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Overclocking the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB

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December 21, 2012 2:43:52 AM

Hello, I just got a new Radeon HD 7950 3GB today and got it installed, the thing is, I haven't noticed much a difference between this new card and my Radeon HD 6850 1GB. I have been trying to find a stable overclock, but the FPS still isn't much better. Any help?

Additional Notes:
I am getting around 5-10fps more I would say.
I have the latest beta drivers.
I am using a 1280x1024 monitor with VGA.
a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 4:52:44 AM

Well there's your problem. You have a very low resolution monitor. The performance boost will start scaling better the higher the resolution goes.

You actually have a totally overkill GPU at that resolution now.

By the way, what FPS are you looking for? If its above 60FPS(which I am sure it is) its totally sufficient.
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December 21, 2012 5:06:13 AM

Novuake said:
Well there's your problem. You have a very low resolution monitor. The performance boost will start scaling better the higher the resolution goes.

You actually have a totally overkill GPU at that resolution now.

By the way, what FPS are you looking for? If its above 60FPS(which I am sure it is) its totally sufficient.


Yeah, I had a feeling it was the monitor. I will be getting a new one for Christmas.

I have been playing Far Cry 3. On average I get 60-80fps and sometimes 100+, then the lowest is in the 40's. (this is on medium/high graphics settings). Then on Planetside 2 I get 50-60fps pretty much everywhere, but when I am in a big hotspot with a lot of people it drops into the 30's, still playable, but annoying.

I mainly upgraded with the idea that I could record gameplay of all the higher-end games coming out with good fps, I can record just fine in Far Cry 3 without losing much FPS, but that isn't really the case in Planetside 2.

I have a Phenom II X4 960T @ 3.7GHz, it isn't bottle-necking the GPU is it?

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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 5:14:54 AM

imrevned said:
Yeah, I had a feeling it was the monitor. I will be getting a new one for Christmas.

I have been playing Far Cry 3. On average I get 60-80fps and sometimes 100+, then the lowest is in the 40's. (this is on medium/high graphics settings). Then on Planetside 2 I get 50-60fps pretty much everywhere, but when I am in a big hotspot with a lot of people it drops into the 30's, still playable, but annoying.

I mainly upgraded with the idea that I could record gameplay of all the higher-end games coming out with good fps, I can record just fine in Far Cry 3 without losing much FPS, but that isn't really the case in Planetside 2.

I have a Phenom II X4 960T @ 3.7GHz, it isn't bottle-necking the GPU is it?


Ah yes it is being bottlenecked a bit.
What PSU do you have?

You won't see an improvement on a better monitor though, it will just scale better if that makes sense to you.

EDIT : Just realized it could be that the dips are because your have V-sync enable. Try disabling it, that will enable higher frames(although your monitor can't display them and may cause image tearing).
V-sync limits your FPS to your monitor refresh rate to avoid tearing. But when the intensity of the graphics suddenly increase the FPS drops until your GPU get a chance to catch up, this also puts strain on your CPU.

So yes this is a combination of your monitors refresh rate, V-sync and your CPU. Get a monitor with a higher refresh rate or HD resolution and you may get better results recording. Do not expect to much of an improvement FPS average though. You may see smaller dips.




















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December 21, 2012 5:23:44 AM

Novuake said:
Ah yes it is being bottlenecked a bit.
What PSU do you have?

You won't see an improvement on a better monitor though, it will just scale better if that makes sense to you.

EDIT : Just realized it could be that the dips are because your have V-sync enable. Try disabling it, that will enable higher frames(although your monitor can't display them and may cause image tearing).
V-sync limits your FPS to your monitor refresh rate to avoid tearing. But when the intensity of the graphics suddenly increase the FPS drops until your GPU get a chance to catch up, this also puts strain on your CPU.

So yes this is a combination of your monitors refresh rate, V-sync and your CPU. Get a monitor with a higher refresh rate or HD resolution and you may get better results recording. Do not expect to much of an improvement FPS average though. You may see smaller dips.


