Overclocking the Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 [Updated 12/16/14]

It’s been a crazy two weeks, but I finally finished editing the overclocking video for the Gigabyte GTX 970 G1. The 970 G1 features Gigabyte’s Windforce cooling unit, which as of November 1st, 2014 appears to be the best heatsink assembly for the GeForce GTX 970 cards.

It’s been over 7 years since I overclocked a nVidia graphics card, so I needed a slight bit of refreshing on the subject. Unlike AMD cards, nVidia has no built-in overclocking tool, which means you’ll need to download some overclocking software. Along with that, you’ll want to download some other programs to make sure you’re overclocking correctly.

MSI Afterburner: http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm
EVGA PrecisionX: http://www.evga.com/precision/
GPU-Z: http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/
Furmark: http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/


Stock Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 clocks:
1392.2 GPU (1329 Mhz is what Gigabyte has listed on their website, but you may notice the card runs faster when you game)
1752.8 RAM
1.2120 V

Overclock settings I used (use at your own risk):
+150 GPU
+500 RAM (this equates to +250Mhz to the RAM, as this is double data rate)
+10% Power target (for buffer)

Effect:
1542.5 GPU
2000.7 RAM (8Ghz effective. GDDR5 is based on DDR3, which make the effective speed 4x the base clock speed)
1.2120 V (unchanged in my configuration)

Idle clocks:
135 GPU
162 RAM
0.8560 V

Idle Temp: 33-36C


After toying around with the clock settings, I settled on the settings above. I chose not to over-volt the card, because I didn’t find it necessary. I ran Furmark several times during the process and didn’t get any artifacts, in addition to playing several multi-monitor games.


Furmark (1.14.1.0), 1080 Preset:
Stock: Score: 4224
Avg: 70 fps
Max Temp: 65C

Overclock:
Score: 4956
Avg: 82 fps
Max Temp: 70C

Performance Increase: 17.14%

I then ran Saints Row 3 & Crysis 2 at 5760 x 1080 (3 x 1080P) completely maxed out. I averaged out 3 60-second benchmarks of gameplay for the titles. I tried to get a reference of an average gameplay session in these games.

Saints Row 3:
Stock:
Min: 31fps
Max: 55fps
Avg: 43fps

Overclock:
Min: 36fps
Max: 62fps
Avg: 51fps

Performance Increase: 18.6%

Crysis 2:
Stock:
Min: 24 fps
Max: 43 fps
Avg: 32 fps

Overclock:
Min:
27fps
Max: 47fps
Avg: 37fps

Performance Increase: 15.63%


Update 12/13/14:

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or on YouTube. I’ve been answering a lot of questions over the past month now that the cards have been back in stock.

I updated the article above as well as the video regarding some confusion surrounding the “+500Mhz” to the RAM only equalling “+250Mhz”. I’m actually editing a video today that should go up later explaining the numbers you get when overclocking nVidia cards, since they made it a bit complicated. Quick summation is above, but the 2 minute video should clarify it and hopefully make it easier to understand.

Update 12/16/14:

Here’s a video explaining why overclocking the memory results in different numbers:

Shane Paris

Shane Paris

​Shane is the founder and Technical Editor-in-Chief here at That's It Guys. He enjoys Star Trek, 80s and 90s action movies, and everything tech related. Shane is highly skilled with computer hardware, software, and electronics.

    • When you fire up something that is GPU intensive, it should go up to around 1.2 Volts. Basically, just leave the voltage alone when you’re overclocking.

  • CervixCreampier

    Running +150 with 1.237v, got an AISC of 72.4%. Running boost at 1552mhz currently, probably unstable, since ACU crashes a lot but Metro Last Light works fine. I might give 344.75 a try because almost everyone says 344.80 is a bad driver.

    Also poor memory clocker, only +253 on memory (3758), though expected as I got Hynix Memory and NOT Samsung memory. It seems rev 1.1 switched to cheaper memory.

    • The memory change is annoying, but it’s possible the lower overclock on the RAM could just be luck of the draw. I’m curious what other rev 1.1 users are getting on their OC. Hopefully you’re able to get your OC stabilized.

    • fackedd

      My oc was crashing in 3dmark so I lowered the memory clock to 250 like you said, Seems fine now. So it looks like the +500 to memory was too much?

      I’ve got +150 on the gpu clock too.

      • You can try slowly bumping the memory up until you see artifacts in the benchmarking tool / game. Also, if it’s power related, you can try pushing the power up to +87mV.