The moment we have all been waiting for. How far did this card go? I have seen in other reviews that the R6970 has hit upwards of 1045 MHz, with others trailing behind at around 1035 MHz. Using the MSI Afterburner software to adjust the voltage to the GPU, memory, and VDDCI, I slowly inched the clocks up.
The GTX 480 is nearly dwarfed by the R6970.
It was harder than I expected. At stock voltage (1.174v) the card made it to about 970 MHz core. Increasing the voltage to 1.275v raised it up to 998 MHz. Just shy of the 1 GHz mark. Pushing the voltage to 1.3v allowed me to get to 1005 MHz, but I was getting a bit uncomfortable at this point with pushing more voltage without liquid cooling.
Every card will be different, and I just happened to get one that did not overclock nearly as well as others out on the market. This is not to say that I was unimpressed by where I was able to go. The final clocks I achieved were the 1005 MHz core and the 1450 MHz (5800 effective) on the memory. Memory overclocking on the latest boards is tricky due to the error correcting functionality of the latest modules and GPUs. Essentially what happens in testing is to slowly raise the clocks and benchmark the card, and noticing when performance starts to decrease. Then we take the speed down a few notches and that should be the fastest, most error free setting available.
But once we flip things, the PCB length between the two are not so different.
Power consumption while overclocked hits the 400 watts mark, essentially another 50 watts above the stock speed for this particular card. Temperatures were sub 80 C with the fans unleashed with that switch toggled in the back. It did get fairly noisy, but not nearly as bad as other cards that have made it through the lab.