I installed and will be testing this card in my dedicated test system, which consists of the following hardware:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.5 GHz
EnzoTech Ultra-X Heatsink
EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard
2 Gb Corsair XMS PC2-6400 Memory
74 Gb Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM HDD
Lite-On Optical Drive
Two 120mm fans (one intake, one exhaust)
OCZ 1,000w Power Supply
Windows XP Pro SP2
97.92 ForceWare Drivers
I will be running the C2D at an overclock of 3.5 GHz in order to help eliminate the CPU as a bottleneck during testing. Before I started running benchmarks and playing games, I wanted to see just how far I could push this card right out of the box. For overclocking, I will be using PowerStrip 3.7. PowerStrip is a shareware overclocking program created by EnTech which allows you to adjust the core clock speed as well as the memory. As of writing, we are only able to adjust the core clock and the memory clocks. NVIDIA has yet to release a program / hack that allows end users to adjust the shader clock speeds.
I started first with the memory clocks, increasing in small increments until I found the maximum stable overclock, which proved to be 1,025 MHz - an increase of 125 MHz over the stock clock of 900 MHz. With this memory overclock, I then began pushing the core of the 8800 GTX. I was able to hit a maximum stable overclock of 650 MHz, an increase of 74 MHz over the stock clock of 576 MHz.
To monitor temperatures, I used the built-in NVIDIA temperature probe and NVIDIA Monitor software. I created a log file and obtained idle and load temperatures from the log file. A room temperature of 23.9 C was maintained throughout testing. Below are the results I obtained:
We only found a temperature increase of 3 C under load while overclocked. Keep in mind that these temperatures are unique to this system / card and depend on a number of variables (room temperature, case cooling, etc) so your results may vary slightly.
Now that we have a solid overclock, let's move on and check out some synthetic benchmarks before we hit the games head on...