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Date: June 8th, 2006
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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VIDEOCARD OVERCLOCKING


With a heatpipe cooler attached, I knew this videocard would not be an extreme overclocker. There is no way that a heatpipe will be able to get rid of heat faster than a simple fan on heatsink cooler. Through benching and overclocking, this cooler could only barely keep up to the heating load it was faced with and had a certain amount of heat capacitance that it could not get rid of. Once the cooler was hot, it would stay warm for quite a while after the benchmarking and overclocking was done as the cooler struggled over time to get rid of the accumulated heat.


This of course affected the overclocking a great deal. The core wasn't a huge problem, but the memory was not playing nice with the elevated temperatures which were rising above 73c during overclocked benchmarking. And as I say, the key to a good overall overclock is a good memory overclock. Without a boost in memory bandwidth there will be no way that the boost in fillrates from the overclocked will develop into anything if the card doesn't have the memory capability to take advantage of it.


With that being said, the overclocking result I was able to obtain is as stated below:


 

 

 

Stock Clock Rates: 500Mhz Core / 405Mhz (810 Mhz DDR) Memory

Overclocked Clock Rates: 605Mhz Core / 419Mhz (838Mhz DDR) Memory

Net Overclock: 105Mhz Core / 14Mhz (28MHz DDR ) Memory


Overclocking Sapphire's ultimate X1600pro was not as great as I wanted it to be. The cooler is just not up to the overclocking challenge of pushing this card through its paces. The overclock did yield some performance improvement as you will see in the benchmarking, but not as much as it would have with cooler running memory and and extra 20 or so Mhz on top of what it was capable to accomplish.

 

BENCHMARKING TESTING SPECIFICATIONS



The PCI Express Videocard Testbed:


Intel P4 3.4Ghz LGA775 Extreme Edition 800FSB CPU Comparison Shop for this item
INTEL D925XCV LGA775 PENTIUM 4 MOTHERBOARD Comparison Shop for this item
1 GIG Mushkin DDR2 PC4200 533Mhz Comparison Shop for this item
Latest Catalyst Drivers
Windows XP Professional SP1 Comparison Shop for this item
2X Maxtor Maxline III SATA 150 Drives in RAID 0 Comparison Shop for this item
Latest Intel Chipset and Peripheral Drivers


PCI Express Videocards Benchmarked Against:



- Sapphire X1900XTX 512Meg
- ATI All in Wonder X1800XL
- ATI All in Wonder X800XL
- HIS X800XL ICEQII 256MEG
- HIS X700 Pro ICEQ 256MEG
- nVidia Geforce 6800GT
- HIS ATI Radeon X600XT


The programs are:


3DMark2001SE v330 Professional (DX8 Synthetic Benchmark)
GLexcess v1.2V (OpenGL Synthetic Benchmark)
Aquamark Preset Benchmark
Doom 3 High Quality Benchmark
3DMark 2005 Professional
3DMark 2006 Professional (New!)


Please keep in mind that results obtained were with driver defaults for testing continuity and are stock configured for image quality rather than speed. With a little driver tweaking, results much higher than seen obtained here could easily be managed.


Testing Methodology


Throughout the testing of this videocard, I will be showing you how this card performed on the system mentioned above using the following programs at 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolutions at ATI driver defaults (vsync disabled) and also with 6X Antialiasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering enabled.


All other cards were only tested with no quality settings and only 4X AA enabled in the high quality tests.


Both testing situations will be benchmarked with stock and overclocked settings initialized separately.

 

 


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