NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Performance Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: February 20, 2013
Product Name: GeForce GTX TITAN
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NVIDIA Introduces Overclocking….for Monitors

In the world of display technology, gamers continually find themselves fighting a losing battle when deciding between the image quality afforded by V-Sync and the relative smoothness of high framerates. No one wants their high end graphics card to be automatically capped by the screen’s refresh rate but running a panel and framerate asynchronously can lead to image tearing.

In the past, there were a number of solutions to this problem: either buy a monitor that’s capable of running at a higher refresh rate or artificially increase the pixel clock at which your GPU sends information to any connected displays. The latter route typically led to jumping through no small number of hoops but it allowed users to run their monitors at a higher refresh rate, thus capitalizing upon performance above 60FPS without offering up V-Sync like a sacrificial lamb.

NVIDIA is about to make this process a whole lot easier with their Display Overclocking feature which is set to be released with the latest overclocking software from EVGA, MSI and others. It allows a user to easily increase the pixel clock which in turn dynamically expands the refresh rate options for your monitor.

Now before you go cringing at the thought of ruining a brand new $700 27” panel, there should be very little to worry about here. If a given display isn’t compatible with a set pixel clock one of two things will happen: it will either go blank until the software resets in a few seconds or sub-pixel artifacts will appear but the possibility of damaging internal components is infinitesimal. Naturally, any overclocking is done at your own risk, but the benefits here could be enormous for gamers that have a compatible monitor and want a blend of image quality and performance.

The Display Overclocking feature will also work with NVIDIA Adaptive V-Sync by simply stepping down to an associated refresh speed to avoid stutter whenever large framerate discrepancies are detected.

EVGA’s Pixel Clock OC tool is buried within Precision’s Bundle folder in the program’s install directory and is quite straightforward. Just put that slider to good use by increasing the Pixel Clock until the display’s signal cuts off or minor sub-pixel artifacts begin to appear. Once that happens, scale back by about 10% and retest.

Unfortunately, other than VESA standards, there aren’t any conversion tables to figure out the “best” Pixel Clock output for all monitor types so a bit of trial, error and research is in order here.

Not all displays are capable of supporting higher than reference pixel clocks. For example, my Acer GD235HZ wouldn’t be pushed one iota past its 120Hz mark but the trusty Samsung SyncMaster 305T (a 60Hz monitor) hit the 80Hz mark with a Pixel Clock of 360 MHz. Actually hitting the 80Hz / 80FPS mark on a 2560x1600 monitor isn’t easy but the new refresh was recognized in every game currently installed onto the test system.

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