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  1. #1
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    Question GPU overclocking tips?

    I've recently been reading lots of articles, guides, ect. about GPU overclocking and i'm coming off a bit confused. Most everything i read people suggest the same or very similar stress test tools. However in my case the tools don't seem to stress my GPU at all, for example. Using FurMark or Kombustor will get 99% utilization, and my GPU will get hot, but the clock speed doesn't max out or stay stable even at stock clock speeds. The clocks seem to jump around everywhere in between the low power clocks (500MHz) and the 3d clocks (940MHz) quite often. I have found the Tessmark and ONLY one test in Kombustor will stress my GPU quite a bit, however stable overclocks in those applications don't seem to apply to real world usage like gaming. A seemingly stable overclock with tools, isn't stable in my games. BF3 and Crysis 2 lock up and the screen either goes black or will have a kind of pinstripe design on the screen that had the game. I have been slowly raising the voltages and launching BF3, and i am seeing progress, ie: i get farther and farther each time i restart. But there has to be a better way, waiting for Origin to launch and launch Chrome and then launch the game, and then wait for the level to load. It obviously is extremely time consuming. Is there a better tool? Is there a better way?
    I'm running a R6970 Lightning, btw
    Last edited by PinetreeRoad930; 06-06-2012 at 09:23 PM.


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  2. #2
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I don't know what 3rd party software you're using to oc. I use Sapphire Trixx and that problem you mentioned has never occurred. Make sure ULPS (Ultra low power state) is disabled among the options you see!

  3. #3
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I am using the latest version of Afterburner to overclock


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  4. #4
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I used to avoid OCing my GPUs, but the two I own currently (see sig), now a bit dated, overclocked well. For the NVidia, I used Afterburner and Kombuster, and then I tested the OC using various 3dMark (I swear, 3dMark 2001 still remains sensitive to an unstable OC, though obviously Vantage and 3dMark11 and more current, I used them all, plus 3dmark 2006). Anyway, I just fiddled until I got the 560 Ti stable.

    PinetreeRoad9, when you say "the clock speed doesn't max out or stay stable even at stock clock speeds", that suggests that there is something wrong with your card. However, I guess that there could be something else in your system that is unstable.

    marty
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  5. #5
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I think the tests arent stressing my card.
    When i play a game, bf3 for example my clock speeds stay stable (940MHz by default)
    However when i run Kombustor or a similar stress test, it doesn't max out my clock speeds. It will go to like 800MHz then to 600MHz and will jump back up to 900-ish an this will all be happening very quickly.
    After stressing, the graph for my core clock speeds in afterburner, reminds me of a framerate graph. It goes up and down that often and quickly.
    But when i play any game that is even slightly stress full, my clock speeds will stay stable and never change.


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  6. #6
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I don't play competitive games on-line, so squeezing every extra frame out of a card is not necessary. I'll just try to find a stable sweet spot OC on my CPUs and now my GPUs and leave it. It was interesting OCing my 2500K on the z68 board, a very very different experience OCing. I guess cards are the same way, with each new generation. My 5870 was very straight-forward using the built-in ATI feature for overclocking. Did it once and that was it. I cannot even remember now how I OCed the 560 TI.
    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P, Core i7-860 Lynnfield at 3.6GHz, ZALMAN CNPS10X QUIET 120mmCPU HSF, CORSAIR Vengeance (2 x 4GB) DDR3 at 1640, PowerColor HD5870, Earthworks 650W PSU, Samsung 840 EVO 120g SSD (W10 Pro 64-bit), 320G Blue Caviar storage, LiteOn DVD burner, Antec 902 case [B]
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  7. #7
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I've never had great luck OCing GPUs, I never see enough performance increase to warrant the extra fan noise.
    My heatware

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  8. #8
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrunner View Post
    I've never had great luck OCing GPUs, I never see enough performance increase to warrant the extra fan noise.
    I agree. My two current video cards have great cooling systems on them, so the fan noise increases not at all when I OC. Also, I have never bumped the voltage on a video card. That's where I draw the line, for the very reason of heat and noise (I certainly will do so, however, for CPUs) and little real gain. I'll bump voltage for CPUs so long as the heat and stability and noise do not escalate. Again, good cooling systems make all the difference.

