Overclocking the new GeForces
As we neared the end of our testing, we spent a little time overclocking the new GeForce 7600 GT and 7900s using the clock frequency slider available within NVIDIA's Forceware drivers, after enabling the "Coolbits" registry tweak. To find the card's peak core and memory frequencies, we slowly raised their respective sliders until we begun to see visual artifacts on-screen while running a game or benchmark. (Note: Forceware v84.11 used with the GeForce 7900 GTX due to a bug in the v84.17 drivers.)
The GeForce 7900GTX is obviously close to it's limit with a 650MHz core clock but who's to say what a few months of manufacturing maturity couldn't bring. We were able to overclock the 7900GTX to 691MHz core and 1.72GHz Memory (864MHz DDR), which may not seem like much versus the card's stock specs of 659/1.6GHz. However, we'd argue that you recall the number of transistors switching here, at just under 300 million or so, which is a very complex chip obviously, so 690Mhz was certainly impressive to us.
More impressive perhaps though, was the wonderful headroom we found in the GeForce 7900GT, which hit 580MHz core and 1.5GHz+ memory speeds. With these gains, 10fps more frame rate was available to us, on average in our Quake 4 test. This card has enthusiast written all over it and we're almost certain NVIDIA's board partners will be taking advantage of this, differentiating products with higher tested out-of-the-box, clock speeds.