On the testbed side we haven't got anything out of the ordinary at all, especially when compared to our setup when we tested the card originally in our launch article . Since there's not much that really needs to be said, we'll just get into the overclocking side of things before we of course get into the performance stuff.
Speaking to MSI, we were told that we should see around the 950MHz core mark on the card with +150mv on the core. Knowing where we should end up is always handy as it means that we don't have to start at the stock 750MHz and push the core up 25MHz at a time. Instead we can shoot up to 900MHz and take it from there.
We'd bump the core up and run 3DMark 11 over and over again until we hit a point where it was crashing out for us. As you can see below, that point was 1000MHz or 1GHz on the core; a huge overclock and a "very good" one according to MSI.
This in turn boosted the Shader clock to 2000MHz. As for the 1280MB of GDDR5 memory, we moved that from 3900MHz QDR to 4552MHz QDR; another very strong overclock.
This is a really strong overclock and while we could get 3DMark 11 running at around the 1010MHz - 1015MHz mark on the core, we found under Heaven that the card would fall over. Moving back to an even 1GHz clock, though, brought with it rock solid performance.
Hopefully we will see some really strong performance out of the card and greatly improve upon the very respectable numbers we've already seen out of the MSI GTX 560 Ti 448 card.
Let's get started!
The FPS Numbers Explained
When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.
30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.
60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.
120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.