At Cebit this year, Sapphire announced that they will soon ship a new overclocking tool with their video cards.
We bring you the first exclusive shots of the new tool, called TRIXX.
After launching TRIXX from the start menu or from the tray, where it is running when minimized, the first screen which is displayed, is "General".
Here you can find some information about your card, for example at which clocks it is running, what the temperatures are and how fast the fan is going.
For temperature monitoring and fan monitoring to work, your card must have an LM63 monitoring chip (also see our article: Does my ATI card support temperature monitoring?
The LM63 is present on all 9600XT, 9800XT, X800 and X850 boards, which means that most video cards around today will be able to use TRIXX to its full potential.
When you click the "Menu" botton, a new panel pops up which shows the available options. Sapphire is planning to add more features to TRIXX, so this menu might change in the near future.
On this screen you can create per-game profiles and define certain clock and image quality settings for each of them.
When you launch a game while the TRIXX icon is visible in the system tray, TRIXX automatically detects the launch of this game and will apply the correct profile.
It is also possible to directly launch the game from TRIXX's tray icon menu.
This is where the fun starts. TRIXX provides predefined modes which help you maximize your video card performance, or reduce noise.
The modes are as follows:
- Standard: Everything at stock
- Performance: In this mode a detection technique is used to determine the maximum overclock your invidual card can run without any problems.
- Extreme: This mode uses the same detection method as the "Performance" mode, but increases fan speeds to be constantly at 100%. This mode is perfect for some benchmarking action.
- Silent: When you choose "Silent" the card will be clocked down to reduce heat output and the fan speed will be reduced to 30% - very useful if you want to watch videos on your computer.
- Custom: This mode gives you the ultimate control over your video card. You can choose any combination of GPU and memory clock, without any upper limit. Fan speeds can be varied between 20% and 100%.
When you choose "Performance" or "Extreme" for the first time, you will be asked if you want to run the maximum detection test. Using these profiles is only possible after running this test, which establishes a safe frequency limit for your video card.
This is how the maximum clock detection screen looks like. First, the maximum memory clock is tested for a few minutes, after that, the test finds your maximum core clocks.
If the test crashes at any point, which sometimes happens, you will be asked if you want to continue testing the next time TRIXX is started.
When the test is finished, you have to confirm the detected clock rates and they will be saved. If you are changing video cards a lot, do not worry - you can re-run the detection test at any time. TRIXX will also reset the detected maximum clocks if a video card change has been detected.
What it can not detect is, if you swap two video cards which are the same model, for example a 9600XT to another 9600XT. In that case, you have to choose redetect maximum speeds when selecting performance/extreme:
On this panel, you can find out by the click of two buttons, if a new version of either TRIXX or the Catalyst Driver Suite is available. If a new version is available, another click on the button (which changes text), will take you straight to the download page.
Test system: P4 2.4C @ 3.0, 512 MB generic PC3200 memory, Sapphire X800 Pro VIVO AGP modded to 16 pipelines
. Default clocks of the card are 475 MHz core and 475 Mhz memory.
I clicked "yes", went to eat a pizza. When I came back, the test was completed and the final clocks were 527.30 for core and 580.14 for memory.
A quick 3DMark2005 run shows a performance increase of about ten percent.
TRIXX will be bundled with all Sapphire retail video cards starting from May. The tool will only work on Sapphire video cards.