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OC'ing my Visiontek 3GB 7970 for a noob..

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February 20, 2013 3:22:09 PM

So I'm tempted to overclock my card but I've never done it before. It doesn't sound too hard from some of the guides I've read.

Take this one for example: -
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7970_ove...

Does that sound ok? Should I just bump the sliders up to match their screenshot? Probably not right!?

If I'm to increment steadily can anyone clarify the process exactly? So for e.g. they say in the article: -

"First off let us remind you that we always recommend increments of 25 MHz on core and memory (from the default base clock frequency upwards). In the first stage you overclock your GPU, in the second the memory.
Once you get artifacts or a lockup, back down 25 to 50 MHz and typically that is your stable result in it's highest threshold."

Does that mean then I should first increase the GPU clock in 25 Mhz increments and after each time run 3DMark test until it crashes and then back it down? Then once I get a stable GPU speed do I then go through the same process with the Memory speed?

Is there anything else I should do? Can I monitor the GPU temperature from the CCC software?

Cheers!

my specs: -
i5-3570K @ 4.0GHz | 3GB AMD Radeon HD 7970 | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz | 240GB Corsair Force GT SSD |
1.5 TB Western Digital 7200RPM| 1KW Silverstone Strider PSU | NZXT Vulcan | Corsair H60 Cooler | ASUS VH236H 23"

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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 125 K Overclocking
February 20, 2013 3:32:10 PM

Hi,

Yep you've pretty much got it sussed.

Start with the core:

1) up the frequency by 25Mhz
2) Test for stability with a game or benchmark
3) monitor temps whilst running the benchmark or playing the game (you can use CCC or something else like MSI afterburner or Hardware monitor)

If temps are ok and the overclock is stable then repeat the 3 steps.

When the card becomes unstable you can either increase the voltage (you'll need to use a program like MSI afterburner or Sapphire Trixx for this) to regain stability or you could lower the overclock slightly.

Only increase the voltage if temps are acceptable, I'd recommend staying below 85C for 24/7 use and also staying below 1.25V.

Then once you've found your maximum stable core clock you can move onto the memory.
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February 20, 2013 3:57:57 PM

Rustyy117 said:
Hi,

Yep you've pretty much got it sussed.

Start with the core:

1) up the frequency by 25Mhz
2) Test for stability with a game or benchmark
3) monitor temps whilst running the benchmark or playing the game (you can use CCC or something else like MSI afterburner or Hardware monitor)

If temps are ok and the overclock is stable then repeat the 3 steps.

When the card becomes unstable you can either increase the voltage (you'll need to use a program like MSI afterburner or Sapphire Trixx for this) to regain stability or you could lower the overclock slightly.

Only increase the voltage if temps are acceptable, I'd recommend staying below 85C for 24/7 use and also staying below 1.25V.

Then once you've found your maximum stable core clock you can move onto the memory.


Great thanks! Think I'm going to try it out on Crysis 3.
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February 21, 2013 11:17:47 AM

Rustyy117 said:
Hi,

Yep you've pretty much got it sussed.

Start with the core:

1) up the frequency by 25Mhz
2) Test for stability with a game or benchmark
3) monitor temps whilst running the benchmark or playing the game (you can use CCC or something else like MSI afterburner or Hardware monitor)

If temps are ok and the overclock is stable then repeat the 3 steps.

When the card becomes unstable you can either increase the voltage (you'll need to use a program like MSI afterburner or Sapphire Trixx for this) to regain stability or you could lower the overclock slightly.

Only increase the voltage if temps are acceptable, I'd recommend staying below 85C for 24/7 use and also staying below 1.25V.

Then once you've found your maximum stable core clock you can move onto the memory.


OK so last night I attempted some OC'ing on my GPU...Basically I would increment my GPU clock speed by 25Mhz then play Crysis 3 for like 20 mins and then increase and repeat. (I also run 3DMark11 once).. I got the Core clock speed slider up to it's max of 1125Mhz. The game ran great for around 20-25 mins at a temperature of 80 and then it froze and crashed. I haven't even touch the Memory clock speed yet. Figure tonight I'll drop the Core clock speed down again by maybe 50Mhz and see if that's more stable and if it is then start raising the Memory clock speed. I guess I could increase the voltage like you say and see if that's makes it's more stable.

Was running fraps and getting a good average of 45 fps.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 125 K Overclocking
February 21, 2013 11:32:26 AM

octoberhungry said:
OK so last night I attempted some OC'ing on my GPU...Basically I would increment my GPU clock speed by 25Mhz then play Crysis 3 for like 20 mins and then increase and repeat. (I also run 3DMark11 once).. I got the Core clock speed slider up to it's max of 1125Mhz. The game ran great for around 20-25 mins at a temperature of 80 and then it froze and crashed. I haven't even touch the Memory clock speed yet. Figure tonight I'll drop the Core clock speed down again by maybe 50Mhz and see if that's more stable and if it is then start raising the Memory clock speed. I guess I could increase the voltage like you say and see if that's makes it's more stable.

Was running fraps and getting a good average of 45 fps.


Yep sounds good, you could probably increase the voltage slightly to get 1125Mhz stable, though you don't have much room for voltage increases as your temps are quite high already, I would personally want to stay below 85C for 24/7 use.

