Overclocking Performance, Benchmarks, Temperatures and Power Consumption
Some might want to squeeze a little extra performance out of their video cards; I get that though this is the FTW so it is overclocked. Just because it is overclocked, that does not mean we can’t squeeze some more, and I go over this a tiny bit.
Overclocking, especially on a card that is already factory overclocked is not an easy thing, it takes hours, sometimes days to get everything just right. To make things easier for you, I show you how I overclocked but just know, this overclocked, even if you buy the same card may not work on your card.
Let me show you GPU-Z’s representation of my card before and after the overclock.
With this overclocked I was able to squeeze an additional 70Mhz out of the GPU and 33Mhz out of the memory and 70Mhz above the stock Boost rate. With that tiny overclock I was able to get an additional 4.5 Gigatexels out of the Pixel Fillrate , 8.4 Gigatexels out of the Texture Fillrate and pulled out 4.2 giga bits of additional bandwidth. So with this, I will compare the stock speeds with the newly overclocked speed in the benchmarks plus this is a good way to make sure the overclock is a stable overclock.
To overclock, I used EVGA’s Precision X, a free download EVGA provides, you just need an account on EVGA’s site to download it.
Here are the default clocks and settings in Precision X
Using the “Curve” button
Which brings up the Curve menu
With that, you can set your curves on how you would like the fans to ramp up once the heat raises.
Clicking the Fan Curve button actually brings up this menu and the Fan curve menu, but I won’t go into this one right now, I will a little later in the review.
EVGA adds everything you need to overclock at the front of the program.
Here you can adjust the power target, temp target, GPU clock offset’s and mem clock offset sliders.
These 10 buttons will save you so much time. Every time you make a change, and just before you start testing your overclock you will want to save your overclock in one of these 10 profiles. Sometimes when you overclock, when you are testing your overclock your PC will freeze or reboot so when you get back in windows, this will give you an opportunity to bring back your previous overclock and from there you can make adjustments.
OK, so let’s get back into the benchmarks.
Starting from the first screen showing the results, you can already see that before on stock we scored 15,947 and now we are scoring 16,267, which it seems like a huge leap, it is only a 1.99% increase. Still though with that little increase we can see that it brought our results up from 92% better than all other results to 94%, a welcomed improvement.
Now 3DMark is not just a single score, there are various parts here that bring this score up, we have the Graphics score, physics score and combined. Usually when overclocking you might see one or 2 of these drop, but you can see that in all aspects the overclock improved the performance. The temp dropped as well, which of course did make the sound go up a tiny bit, but as a gamer, we have our headphones on so we can’t hear that anyway, that it only brought are max wattage up 2Watts and actually dropped out average wattage, surely an improvement because of the improved cooling.
OK, let’s get to some gaming benchmarks with Metro Last Light.
With the overclocks, we get a little more granular in the results.
At first, when I was compiling the results, I notice that the max frame rate was actually about 10 points lower; I thought the rest would be lower as well. Looking at the average FPS I see that we got a 2.99% increase in performance and the cooling improved as well because of the fan curve, a 4.72% improvement in cooling. Power consumption did go up a bit, from 335 Watts to 344 Watts, a 2.65% increase.
At 1920 x 1080, we can see the improvement again was very slight from 75.64FPs to 77.35FPS an improvement of 2.24%. The cooling also improve from 67°C to 63°C and with those 2 improvements we got a little higher power consumption again from 330 Watts to 340 Watts, a 2.99% increase in wattage.
At 2560 x 1440, the performance improvement was slightly more impressive bring us ever so close to that magic number. We can see that while on the stock clocks we received 45.26FPS; on the overclock we received 50.07FPS, a 10.09% increase. The temps improved from 67°C to 64°C but the wattage again increased from 335 to 344 a 2.65% raise in power consumption.
