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Beginners Guide to Overclocking nVidia Video Cards - The other NVmax options

There are a lot of folks out there that love nVidia based video cards for the stunning performance they provide and continue to deliver with each new product release. But what video card would be complete without at least some overclocking to boost performance even more, without spending a single cent... Today Nick Swan shows us just how we can increase the performance of our nVidia based cards in this beginners guide to overclocking nVidia video cards.

By: | Guides | Posted: May 24, 2002 4:00 am

NVmax's other options


While NVmax serves its overclocking purpose very well, there are numerous other options it provides you with to tweak. While some are basically useless, others will have a decent impact on your system performance. This is a list of some of the main, non-overclocking options provided in NVmax.


D3D - Because NVmax likes to split the tweaks into two sections, D3D and OpenGL, I shall do the same!


Anti-Aliasing - Basically, this removes the jagged edges on an object when it is shown on your monitor. While it does make the picture look clearer, it unfortunately causes a significant performance hit, especially when using 4 sample AA. For the best possible performance you should set this to Off, but if your card can handle higher without problems, it's a nice option to have on. The auto option here lets the program decide whether to use AA, and if so, what level. Note: Not all cards support AA. Some cards will also support different types of AA, which others don't. For example, GeForce3's support Quincunx, while the GeForce4 supports 4xS, which no other card supports. The Voodoo 5 6000, although unreleased, was suppose to support 8x AA!


Anisotropic Filtering - Basically, anisotropic filtering reduces the blurriness associated with certain filtering methods like bilinear and trilinear filtering. This boils down to making things like writing less blurry and easier to read. Like Anti-aliasing, selecting a higher level of anisotropic filtering will lower your performance but give better visuals. You may as well turn this option to auto and let the program decide for you. If your card has performance to spare, try fiddling with the levels of filtering to find the one that has the best performance/looks ratio. Similarly to Anti-Aliasing, different cards support different levels, and some don't support anisotropic filtering. The GeForce3 was the first card to support it.


Texture Compression - Texture compression in your video card works just like a jpeg or gif bitmap. The texture is reduced in size numerous times which allows more textures to be stored and sent at once. However, like jpeg's and gif's, artifacts will affect the texture after compression and it ends up looking worse than before. Leave this turned on (don't select the disable texture compression) as it can improve graphical performance quite reasonably. However, it can make games look significantly worse, so test it and see if you prefer it off or on.


V-Sync - This option lets you decide whether the maximum number of frames per second is equal to the maximum refresh rate of your monitor in the resolution you are running. There is no real harm in turning this option to "off" as the effects of having more frames than your monitor can handle are rarely noticed and don't do anything bad to your hardware.


OpenGL, Anisotropic Filtering and Anti-Aliasing - The same as above applies here.


Force S3TC v3 Compression - This is a form of texture compression developed by S3. It works in a similar manner to the one described above. If you are looking for plain performance, you should turn this on, but if you're after visuals, turn this off.


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