Video card OC thread 21 replies

Please wait...

kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

50 XP

16th June 2004

0 Uploads

5,787 Posts

0 Threads

#1 9 years ago

Video Card overclocking thread I've pretty much written a guide for someone new to OC. This guide is meant to be written for all video cards produced within the last 10yrs. I wrote the guide originally using a Asus Radeon 4850 . I will be going over OC basics, and some advanced things as well. I take no responsibility for what you do with the information in this guide. Overclock your hardware at your own risk. Overlocking Basics Before you start, read as much about your video card that you intend to overclock and get comfortable with your hardware. Have a backup card in case something goes wrong and your card starts to crash Unlike overclocking a processor, overclocking a video card is pretty straight-forward. You have Core and Memory clocks on ATI cards, and Core, Memory, and Shader clocks on Nvidia cards.

Core Basically, the core is the "processor" of the video card. If you want more information on the "core" I suggest checking out Graphics processing unit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Memory

The Memory is place on the video card that holds and buffers textures, images, and other gpu programs.

Shaders Shaders are the part of the GPU that apply the calculations that the Core processes and renders them. Generally, ATI cards have "linked" shaders, while Nvidia cards have "unlinked' shaders but I will outline the differences between "linked" and "unlinked" later on. If you want to learn more I would suggest this link Shader - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Getting started

Generally, the best thing you can do before overclocking is learning a bit about your video card. I would suggest reading articles over at anandtech if you wish to read more about your video card on an architectural standpoint. Another thing you should get accustomed to is your video card load temperatures on stock speeds. If you are unable to keep low temperatures on stock speeds you might as well forget about overclocking. For monitoring temperatures I suggest:

HWMonitor (freeware highly recommended) Speedfan (freeware) Everest Ultimate ($$$)

Here is an example of the temperatures you should keep an eye on.

5.jpg

You can also use GPU-z to display temperatures but this is not recommended if running a benchmark program since GPU-z is known to cause crashes when running synthetic benchmarking programs.

6.jpg

Depending on the card, temperatures below 70*C under load are good candidates for overclocking. If you exceed 70*C it is advised to raise the fan speed, but that will be covered later on in the guide. Pre-Overclocking Checklist Before you start overclocking, you'll want to go over your system and make sure that everything in your rig will stand up to the stresses of overclocking. 1. Video Card Generally you'll want something that will be overclocking friendly. While not every card is going to be exceptional at overclocking, having a certain card over another can generally help your overclocking cause

High-overclocking potential : Radeon 4890 GTX260 192sp Radeon 4830 Radeon 3870 Radeon 4850 Geforce 9800gtx+ (2-power plug) Radeon 4870 512mb

Mid-range: Radeon 4870 1gb GTX 260 216sp 65nm 8800gts 512mb Radeon 3850 8800gt/9800gt GTX 280 GTX 285 GTX 275 GTX 260 216sp 55nm

Low-end: gts250 1gb/512mb Geforce 9800gtx+ (single power connector)

What to Avoid: Onboard video

*note, all cards are single-GPU. x2 and SLI cards not included. * Cards listed in order of potential overclock according to increase over stock on Air/water. 2. Cooling Cooling is an extremely important thing to consider, since you're asking a Video card to run faster than it was rated to run at. They will generally produce a much larger amount of heat which must be combated with either increased fan speed, or an aftermarket heatsink. While many people will swear by different coolers and different technologies, due to past experience I can recommend Thermalright products over Zalman, Zerotherm, Thermaltake, Xigmatek, etc. 3. Memory Generally, the memory on your video card can effect how much of an overclock you get on your video memory. When shopping for a card, look for cards who use Samsung or Hynix memory. Other brands are generally fine but I have found cards that use Samsung or Hynix to overclock more than other cards using other makes of memory. A general rule of thumb for realizing memory speeds is

DDR Frequency = Mem Speed * 2 DDR2 Frequency = Mem Speed * 2 DDR3 Frequency = Mem speed * 2 DDR4 Frequency = Mem speed * 2 DRR5 Frequency = Mem speed * 4

• The first part explains itself (DDR2/3/5 memory). • The second portion after it is the Frequency. • Third is the memory speed stated in the GPU's Bios. ex: 1100mhz • In order to calculate the rated DDR speed of the memory multiply the memory speed times 2 for DDR/2/3/4. ex: 1100mhz x 2 = 2200mhz DDR speed For DDR5 memory you multiply the memory speed times 4 in order to achieve the DDR speed. ex: 1100mhz x 4 = 4400mhz DDR speed

