Overclocking is alive and well! PCSTATS has all the
details you need to see at a glance to know how the various videocards tested
perform relative to each other. The chart we've compiled below lists the highest
overclocked core and memory clock speeds we were able to achieve while
maintaining 100% stability. Results are grouped by GPU class, and ranked by
highest memory overclock to lowest.
Filed under Mainstream Videocards, you can clearly see
how the voltage options available with the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS
allow it to blow away the competition. It's the best overclocking Geforce
8600GTS based videocard out there. The chart lists overclocking results with and
without the extra voltage options employed.
Biostar puts the fun back
into videocard overclocking!
While the rest of the industry has openly embraced
overclocking, videocards have been stuck in the past. Sure some videocards may
have snazzy videocard coolers, but besides that there has been no real
innovation. Biostar certainly shakes things up with its Sigma-Gate
series of videocards.
We got a taste of things to come from Biostar with its
Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS. It was one of the most fun
videocards we've ever tested, its only downfall was that it was released after DirectX 10 was announced.
With its new PCI Express x16 Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS
videocard, this thing has the potential to be the most attractive mainstream
videocard on the market.
The videocard itself is rather plain looking, green
reference design PCB with a large GPU cooler and 256MB of GDDR3 memory. What
makes this Biostar videocard special is its software bundle and the way Biostar
engineered the card. Its Sigma-Gate/V-Ranger overclocking software is the most
powerful utility available, because it give us the ability to adjust core and
memory voltages without any hardware mods!
At stock speeds the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS
performs like, well a stock GeForce 8600GTS. If you equip the videocard with a
decent system, you're going to get good framerates in most games. Where the
videocard truly shines though is overclocking capabilities.
Without adjusting the voltages, the Biostar Sigma-Gate
GeForce 8600GTS is able to overclock to 755 MHz core and 2210 MHz memory, both
of which are respectable for G84 based videocards. When voltage adjustments are
introduced, the Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS really starts to fly.
With a GPU voltage of 1.44V the G84 hit a blistering 830
MHz! You could probably push more out of the core had there been better GPU
cooling, we didn't want to risk damage as temperatures were already over 70
degrees Celsius. The memory was not about to be outdone either, it reached an
amazing 2425 MHz with 1.942V! Like the nVidia G84 core, the naked GDDR3 memory
ran very hot when overclocked, so additional cooling should be considered.
As an enthusiast it's great to see Biostar didn't wimp
out. The V-ranger tool gives you a lot of voltage options that if you're not
careful with, can damage the videocard. Before increasing the voltages, it might
be a good idea to speak with an experienced overclocker who's installed after
market coolers. With a retail price of $180 CDN ($173 USD, £85 GBP), the Biostar
Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS is the videocard to get
if you're in the market for a mainstream overclocker. It certainly brings the
fun back into videocard overclocking!
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