Historically speaking, a graphics card has certain clocks, perhaps different for idle and load. And overclocking a card, therefore, has involved raising the clocks and perhaps voltage for stability, to achieve higher performance. Overclocked settings are then static, and in many instances, enthusiasts would even flash their card’s BIOS to “lock in” those settings.
With GPU Boost 2.0, GeForce cards can still be overclocked, but it’s critical to remember that the clocks and voltages are not static, so overclocking doesn’t actually result in “new” clocks per se; rather, overclocking Kepler results in higher overhead potential, or targets, with many different clocks and voltages possible.
Remember though, this is a target speed, not a guarantee. The Power Target has also been tweaked slightly, increasing it to allow the card to increase the voltage automatically to account for the higher clocks. What the power target needs to be is an educated guess, with perhaps a bit of trial and error if you’re really aggressive.
We adjusted the sliders, ran a stability test, and this is the result:
Our card achieved a 1227MHz overclock speed, roughly translating to a 17% overclock from the Base Clock, which is excellent.
You can certainly OC the card further, but this is what’s possible with the standard temperature settings (keep in mind that GPU Boost 2.0 focuses on temperatures, not power envelopes as discussed earlier). You likely won’t gain too much additional horsepower beyond what’s already being offered for “free”. The overall framerate improvements in games won’t be very much, perhaps 5-7% on average, depending on the Boost Potential of your particular card. That said, the GeForce GTX 770 overclocks very well.
And on a side note for SLI users out there: what does this all mean if you’re running SLI? Well, it means that your two cards in SLI will indeed be running different clocks and voltages independently, because each card has a different Boost Potential. It won’t be a terribly large difference, but it will exist. So keep that in mind if you’re monitoring clock speeds and performance in SLI; it’s good to remember this new approach for Kepler cards.