Overclocking Software and Overclocking Results
The 780 MHz core clock speed of the GTX 460 on the MSI HAWK card is nice, but chances are with all of this hardware and software at your fingertips you are going to want to get a bit more.
From the software side, MSI’s Afterburner software is well known to be the best overclocking application for NVIDIA GPUs available anywhere. (And good news, it works with NON-MSI cards as well…shh….) With most NVIDIA GPUs you can adjust the core/shader memory speeds as well as the memory speed and the basic GPU voltages in some cases; but with the HAWK card you get a little more tweaking in. With this edition you can independently adjust the memory, GPU and PLL voltages.
This software works very well with the over-current and voltage switches on the back but the Military Class components, like the 7+1 phase PWM design that MSI went with for the card, really complete the package.
If you are already familiar with the Afterburner software, these new check boxes might be new. By checking the “unlock” button on voltage control and monitoring, you can get fine tuned control over all of the aspects mentioned above.
The monitoring window of the Afterburner software is top notch and detachable from the rest of the application so you can leave it up full time if you want.
Keep in mind that the reference clock speeds are 675 MHz core, 1350 MHz shader. I was able to overclock the MSI GTX 460 1GB HAWK card to 910 MHz / 1820 MHz without much work at all. I was able to run all the games and tests at this speed as well as the MSI version of Furmark that is included with the Afterburner software. That is a 34% increase in clock speed that results in anywhere from 20-30% in performance benefits for free with this card and software combination!