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Biostar Sigma-Gate VR8603TS21 GeForce 8600GTS Videocard Review
Biostar Sigma-Gate VR8603TS21 GeForce 8600GTS Videocard Review  - PCSTATS
Biostar's Sigma-Gate and V-Ranger software allowed us to push that videocard to its max. Literally. The key to our overclocking Zen was adjustable GPU and memory voltage options.
 91% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Biostar Jul 17 2007   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Biostar Sigma-Gate VR8603TS21

Overclocking the Biostar Sigma-Gate, more fun than usual!

Overclocking Results:
stock overclocked
gpu (core) speed: 675 mhz 830 mhz
memory speed: 2016 mhz 2425 mhz
if you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

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.

V-Ranger Overclocking!

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 it slowly!

Prelude to Benchmarks

The 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
test system reference system

amd Athlon64 FX-62 (AM2)

Clock Speed:

14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz



Videocard: Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 8600GTS

Asus EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M/A
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A
Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC
nVidia GeForce 8600GTS SLI
Albatron 8600GT-256
Gigabyte GV-NX76GT256D-RH
Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS


Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C3

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 FX-62 Reference Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware 6.70
nVIDIA Forceware 91.27
ATI Catalyst 7.2


Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Doom 3
Quake 4

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Contents of Article: Biostar Sigma-Gate VR8603TS21
 Pg 1.  Biostar Sigma-Gate VR8603TS21 GeForce 8600GTS Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  nVidia's G84 Core, DirectX 10 and Windows Vista
 Pg 3.  Biostar Simga-Gate and V-Ranger Overclocking Software
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking the Biostar Sigma-Gate, more fun than usual!
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 9.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, FEAR
 Pg 10.  PCSTATS Maximum Videocard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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