NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment

We've already attacked the GTX 480 with more voltage. Thanks to a new Afterburner release from MSI, it's the GTX 470s time to wind up.

Published Tue, Apr 27 2010 9:09 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: NVIDIA


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 02 | TweakTown.com

We knew it was coming because MSI had said to us the GTX 470 would get the same love as the GTX 480 when it came to adjust the voltage of the core. To many the adjustment of voltage is something that doesn't interest them, or more commonly is something that scares them.

Honestly, though, if you go online, do some research and really find discussions on overclocking, not only will you learn more about computers, but you'll find out what voltages are safe without risking the life of your hardware.

Overclocking on its own is a great way to get more performance out of a product without having to spend any more money. What the ability of adjusting voltage does is really open up the flood gates. What was an impressive overclock before with the default voltage, is nothing now compared to what you can achieve using more voltage.

With that said, there's always a risk involved when it comes to adjusting something like the voltages of any product. In doing some research, this should mean that you won't run into any problems. But of course, we can't promise that.

For now, though, we'll be looking at the GTX 470 and the latest version of Afterburner which is 1.6.0 Beta 5. While still offering the ability to adjust the core voltage on the GTX 480, this version also offers the ability to do the same on the cheaper GTX 470.

The GTX 470 hasn't had the best introduction to the world. While the noise and heat we can get past, its performance has been a bit subpar. Today hopefully that will all change.

GTX 470 Overclocking

If you had a look at our GTX 480 Overclocking with Voltage adjustment article you're not going to see much difference here when it comes to the overall process. We of course used the latest version of Afterburner as we mentioned in the introduction, which comes in at 1.6.0 Beta 5.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 03 | TweakTown.com

MSI told us that we could max the core voltage, so that's exactly what we did. What happened then, we didn't expect, however.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 01 | TweakTown.com

With a bit of time we ended up moving the core from 608MHz to 774MHz which is an absolute mammoth overclock; much greater than we saw out of the GTX 480. This of course meant that the Shader clock also went up a massive amount from 1215MHz to 1548MHz. Also hoping to get that memory clock rounded off to 4GHz QDR, we fortunately did.

Too give you an idea of what the voltage adjustment did for us; when we first looked at the GTX 470 overclocking we ended up at a core speed of 687MHz and a Shader clock of 1374MHz. Previously we also had trouble getting 4GHz QDR on the memory; instead we ended up with 3920MHz QDR.

Hopefully this massive overclock brings with it some massive gains for the card that has struggled at higher resolutions against the much cheaper HD 5850 from ATI.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 99 | TweakTown.com

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.

Like our GTX 480 Overclock article we'll be running our whole benchmark line up. This means we'll be able to add to our TPR and TVR graphs. We've added a number of cards in the graphs today which include the GTX 470, of course at its stock speeds, which is 608MHz on the Core, 1215MHz on the Shader and 3348MHz QDR on the memory. The same card overclocked to 774MHz on the Core, 1548MHz on the Shader and 4000MHz QDR on the memory.

We'll also be including in stock forms the big brother GTX 480 and the top single GPU card from ATI, the HD 5870. With some impressive clocks gained with the voltage adjustment, let's hope we'll see some big performance out of the card here today.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 20 | TweakTown.com

It doesn't take long for the GTX 470 to really stretch its legs. Thanks to the overclock, not only do we have a massive gain in performance, but we also see the model sits almost directly on top of the more expensive GTX 480.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 21 | TweakTown.com

In both versions of Heaven see a massive boost in performance and see the model line up more with the GTX 480. You can see compared to the HD 5870 its performance is significantly higher.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net

CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 22 | TweakTown.com

R11.5 performance is slightly up when overclocked, but nothing major here; no real surprise.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/

Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 23 | TweakTown.com

We again see some very big gains; the GTX 470 overclocked is outperforming the HD 5870 and performing pretty much on par with the GTX 480.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/

The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.

But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.

Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 24 | TweakTown.com

The same picture we've seen all along here with performance being almost on top of the GTX 480. At 2560 x 1600 it's a single FPS behind the HD 5870.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 25 | TweakTown.com

Again, a massive boost in performance with the card performing only just behind the GTX 480.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php

Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.

