At PCSTATS we're enthusiasts at heart which is why we're
so excited at playing with the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS videocard.
Generally, overclocking videocards only nets a decent 3D performance boost that
is rather linear. With the ability to adjust voltages, it's a whole new ball
game which is a lot more fun! =D
Before we started to tweak the voltages, PCSTATS first
overclocked the GPU and memory speeds at stock voltages. Starting with the core
first, which is clocked at 675 MHz, it was increased 10 MHz at a time.
The nVidia G84 core easily broke the 700 MHz mark and
still had a lot more in it. Speeds of 710MHz, 720MHz and 730 MHz easily came and
went. With standard voltage, the maximum speed the GeForce 8600GTS core would
run at was 755 MHz, anything higher and the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS
would lock up the system during benchmarks.
Next up was the 256MB of GDDR3 memory, which by default
is clocked at 2016 MHz. The memory was overclocked in 20 MHz jumps. The memory
passed through 2100 MHz like it was nothing. A speed of 2200 MHz was also
breached, but it didn't go much farther than that, hitting 2210 MHz before
visual artifacts started to appear while benchmarking.
Now is when the fun begins! ;-) With the core running at
755 MHz, the voltage was increased from 1.338V to 1.375V, that allowed the core
to reach 780 MHz. To break 800 MHz, the GPU voltage had to be increased yet
again, this time to 1.4V. Maximum GPU temperatures inched up and load temps
according to V-Ranger's monitor hovered around the 65C range.
The maximum we would push the core voltage was 1.44V,
that allowed the G84 core to run at a very sweet 830 MHz core speed. With stock
cooling, GPU load temperatures were in the low 70s so I didn't want to push the
core speed or voltage any further.
Next up was the memory. Starting at 2210 MHz the first
thing we did was increase the memory voltage from 1.811V to 1.85V and that
allowed the memory to hit a smooth 2250 MHz. Running the memory voltage at 1.9V
allowed the memory to crack 2300 MHz without sweat, although the BGA DRAM
modules were starting to get warm. A voltage of 1.942V allowed the GDDR3 memory
on the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS to reach 2400 MHz, before it
eventually topped out at 2425 MHz.
Voltage adjustments allowed the Biostar Sigma-Gate
GeForce 8600GTS to overclock amazingly. Without them it is just average. Just keep in mind that V-Ranger provides voltages high
enough to damage your GPU and memory! If you plan on seriously tweaking the
voltage options, you may want to install better cooling on both the GPU and take
Prelude to Benchmarks
details of how the Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS test system was configured
for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and
benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general
specs for the reference platforms this nVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 256MB based
videocard is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS
test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results
on the next page.
|PCSTATS Test System Configurations