are always nice, so long as you care about comparing one product to another. But when you're an overclocker, gamer, or merely a PC hardware enthusiast who likes to tweak things on occasion, there's no substitute for good information. Benchmark Reviews has a very popular guide written on Overclocking Video Cards, which gives detailed instruction on how to tweak a graphics cards for better performance. Of course, not every video card has overclocking head room. Some products run so hot that they can't suffer any higher temperatures than they already do. This is why we measure the operating temperature of the video card products we test.
To begin my testing, I use GPU-Z to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU. Next, I use a modified version of FurMark's "Torture Test" to defeat NVIDIA's power monitoring and generate the maximum thermal load. This allows us to record absolute maximum GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature remained at a stable 20°C throughout testing. FurMark does two things extremely well: drives the thermal output of any graphics processor much higher than any video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world temperatures while gaming:
Although the GeForce GTX 560 Ti uses all eight Streaming Multiprocessors on the GF114 GPU, the temperatures certainly don't show it. Resting idle at only 28°C in a 20°C room, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti nearly matches the GTX 460 as the coolest running video card we've recently tested. Once the GPU was stressed to 100% with Furmark the differences began to surface. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti produced 79°C under full load (measured at 20°C ambient after ten minutes), which is only 3°C lower than a GTX 580 and equal to the ATI Radeon HD 5870.