Back in March we had reviewed the Quadro FX1700 512MB graphics card, which is NVIDIA's lower-end OpenGL 2.1 workstation graphics card that's based upon the consumer G84 core. In the benchmarks that had followed, we had compared the Quadro FX1700 performance under Windows, Linux, and Solaris. We had found the performance of this Quadro graphics card performed well under all three platforms, but Ubuntu Linux had led the race. We are now preparing a review of the high-end ATI FireGL V8600 1GB graphics card for publishing in the coming days, but we have stumbled upon some results from the FX1700 that never ended up making it out earlier. Specifically we had overclocked the Quadro FX1700 with CoolBits and it had actually worked out quite well. In this article are the overclocking results from this NVIDIA workstation graphics card as well as comparing the performance to an ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB graphics card.
Using CoolBits with a Quadro workstation graphics card is just as easy as using it for a consumer-grade part. We had previously written a CoolBits For Linux Guide back when this overclocking feature was introduced in their binary driver in 2005. The process remains the same. The stock frequency for the PNY Quadro FX 1700 512MB is 460MHz for the CPU core and 800MHz for its 128-bit GDDR2 memory. Through CoolBits in nvidia-settings, the optimal 3D clocks detected were 505MHz for the CPU and 1000MHz for the memory. It's only a 45MHz (10%) boost on the GPU side, but the memory has been stepped up by 200MHz, or a whopping 25%. At these frequencies, the graphics card was fully stable through all of our workstation OpenGL testing.
This system was running Ubuntu 7.10 (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel and the NVIDIA 169.12 display driver. This was the same system used as when delivering our cross-platform tests, which consisted of a Tyan Tempest i5400XT motherboard, 4GB of Kingston DDR2-533 FB-DIMM RAM, dual quad-core Intel Xeon E5320 CPUs, and a Western Digital 160GB SATA 2.0 hard drive with 16MB of cache. In addition to running the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 at 460/800MHz and 505/1000MHz with SPECViewPerf 9.0.3, we had also thrown an ATI Radeon HD 2900XT into the mix with the Catalyst 8.3 driver.