Dear to my heart (and most other tweakers for that matter)
is the ability to overclock components to achieve a higher performance level. It
generally costs little or nothing to overclock a video card, unless you're a nut like me
and put fans and stuff all over it. I wanted to overclock
both the V4 4500 and my V3 3000 to gauge the final performance available using this
option. Through prior experience, I knew my V3 3000 was a fine overclocker, having
run it at 200MHz stable for several months. Disappointingly, my V5 5500 was not a
very good overclocker, but I remedied this somewhat by using Bone's "fan on the
back" technique to cool the chip. Those results can be found in the V5 Overclocking article here at the Voodoo Shack, so
there's no need to do any further benchmarks with that card.
The V4 4500 was an unknown quantity, since not only
had I never attempted to overclock my V5 in single chip, but I had never really heard of
the anyone posting results of an successfully overclocked V4. Well, now there is.
Using a single fan on the back of the card, and the 3dfx Overclocker
utility, I was able to achieve 190MHz stable in most benchmarks. I think that is
All "Best Overclock" benchmarks were
conducted at 1024x768x16 resolutions in the following chart.
|Quake3 - demo001
||67.3 @ 190
||59.7 @ 205*
|UT (GLIDE) - thunder
||53.38 @ 190
||56.82 @ 202
|Serious Sam - karnak
||38.0 @ 190
||37.7 @ 205
||3731 @ 190
||3802 @ 205
|*with Hi-Res WickedGL, 56.2
without (V4 did not benefit from WickedGL).
Final performance using the
overclocking was a mixed bag - the V4 was obviously superior in Q3A (it took a 205MHz
overclock for the V3 just to beat the standard V4 4500 @ 166), but was beaten by the V3 in
Unreal Tournament. Serious Sam was almost a toss-up, but the V4 squeaked by the V3.
3DMark went to the V3, but we have already discussed the advantages of the VSA100,
even though the score may not reflect this completely.
As the graph shows, I was actually able to run Q3A
benchmarks at 195MHz on my V4 at 1024x768x16 with 69FPS, but the graphics showed some
distortion and text was garbled, so I won't really count this except for posterity.
I was very pleased with the overclocking capabilities of my V4, although it's not clear if
I simply was lucky enough to get a "good one" or if they all will overclock like
this. The V3 is still king of the overclocking, however, and with it's extraordinary
potential in this area it can often outperform it's big brother.
| Test System/Scaling | Benchmarks | Overclocking