4. Power Supply There are really two major factors to consider when selecting a power supply: 1) Quality of the PSU 2) Power output If you are looking at a particular PSU I would check out www.jonnyguru.com I gave a few examples of how much power each component uses: Quote: Component Best Case Worst Case Power Supply 5-15W 40-60 W Motherboard 10-15 W 30-50 W Processor 12-30 W 60-250 W RAM 5-15 W 30-50 W HDD 3-5 W (2.5") 10-15 W (3.5") GFX Card 3-10 W (on MB) 25-380 W (PCI Express) Total 38-90 W 195-805 W There are many good calculators out there to determine your estimated power usage for your system. Such as this one. 5. Required Software Here are few suggested utilities you'll need General System Info GPU-Z is a great app to display your current settings including vcore, FSB, multiplier, RAM settings, etc. This one is a must-have. GPU Stress Testing Furmark (freeware) 3dmark06 (freeware)

3dmark will give you an idea to see if you will have instability during games. While stress-testing is advised, the best way to make sure that your overclock is stable is to go and play games to see if there is any instability in your overclocks.

System Monitoring There are several options for GPU temperatures, fan speed monitors,etc. HWMonitor (freeware highly recommended) Speedfan (freeware) Everest Ultimate ($$$) Overclocking Software Rivatuner (freeware for both ATI/ Nvidia cards) Catalyst overdrive utility (freeware, included in ATI drivers) EVGA precision tool (freeware for Nvidia cards) MSI Afterburner (freeware for ATI/ nvidia cards)

Overclocking basics Patience - The first thing to realize is that overclocking is not a quick thing where you set a couple settings and go off to do whatever you want. If you want to get the most out of your hardware you must be thorough and take your time. Core- Overclocking the core is pretty straightforward. For best results it is suggested to bump the frequency 5-10mhz at a time and test furmark for around 45mins then keep bumping the frequency until you encounter instabilities.

3.jpg

Memory- Overclocking the memory is the same process as overclocking the core. Bump the memory in 5-10mhz increments and test for instability each time.

A big thing you will want to do is input the stock memory settings for your memory into the bios. Youwant to minimize the number of variables to deal with on a first time overclocking. Most of the time you can find the timings on the packaging or on the manufactures website. Shader- Overclocking the shader is the same process as overclocking the core and ememory. Bump the shader in 5-10mhz increments and test for instability each time.

Linked shaders - ATI cards in particular have the shaders "linked" to the Core frequency speed due to their chosen architecture. Since ATI cards have more "shader processors" running at a lower frequency they are able to keep up with Nvidia shaders that run at a higher frequency.

UnLinked shaders - Nvidia cards in particular have their shaders "unlinked" where as you can overclock the core and shaders separately. Since Nvidia cards have fewer "shader processors" , they must run at a higher frequency to keep up with ATI shaders.

Artifacting - Artifacting is the term used to reference graphical glitches and anomalies linked to overheating and excessive overclocking. They range from full screen distortion to white "snow" in a dark scene. Here is a general example of artifacting

Spoiler: Show
bf22006110112574889xd4.jpg

If artifacting occurs, restart your computer. Then lower the speed by 10mhz and test again. If it runs fine keep that as your new speed, if it crashes again, lower your clock again and keep testing for stability.

Temperatues I like to keep my core temps under 75 °C. If you don’t care about the longevity of your GPU, you can likely use higher numbers. I have read about people running their chips right up to the factory shutdown/auto throttle down temp(100*C). It’s your card. Lowering Temperatures - --Raise fan speed When using your application to overclock it will have a bar to raise/lower your fan speed or set custom profiles.

4.jpg

The best thing to do is set a noise/ temperature ratio that works for you. Generally I find 70% to not be too loud and still offer good temperatures.

--Replacing stock thermal paste When a card is manufactured they are fitted with cheap heatsinks and even cheaper thermal paste. It is highly suggested to replace the thermal paste with some high-quality paste such as Thermalright Chillfactor, OCZ freeze, Arctic silver 5, etc. First remove the heatsink, and clean it with the most pure rubbing alcohol you can find(and q-tips or coffee filters). Then apply a half-pea size dot of thermal paste and reapply the heatsink. This will often give you temperature drops between 5-15*C at load.

Spoiler: Show
SSPX0057.jpg

--Replacing stock heatsink Most of the time replacing a stock heatsink will give you much better temperatures than simply applying some quality thermal paste. Differences in temperatures of up to 30*C are not shocking in the least. On the stock heatsink of my 4850 temperatues would reach up into the low 80s. While with my HR-03 temperatures are under 50*C at full load.

In order to replace the stock heatsink you must first remove it and clean off the GPU-die and clean the ram chips as well with the most pure rubbing alcohol(and q-tips or coffee filters) you can find.

