Cayman reference cards overclocking advice?

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by Grall, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I'd like to get a bit more oomph out of my aging gaming rig, I did a minor CPU tune-up yesterday by raising bclk to 170MHz on my aging Nehalem i7-920, thus giving ~3578MHz with a 21x multiplier and ~1703MHz RAM (rated at 1600). The CPU doesn't seem to want to turbo up any higher even by just loading a single core, I guess that's all you get on the 920 model.

    The system seems quite stable in this state, BCLK 175MHz was too much for something because I got errors in the 7Zip benchmark test, probably the RAM stix. I don't want to raise latencies or voltages, so I backed down and this level works fine. Considering the chip's rated for 2.66GHz, getting over 900MHz extra for free is just fine by me...

    The video cards are completely un-overclocked however, and I'd like to remedy that. Only I don't know what is common figures, and I don't feel like doing the ol' trial-and-error runaround anymore. Yeah, I know there are no certainties in overclocking, and what works with one chip might not with another. Still, there probably exists some sort of rough general consensus of how much one might expect out of these babies. I get the impression GDDR5 RAM in particular is a bit trickier to overclock since Cayman features error correction on the memory data bus, so it's more difficult to notice when the RAM starts getting flaky... Are there any tools out there that report error rate on the GDDRs for example?

    As for the hardware, it's just a pair of bog-standard, Sapphire reference cards, with that stylish (IMO, anyway) but oh so impractical boxy vapor chamber cooler. Never bothered trying to update the video BIOS, I'm not sure there even exists any updates. :razz: GPU-Z doesn't allow me to copy and paste the version info and there's too many numbers to type in by hand (yea, I'm lazy.)

    So, any advice would be appreciated, or some pointers of where to look. Thank you. :)
     
  2. Alexko

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    I don't think there are any tools that report GDDR5 errors when overclocking. The only way to overclock it, as far as I'm aware, is to do it by small steps and check that your benchmark scores are indeed increasing—or at least not diminishing.
     
  3. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Yeah, I guessed as much... If there are any internal registers that count these things it seems AMD is keeping them under close wraps.

    Aaaanyway, it seems my BIOS decided to bump my RAM volts up for me without telling. It was at over 1.8V! Lol, exactly how bad is that, considering Intel specifies anything above 1.65 can wreck the CPU...?

    I first knocked it back down to spec, but then the system wouldn't POST, at all. Had to reset CMOS. Then at 1.7V it crashed during OS bootstrap. 1.72 and it spontaneously threw up on itself just sitting on the windows desktop. Now it's at 1.75 and not 100% stable. 7Zip benchmark threw a decoding error just now so I guess I gotta punt up the volts even more, or step down on the overclock. :(

    Advice, please. I don't wanna wreck my processor... It's a really nice CPU, and I like it.
     
  4. Lightman

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    With GFX card OC just flash one of the nice OC BIOS'es found on TPU and be done with it. Then use CCC to get where your cards lets you. With GDDR5 memory OC just run few benchies at stock memory clock and then max. out memory slider and run them again. If scores go up then you're mostly fine.
    If not, back down a bit.

    My HD6970 isn't good clocker, memory 1425MHz Core 925MHz without voltage tweak. After applying 1.25vgpu I can go up to 940MHz on core but 950MHz is not fully stable, but power consumption gets ugly with voltage tweak so I play 920/1425 for everyday.

    I know some cards can do close to 1GHz without too much of a problem :D
     
  5. Man from Atlantis

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    ATITool is a stress tool like furmark but it's not that hard on GPU and it shows artifacts even if you cant see them easily that other tools doesnt..
     
  6. gongo

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    i tried overclocking the Cayman's GDDR5 to 1450mhz...didnt bsod one bit..but it scores lower than when it was 1400mhz in 3dmark11...tried a few runs and 1450mhz always return lower scores....yeah that is error correction happening..
     
  7. Davros

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    i7-920's aging wow
    just looked at some game benchmarks and faster cpu's seem to add very little
     
  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Mine is over 3 years old now... The warranty has actually expired on my system, apart for the PSU, which Enermax extended to 5 years maybe a year or so ago.

    CPU oomph is handy in inefficiently written engines like with Skyrim and World of Warcraft for example, but yeah, most of the time the 920 is perfectly capable of running a game at 60+ fps (which is all I care about, since it's my monitor refresh anyhow), provided the video cards are up to filling that many frames per second.

    Some exceptions can be heavy instances of physics simulation, like whena lot of stuff blows up in Crysis 2 for example. There, there usually isn't a limit to the CPU the game can gobble up. :)
     
  9. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    My reference, unlocked XFX 6950 2GB will reliably do about 850 MHz core and 1450 MHz RAM. I've dabbled in voltage increases but I can't get 900 MHz without adding considerable voltage and it's not worthwhile considering the added power usage (hot). I'm not sure I can tell the difference in performance anyway. I'm not even close to desiring an upgrade though - it's definitely fast enough for everything I've played lately.
     
