One other question:
After looking through the ATITool info I wasn't able to find any sort of clear indication of how risky it is to overclock the video card in terms of damaging the card and/or other parts of my system.
Any idea how rare or frequent it occurs? Are some cards more risky than others?
no I dont think any card is any more likely to fail in an oc than any other, just one might oc better than another
The biggest thing you have to worry about is heat so get a utility to measure your gpu temp. I recommend Rivia Tuner, it can oc the card too but I just use it bc it puts a nice graph of my gpu temp fan speed, memory speed and clock speed (all for graphics card) and it can record your temps while you play a game or its idle temp. below is a link to Rivia tuner
now for some tips, play a game for awhile with rivia graphing temps of your card at stock speed see what it tops out at. Bring up ATItool and open the 3d view, with rivia running, and let it go to see what temps your card tops out at.
keep a record of those temps, i just remember them mostly the atitool temp bc it is going to be hotter. ATItool 3d view stresses a video card very well and more than a game will, trust me it may not look all that impressive but its more than a video game stresses. Also take note of the fps in the 3d view.
now the fun part ocing. just bump up the clock speed first 10mhz or 20mhz at first and then test with atitool (use the test for artifacts in ati tool) once you hit a wall that the card cant go past start bumping up the memory speed till you hit another wall and there you go its basically that simple. oh and keep an eye on those temps, I don’t know what your card can handle but you should be able to hit 80c or so with out any problems.
if you want to do it an easy way just use the "find maximum clock rate" button or what ever its called and ati tool will slowly bump up the clock rate and shouldn’t oc it beyond what the card can handle. it has one of these for the memory as well.
Setup an Overclock profile first to save settings & fan speed to.
Go into settings & tick lock reference divider, then use the drop down menu and click fan settings, adjust the fan settings profile to suit you. Use 100% for testing, but later setup the Dynamic based on GPU temp.
I just hit the find max core buttton first, let it scan up until it detects artifacts (a donk noise), abort, back off 10MHz & save. Default the speed, then do the same for memory.
By keeping it under the artifact zone you should be fine, but you can setup another profile for a smaller overclock for regular use in gaming if you are worried, until you get use to it.
The easiest way I found to overclocking with ATITool is:
1) Start ATITool and click the "Settings" button in the lower right hand corner
2) Select "Artifact Scanning" fron the drop down menu at the top
3) Check the "Stop scanning for maximum clock after ---- seconds without artifacts" box
4) Enter 7200 for the number of seconds
5) Click the "Back" button in the lower right hand corner
6) Click the "Find Max Core" button and then find something to do for the next 2&1/2 hours
7) After 7200 seconds of stable clock speed a dialog box will appear to inform you of the max stable core speed. Click "OK"
8) Click the "Find Max Mem" button and then find something to do for the next 2&1/2 hours
[It will warn you about overclocking the mem when the core is overclocked - just click past this]
9) You'll see the dialog box again, this time with your optimal core and mem speeds! Click "OK"
10) In the "Profile" section at the top, click "New"
11) Name this speed profile whatever you want then click "OK"
12) [Optional] Set the "3D Profile" drop down menu to the left to the profile you just named - as long as ATITool is running in the tray, when you run a 3D application, ATITool will set your card to run at the optimal stable speeds you found
One more question: I started the "Find Max Mem" thing and my whole screen went green with black lines. I wasn't sure if that meant it was doing what it was supposed to do so I restarted my computer. When I looked at the log it said that "Find Max Core Started"
Very comprehensive answer. Thank you very much.
I can't wait to overclock mine now.
I'm curious as to what kind of improvement I will see in terms of FPS on certain games, etc.
Use FRAPS to see your FPS in games. There will be a little counter in the top right corner of your screen showing the current FPS. FRAPS has a really cool feature which is the ability to record your FPS over a given period of time (the default setting is a minute). It then puts the data into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can make it into a graph. Try this benchmarking feature before and after you've overclocked your card to see if it was worth the added heat and stress on the video card. If there's not a justifiable improvement, return the card to stock speeds to prolong its life.
play a game for awhile with rivia graphing temps of your card at stock speed see what it tops out at. Bring up ATItool and open the 3d view, with rivia running, and let it go to see what temps your card tops out at.
keep a record of those temps,
He doesnt need to go throught all of that. He just needs to push his clocks up until he starts seeing garbage in the games he plays(or the game locks up all together).
After that happens....back them down a bit. It's no more difficult then that.
Also, I'm a fan of ATiTool myself, but the artifact tester isnt the most accurate thing to ever be invented. Running multiple windows of rthdribl will stress a card better than anything I know of.
Ok so I ran "Find Max Core" and it ran for a while then went to a blank screen. When I rebooted I looked at the log and the last few lines were as follows:
2006-06-14 19:34:58 Clocks set to: 549.00 / 405.00
2006-06-14 19:35:01 Clocks set to: 550.13 / 405.00
2006-06-14 19:35:04 Clocks set to: 550.80 / 405.00
2006-06-14 19:35:07 Clocks set to: 551.25 / 405.00
2006-06-14 19:35:10 Clocks set to: 553.50 / 405.00
2006-06-14 19:35:11 Artifacts detected after 04:13.17. 31 pixels don't match.
2006-06-14 19:35:11 Clocks set to: 551.25 / 405.00
So does this mean I should set my Core clock to around just under 550.00? maybe like 540 or so?
I also ran "Find Max Mem" and got the following (again, last few lines):
2006-06-14 19:48:18 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 459.00
2006-06-14 19:48:21 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 463.50
2006-06-14 19:48:22 Artifacts detected after 01:10.76. 8325 pixels don't match.
2006-06-14 19:48:23 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 459.00
2006-06-14 19:58:43 Artifacts detected after 10:20.46. 3017 pixels don't match.
2006-06-14 19:58:43 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 454.50
2006-06-14 20:16:13 Artifacts detected after 17:30.42. 3017 pixels don't match.
2006-06-14 20:16:14 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 450.00
2006-06-14 22:24:21 Scan complete. Total runtime: 9429 seconds. Artifact-free: 7687 seconds. Core: 499.50 MHz Memory: 450.00 MHz
2006-06-14 22:25:09 Clocks set to: 499.50 / 450.00
So I'm guessing my max mem would be 450. However, does it matter that I ran Find Max Mem when my Core was set to default 499.5?
oh, one last silly question: I'm assuming that my video cards base core and mem is 499.5 and 450, respectively since that's what the default shows on ATItool.
Type it into your search engine. I cant copy and paste you a link because I'm on Vista and it wont let me
You're using Vista? I checked out the beta, but from what I've heard, it makes games run slower (in the beta version at least) and needs 940 MB of RAM just to run Aero + the OS. Not sure if this is true, because if it isn't, I'd sure as hell download it!
Yeah, the RTHDRIBL thing sure looks like a graphics-intensive demo... running like 3 of those would kill an old card like mine .