Overclocking plays a vastly different role in the computer industry today than it did 10 years ago, a time when overclockers were considered outlaws by manufacturers. Back then even mentioning overclocking could void your warranty and industry leaders like Intel were working to eliminate it all together.
In contrast, nowadays processor and graphics cards manufacturers have embraced the practice, touting high 'overclockability' as a feature and in the process using it to sell enthusiast oriented products at a premium.
Take the popular mid-range GeForce GTX 560 Ti as an example. Base model non-overclocked cards start at ~$229, but finding them isn’t so plain and easy as most manufacturers prefer to push their overclocked counterparts. While the Nvidia specification calls for a 822MHz core clock speed, you shouldn't be surprised to see outgoing models running at 900MHz or more for this particular GPU series.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB boasts 384 CUDA cores, there are also 64 TAU (Texture Addressing Units) units. Breaking it down, we have 2 Graphics Processing Clusters, 8 Streaming Multiprocessors, 384 CUDA Cores, 64 Texture Units and 32 Raster Operations Units. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti is paired with 1024MB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1002MHz (4008MHz DDR). Combine that with a memory interface of 256-bit and you get a peak theoretical bandwidth of 128GB/s.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 packs 512 CUDA cores with a graphics/processor clock of 772/1544MHz, 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory with a 384-bit interface and a data rate of 4.0Gbps. The 10.5-inch, dual-slot card draws a maximum of 244W over one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIe connector and carries two DL-DVI outputs with one mini-HDMI port.
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