In the Forums...
Posted: August 15, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Naturally, the fastest video card I could get my hands on just isn't fast enough. No, sir, it's not. I'm not going to be satisfied until I've seen that damn Quake 3 1600x1200x32bpp high quality test run at 60+ FPS with the all of the video card's goodies turned on (well, except FSAA -- that's asking for a bit too much).
The GeForce 2 Ultra is already close -- as you probably read in my GeForce 2 Ultra preview (if you didn't read the preview yet, read it now!). It's friggin' fast. But I want more speed and I want it now, so I am going to overclock this $500 video card that isn't even available yet. Maybe it's a bit risky, but what the heck!
Preparing to Overclock the Monster
Before I even begin to overclock this monster of a graphics card I must consider two details:
1) Finding a utility to overclock the card and...
2) Heat. The GeForce 2 Ultra is hot enough on its own -- bumping up the clock speed is a fun way to add another 20ºF or so the chip.
Where is the clock speed adjustment utility?
I noticed the overclocking utility was gone from the 6.18 drivers, so I sought to restore it. I tried the Coolbits registry patch I made a while back when I wrote the GeForce Tweak Guide, but it wouldn't make the key appear. Odd. I realized then that the word "software" in the path was now "Software" -- which it wasn't before (at least when I wrote that guide). So anyway, if you want to use the overclocking tab that's built into the Nvidia reference drivers, download this registry patch and merge it into the registry.
To access the sweet overclocking utility, right click the desktop, choose Properties, then Settings, then Advanced, then GeForce 2 GTS (or your card name if it doesn't display this). The "Hardware Options" tab should now be accessible. Check "Allow clock frequency adjustments". It will probably require you to reboot after this.
Once you have rebooted, the clock speed is easy to adjust.
The default clock speed of the GeForce 2 Ultra is actually 250 MHz core / 458 MHz memory (according to the applet). Well, the memory really runs at 229 MHz, but since it is DDR memory, the effective frequency is 458 MHz. Now, I need cooling before I can decide on a clock speed...