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Optimizing and overclocking your vid card (and pc)


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Optimize Your Video Card's Performance

Written by Matt A. (vashts121)

I am making this tutorial so that none of you will falter through my trials and errors, and so you can get the most out of your gaming beasts. This tutorial will help you optimize your vid card, and list why you should/shouldn't enable or disable certain things, and what they do (meaning you will need a working mind lol). Basically, I am going to walk you through disabling unneeded services, startup programs, change settings for best performance and then help overclock your video card and explain it. Also, I am on Windows XP SP2, 2GB Ram, 512mb GeForce 8600mGT (DDR2) and Core2Duo @ 2.4GHz/core, but everything should work for Vista too, you will just need to look around.

First, we are going to optimize your pc's settings. Click Start > Control Panel > System. Click the Advanced Tab, and under Performance click the Settings button. For Visual Effects, click Adjust For Performance, and everything should be disabled. Now, scroll down and enabled the bottom two (Use Drop Shadows and Use Visual Styles) and enable Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts, and then click apply, but don't close the window. This will disable all the fancy crap you don't need, and slightly bogs down your speed.

Move to the next tab (Advanced) and make sure Processor Scheduling and Memory Usage are both on Programs. This will make open programs priority, and in essence make them faster. Look below Memory Usage, and in the Virtual Memory section click Change. A new window should have opened, click the No Paging File and then click set. This is highly recommended if you have over 1GB of ram. Paging File acts as RAM, but it's on your harddrive. Why is this bad, you say? Well, it takes much longer to read/write to the paging file than actual RAM, and there are multiple steps to accomplish that that RAM doesn't have to go through.

Click your start menu, then Run and type in "msconfig" and hit enter. Click the Boot.ini tab. Look for the timeout box, and change it to 3. If you have multiple operating systems, this will give you 3 seconds to choose between them, if not this will speed up the booting process whether you have multiple OS' or not. Click the startup tab; those are the programs that launch and (usually) are shown in your taskbar area (by the clock). Now, although I cannot tell you which to disable, as everyone has a different pc and have installed different apps, a word to the wise: use the "command" directories to help you understand what the program is, and whether or not you really need it booting up everytime you start your pc.

Click your start menu, then Run and type in "regedit" and hit enter. This might seem a little confusing, but it isn't just stick with me. The left pane is the directories of your registry, the left are the values. We are going to look for a directory to find a value to make your start menu delay become instant (or no delay). On the left side, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then expand Control Panel, and click on Desktop. On the right pane, look for MenuShowDelay, and change it to 0. The default for XP is 400, which is in milliseconds, so when your mouse is over a start menu, it takes .4 of a second to show, what a waste of time! This tweak will make it instant, so when your mouse is over a menu, it shows.

So, here is the last thing we need to do before actually talking about your video card. Click your start menu, then Run and type in "services.msc" and hit enter. I am going to list services that most of you should disable, but I am going to give their descriptions so you can make the call for yourself.

Computer Browser - constantly updates pc's on your network.

Distributed Link Tracking Client - maintains NTFS filesystems across networks (used mostly for clusters of 20+ pc's)

Error Reporing Service - sends debug info to Microsoft when a program crashes

IPSEC Services - provides security for some old protocols, a firewall will give you the same protection.

Messenger - allows you to send/recieve dialog messages, was intentionally created for admins to alert users but instead is easily hackable, SHOULD be disabled

QoS RSVP - reserves bandwidth and directs traffic, slows down internet speed

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper - help for an old file transferring protocol

WebClient - needed for a protocol 99.99% of you will never use in your lifetime

Alright, we're here. Time to talk about your video card. We've been optimizing your pc, so that more resources will be available for your pc and thus, video card. First, I suggest you install the latest drivers (I'm on 169.21). I (and many people) have had problems with the drivers using the 2D clockspeed, which is lower than the default. I noticed that this was caused when I installed the drivers with setup.exe, so I used the "have disc" way, and haven't had many problems with clockspeeds. Look here for the installation method using have disc. [http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/index.php?showtopic=33]

Download and Install RivaTuner and nTune. Use RivaTuner to overclock your 8600 to 600/475 (very stable, not too hot). Use nTune's NVIDIA Monitor to watch the temperatures on your video card. The 8600 was known by Nvidia to get hot quickly, so they made it very durable and it can easily manage 78c, but once it reaches 85+ you should either lower the clockspeed or see if anything is blocking the laptop's vent. I would also consider getting a laptop cooler, they can dramatically lower temperature (for me, under load my 8600 was 82c, now it's around 76c.) It should run at least 1500rpm, and should handle at least 20cfm (cubic feet/minute). If you are having problems with your clockspeed, all I can suggest is installing the coolbits2 registry (included below) while you're on your laptop's battery, restart, plug your laptop into the charger and reinstall coolbits2, and then check Nvidia's Control Panel and ensure Powermizer and SmartDimm are disabled

Coolbits 2 (copy below, paste into notepad and save as coolbits.reg and click it)

<---------------------------------START COPYING THE LINE BELOW---------------------------->


; =======================
; Coolbits 2
; >> Installation File
; =======================




<--------------------------------------END COPY LINE ABOVE--------------------------->

Edited by Vashts121
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Nice guide. The info was quite useful. I currently have my card OC'd to 610/515 and I currently only gets temps of 60 degrees at max. Trying to figure out if Riva is reading the temperature wrong, or if my laptop is just insanely cool (which I highly doubt).

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whats the optimal shader for 600/475 ?

I would say that the max shader (1425mhz) is the best (obviously the higher, the better). Just look at these two benchmarks. This first picture is OC'ed at 600/1200/475 (it's 1200 because it's linked to the core 600mhz).


This second picture is OC'ed at 600/1425/475.


There is a 213 point score in 3DMark 06. If you can, you should also bump your memory from 475 to 490, it will make a huge difference with it OC'ed to that, and shader at 1425.

Edited by Vashts121
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