How do I overclock a GTX 1070

Overclocking the GTX 1070 - overclocking as fast as the GTX 1080?

Nvidia offers the Geforce GTX 1070 in the Founders Edition. Despite the reference cycle and radial fan, it costs more than the upcoming manufacturer models. We test how far the performance can be increased.

Nvidia's new graphics cards such as the Geforce GTX 1070 based on the Pascal architecture deliver significantly more performance per watt than their Maxwell predecessors. This is made possible on the one hand by the structure width, which has shrunk from 28 to 16 nanometers, and on the other by the greatly increased clock frequencies.

Both the Geforce GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 clock with a boost frequency of 1,733 and 1,683 MHz, respectively, which is much higher than their direct predecessors, the GTX 980 (1,216 MHz) and GTX 970 (1,178 MHz). The reference design (Founders Edition) from Nvidia only represents the initial value.

The graphics card manufacturers will use the overclocking potential of the Pascal generation for their OC models. By relying on more powerful systems for cooling and power supply, models that are overclocked ex works, such as the MSI Geforce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G that we tested, almost reach the 2.0 GHz limit under load. However, a similar number of megahertz can also be tickled from the Founders Editions.

We have already done this for the Geforce GTX 1080 and explained the new OC features such as GPU Boost 3.0. Now it is the turn of the Geforce GTX 1070 and has to show where the clock and performance maximum of our Founders Edition variant is.

Afterburner instead of PrecisionX

In the meantime, when overclocking the Pascal GPUs, we can fall back on EVGA's Precision-X tool as well as MSI's Afterburner program. The beta version 4.3 supports the new Geforce cards and lets us set parameters such as fan speed, voltage, power and temperature limit as well as the MHz number of the GPU and memory. We can also call up the voltage curve as with PrecisionX (Ctrl + F) and adjust it manually.

By increasing the power limit and the voltage, the GTX 1070 can be brought up to a stable 2.0 GHz. The memory effectively clocks at 8,100 MHz (4,050x2)

Like the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 in the Founders Edition also has problems keeping its maximum boost clock constant over a longer period of time. Without overclocking, our GTX 1070 initially calculates with 1.759 MHz instead of 1.683 MHz. However, due to the increase in temperature during gaming and the limited power consumption, the clock rate drops again after a certain time and the card repeatedly slips below 1,700 MHz.

Only after we set the power limit to 112 percent and increase the voltage does the GTX 1070 just barely but steadily reach the 2.0 GHz mark. We can also run the video memory a little faster with an effective 8,100 MHz than with the reference data (8,000 MHz).

We couldn't go any higher with our sample, even with more tension. From 200 MHz more for the core clock, there were picture errors or crashes. The temperature rises to around 81 degrees and the fan rotates at 53 percent or 2,102 revolutions per minute, which is clearly audible.

Benchmarks

In order to check whether the graphics card works stably even with overclocking and to determine comparative values, we let the OC version of the GTX 1070 compete in three benchmarks. Compared to the standard version, it has increased by almost seven percentage points. It still remains a long way from the GTX 1080.

Our manually overclocked GTX 1080 in the Founders Edition remains at the top and can also hold its own against the MSI GTX 1080 GamingX 8G with factory overclocking.

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