A couple of years ago, you’d be limited to the number of tools you could use to overclock your graphics card, but today, that’s no longer the case. In the past couple of years, vendors have jumped on board by releasing their own homebrewed overclocking applications, so the choice is far greater than before, and to some, a quality overclocking tool might increase the value of the card they just bought.
Sapphire is a leading graphics card vendor, but it surprisingly took the company a far while to finally release its own program, which it did this week with “TRiXX”. The name is kind of strange, but I guess it comes from tricking out your graphics card, which is essentially what you’ll be doing. The interface is simple, and overclocking a breeze.
Although it’s not mentioned anywhere in the application itself, Sapphire had W1zzard from techPowerUp handle the development of the program, and given his other proven tools on the market (GPU-Z, Real Temp and others), you can expect quality here.
Overall, the aesthetics aren’t the best I’ve seen, but I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t think an overclocking tool has ever impressed me in such a way. It does its job though, and the blue digital text does look pretty sweet. On the main page you’ll see card information, then on the second, you can tweak the core and memory clocks, along with the voltage (from 1.175v to 1.300v on the HD 6870). You can of course save some profiles for quick switching.
The tool features rather nice fan control, allowing you to choose three primary targets and scale up the fan the way you want it to. Because I like silence, I changed my default fan speed at ~40°C to run at ~32%, and then start cranking things at about 80°C. I admit, until this tool, I had no idea the fan on the Radeon HD 6870 could get quite so loud, ouch! I’m glad I haven’t reached those sun-like temperatures yet.
Sapphire’s tool looks like it has a lot of promise, and it should suffice for most people who want to get their Radeon card overclocked. The downsides at the current time is that this is the first release, so there could be bugs, and in addition, you must sign up with Sapphire’s SSC club in order to access the download. Oh, and you must own a Sapphire HD 6800 card, since you’ll need to enter the serial code. Or, you could wait until another trusted website hosts it and takes all of the needless hassle out of things for you.
Enthusiast users can adjust fan speeds, core voltages and clock speeds to tune performance to suit the application – for example maximizing performance by overclocking for gaming, or reducing operating speeds and fan noise when watching video. Three sets of parameters can be saved and named by the user, and recalled later, making it simple to switch between performance settings.