New Asus graphics card has overclocking knob

Graphics card overclocking is typically handled in software straight from the Windows desktop, but Asus seems to think it deserves some spicing up. The firm has unveiled what it says is "the world's first hardware based real-time overclocking device for graphics cards." Dubbed OC Gear, the device in question comes bundled with Asus' EN8600GT OC Gear/HTDP/256M GeForce 8600 GT graphics card. The OC Gear slips in a 5.25" bay and allows users to control the EN8600GT's clock speeds with a shiny, Hi-Fi-style knob. It also sports an "easy-to-read mirror LED display" that shows real-time stats like the graphics processor's temperature and the current frame rate.

According to Asus, using the OC Gear device can help boost the 8600 GT's performance by as much as 30%. The company cites a jump in 3DMark06 scores from 4185 to 5493 with its test system, which is actually a gain of just over 31%. That overclock comes in part thanks to the EN8600GT's heatsink, which Asus claims can lower temperatures by up to 14°C compared to Nvidia's reference cooler.

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