  10. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    I tell you what, ye ol' Q9450 at 3.6Ghz and a 5850 cannot hold a candle to the 3930k at 4.5Ghz and 7970. All my Bethesda Gamebryo games had a massive boost in framerate even at 1680x1050 (especially in Skyrim with the tweaked shadows and LOD.) GTA4, Metro 2033, STALKER, UT3 and Crysis / Crysis Warhead also got fat chunks of speed.

    The Source engine games didn't get much; they played at 60hz near-regardless of settings.
     
  11. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Yeah but do you really plan on playing those old games much? I dont upgrade until something new comes along. I went from 8800gtx to unlocked 6950 lol! Crysis ran about 5x faster! But I am pretty much done with that series. Same with the Bethesda games, STALKER and Metro. Played to death.

    I'm hoping new consoles bring a bit of a revolution. Games that truly use new features from DX10-11.

    The world also needs some new RTS games that aren't fantasy.
     
  12. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    With the wife of three years and now a six month-old, my gaming time is a bit thin. Sure, they might be 'old' games to you, but they're new to me ;)

    Hell, I haven't even finished with Skyrim yet, and I've been playing it for as long as my daughter has been alive! :D
     
  13. itsmydamnation

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    dont push the memory as its not a bottleneck with tri channel, its just another reason not to post. (mine currently runs @ around 1100....lol) also most people with a good air cooling solution can hit 3.8 to 4,0. but watch out if you have a C0 stepping they get mighty hot and can be completely stable (no errors) but will shutdown from overheating (+100c).

    have a look at some of the X58 reference overclocking guides by gigabyte/msi/etc, they tell you the primary voltages to worry about for overclocking. Also dont push the uncore clock to hard.
     
  14. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    It's a C0 revision, and it peaks at ~85C already while running Boinc projects with a good, solid air cooler (Noctua C12P). Haven't tried any synthetic "CPU burn" type programs, not sure what's the bee's knees in that regard these days.

    Don't wanna go overboard, due to risk of very high temps, high volts and so on. Just want to give the system a little extra "push", you know? :D (My own small version of middle-age-crisis-sports-car-syndrome? Dunno; maybe. I've turned 40 after all... :lol:)

    Gonna see what happens if I ratchet up the clocks a bit on the viddy cards. Problem is those damn shrouds and back-plates on the reference coolers, the second card gets strangled by the first in my uATX cardslot layout. There's only a couple mm's worth of distance between the front card and the rear. Nvidia handled that much better on the GTX 580; not sure how the 680 is in comparison since they moved the fan position.
     
  15. Blazkowicz

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    for graphics card overclocking I would say, play it safe on the memory.
    on a low end card you have a bit of headroom (I did 400MHz to 466MHz on a 8400GS). but here you have none at all.

    well even on a CPU I like to play it safe with the memory, I put high timings if I don't trust the computer and set memory multiplier if any so that when overclocked the memory runs slower or the same than not overclocked.
    been burned with bad sticks in the past, especially the time I had to go from stock CPU clock and 768MB to underclock and 256MB, that was a funny computing horror :razz:
     
  16. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    No it's not that I game massively and burned out on them. I just haven't been digging the offerings of the past couple of years. I've only put maybe 20 hours into Skyrim, and I never beat Crysis 2 or 2033 because I found them mind numbing. The 6950 hasn't been getting properly utilized. I need some awesome new large scale sci-fi RTS or some cool space/sci-fi sims, which of course are all barely made anymore. Bethesda needs to drop fantasy (lol, right?) and make me a sci-fi sandbox game.

    I'm just surprised you found your CF 5850s (right?) lacking. I work with a lot of old hardware and have set up Skyrim on 3850 and 4670 for example. 8800GT runs Rage and Portal 2 nicely. It actually makes me regret my 8800GTX retirement sometimes!
     
  17. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    Skyrim, despite several of it's obvious shortcomings, is very much one of my favorite games. I've put over 100 hours into it, and I'm quite ready to do another 100. Keep in mind that large sandbox games are 'my thing' and nobody does them much better than Bethesda (which has a large number of mixed blessings, to be sure.)

    Crysis 2 i really want to play, but haven't found it without that crap Origin. Metro 2033 I bought cheap but haven't started yet.

    Oh, and I only had a single 5850 :( I thought about buying a 5950 or 5970 to get Tri-Fire running which seems to avoid all the microstutter issues, but HOLY HELL they're expensive!
     
  18. jaredpace

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    My Powercolor Cayman Pro 2GB did 985/1410 with 70-90% fan and a shader-unlocking Asus bios using ~1330mv vddc, I can't remember if I was able to increase mvddc. I think I did use the Cayman XT board Asus bios for the GDDR5 timing profile. No hardmods.
     
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