NVIDIA likes to say that the GM206 on the GeForce GTX 960 is an “Overclocker’s Dream”, so we have to put that claim to the test.
To overclock the Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming we installed Gigabyte’s OC Guru II v1.78 overclocking utility. This overclocking has been around for several years and features a very simple and straightforward interface that allows one to easily overclock a video card. The top row on the utility is all most people need to tinker with as you can increase the base/boost clock and also the memory clock with just a few mouse clicks. You can can then monitor the clock speeds, voltages, temperatures and fan speeds with the monitoring utility. More advanced users can adjust the fan profiles, core voltages, and the GPU power and temperature targets if they wanted to do so. There hasn’t been a GTX 960 that we couldn’t get to over 1500MHz boost clocks with the power and temperature targets left alone though, so changes are you won’t even need to adjust anything when it comes to targets.
In case you forgot, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming graphics card is already factory overclocked up to 1241 MHz base with a boost clock of 1304MHz and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1753MHz (7010 MHz effective). The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 reference card is clocked at 1127MHz with a boost clock of 1178MHz on the core and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1750MHz (7000MHz).
Let’s see how much higher we can get a fully enabled GM206 Maxwell GPU with 1024 CUDA cores!
We were able to increase the base/boost clock from 1241/1304 MHz up by 160 MHz to 1401 MHz base and 1464MHz boost. This is an increase of around 12% on the already overclocked core clocks, which is pretty significant. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory was able to be overclocked by an additional 990MHz, so we got the memory up to 8000MHz, which is an increase of 1000MHz over the reference cards speeds! Even a couple extra MHz on the memory and we would see artifacts, so these are pretty much the top speeds on this card without manually overvolting the GPU.
This overclock meant that we were running at 1552MHz at times on the GM206 GPU thanks to NVIDIA Boost 2.0. This is the highest that we have ever gotten a GTX 960 to with regards to the core clock.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming Stock:
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming Overclocked:
By overclocking the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming SuperOverclock 2GB video card we were able to take the stock score of 7018 and raise it up to 7705. This is a 687 point increase in our overall 3DMark score, which represents a performance gain of 9.8 percent. We’ll take a 10% performance boost thanks to a little overclocking any day!