NVIDIA began to set the bar high quite early when it came to overclocking the 400 series. While the GTX 480 didn't show heaps of headroom, the GTX 470 really showed some promise when we added more voltage on the core into the mix. From there we saw the GTX 465 come into the picture which carried with it quite good overclocking ability.
Jump forward to the GTX 460 and overclocking became a huge part of the model. Every model we've tested to date has been overclocked out of the box, and most by a fairly good margin. Getting down and dirty with MSI Afterburner, you really had the chance to achieve even more speed thanks to the voltage increase ability and recently the GTX 460 HAWK from MSI offered us just some insane clocks, tipping almost 1GHz on the core.
While the rumors in regards to the GTS 450 haven't been as strongly filled with overclocking, a few partners have told us there's plenty of headroom still. If you haven't had a look at our standalone MSI GTX 460 Cyclone 1GB review, I recommend checking it out. If you have, though, you'll already know the clocks we ended up with. Before we get into the performance side of things, though, we'll have a closer look at the OC we did achieve.
Internal testing from partners told us that we should get around the 950MHz core clock when it came to overclocking, so that was our aim. As for memory, we didn't know what kind of number we could expect, so we just kept increasing it and increasing it.
What we ended up with was a core clock of 950MHz as we thought we would get. This is 100MHz over the stock clock that MSI offer and almost 200MHz over the reference clock of 783MHz. This of course has helped push the Shader clock up to 1900MHz which is way up from the reference 1566MHz number.
As for the memory, we ended up with 4500MHz QDR which is almost 1000MHz QDR up from the 3600MHz QDR reference clock. Any higher on both and we began to see the card become quite unstable. Around 960 - 965MHz just wasn't going to happen and the same can be said for 4600MHz QDR.
None the less, these are some very impressive gains. It'll be interesting to see what these clocks do for overall performance.