I have a 600W Diablotek PSU, but I will be getting the Corsair HX750 750W in a few days.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 8:16:30 AM

600W is fine, even a diablotek unit. You are sure the GPU has both 6+8pin plugged in currectly?
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December 21, 2012 1:44:45 PM

Novuake said:
600W is fine, even a diablotek unit. You are sure the GPU has both 6+8pin plugged in currectly?


I mainly got the 750W for future needs, I will make sure they are plugged in.

Wouldn't it not run with only one plugged in?
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 5:57:15 PM

It will run, it will just be heavilty underpowered and underperform, just to be sure, check...
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December 21, 2012 7:02:31 PM

Novuake said:
It will run, it will just be heavilty underpowered and underperform, just to be sure, check...


Yeah, both plugs are fine. I feel like I should be getting much better FPS for a $300 graphics card >.<
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 7:33:20 PM

imrevned said:
Yeah, both plugs are fine. I feel like I should be getting much better FPS for a $300 graphics card >.<


I also have an HD7950 with a crappy 1440*900 monitor and I get better frames. I am pretty sure its your processor. Tell me when you have tried disabling V-sync.
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December 21, 2012 7:49:33 PM

Novuake said:
I also have an HD7950 with a crappy 1440*900 monitor and I get better frames. I am pretty sure its your processor. Tell me when you have tried disabling V-sync.


I have. Doesn't really make much of a difference.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 8:15:06 PM

imrevned said:
I have. Doesn't really make much of a difference.


How much is "not much"?
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December 21, 2012 8:36:24 PM

Novuake said:
How much is "not much"?


Looks like a 5 fps difference. I get much better fps in Minecraft though, I used to get around 90 max and now it's up in the 160's max.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 9:56:46 PM

imrevned said:
Looks like a 5 fps difference. I get much better fps in Minecraft though, I used to get around 90 max and now it's up in the 160's max.


No that you can see it anyway lol. OK so 5 FPS, thats one link improved. Now consider OCing your CPU when you can and see what improvements you get. T
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December 21, 2012 10:01:26 PM

Novuake said:
No that you can see it anyway lol. OK so 5 FPS, thats one link improved. Now consider OCing your CPU when you can and see what improvements you get. T


I have already overclocked it from 3.0GHz to 3.7GHz.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 10:04:32 PM

I know, you can get more out of it if you have a decent cooler. What cooler do you have and what temps are you getting???
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December 21, 2012 10:26:41 PM

Novuake said:
I know, you can get more out of it if you have a decent cooler. What cooler do you have and what temps are you getting???


I have the normal CPU fan it came with. Temp. is around 30-40 normally, then it's in the 50's under load. I ran a CPU clocking test with AMD's clocking utility and 3.7GHz was the highest and most stable it gave me.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 21, 2012 10:55:13 PM

Well by upping voltage you can OC it much more but you would need a much better cooler.

If you want to check how much of an effect your CPU has on your FPS. Clock it back to 3GHz and see if your FPS drops dramatically... This will give you an idea of how much of a bottleneck you have.
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December 21, 2012 11:37:40 PM

Novuake said:
Well by upping voltage you can OC it much more but you would need a much better cooler.

If you want to check how much of an effect your CPU has on your FPS. Clock it back to 3GHz and see if your FPS drops dramatically... This will give you an idea of how much of a bottleneck you have.


I lose an average of 8 fps when going back down to 3.0GHz

Should I upgrade my CPU? (if I do I will also need to upgrade my motherboard, so it may take a little while to upgrade)
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 12:10:36 AM

8 FPS is a lot. So that confirms a quite a big CPU bottleneck. Consider upgrading your CPU as the next step as soon as you can afford it.
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December 22, 2012 12:13:42 AM

Novuake said:
8 FPS is a lot. So that confirms a quite a big CPU bottleneck. Consider upgrading your CPU as the next step as soon as you can afford it.