Spoiler: Show
SSPX0057.jpg

Then you will want to apply whatever ramsinks you intend on using. In my case I used some copper ramsinks with sekisui thermal tape.

Spoiler: Show
SSPX0059.jpg

After that you apply a fresh-coat of thermal paste to the GPU-die and apply the new heatsink. Make sure to tighten screws a little on each screw before you end up tightening all the way as to not apply too much pressure on one corner and damage the gpu. The end product should end up looking something like this :

Spoiler: Show
SSPX0061.jpg

I hope you enjoyed my guide and please remember that pretty much everything I talked about will void your warranty. Please do so at your own risk.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,583 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#2 9 years ago

Excellent guide, I used the PSU calculator myself. Wattage with just 1 4890 = 382W, even with 2 4890s in Crossfire = 542W :)


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#3 9 years ago

Good guide, though I always have trouble OC'ing my card at all. My new one doesn't have the ability to OC or something, it always auto-resets whenever I start a 3d App to test the new clockspeed. Oh well, my card isn't bottlenecking the system anymore anyways...




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

0 Uploads

5,013 Posts

0 Threads

#4 9 years ago

Good job on the guide.

The only thing that jumps out at me is the link to the PSU calculator. It's worthless, and seems to think that my system draws ~724W under full load: I've tested this before and it barely breaks 400W under full benchmark (3DMark Vantage) or gaming loads. At PDXLAN last weekend, a guy I was sitting near had a stock-clocked Core i7 Extreme on a SmackOver board, 1GB 4870 (I think--possibly a 4890), laptop, 42" Westinghouse TV-as-monitor, 8" clip fan and a couple of external drives. The whole thing was drawing something like 382W.




Chocu1a

Feel my heat, Heavens on fire.

45,365 XP

3rd August 2005

0 Uploads

4,209 Posts

0 Threads

#5 9 years ago

Another great guide. Thanks kow.




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

50 XP

16th June 2004

0 Uploads

5,787 Posts

0 Threads

#6 9 years ago

C38368;4956898Good job on the guide.

The only thing that jumps out at me is the link to the PSU calculator. It's worthless, and seems to think that my system draws ~724W under full load: I've tested this before and it barely breaks 400W under full benchmark (3DMark Vantage) or gaming loads. At PDXLAN last weekend, a guy I was sitting near had a stock-clocked Core i7 Extreme on a SmackOver board, 1GB 4870 (I think--possibly a 4890), laptop, 42" Westinghouse TV-as-monitor, 8" clip fan and a couple of external drives. The whole thing was drawing something like 382W.

You sure you put things correctly? It says my rig draws 455w w/ CF 4890s.

Thanks guys. I'll write whatever other guides I can. I wouldn't mind doing an AM2 guide but haven't messed with them enough to write a full guide on it.




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

0 Uploads

5,013 Posts

0 Threads

#7 9 years ago

kow_ciller;4957290You sure you put things correctly? It says my rig draws 455w w/ CF 4890s.

Thanks guys. I'll write whatever other guides I can. I wouldn't mind doing an AM2 guide but haven't messed with them enough to write a full guide on it.

Positive. It might be having fits because I run my CPU severely overvolted and under water, but my rig doesn't come anywhere near 700W. Your result sounds much closer to reality.




Sgt. D. Pilla

Uber Geek

50 XP

23rd October 2007

0 Uploads

3,473 Posts

0 Threads

#8 9 years ago

Seems accurate to me, say's i'm using 592W @ 90% load




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

50 XP

16th June 2004

0 Uploads

5,787 Posts

0 Threads

#9 9 years ago
Sgt. D. Pilla;4957344Seems accurate to me, say's i'm using 592W @ 90% load

uhh? No. How many times do we have to tell you... YOUR HARD DRIVES ARE NOT 90W! And your system does NOT use more power than mine, considering there is no way in hell that your POS 550w antec would put out 592w even on emergency power.

edit: I just put your system into the calculator and it comes out at 433w, and thats assuming you have 6 120mm high-performance fans/ a couple of extras your system doesn't have.




Sgt. D. Pilla

Uber Geek

50 XP

23rd October 2007

0 Uploads

3,473 Posts

0 Threads

#10 9 years ago

And your system does NOT use more power than mine, considering there is no way in hell that your POS 550w antec would put out 592w even on emergency power.

Actually if you read the reviews it can do 600W~ stable.

edit: I just put your system into the calculator and it comes out at 433w, and thats assuming you have 6 120mm high-performance fans/ a couple of extras your system doesn't have.

LOL! Whatever dude... I'll screenshot it for you lol.