Overclocking

When we first saw the GLADIAC, we were excited about overclocking the card simply due to the fact that the GPU utilizes the cooler .18 micron architecture. The SGRAM chips, on the other hand, did not excite us too much being that they were the same make and speed as the DDR SGRAM chips found on the DDR GeForce cards, where overclocking the memory clock proved to be a very difficult task. The first thing that surprised us was the fact that, regardless of the cooler architecture of the GPU, we were only able to overclock the core an additional 27 MHz, up to 227 MHz total. We always suspected that the GeForce 256 was clocked well under its potential simply due to the fact that NVIDIA needed an additional selling point for the 10 MHz faster Quadro processor. Routinely in our GeForce 256 tests, we were able to overclock the core 30 MHz above stock and our fastest card was able to overclock 40 MHz over stock. Unlike the GeForce 256, NVIDIA seems to have approached the GeForce 2 GTS's limit to a greater extent with a core speed of 200 MHz. With lack of metal on the chip casing to aid in cooling, along with the fact that the heatsink does not seem to get too hot, we are left wondering if the maximum core speed is a limitation of heat or a limitation of chip quality. Only more GeForce 2 GTS cards with alternative cooling solutions will tell.

Although we did not expect much from the Infineon SGRAM chips due to the overall poor success we had experienced with them in the past, we were extremely surprised to find that the memory clock ships at a speed of 333 MHz. In a few of our DDR GeForce 256 cards, we had problems even getting the memory clock from the stock 300 MHz to the rated speed of 333 MHz. Previously, our maximum overclocked memory speed in the Infineon chips was about 350 MHz. When we pushed up the ELSA GLADIAC's memory speed, we were shocked to see it run stable at a blazing 375 MHz (187 MHz DDR). It seems that Infineon may have had some manufacturing problems present in the chips previously used on DDR GeForce cards- problems corrected with these new batches. This is most likely the reason for NVIDIA upping the memory speed to 166 MHz (333 MHz DDR) as opposed to the 150 MHz memory speed set in the GeForce 256 (300 MHz DDR). It is a good thing too: as the GeForce GPU gets faster and faster, the memory bus becomes the real bottleneck. By increasing the memory clock speed from 333 MHz to 375 MHz, performance was able to take a large step forward.

The Card The Drivers

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