Nvidia Overclocking - CoolBits + other hidden features
Everybody's overclocking these days. Every Nvidia user should have and know
Coolbits! If you're searching for it, it's on the first page right here for you.
Not only do I have coolbits but I have the lines to give you the AGP settings
panel and the refresh rate override panel. Late edition was the Additional info
tab which was submitted by Krick. Thanks man for letting me know about this
additional hidden tab.
September 2, 2004 update:
Several new hidden tweaks/features have been submitted by users over the months since this article was originally posted. Today I'm adding these extras for you all to enjoy! To get all of these features to work right you will need to have driver version 55.xx or higher. We always suggest keeping your video drivers as up to date as officially available (avoid the betas most of the time).
If you don't know what they are:
NVIDIA has built several tools into their drivers that they don't want normal
users to use. The overclocking tool is the most important one. Any of you
wanting to overclock your Geforce should use this tool instead of anything like
Powerstrip that you have to pay for. I'm covering this today because it's STILL
asked rather frequently around the forums.
Create a new .txt file and copy/paste the regedit info.
<-- Start copy at REGEDIT4 line -->
"NvCplEnableHardwarePage" = dword:00000001
"NvCplEnableAGPSettingsPage" = dword:00000001
<--End Copy above this line -->
A surprising number of people are having trouble figuring out what to do with the registry copy/paste so HERE's a link to the .reg file.
rename that .txt file to a .reg file and double click it. You'll see this
Now that that's done you may have to logoff and log back on for the registry
changes to take affect. I didn't have to.
In the left bar look for something called "clock frequencies" it'll pull up a
menu that looks like this:
From here you're going to need to enable overclocking by clicking where it
says Manual Overclocking. Immediately another screen will popup. This new screen
is a basic terms of using this tool and general disclaimer. You really should
read this over to understand some of the problems doing this may cause. You MUST
scroll the bar down to signify you've read it. After you accept these terms
you'll be able to do some frequency adjustments.
Now that you have the adjustments available to you you shouldn't ever
increase things more than 2 or 3Mhz at a time. To increase your speed I suggest
using the "test new settings" button instead of just applying. After you know
your card you can hit apply, but please don't do it till after you test the
settings! Most games are mainly limited by memory bandwidth. You'll see the
biggest improvement by increasing your memory speed. It's mainly synthetic
benchmarks that show "big" improvements from increasing your core speeds. If you
actually put much weight in benchmarks like 3DMark the core is important to you.
Never check on apply settings at startup until you've confirmed that games
You know you've overclocked too far if you see ANY image artifacts, spots in
games, basically if you see anything abnormal after overclocking then back it
down slightly until the problem goes away.
As with all overclocking this will increase your heat production. In the
winter you may get a lot better results than in the summer. I suggest adding a
decent amount of extra cooling to your case and the card itself to help
dissipate the added heat.
Next up is the AGP settings tool:
This one is more for troubleshooting. You'll be able to force things like
fast writes, sideband addressing and your AGP rate. Here's what it looks like:
Mine is all set to where they should be by default. If I was having stability
issues I could turn things down a bit.
Fast Writes is a
feature which accelerates memory write transactions from the chipset to the AGP
Sideband Adressing provides additional channels for transmitting data
requests between the graphics processor and the system.
I don't want to go into too much more detail about these in this article.
Stayed tuned for an article that covers this kind of thing.
The other Panel called refresh rate overrides I don't really have much to say about... Anybody want to tell ME more about it?