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Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB Review (Page 13 of 13)

Page 13 — Overclocking and Conclusion

Gigabyte supplies a utility for tuning their graphics cards, called OC Guru II. As its name suggests, it is a utility used for tuning the performance of your video card. It allows the voltage of your GPU and memory to be adjusted for overclocking and fan speed control. On a side note, Gigabyte’s OC Guru II has one of the best fan speed control features I have ever seen; it allows a six step fan speed adjustment based on temperature. You really cannot ask for more. Just for comparison, MSI Afterburner only allows four. My only complaint is OC Guru II has problems starting with Windows 8.1 at press time, whereas MSI Afterburner, which also works perfectly with this card, is flawless in this regard.

With the latest software revision, I got it installed on my test platform, and immediately got to work. I bumped up the core voltage 75mV, and went as far as I could go. As you can see in our screenshot above, the GTX 970 core did exceptionally well in this area — Gigabyte already has a 128MHz core overclock from the factory, and I managed to squeeze an extra 150MHz out of that. The net figure is 1328MHz GPU with 1479MHz boost, which translates to an impressive 26.4% over NVIDIA specifications, or 12.7% over Gigabyte specifications. To verify stability, I ran a burn in test using Furmark. I also scanned for artifacts in in addition to testing for stability using this program. Since Gigabyte neglected to overclock the memory from the factory, here is where our work comes in handy. Starting from 7010MHz effective, our SK Hynix H5GQ4h34MFR memory ICs reached 8010MHz without any problems, a commendable 14.3% over NVIDIA specifications.

In the end, our Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB was able to clock 26.4% over NVIDIA base clocks for core and 14.3% for memory. To see how it performed, I ran Fire Strike Extreme in 3DMark, and got a score of 5867. The Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB (Which is overclocked slightly from the factory) delivered a score of 5287 in base form, which represents an improvement of roughly 10%.


In the beginning of this review, I have proposed while it is no doubt great to be the one to be in charge of everything, this position usually comes at a rather hefty price tag. As such, being the second in command is actually quite a desirable job, as you will still get more power than you would ever need, important enough to make a difference, yet you can slip under the blame-radar of most people if anything goes wrong. Equipped with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970 graphics processor, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB is set to be a Vice President rather than the President straight from the beginning. However, there is a difference between being just a Vice President and being a good Vice President. Sure, the GTX 970 will never outperform a GTX 980, but throughout our set of benchmarks today, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming interpretation of NVIDIA’s second-to-one chip delivered consistently solid performance across the board. So, to put it in perspective, on what platform does the GV-N970G1 GAMING-4GD campaign on? From the same formula that has brought the company tremendous success in the past, the latest offering from Gigabyte is a sweet video card built on a slick custom black PCB, with top notch components, and a powerful 600W WindForce 3X cooler. From the factory, it is already one of the higher clocked models compared to other brands, and with a bit of tuning, we were able to take our G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 to a speedy 1328MHz GPU with 1479MHz boost and 8010MHz memory. Performance? We got it. How about features? I looked around a popular online retailer, and I was unable to find another model from another board partner that has three DisplayPort, one HDMI, and two DVI connectors all at the same time. Score another one for Gigabyte. I only have two minor complaints about the G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB. Firstly, the card is little longer than the competition. Secondly, if the fan speed can be reduced below 34% at idle, it will be perfect for the uber noise picky users. This all comes down to the question, will the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB make a good Vice President? Let me put it this way: If today was Election Day, this candidate is worth voting for.

Gigabyte provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH:Renewal Award
Since April 30, 2007, Number Ratings have been dropped for all CPUs, motherboards, RAM, SSD/HDDs, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings are reflected without the inherent limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
More information in our Review Focus.

For about $360 at press time, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB is a feature loaded graphics card that delivers serious performance for the buck.

Do you have any comments or questions about the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 4GB? Drop by our Forums. Registration is free, and it only takes a minute!

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Architecture
3. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
4. Benchmark: 3DMark
5. Benchmark: Battlefield 4
6. Benchmark: BioShock Infinite
7. Benchmark: Crysis 3
8. Benchmark: GRID 2
9. Benchmark: Metro: Last Light
10. Benchmark: Thief
11. Benchmark: Unigine: Heaven 4.0
12. Power Usage, Temperature, Noise
13. Overclocking and Conclusion

MSI’s Afterburner Project Might Not Be Dead After All

Kishalaya Kundu

MSI has confirmed that it will continue supporting the development of its Afterburner GPU overclocking utility despite geopolitical troubles.

Image Courtesy: MSI

A few days after reports emerged that the Afterburner project could be dead, MSI issued a statement, confirming that it will continue supporting the software despite geopolitical troubles. MSI Afterburner is one of the foremost GPU overclocking tools, and is widely used by gamers and DIY enthusiasts worldwide. The software is supported by MSI, but is OEM-agnostic, meaning it can be used to OC graphics cards by any manufacturer irrespective of their make or model. The software is developed by Russian national Alexey Nicolaychuk, who goes by ‘Unwinder‘ on Guru 3D forums.

