Overclocking NVidia Cards

Seeing as it is Exploitation Week, I guess I’d better do something. Considering that all my posts have been about tech, I guess I’m going to write for it and about something ‘techy’ for Expo Week. I’m going to write about overclocking your hardware. Today, I’m only going to talk about NVIDIA cards though, seeing as I don’t have much time.

I guess I’ll talk about and try teach the beginners how to overclock your graphics processor card (GPU).

Before I get fully into it, I must warn you that not all GPUs are good for overclocking. Some just simply aren’t powerful enough. If you want my advice on overclocking, you’d try get something in the NVIDIA GeForce 8000 series, 9000 series or any GTX. If you’re an ATI user, you can always just match up something close to NVIDIA’s with Google.

However, most cards under the 8000 series can overclock. But chances are you’ll screw the card up. The other problem is that you’re going to need a good cooling system.

So, you might want to have at least 4 – 6 fans. Make sure that you don’t have all the fans blowing air into your computer case, otherwise no hot air will escape and your whole computer will become more heated. Have about 3 fans blowing in, and 3 out. For my advice, I’d have your two biggest fans blowing in and the other 4 out.

If you’ve got the money, you can add a water cooling system which is good for any overclocking. If you’re even more rich, you can add a different advanced cooling thing which are basically pipes (they make your computer into a bad quality refrigerator, which is hell good).

If you don’t have a decent cooler, you’re probably going to burn a whole in your computer, which most people don’t want.

Now, onto the overclocking business.

Overclocking is basically pushing your GPU over its normal limit, making it run faster and better. This is good for hardcore gamers or when you have a card which can’t run high benchmark games such as Crysis on the highest detail without overclocking. Overclocking will essentially give you and your gaming more benefits of all sorts.

GPUs have three main parts for quality and performance: the core speed, video memory speed and the bandwidth of the GPU to the rest of the computer (stuff like PCI Express). Overclocking will obviously make your computer increase 3D performance.

Don’t be frightened about my introduction about overclocking and how it’ll kill your card, it might not. You’ll probably just get that blue screen of death and your computer will restart safely. However, if you overclock it as much as you can (which is well over the normal stats) and run the benchmark games, you’re screwed. Modern cards won’t really get damaged anyway, so don’t worry if you have the cards around the levels I mentioned.

Before you overclock your card, you’re going to want to have the latest drivers for your GPU. You can easily download these for free from the GPUs brand site.

Overclocking NVIDIA cards

This is not very hard. I’m going to explain this only to Windows users (sorry Windows haters).

The most popular type of overclocking you’ll find for overclocking NVIDIA GPUs is the CoolBits style. You must, however, first enable Coolbits.

So to enable, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start
  2. Go to Run and type in regedit (windows xp and below). If you’re a Vista/7 user, there is the search button at the bottom of the menu. Just type in regedit and select it.
  3. Navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak

There are now two separate ways to doing this.

  1. Coolbits is sometimes not there. If this is the case, right click the empty space and choose ‘new\dword value’. Call this new thing Coolbits. Open it and change the Value Data to ‘3’.
  2. Coolbits is sometimes already there, open it and change the value to ‘3’.

Close regedit and go to the nVidia display control panel. There will be a new page named ‘clock frequency’.

Since Coolbits enabled, it should be pretty easy. Open up the ‘display’ option in control panel, then go to ‘settings’ and ‘advanced’. Click on the tab with the NVIDIA logo and name of your GPU.

From the menu, open up the ‘clock frequency’ option. Change the ‘settings’ drop down box to ‘performance (3D)’. This will then present to you the stock speeds when in 3D mode.

Use the slider and move it up, remember to test the changes with the ‘Test Changes’ button. Don’t overclock too much, remember.

When you’re not gaming, it’s advisable to hit ‘Restore Defaults’ for a safe mode.

You can also overclock with programs such as RivaTuner. Many computers come with VTune, which can also overclock by clicking the Performance section.

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Posted on June 22, 2009, in Computers, Electronics, News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. What do you think of programs like Powerstrip?

    • Daveeeeeeeeee

      Well, I actually haven’t heard of that program before but I searched it up and read a few reviews.

      Maybe I’ll try it out some time, but from all the reviews and articles about it, I’d say it would actually be good. However, it’s a bit complex compared to your simple RivaTuner. I think people who have never really overclocked their hardware well should learn how to use this.

      (i might actually write about how to use PowerStrip if I get more into that program)

  2. nice info.. I haven’t tried overclocking my gpu yet but most people suggest overclocking using 3rd party apps like RivaTuner..

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