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Home > Essays > Graphics Cards

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Overclocking an ATI SVGA card

1. Basic Information

Overclocking an ATI SVGA card

- Introduction

High performance SVGA cards have become very popular now days. As you may be aware, almost all PC components can be overclocked (CPU, Memory, CD-RW drive) and of course SVGA cards. Our goal in this article, is to present an easy guide for all users on how to get an additional performance boost, mostly when playing their favorite game. We will describe how to overclock your ATI SVGA card, how much performance you can possibly gain and how to test if your system is stable enough. Let’s begin!

- Basic Overclocking Info

A SVGA card has two parts that can be overclocked. First, the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and second the Video Board Memory. It is advised, in order to find the maximum overclocking limits, not to have an overclocked CPU. The basic idea is to increase the GPU clock speed, test, increase again, test until you reach the limit.

But how do you know when you have reached the limit? Very simply, you will start noticing the so-called “Artifacts”, which are graphic glitches in your favorite game, or the system reboots. At that point you have reached the GPU’s limit.

Lower the clock speed by 5 ~ 10 MHz and then repeat the process with the Video Memory. Note, that usually the Video Memory won’t go as high as you would wish, compared of course to the GPU. At this point, it is time to load up the stability testing software and see if your graphics card can maintain 100% stability for a long time. Running a stability test for something like six (6) hours will ensure that you have a stable system with the maximum overclocking gain.

However, for most people the above procedure may sound rather complicated and time consuming just to gain some FPS on their favorite game. Well, we have good news for those of you who fall into this category. A new utility called “ATI Tool” will make the above procedure so simple, that you only have to press two buttons to find the maximum overclocking limits of your ATI card. The software is still rather new, but from our tests it seem to work quite well…

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