Overclocking Nvidia’s New GTX 1080 Graphics Card
For those of you lucky enough to own the new GTX 1080 graphics card Nvidia introduced GPU boost 3.0 which is best explained by first understanding the GP boost 2.0. With 2.0 your graphics card would dynamically change its frequency across a linear frequency offset curve.
This is the curve that you would increase whenever you applied an overclock, with the adjustment slider. Then based on the load that’s on your card, the frequency would fluctuate along that curve. This was generally a good system, but it sometimes fell short. Because it didn’t raise your clock speeds up to their maximum for every individual voltage level. And these voltage levels do change, based on things like temperature and power. So there was some performance loss with 2.0.
GPU boost 3.0 on the other hand allows us to either overclock the old way with linear offset curves, or break away from that and specifically tune things per voltage point. That might sound confusing, but once I explain the steps it will make more sense.
The feature that helps you do these things is called the O.C. scanner, which is a software window that opens on your desktop. It’s quite cool looking with dark and light metal coloring, and it’s got a central circular area where you’ll be doing your clicking and adjusting.
The O.C. scanner has 3 different modes. Basic mode applies a set frequency offset to all voltage points. Linear mode allows users to linearly increase the clock offset after choosing a start and end point. And lastly things get interesting with manual mode, where you can input values for frequency at each voltage step.
And manual mode also enables the run button, which is where the fun begins. This will run an automatic test that will determine, and apply, what it thinks is an optimal overclock for your GTX 1080 graphics card.
But before clicking run, it’s worth clicking the little settings cogwheel at the bottom right of the O.C. scanner window. And adjusting the settings. I set my test period to 5 seconds, my starting kilohertz offset to 200,000. My end to 250,000. And my step to 10,000. Then I returned to the main screen and increased my power target, and temperature target to 110% and 90 degrees. Then clicked run.
What happens next is a firm arc window will open, and an EVGA logo will appear. This tests your graphics card, and checks at a specific amount of voltage how much frequency the card can output, by increasing the frequency over the start amount, by the step count set earlier in the manual settings.
There are also more features coming, like aggression percentage, so you can have more conservative but stable over clocks. But the performance increase over non-overclocked cards is already very good. After I followed these steps I set everything back to default, and applied a manual overclock of my own, increasing the clock to 180 MHz. And the memory clock by 400 MHz. Which gave me great performance in my gaming.
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