    I'm glad GPUs finally have decent cooling systems. I still have an 8800GTS, 8800GT, and I had a HD 30850, all of which I added after-marked Zalman coolers to keep the noise head down. The stock fans sucked and were so noisy. With the Zalman coolers, I could OC the cards with almost no increase in fan speed or heat. But I hated the extra expense and the work that went into putting on those coolers. My current cards came with great cooling systems.

    marty
    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P, Core i7-860 Lynnfield at 3.6GHz, ZALMAN CNPS10X QUIET 120mmCPU HSF, CORSAIR Vengeance (2 x 4GB) DDR3 at 1640, PowerColor HD5870, Earthworks 650W PSU, Samsung 840 EVO 120g SSD (W10 Pro 64-bit), 320G Blue Caviar storage, LiteOn DVD burner, Antec 902 case [B]
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  9. #9
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Unless you are doing a lot of benchmarking there is really no reason to overclock.

    The few FPS you gain are not worth the heat generated.
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  10. #10
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by PinetreeRoad930 View Post
    However when i run Kombustor or a similar stress test, it doesn't max out my clock speeds. It will go to like 800MHz then to 600MHz and will jump back up to 900-ish an this will all be happening very quickly.
    .
    How long have you had the 6970 ?
    I'm thinking it could be throttling due to overheating
    Maybe the card needs a good cleaning ? Any dust bunnies ?

  11. #11
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    This could easily be the power throttling software built into the card/drivers. I remember a little while ago there was some talk about how GPU's would start throttling themselves in Furmark because it was just designed to draw as much power as possible, which brought the potential for damaging the VRM section. I would use games as the stress test rather than anything else. Who cares if its stable in Furmark or not if its fine in all your games?

    As far as everyone talking about OC'ing not being worth the heat power use vs framerate boosts, I wholeheartedly disagree, at least in my current situation. I've overclocked my 7970 from 950 to ~1200 and gotten large bumps in speeds with very managable power consumption increases.


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  12. #12
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by richardd43 View Post
    Unless you are doing a lot of benchmarking there is really no reason to overclock.

    The few FPS you gain are not worth the heat generated.
    Few fps? Heat generated?

    Research video cards well before purchasing. Some are better designed then others, and overclocking a Sapphire Dual X 7970 brings more then a few fps increase. And the heat doesn't increase much, but I had known this before ordering one.

    I see a LOT MORE framerate increase overclocking my GPU and not the CPU in pc games.

  13. #13
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Few fps? Heat generated?
    OK, I will go along with that. I have not overclocked any of the newer cards and you are probably right.

    Being as the newer cards generate more FPS than the eye can detect I gave up overclocking my GPUs

    But that was a personal choice.
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  14. #14
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by richardd43 View Post
    OK, I will go along with that. I have not overclocked any of the newer cards and you are probably right.

    Being as the newer cards generate more FPS than the eye can detect I gave up overclocking my GPUs

    But that was a personal choice.
    Thats certainly not the case in new games, especially at higher resolutions or with eye candy turned on. Running at 2560x1440, the extra headroom from overclocking has made a noticeable improvement in the performance and smoothness when playing games like BF3 at high graphical options. Without it i'd have to back off or suffer through framerates that drop. Since minimum framerates can be the difference of winning or losing in fast-paced MP gameplay, the extra boost really does improve the overall experience.

    Up until this generation, for the most part I agree with you. overclocking my GTX460's got me only a slight boost, but for both the 7970 and GTX680 in particular, the clock speed gains can be huge. Going from 720 to 800mhz might not have been worth it, but going from 925 to 1200+ is real. And of course, its your prerogative to overclock or not


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  15. #15
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    Re: GPU overclocking tips?

    I've made several comments on this thread about the overclocking, my experiences and thoughts on the matter, but I fear we have stolen the thread from the OP. I really do not know what to suggest to him on how to resolve his issue. And sorry about hijacking the thread.

    marty
    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P, Core i7-860 Lynnfield at 3.6GHz, ZALMAN CNPS10X QUIET 120mmCPU HSF, CORSAIR Vengeance (2 x 4GB) DDR3 at 1640, PowerColor HD5870, Earthworks 650W PSU, Samsung 840 EVO 120g SSD (W10 Pro 64-bit), 320G Blue Caviar storage, LiteOn DVD burner, Antec 902 case [B]
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