MSI this week denied reports that the Afterburner project may be dead, and said it intends to keep supporting the development of its wildly-popular GPU overclocking tool. In a statement to WCCFTech‘s Hassan Mujtaba, the company said that its team is working to sort out the problems that have been preventing it from paying Nicolaychuk for his work over the past 11 months. According to MSI, it could not pay the developer due to the Western sanctions on Russia because of the war in Ukraine, but is «keeping in touch with him and figuring out how to solve this (issue).»

Related: How Intel Core i9-13900K Reached A World Record 9GHz Frequency

Image Courtesy: MSI

MSI also confirmed the news to PC Gamer, saying it fully intends to continue with Afterburner. «MSI have been working on a solution and expect it to be resolved soon,» the company said. However, despite MSI’s assertion that it intends to keep supporting the development of Afterburner, it’s unclear how the company plans to resume payments to Nicolaychuk, given that the sanctions on Russia are not expected to be lifted any time soon.

The problems between MSI and Nicolaychuk came to light earlier this month when the latter posted about it on the Guru 3D forums. Replying to a fellow forum member about why he is not replying to support queries, Nicolaychuk said that the project is likely already dead, as MSI «semi-abandoned» it for almost a year. According to him, he tried to keep the project alive for the past 11 months without any help from MSI, but if the situation continues any longer, he will be forced to pull down the shutters and concentrate on other projects to pay the bills.

Due to the sanctions on Russia, international banks ceased SWIFT operations in the country and the U.S. and its allies cut off almost all legal funding options, leaving companies and individuals without any way to transfer funds to Russian entities. Given that the situation is unlikely to change any time soon, it will be interesting to see how MSI will get the Afterburner project up and running once again.

More: The First NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-Series Laptops Are Coming This Year

Source: Hassan Mujtaba/Twitter, PC Gamer, Unwinder/Guru 3D

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About The Author

Kishalaya has almost a decade’s worth of experience in tech journalism, having written thousands of news, guides, features, and reviews for multiple American, Canadian, and Indian blogs. As a senior writer at ScreenRant, he covers everything from consumer electronics to artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies to virtual reality, and electric vehicles to space. Entertainment to him means 90s sitcoms, such as Fresh Prince, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Friends, That 70s Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc. He loves dogs, sports, and pizza (in that order) and can listen to The Doors, Def Leppard, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses all day long. He also loves watching cheesy 90s sci-fi/disaster movies like Independence Day, Armageddon, Twister, Volcano, Dante’s Peak, etc.

Overclocking NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards

Summary of the article

How to overclock a video card using MSI Afterburner and why is it needed at all?

What is video card overclocking?

The GPU (graphic processing unit) is made up of various cores that are the heart of your graphics card. Each core runs at a specific speed, called the clock speed. Since these cores are responsible for graphics processing, the higher their clock speed, the higher the performance, and vice versa.

Graphics card manufacturers set a default clock speed for their products, called the factory clock speed. While most users run their graphics cards at the manufacturer’s set clock speed, others know how important GPU performance optimization can be.

To match the graphics to their requirements, they either increase or decrease the clock speed, also known as frequency. Overclocking refers to reducing the clock frequency of a video card.

How to overclock an Nvidia or AMD graphics card

The easiest way to overclock your GPU is with dedicated software. There are many options when it comes to GPU overclocking software. The most popular ones include:

  • MSI Afterburner
  • Rivatuner
  • NVIDIA Inspector
  • ATI Tray Tools
  • ASUS GPU Tweak

We recommend MSI Afterburner because it has a simple interface that is easy to understand for beginners. No matter how new you are to overclocking, you can do it in minutes.

Download MSI Afterburner from the link above. Follow the instructions to install the program and run it after installation. Afterburner offers different user interfaces, but they all provide the same options and control settings.

What are the benefits of overclocking a graphics card?

You might be wondering why you need to overclock your graphics card at all. Here are four reasons why overclocking a GPU makes sense:

  1. Lower energy bills: When you overclock a GPU, its cores run slower, consuming less power. As a result, energy consumption is reduced, resulting in lower electricity bills.
  2. Improved thermal management: The faster the GPU runs, the more heat it dissipates. Reducing the processing speed of the GPU will significantly reduce heat generation.
  3. Low Fan Noise: Overclocked GPUs have lower fan speeds than overclocked ones. A fan running at a slower speed makes very little noise. This reduces the interference generated by the fans.
  4. GPU Life Extension: The less stress your GPU has every day, the longer it will last. Overclocking will also help you extend the life of your GPU. But even in this case, running the GPU at a lower speed will make it pointless to purchase such an expensive device.

Less heat, lower fan speeds, and better thermal management not only benefit the GPU, but the rest of the system.

AMD or Nvidia: Which Graphics Card Should You Buy?

Is overclocking a graphics card safe?

While there are many benefits to overclocking a graphics card, there are a few things to keep in mind before doing it again.

First of all, overclocking a graphics card limits its performance, so no matter how expensive and high-quality your GPU is, you will not be able to use its full potential.

This can cause freezes, crashes or lags in some graphics-intensive games and programs. Graphics-related errors may also occur. Before you overclock your GPU, make sure you won’t be running graphics-intensive programs.

Second, even if you’ve overclocked your graphics card, your power supply may draw more power than your GPU needs. Therefore, the GPU may be overloaded, resulting in hardware damage. Although this is rare, the possibility exists. However, lowering the voltage on the GPU can solve this problem.

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