The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.

Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 26 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 27 | TweakTown.com

The big gains continue and you can see the performance increase is just massive compared to the stock clocked model. Going from 80 FPS to 93 FPS at 2560 x 1600 is just insane.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 28 | TweakTown.com

It doesn't matter what we test under, the big gains are seen again and again. At 2560 x 1600 you can see we're on the edge of that 30 FPS minimum. Overclocked and we're way past it.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/

Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 30 | TweakTown.com

Nice gains across the board with PhysX both on and off.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.airtightgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/

The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.

Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 31 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 32 | TweakTown.com

Already big numbers become even bigger. At times we even see it out perform the GTX 480 here.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

Far Cry 2

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 33 | TweakTown.com

The GTX 470 already performs strong under Far Cry 2. The overclock just makes those numbers even more impressive.

Resident Evil 5

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 34 | TweakTown.com

Again we see a significant gain. We move away from the bare minimum 60 FPS average and get to a massive 76 FPS.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 35 | TweakTown.com

While we're just under that 60 FPS average we want to see, we do again see a massive gain in performance.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/ewsa.html

ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.

Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 36 | TweakTown.com

With the overclock we see a boost in performance. Unfortunately the GTX 400 series doesn't perform the best under WSA.

Benchmarks - Badaboom


Version and / or Patch Used: Release
Developer Homepage: http://www.nvidia.com//
Product Homepage: http://www.badaboomit.com/

Badaboom eliminates the frustration of video conversion by providing users with speed, efficiency, quality, and a sleek interface. In a practice that used to take several hours, Badaboom converts feature-length movies in a matter of minutes while keeping the videos looking crisp and clear.

By harnessing the power of NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, Badaboom offloads the CPU to allow users to continue browsing the Internet or checking email without decreased system performance, making transcoding high-quality video fast, easy, and painless.

Note: With the requirement for a CUDA enabled graphics card to run Badaboom, this means that we can only use NVIDIA based cards for this test.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 37 | TweakTown.com

Not much to see here; keep moving along.

Temperature and Sound Tests

Temperature Tests

With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 38 | TweakTown.com

Thanks to the 100% fan speed the core temperature is down.

Sound Tests

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 39 | TweakTown.com

Of course this comes at the cost of a bucket load of noise.

Power Consumption Tests

Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 40 | TweakTown.com

Power draw at load was left pretty much unaffected. Idle power draw did jump up a fair bit, though.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 41 | TweakTown.com

While we said it all along, you can see here in our TPR that the GTX 470 when overclocked offers performance almost identical to the GTX 480. It sits only slightly behind.

Total Value Rating (TVR)

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Overclocking with Voltage Adjustment 42 | TweakTown.com

The fact that you're getting GTX 480 performance at a GTX 470 price does wonders for the overall value. Of course, you have to consider that we did have the fan at 100%, so for most it's not really a great option running these kinds of speeds 24 / 7.

Final Thoughts

The results we got from the GTX 470 when it came to overclocking was very interesting. To be honest, we wonder if NVIDIA held back the power of the GTX 470 a little because they couldn't get the power out of the GTX 480.

The question now is what kind of overclock can we achieve out of the card with the fan on auto and what voltage is safe? - We did a bit of testing at around 75% on the fan and we didn't really have any noticeable issues at the same presets as we used in our graphs. Honestly, by dropping the voltage a little and the clocks slightly you could probably get similar performance with the fan on auto.

What really makes this exciting, though, is wondering what the potential of the model is when we see companies attack it with new coolers. We're sure that MSI are hard at work on doing something new while Galaxy and Palit both have non-reference models coming out.

With a better cooler we might be able to get even more performance with the card, suppressing the performance of the GTX 480.

MSI as usual have done a fantastic job of making a card so much more valuable. Looking at our TVR you can see with this massive overclock it's the best valued card to date that we've tested.

No doubt we'll be looking at Afterburner again when we start to see some GTX 400 series cards that move away from the reference cooler. For now, though, Afterburner has added another dimension of performance which is fantastic.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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