Since the ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra water cooling kit didn’t come overclocked from the factory I overclocked the card myself to see how it would do. ECS leaves the clocks at 740MHz on the core, 1836Mhz on the 128 stream processors and 1100MHz on the 512MB GDDR3 memory ICs.
The highest settings I could get stable with the ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra kit were 830MHz on the core, 2059MHz on the shaders and 1225MHz on the GDDR3 memory. This is not a bad overclock, but lower than what we got on the air cooled reference card from NVIDIA.
With the cards at stock settings the 3DMark Vantage Extreme score was X4502, but now it is X5237! This is an improvement of 735 3DMarks or 16%. Since ECS designed this it to be water cooled it is a shame that ECS didn’t boost the clock frequencies of these cards up a bit as they do have some room left in them. A 16% boost in performance would have been nice to get right out of the box.