Overclocking The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB
The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB is built upon the new G92 GPU, a refresh of the ground-breaking NVIDIA G80 GPU which not only powered the older GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB and 320MB cards, but also the GeForce 8800 GTX. Like those graphics cards, the new NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB features a massively-parallel unified architecture, as well as support for DirectX 10.
The new G92 GPU, however, features a new VP2 video processor and support for PCI Express 2.0. It is also fabricated on a smaller, cooler 65 nm process technology. For more details on the actual architecture of the new G92 GPU, do take a look at our NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Tech Report.
When we first reviewed the GeForce 8800 GT, we were most impressed with its performance. For a mid-range enthusiast-grade graphics card, it offered a tremendous boost in performance over its predecessors. In fact, it was actually faster than the higher-end and much more expensive GeForce 8800 GTX! Best of all, it was as reasonably-priced as the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT and much more easily available. That made it an extremely compelling card for gamers, especially those who can afford the extra cost.
Recently, we showed you just how fast an overclocked GeForce 8800 GT was, compared to the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB which was 20% more expensive. Today, we will see if the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB has any overclocking potential. Even if it is only as overclockable as the GeForce 8800 GT, the presence of 16 (14.3%) extra stream processors would mean that the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB will scale faster in performance for the same increase in clock speed.
However, we did not want this to be an example of extreme overclocking, where you would need to resort to third-party coolers. With that method, you can achieve an incredible degree of overclocking but it would come at a significant cost. We wanted this attempt to come at "no cost" to the user. That meant overclocking the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB using its standard cooler. Let's take a look at the cooler.
The GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB Cooler
The GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB uses a large cast aluminium heatsink with a copper insert, similar to the one used in the GeForce 8800 GTX. This allows for a better thermal transfer to the heatsink and yet keeps the cost and weight low. With the shroud in place, the air is directed through the aluminium fins and out the vents on the card bracket.
The cooler is powered by a single Delta BFB1012L blower fan placed to the right side of the cooler. This is the same blower fan used in the GeForce 8800 Ultra. According to Delta, the BFB1012L is a 12V fan with ball bearings and a current draw of 0.32A and a power output of 3.84W. At these specifications, it spins at at slow 2700 RPM but moves a remarkable 19.07 CFM or 0.54 CMM with a noise level of 45 dBA.
However, as you can see, the fan installed in this card actually draws 0.48A. This gives it a much higher power output of 5.76W. Although we cannot just extrapolate its performance from the increase in power output, it stands to reason that this cooler will perform much better than Delta's specifications. It is certainly more powerful than the GeForce 8800 GT's fan.