When a new high-end graphics card comes out you like to think that a CPU with four cores clocked at 3GHz is going to do the job pretty well. Though, like most high-end cards, when we start to increase the CPU clock further, we can begin to see some really good gains in performance.
So we've done exactly that today, we've moved our trusty Intel quad-core Q6600 processor up to 3.75GHz but at the same time we thought that we may as well see what we can do with the clocks on the GeForce 9800 GX2. The increases clock speeds will be what most consumers can achieve without spending a truck load of cash on extreme cooling. CPU is cooled using Corsair water cooling and the GX2 uses its stock standard air cooling.
Word has leaked out that MSI will release a 9800 GX2 with a core clock of 660MHz so that was our starting point. Out of the box a stock clocked 9800 GX2 will give you a 600MHz core clock, 1500MHz shader clock and 2000MHz DDR clock on the memory.
(Buggy drivers and software claim SLI enabled in XP but not Vista)
Climbing too 660MHz and beyond we found ourselves at 726MHz on the core which increased the shader clock up to 1815MHz. We then put ourselves onto the memory clock which saw an increase of almost 20%. The final memory clock we landed on was 2386MHz DDR.
So, how about we get started here and see what the GX2 is really capable of with some overclocking?