I want to point out that the GPU temperature shot up to 61°C, of course because I overvolted it but it is so nice to see that this card can truly perform at 0db while normal usage, even some gameplay when stock. The overclock really did not help here at all, actually it might have made things a little worse, while it did improve the max frame rate by 1.63%, the average frame rate dropped by .3FPS, a 0.24% decrease but that increase or decrease would do nothing, it is just interesting. With that decrease, there was an increase as I mentioned before in temperature but also in average power consumption from 309 Watts to 316 Watts, a 2.24% increase in average power usage even though the average FPS slightly decreased.
Here we can see that there was a slight performance increase… of 1.23%, 113FPS versus 114.4FPS. With that increase came a 2°C increase in GPU temperature but a 4 Watt decrease in system power consumption. Let’s see what 2560 x 1440 has to say about this.
Another performance improvement here from 81.4FPS to 83.4FPS, while a 2.43% increase is small, I will take it. The temps shot up from the stock 0db 37°C to a louder yet still totally tolerable 63°C and power consumption went up .54%, 368 Watts to 370 Watts, barely noticeable.
This game seems to be perfectly optimized for the card and driver set and works perfectly fine no matter what eye candy or resolution you have it set to. Let’s see what Laura has to say about this.
At 1280×1024 not only are the FPS obscene, they get better. At the stock settings we can see 288.5FPS but with a slight overclock we get a 2.26% improvement to 295.1FPS. Since we are working on an enhancement fan curve we get a 2°C temperature improvement. With that overclock though, since we are overvolting we can see a 1.80% increase in power consumption, from 330Watts on stock to 336 Watts on average through the overclock settings.
We can see that yet again this tiny bump has increase performance in Tomb Raider, from 288.5FPs to 295.1FPS a 2.26% increase in performance. There was only a 1°C improvement in temperatures but there was an ever so slight increase in the average power consumption, 1.20% more power being used. OK, what can we expect from 2560×1440.
Here we can see that there was a slight performance increase of 1.07%, a frame increase of 129.7FPS to 131.1FPS. With that performance increase there was only 1 additional watt consumed and thankfully with the fan curve there was a 2°C improvement in cooling bringing down the temperature from 65°C to 63°C.
There were some pretty decent improvements in both FPS and cooling here, so let’s see what Ashes of the Singularity can do here.
At 1280×1024, it looks like the performance was almost exactly the same; I took screenshots and all after each benchmark and double checked them to check my sanity. What you see here is correct; the performance on 1280×1024 actually took a slight performance hit, though the highest temperature was only 64°C so I know it was not a thermal issue. I hope the performance difference in 1920×1080 is a bit better.
Ok, this is a little better. We can see that the average FPS on the overclock is 36.1FPS while the stock speeds is 34.8FPS, a 3.68% improvement. Aside from the improvement there, it looks like the average wattage went down from 360Watt average on the stock speed to 332 on the overclock, 8.09% less power consumption and 1°C cooler too.
At this resolution we can see that there was improvement, but at .6FPS, you would never notice. As you saw in the gameplay video, the CPU Frame rate helps tremendously. Let’s come back down to earth and check out The Division.
At 1280×1024 we can see a slight performance improvement; we are getting 2.39% better performance with this overclock. The temperature did increase 2°C though the average wattage did decrease by 1.50%. Not a great improvement, but at over 90 frames per second, it’s probably not noticeable.
A 3.51% increase in performance in the most common resolution is definitely a welcomed improvement but still a very small benefit. With the increase in performance the temperature did increase 4.96% by 3°C though the average power consumption dropped.
In an odd switch, the performance actually dropped by 1.12% from 53.9FPS to 53.3FPS. The temperature did drop by 1°C and the power draw was raise by 1.74%.
Looks like I need to have been a little more aggressive in my overclock, but I did it mainly to show you that even though it is an overclocked card, you could push it more.
Tom Clancy’s The Division as a new game for me, I am very pleased that I can play it perfectly well at 2560 x 1440, and maybe in the very near future a graphic driver update will give me that much more extra umph to get it well above 60FPS.
I have given you a little info on how to overclock using EVGA’s PrecisionX, but it can do so much more than just overclock. Let’s take a look in this next chapter.