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Best for overclocking an NVIDIA gpu, Ref or None Ref?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Generally speaking, which is better for overclocking when it comes to an nvidia gpu, reference or none reference and why?

What are the benefits of each? My understanding is that the reference cards are released first and come with better voltage control so that they can be tested or something by the general public, then depending on how the ref cards work, the none reference cards come along with better cooling but they overclock worse?

is this the case?

thanks
post #2 of 8
I would assume non reference because they can have better coolers than the standard turbine...

voltage control doesn't matter if you hit 100c...
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yes but cooling aside dont the reference cards overclock better?
post #4 of 8
For coolers non-reference usually do a better job at cooling the gpu (might heat up other stuff in a case though). For PCBs non reference usually have improved power delivery over reference.

Then just have to hope for some great silicon on the pcb under the cooler.
    
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post #5 of 8
Non reference. I for instance have a Gigabyte GTX 670 that costs the exact same as the reference designs.

However. My 670 has two extra power phases, and is mounted on a full sized GTX 680 PCB.
It takes a 6 pin and 8 pin connector, as opposed to the dual 6 pin of the reference.

I overclocked my card from 980 MHz to 1337 MHz. (Which sounds way more impressive than it is... But oh well)

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post #6 of 8
The chip matters more than the cooler for 28nm cards. Plenty of reference design cards would beat non reference ones easily just because reference coolers easily handle the pretty low heat output of Kepler. Extra power phases don't matter for air cooling, possibly not even watercooling either.

One thing to be mindful of is, even though nonreference coolers keep the GPU cooler, reference coolers are usually much better at cooling the vrms and the memory on the card. They're also more ideal for SLI setups if you ever plan on doing that in the future.
Edited by Tslm - 8/25/12 at 6:13pm
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
So does improved/increased power delivery usually mean better overclockin? In which case none ref would be better?
post #8 of 8
In the case of the 600 series card, you need to stay below 70 C all the time in order to achieve the highest possible clock speed. I had issues doing that with a reference card. My Gigabyte Windforce stays below 60 C at half fan speed.

These chips auto down clock if they surpass a threshold of 69C. It is important to stay below that number. For that, non reference will be better.

However, for overclocking ability, it doesn't matter. It depends on the individual chip that is in the card. I might get a reference design that clocks up to 1500 MHz, or one that only clocks to 1100Mhz.

Same deal with the non reference cards. It just depends on the quality of the chip that is on the particular card you buy. My card goes to 1337 MHz. I read a guy on here with the same exact card that goes up to 1450Mhz. I have a friend with the SAME card as the two of us, and he only clocks to around 1220Mhz.

The quality/overclocking ability of the card you buy is damn near random. The only thing that is certain is the numbers that are on the box.
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