I would like to try to keep the CPU under $200 as I will also be needing to upgrade my motherboard, what CPU do you recommend? Also, thank you for all this help!
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 1:16:21 AM

imrevned said:
Hmm.. yeah, I have $100 right now, so it'll take me a little longer, those look like good parts though.

And yes, I have 8GB's DDR3 at 1333 (G.SKILL).


Good. In the meantime you could get a proper cooler and OC your CPU some more, that will give you great results for now. Just an option, you will be able to reuse the cooler with the I5 if you get the right one.

The Intel Haswell CPus are on the way so that you HAVE to to wait is maybe a good thing.
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December 22, 2012 1:25:43 AM

Novuake said:
Good. In the meantime you could get a proper cooler and OC your CPU some more, that will give you great results for now. Just an option, you will be able to reuse the cooler with the I5 if you get the right one.

The Intel Haswell CPus are on the way so that you HAVE to to wait is maybe a good thing.


Alright, I hope the prices are good :p 

So, what kind of CPU cooler should I be looking for?

Also, what about the AMD FX-8350? I have heard it competes with the i7 3770k. It also scores pretty well on here: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 1:29:26 AM

LOL i feel like I am telling you to change your whole life... At least i give you proof of everything, or this would seem very wrong...
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December 22, 2012 1:31:20 AM

Novuake said:
LOL i feel like I am telling you to change your whole life... At least i give you proof of everything, or this would seem very wrong...


Hahahah, I am pretty new to PC building, I appreciate your help and advice :p 

Looking like the i5 would be a better choice, I guess I will just wait until more info about the Haswell's comes out, or get the i5. I'll check out some CPU coolers, are there some that will be compatible with the Haswell?
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 1:42:29 AM

imrevned said:
Alright, I hope the prices are good :p 

So, what kind of CPU cooler should I be looking for?

Also, what about the AMD FX-8350? I have heard it competes with the i7 3770k. It also scores pretty well on here: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html


The AMD FX8350 is a very good CPU if you need heavy multi-threading, it performs well at stuff that use more than 4 cores. Unfortunately its PER CORE performance is very lacking and that is what you need for gaming and everyday use. Its still a great CPU at the price, but not really viable for gaming. Read around the forum and you can get A LOT of threads comparing the 2 CPUs. For example. AMD uses a lot more power, generates much more heat, needs a massive cooler to get a decent OC whereass the Intel OCs reletively easy. The AMD will OC further though, but only on very large and expensive custom loop watercooling.

Popular CPU coolers would be Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo, Corsair H100(and the H100i)i, Noctua NF-D14, but my personal favourate is the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme.

The Thermalright is the best performing air cooler and goes for around 85$.

Coolermaster is the cheapest and yields great performance at like 30$(note its not nearly as good as the rest, but still need to mention it as its VERY good AT THAT PRICE)

Corsair is a closed loop watercooler and is the most expensive, give the best performance but at the cost of very loud noise. It also a watercooler, with most of the issues that you can imagin that come from that.

Noctua is basically between the Coolermaster and Thermalright. Good price, great performance at that price point.
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December 22, 2012 1:47:16 AM

Novuake said:
The AMD FX8350 is a very good CPU if you need heavy multi-threading, it performs well at stuff that use more than 4 cores. Unfortunately its PER CORE performance is very lacking and that is what you need for gaming and everyday use. Its still a great CPU at the price, but not really viable for gaming. Read around the forum and you can get A LOT of threads comparing the 2 CPUs. For example. AMD uses a lot more power, generates much more heat, needs a massive cooler to get a decent OC whereass the Intel OCs reletively easy. The AMD will OC further though, but only on very large and expensive custom loop watercooling.

Popular CPU coolers would be Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo, Corsair H100(and the H100i)i, Noctua NF-D14, but my personal favourate is the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme.

The Thermalright is the best performing air cooler and goes for around 85$.

Coolermaster is the cheapest and yields great performance at like 30$(note its not nearly as good as the rest, but still need to mention it as its VERY good AT THAT PRICE)

Corsair is a closed loop watercooler and is the most expensive, give the best performance but at the cost of very loud noise. It also a watercooler, with most of the issues that you can imagin that come from that.

