The recent announcement of the new top model single-GPU graphics processor GTX Titan from Nvidia came not only with the expected performance boost, but also with a few new features one of which was the Display Overclocking as a part of the new GPU Boost 2.0. Unfortunately Nvidia did not share much details about the Display Overclocking feature, the first reviews also did not help much in providing us with more details and with the GTX Titan still very hard to obtain, even though it already is on sale it is out of stock pretty much everywhere or is being sold at significantly inflated price where limited quantities may be available, we are still far from finding out what exactly does this feature do and to see how well it works…
Display overclocking has become quite popular last year when a Korean company has released IPS-based monitors with driver boards capable of driving the LCD panels at up to 120Hz and sometimes even more, the infamous Catleap Q270 with 2B revision of the electronics. Unfortunately these were in very limited quantities and are hard to find nowadays, even though there is really big interest and demand that is also being fueled by the fact that there are still no stock monitors available that user something different than TN panels and offer refresh rate of 120Hz or up. Unfortunately overclocking these monitors was not an easy task as there are some limits regarding the supported pixel clock rates in the video drivers for both AMD and Nvidia and you had to play with the individual timings of the display with the help of a tool such as PowerStrip or the custom resolution settings of the video drivers. So what we are suspecting that Nvidia has done with the Titan is to just simplify the process, removing the pixel clock limits from the video drivers (no need to patch them anymore) and providing an easy to use interface to overclock the display with the new GTX Titan, but that is yet to be confirmed.
As a part of the latest EVGA Precision X GPU tweak software package there is a tool called EVGA Pixel Clock OC that is supposed to give you this simple solution to overclock the refresh rate of the monitor without having to play with a lot of settings or manually create a custom refresh rate, everything you get is a slider that you can use to adjust the refresh rate and find what is the maximum that your display can work at. As expected this tool does not work on other video cards aside from the GTX Titan, so there is no way to test it yet and see how well it works or if there are any issues using it, but if it works well this can really be a feature that deserves more attention. There are already a lot of gamers going for 120Hz and even the newer 144Hz refresh rate capable 2D/3D monitors and are finding the advantage that these provide for gaming, but with display overclocking you may be able to get some more Hz out of your current LCD monitor as well and that may also improve your gaming experience.
Update: It seems that the EVGA Pixel Clock OC does work on cards other than the GTX Titan after all, I’ve just managed to make it work on GeForce GTX 580 using the 314.07 and 314.09 (modified) drivers. So apparently you can try to overclock your monitor with it even if it you still don’t have a GTX Titan yet, though I’m not sure if the pixel clock limitations are still active. Though on an Asus VG278H the maximum results was 122Hz, you can download and try the tool included with full EVGA Precision X or download only the EVGA Pixel Clock OC tool and try it on your PC. Feel free to report the results in the comments below, including on what GPU and monitor as well as driver version you’ve used.