Yapchagi's results are both interesting & disappointing. I don't see the need for a 6/8 pin voltage connector and an extra phase for a card that is essentially a stock reference board. My take on the Kepler is that it's being held back by nvidia purposefully with a BIOS / hard ware lock. The best overclock so far is on LN with a hard ware voltage mod. Great if you have soldering skills & can afford to brick a card & can afford enough LN for two hours worth of benching.
Seems nvidia is trying to turn overclocking into a commodity. I'll sell you a new card, that marginally beats the competition, on a new fabrication scale (that in the long run saves me fabricating costs by increasing yield per wafer) and I'll control the clock speed that the each newly manufactured gpu can successfully run across the board within a 5% margin of error across all batches. Can the card clock, yes, but not to consumers current expectations. Do the clock ranges or auto clocking features still beat
the competition? Yes. Do the cards run consistently from batch to batch? Yes.
I really think that cpu & gpu manufacturers are running into a speed wall as dies shrink. Sandy Bridge was a departure from S775 & S775 overclocking. Much simpler to overclock & much more consistent across cpu batches. Intel has offered $20 OC insurance in case you brick your Sandy. Sandy's popular because of price/performance. X79, very pricey, marginally faster than SB, not all that more tweak-able as compared to past cpu's. For the $$$, X79, is it really worth it? I understand screaming edge & first adopters.
I see Kepler in the same light. AMD's 7970's are pretty maxed as well, people complain about clocks not going high enough on either air or water. Kepler's in the wild seem to be achieving what reviewers have been able to do, judging by forums. YMMV. LN is a whole different world for both gpu's. Kepler's appeal, less costly than 79xx, performs same or slightly better for a few less $$. Water cooling 79xx or kepler is no guarantee to greater clocks. Price of HC = reference card + non-Swiftech block + extra fittings + $30-$40 for a 3 year warranty, minus the excitement / time to install the block yourself. The math works the same for either Kepler or 79xx, except there is no reasonable factory water blocked 79xx for a decent price. Forget PowerColor's card. Way over priced.
Back to Yapchagi. If I had the card, I'd forget voltage for the moment, focus on gpu boost & memory. Try to recreate what reviewers have done for clock cycles. Once successful there, kill Precision & load Afterburner & see what I could do there. Manipulate AB's cfg file to unlock voltage to see if % voiltage boost will raise, monitoring live voltage with AB in a game to see fluctuations. I'd also use the beta drivers that all reviewers use as well.
The HC may be maxed. I believe that the HC boost clock is higher than an OC'd SC version out of the box. It just appears that the SC can clock slightly higher because of user adjustment. Correct me if I'm wrong on this one. I think with Kepler, what you see is what you get.
<message edited by sailindawg on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:30 PM>