Noctua is basically between the Coolermaster and Thermalright. Good price, great performance at that price point.


Hmm.. I am not planning on spending a lot on a new cooler (I would rather dedicate most my money towards the main component like motherboard and cpu), so I think I would go with the $30 cooler.

Would it give me a boost that is worth $30?
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 1:51:18 AM

imrevned said:
Hahahah, I am pretty new to PC building, I appreciate your help and advice :p 

Looking like the i5 would be a better choice, I guess I will just wait until more info about the Haswell's comes out, or get the i5. I'll check out some CPU coolers, are there some that will be compatible with the Haswell?


That is unfortunately something I can't answer for sure. Haswell will use a 1150 socket, so physical it should be the same size. That means coolers should just be able to move from 1155 socket to 1150 without issue, but there is no garentee.

BUT if its physically possible for vendors to do so most of them would release a new bracket system for CPU coolers after Haswell so you can change it out anyway.(they are usually very cheap to get separately anyway)

I am quite enjoying this thread. Someone that actually asks questions instead of making up their minds before hand. We get people here who ask for help and then REFUSE flat-out to believe what we tell then...
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 1:52:41 AM

imrevned said:
Hmm.. I am not planning on spending a lot on a new cooler (I would rather dedicate most my money towards the main component like motherboard and cpu), so I think I would go with the $30 cooler.

Would it give me a boost that is worth $30?


Definitely. You could go 4GHz plus easily. Just check your BIOS first to see if you can adjust CPU voltage first. You will need to do that to go above 3.7GHz.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 22, 2012 2:37:09 AM

Sure. But a thread is always better. Gets you more input... No idea why this one was so dead but for me and you. LOL
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December 22, 2012 2:39:34 AM

Best answer selected by imrevned.
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December 25, 2012 8:46:41 AM

Lol i was just looking for a thread like this! So I just built my computer kinda of a veteran but last time i made my build was like 5 years ago with the core 2 duo e7200 which i got from 2.4 ghz to 3.4ghz! yayyyy boiii!

Though what I really wanna know is how in hell is an amd phenom ii x4 965 BE so hard to overclock from 3.4ghz (stock) to at least 4 ghz, I am sitting at 3.8 ghz. ITS ANNOYING!

Specs are:

Asrock 970 Extreme3
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4ghz
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit
XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler
Kingston KR-S3020-3H 120GB SSD
Antec NeoPower 550 550W ATX12V Power Supply (this is the one from my old computer)

Could my PSU be the culprit for me not attaining a higher clock, or the stupid asrock motherboard (i usually get asus or gigabyte IDK why I went with AsRock) or the memory?

I just need help in getting the best bang for the buck out of this processor I am actually waiting for the steamroller or haswell later on to be honest. So any help will be much appreciated!!! And I will def listen and learn!
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a c 129 K Overclocking
December 25, 2012 8:56:28 AM

Verzula said:
Lol i was just looking for a thread like this! So I just built my computer kinda of a veteran but last time i made my build was like 5 years ago with the core 2 duo e7200 which i got from 2.4 ghz to 3.4ghz! yayyyy boiii!

Though what I really wanna know is how in hell is an amd phenom ii x4 965 BE so hard to overclock from 3.4ghz (stock) to at least 4 ghz, I am sitting at 3.8 ghz. ITS ANNOYING!

Specs are:

Asrock 970 Extreme3
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4ghz
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit
XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler
Kingston KR-S3020-3H 120GB SSD
Antec NeoPower 550 550W ATX12V Power Supply (this is the one from my old computer)

Could my PSU be the culprit for me not attaining a higher clock, or the stupid asrock motherboard (i usually get asus or gigabyte IDK why I went with AsRock) or the memory?

I just need help in getting the best bang for the buck out of this processor I am actually waiting for the steamroller or haswell later on to be honest. So any help will be much appreciated!!! And I will def listen and learn!


Create your own thread if you don't mind.
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