I have two MSI Reference 7970s. My everyday gaming overclock on them is 1200 core/1650 mem with afterburner.
The problem I'm having is with Catalyst/Overdrive. Whatever I set in afterburner, AMD Overdrive seems to mimic it. However, my afterburner clocks require a voltage increase, and Overdrive doesn't set voltages, so if MSI afterburner is not running, my drivers go into a crash/recovery loop.
This is a problem when booting Windows. I have Afterburner set to start and apply overclocks at boot, but before Windows loads Afterburner, Overdrive has already loaded/applied the inflated clocks, causing a 10-second freeze, black screen, then recovery -- followed by MSI afterburner loading and applying the proper voltage.
I have tried disabling Overdrive, but it doesn't make a difference. Once I apply the afterburner clocks, CCC copies those clocks and even treats them as "default." Power slider is at 20% of course, but doesn't help this situation since the overclocks are fairly substantial.
I can manually set the stock clocks in overdrive, and tell afterburner not to boot at startup, and then everything is fine. But as soon as I start afterburner to play a game or something, CCC copies those overclocked frequencies again, and i'll need to change them in overdrive before I close afterburner.
It all boils down to a minor inconvenience at startup (though a consistent crash like that can't be good, given the fact that it's doing it because of a not-yet-stable OC). As far as I can tell, the only solutions are:
1. Flash the bios of both cards with my applied voltage/clocks (would like to avoid this since I may end up selling these cards by the end of the year, and my settings would be dangerous for someone without a custom loop)
2. Somehow make Windows launch afterburner earlier than it does. (not sure how to do this)
Any other suggestions? I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling my drivers and afterburner, as well as trying different versions. The overclock is 100% stable with MSI Afterburner running, cards sit around 45-48C in the most GPU-intensive games thanks to the heatkiller blocks.
My system specs, in case anyone asks:
i7-4770k @ 4.7GHz
MSI Z87 MPower
2 x MSI 7970 GHz Edition cards at 1200/1650
G-Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz CL9 (2 x 8GB)
Seasonic X-1250 Gold
Samsung 830 256GB
2 x 1TB WD Black
More about :amd graphics driver crashes recovers win boot time
Hah, what a concept! That seems to work fine. It just never entered my head to disable CCC running at boot. I rely on it for a few games to run right with crossfire that even Radeonpro couldn't fix (like Skyrim), but it's not a big deal to run it manually. It'll at least prevent the startup crash. Thanks!