Nvidia’s new 20-series video playing cards, because of ship subsequent week, will introduce a brand new overclocking system: Scanner.

Overclocking is often a trial-and-error course of: improve the clock pace, run some intensive workloads to ensure all the pieces works OK, possibly fiddle with the GPU voltage to eke out a bit extra stability. Push the clock pace too excessive, and the system stands a superb likelihood of locking up and crashing. Which means discovering the optimum settings may cause plenty of rebooting and adjustment. Verifying that the GPU actually is secure at a given pace can be a problem, as not all workloads use all components of the chip. A given clock pace could be effective for some sorts of software program however not others.

Scanner will make this course of much more automated and reliable. It is going to run incrementally and improve the clock pace and voltage of the GPU to construct a profile of a particular card’s capabilities, testing the GPU’s computing potential at every pace to ensure that it is working correctly. Usually there can be arithmetic errors, moderately than outright crashes, when the GPU is being operated solely very barely quicker than it could possibly help. So by making solely small changes, Scanner can probe the bounds of what the chip can deal with with out the crashes and reboots, and with out human intervention. The entire course of takes about 20 minutes.

The overclocking carried out by Scanner solely applies to the GPU; for reminiscence overclocking you will want to stay with conventional strategies. If you happen to choose to make use of these conventional strategies for the GPU itself, that is nonetheless going to be doable, too.

Scanner is not an utility; moderately it is an API. Scanner help can be built-in into the assorted overclocking apps constructed and shipped by GPU distributors. At launch, it’ll help solely the brand new 20-series components, however help for older chips is predicted to ship later.

It is a sensible strategy to overclocking, a lot in order that it’s kind of stunning that it is taken so lengthy to reach. Nvidia is aware of how finest to induce hot-spots and thermal instability in its chips, so in precept no less than, Scanner’s dedication that a given pace is secure ought to be much more correct than the form of “3DMark runs OK so it is most likely good” testing that end-users usually use. As a result of it is automated, Scanner could make smaller incremental adjustments than a human would, with out being overwhelmed by the tedium of the trial and error testing. One wonders if all overclocking software program should not work the identical approach.

Itemizing picture by Nvidia

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