Yes, in modern games it is all about graphic cards, and if you want to play the newest ones on the highest settings to see them in their complete beauty, you need what? monster graphic card.

Most of us don`t want to spend a little fortune on one piece of hardware, so we are not all equiped with state of the art GPUs. Is there a simple and cheap way of making our gaming experience a bit better?

Of course, and it has been with us for a loooong time – overclocking!

This little example of getting more from your cheap graphics card will be made using my passive GeForce 8500GT card, that wasn`t ever ment for breaking any records. It`s main purpose was to be quiet and do its job of displaying picture. Ok, it can run modern games, but don`t expect anything spectecular from it.

In order to get real life results, I`ll test the cards performance in two games: Company of Heroes and F.E.A.R.

To get most out of this card, you have to have an overclocking softvare (I used RivaTuner) and some little help to cool down the card.

I used Intels stock C2D cooler… removed the heatsink, and placed the vent onto the cards passive cooler. Good thing about Intels cooler is almost complete silence! I made it even quieter by lovering its rpm to 1015 using BIOS settings.

So what are the starting frequencies of this card that we will be playing with?

– Core: 459 MHz
– Shader: 918 MHz
– Memory: 400 MHz

And right in the start I made benchmarks using default values, just to see where my starting point was:

Company of Heroes results:

– Average: 16,9 fps
– Max: 40,5 fps
– Min: 6,6 fps

F.E.A.R. results:

Average: 16 fps
Max: 30 fps
Min: 39 fps

As you can see by the results, the framerate is too low and it will give us a twitchy kind of gameplay experience… have to do something about it.

After some time of raising frequencies and testing stabillity I ended with these final values:

Core: 650 MHz (from 459 MHz) – 42%!
Shader: 1300 MHz (from 918 MHz)- 42%!
Memory: 550 MHz (from 400 MHz) – 37,5%!

But what about the results in games after overclocking?

Company of Heroes results:

Average: 23,6 fps (from 16,9 fps) – 40% increase!
Max: 53 fps (from 40,5 fps)
Min: 10,6 fps (from 6,6 fps)

F.E.A.R. results:

Average: 23 fps (from 16 fps) – 44% increase!
Max: 39 fps (from 30 fps)
Min: 69 fps (from 39 fps)

No money – just some time and good will and there you have it – 40 to 44% increase in framerate!