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Dated: Feb. 14, 2013
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Overclocking your graphic card is a popular way to get some more speed out of it, and it exists for a long time. Till now, the approach to this problem was almost identical no matter what the manufacturer, category or model it was. With the new NVIDIA graphic processor things are a bit more complicated, because new technology is being introduced that is called Dynamic Overclocking. This solution is great because of the fact that it is basically a mechanism that increases the efficiency of the GPU, but it will bring some difficulties to users who are used to more conventional ways of overclocking, and we will help the beginners to overcome them more easily.
Overclock GeForce GTX 680
GeForce GTX 680 is an extremely efficient graphic card when we talk about energy efficiency. It is declared at 195W, which is about 50W less than the Fermi and the GTX 580 that was known to cross its maximum value by a lot. Also, even though it showed to be faster than that competition in most tests, the only graphic card with a Kepler was more energy saving than the Radeon HD 7970 (for about 55W). Of course these results could have never been achieved if there wasn’t the 28nm production process, but also a large number of techniques for reducing energy consumption.
Overclocking the Kepler is presented a bit more complicated after the first impression, but things aren’t always what they appear to be. The dynamic overclock is a bit problematic, but not for just increasing performances but for for those who want to achieve a fix tact which won’t vary. A constant frequency is something that is very difficult in Kepler due to the fact that it has a series of protective mechanisms that follow the state of the GPU, and if it is endangered they lower the frequencies to lower values.
This graphic card is meant for enthusiasts, but it has high default tacts which means there is a relatively small amount of space for overclocking. Another thing that is great is the excellent cooling system that will secure you from any potential overheating, because temperature is probably the most important factor that determines if your graphic card will let the white smoke out.
Dynamic overclock is a term that NVIDIA made with Kepler. Supposedly, it is not the classic frequency change depending on the GPU strain which is a system integrated on most modern graphic cards. This is about when we say, for example, that the GPU in the GTX 680 works at a 1006MHz, that represents the lowest possible value under strain. Still, if there is room for a greater frequency the graphic card will take advantage of it and increase the tact on the Boost value. In essence, this technology can be described as Intel Turbo Boost version for GPU.
Why is this a problem? Firstly, the dynamic overclock is always in function, even when you manually change the frequencies, which makes it a little bit harder to get to the desired value, because depending from the space in the TDP it will increase and decrease tacts. With that, the overclock system now works in the offset system, which will confuse novices even more.
Read tomorrow part II of this article.
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