Overclocking damage?

Can a overclock cause a 5870 to become instable, making it crash, or even leaving a permanent damage?

So, I have a Powercolor 5870 pcs+ (stock 875/1225 factory oc) in my computer and I've been having some problems with it lately. The problem is that sometimes, while gaming, everything just freezes and all I can do is reset computer, except in some few cases, where the display driver has managed to reset itself.

Before this started happening I overclocked at little just to try how good it could OC, but just small oc's, no voltage increases or anything advanced. Like just going up to 900/1250, for example.

My question is, can this have damaged my card? The freezing has occured on 875/1225 aswell, and I'm currently checking how it runs at the normal 5870 clocks 850/1200, which have seemed fine so far, but I haven't been able to test them thouroughly.

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  1. According to newegg reviewers, there may be issues with this card, maybe Mr. Hugo from powercolor can help you diagnose the problems with your card.
  2. Any overclock can cause anything to become unstable, crash, or leave permanent damage.

    Going to 900/1250 shouldn't be a problem, however.

    Go download MSI Kombustor and MSI Afterburner. Use Kombustor's xtreme burning mode with postprocessing in a window, and keep your eyes on the temperatures in Afterburner. If they get high, ask for an RMA if you don't want to void your warranty. If you don't care, open up the card and see if you can reapply thermal paste.
  3. Thanks for the replies. Zinosys, I don't think heat is the problem, the card only goes up to about 50 degrees at load, and stays at 30-35 degrees idle (157/300 clocks). I'll see if I can contact that Mr. Hugo guy.

    Thanks again,
  4. What game were you playing? Some games have issues all their own. I OCed my 5850s and they run most games great, but some other games will have issues like what you described.
  5. Well, mostly new, demanding games. Like Just Cause 2, Bad Company 2, DiRT 2. I remembered it happening alot in World of Warcraft too.. That's where it occurred the most, or maybe it just was because I played it alot. Been a few months since I played it last time though.

    And to better describe what my screen looks like when it freezes, I can tell you that if you know what the screen looks like when you press the "Auto-Tune" feature in ati overdrive, it's about the same but different colours, and a slightly different... pattern I think.

    Anyways, I've sent a mail to that Hugo guy at Powercolor, hope he has suggestions. Otherwise I might reformat my hard disk and see if it works, or just return this one.
  6. I've had that from overclocking. The GSOD. Mostly just means you set the VRAM speed too high. Given that it's not very high it sounds like you have a bit of bad luck and got a barely-passing 5870. If you just lower the VRAM speed it'll be fine. At 1200 it's doing alright and you can boost the core speed up separately for better performance. Might need a bit of voltage too but yeah, the problem you're having is because of trying to get too much speed out of the VRAM.
  7. Oh, it's called the green screen of death? Hehe. I don't get any numbers or anything though, is that supposed to happen? It's not really like the blue screen of death.

    Do you think I should return it? I might get a better 5870 then.

    I've been running at 1200 memory now for like 3 days (850/1200), and it does seem quite fine. I did have one short flicker, showing a green screen of death for like half a second yesterday, but no freezes. I'll keep playing like this and see if I get any more GSOD's...

    Thanks for the help, How do you choose a best answer by the way?
  8. I would also like to ask, what is that makes my 5870 a worse overclocker than others, I mean, it's a factory overclocked card and should kinda be made for overclocking? And I get a card which doesn't even have stable overclocks... Sigh.
  9. If you are stable at 850/1200, that is good, but you paid a little more for the 875/1225 factory OC. Your call as to whether you are satisfied with the settings that actually work or if you want to RMA the card. Did Hugo offer you any help?
  10. No, not yet. Guess I'll have to wait a couple o' days. Another problem, which I find quite annoying is now when I'm running at 850/1200, I have changed my stock clocks, and when you do that ATI will set you idle clocks to 400/memory overclock (in my case, it's 1200), so they draw more power and are hotter when idling, like when your on the web. I suppose I could just revert back to stock clocks every time I'm on the web or doing something which doesn't require much power, making them run at 157/300, but it's quite annoying changing clocks constantly. Oh well.
  11. Firstly, IMO return the card. The reason why it has worse VRAM is that when they manufacture them, they do a binning process. If it passes at certain settings they then get put into specific cards. I think 5970 and 5870 get the same high quality stuff, then the next set of slightly worse VRAm goes into 5850s, and then 5830s and probably so on down the line although I don't know if, say, 5770 uses the same stuff or what. Anyway, some people get lucky on their 5850s and can get stable at 1300 ram speed, myself I have 2 cards that are stable at 1200. Some 5870s can go up to 1300 I think I've heard of 1350. I'm sure you just got unlucky with VRAM that's right on the cusp of being 5850 VRAM.

    And GSOD generally means Grey screen of death but it can be different colours, I've had red and green as well. But yeah when it's a VRAM lock up like that, it's generally one colour (more or less) and vertical lines throughout.
  12. Alright.. Thank you for all the info. I guess I'll be sending this card back soon then. How do you choose a best answer now? Can't seem to find anything.
  13. Joeses said:
    Alright.. Thank you for all the info. I guess I'll be sending this card back soon then. How do you choose a best answer now? Can't seem to find anything.

    That's just because it's a "discussion" thread as opposed to a "question" thread... not sure why they have that, but yeah. That's what it is.
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