Overclocking The GeForce GTX 980
We spent a little time overclocking the GeForce GTX 980 to see what kind of additional frequency headroom it had left under its hood. For these tests, we used the latest edition of EVGA's Precision X GPU tweaking utility, which is designed to work with the new GeForce GTX 980.
Like Kepler, overclocking a Maxwell-based GeForce GTX series graphics card requires a bit more tweaking then previous-gen products, due to all of the new options available and the complexities associated with GPU Boost. Sometimes, you’ll find that increasing a particular voltage or frequency may appear to function properly, when in fact performance decreases due to errors or throttling. You may also find that the actual GPU Boost clock may travel above or below the designated offset value when the power and/or temperature targets are also increased.
To push the GTX 980's clock much higher than stock, we increased the power and temperature targets to 110% and 91'C, respectively, and also increased the GPU and Memory clock offsets by 175MHz and 110MHz and re-ran a few tests.
We were pleasantly surprised to see our reference GeForce GTX 980 card hit a GPU boost clock of 1440MHz, without the need to tweak voltages at all. With some additional juice, we're sure these cards can go even higher.
Considering the GeForce GTX 980's default base and boost clocks of 1126MHz and 1216MHz, and relatively low 165W TDP, it appears that NVIDIA is being very conservative with frequencies on these cards.
As you can see in the charts above, performance increases considerably while overclocked in both games we tested.