With GDDR5 memory overclocking you have to watch out for a decrease in performance when the memory becomes unstable so keep fraps running and watch for any dips in performance that you didn't see before.
Benchmarking programs are good for this purpose because it's easier to see a decrease in performance.
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February 21, 2013 11:47:17 AM

Rustyy117 said:
Yep sounds good, you could probably increase the voltage slightly to get 1125Mhz stable, though you don't have much room for voltage increases as your temps are quite high already, I would personally want to stay below 85C for 24/7 use.

With GDDR5 memory overclocking you have to watch out for a decrease in performance when the memory becomes unstable so keep fraps running and watch for any dips in performance that you didn't see before.
Benchmarking programs are good for this purpose because it's easier to see a decrease in performance.


OK thanks! Yeah don't think I'll mess with the voltage right now.
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February 21, 2013 2:00:42 PM

Rustyy117 said:
Yep sounds good, you could probably increase the voltage slightly to get 1125Mhz stable, though you don't have much room for voltage increases as your temps are quite high already, I would personally want to stay below 85C for 24/7 use.

With GDDR5 memory overclocking you have to watch out for a decrease in performance when the memory becomes unstable so keep fraps running and watch for any dips in performance that you didn't see before.
Benchmarking programs are good for this purpose because it's easier to see a decrease in performance.


Oh also would you recommend FurMark as a stress test tool? http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
Thx
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 125 K Overclocking
February 21, 2013 2:20:06 PM

No, Furmark puts a unrealistic load on GPU's and causes massive power draw and very high temps, Just use something like Unigine heaven, 3DMark or your most favourite demanding game for stress testing.
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February 21, 2013 2:30:12 PM

Rustyy117 said:
No, Furmark puts a unrealistic load on GPU's and causes massive power draw and very high temps, Just use something like Unigine heaven, 3DMark or your most favourite demanding game for stress testing.


OK good to know! Cheers!
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February 22, 2013 12:20:33 PM

Rustyy117 said:
Yep sounds good, you could probably increase the voltage slightly to get 1125Mhz stable, though you don't have much room for voltage increases as your temps are quite high already, I would personally want to stay below 85C for 24/7 use.

With GDDR5 memory overclocking you have to watch out for a decrease in performance when the memory becomes unstable so keep fraps running and watch for any dips in performance that you didn't see before.
Benchmarking programs are good for this purpose because it's easier to see a decrease in performance.


OK so I got my Core clock stable at 1050Mhz. I played Crysis 3 for almost an hour with no problems. I was running fraps for that time and my results were good: -

2013-02-21 21:30:07 - crysis3
Frames: 154188 - Time: 3275163ms - Avg: 47.078 - Min: 4 - Max: 96

I had the graphics on Ultra High but only on x1 AA. Temp at a consistent 77-80 degrees, never any higher.

Now I was pretty damn happy with that. I'm inclined not to even mess with the Memory Clock at all. I mean "if it ain't broke" etc. What do you think? Is there any harm leaving the Memory clock as is?

Also curiously I enabled my Core Voltage in MSI Afterburner and the default voltage showed as 1175 mV . That seems quite high already no? I was just wondering if I wanted to try and squeeze some more juice out of the card and get the Core clock stable by how much should I try increasing the Core Voltage by?

Thanks again.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 125 K Overclocking
February 22, 2013 1:03:55 PM

octoberhungry said:
OK so I got my Core clock stable at 1050Mhz. I played Crysis 3 for almost an hour with no problems. I was running fraps for that time and my results were good: -

2013-02-21 21:30:07 - crysis3
Frames: 154188 - Time: 3275163ms - Avg: 47.078 - Min: 4 - Max: 96

I had the graphics on Ultra High but only on x1 AA. Temp at a consistent 77-80 degrees, never any higher.

Now I was pretty damn happy with that. I'm inclined not to even mess with the Memory Clock at all. I mean "if it ain't broke" etc. What do you think? Is there any harm leaving the Memory clock as is?

Also curiously I enabled my Core Voltage in MSI Afterburner and the default voltage showed as 1175 mV . That seems quite high already no? I was just wondering if I wanted to try and squeeze some more juice out of the card and get the Core clock stable by how much should I try increasing the Core Voltage by?

Thanks again.


Well you have to think 'why overclock?'

The biggest benefit of overclocking has to be an increase in performance, which then leads to another question. Do you want more performance?

Obviously only you can answer that.

Your temps are fine so if your answer is 'Yes' then you could continue to overclock the memory and/or the core.

1.175V seems ok for a HD7970, Like I said before you could go upto 1.25V if temps permit. If you do decide to increase the voltage then try increments of 0.025V.
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February 22, 2013 1:24:42 PM

Rustyy117 said:
Well you have to think 'why overclock?'

The biggest benefit of overclocking has to be an increase in performance, which then leads to another question. Do you want more performance?

Obviously only you can answer that.

Your temps are fine so if your answer is 'Yes' then you could continue to overclock the memory and/or the core.

1.175V seems ok for a HD7970, Like I said before you could go upto 1.25V if temps permit. If you do decide to increase the voltage then try increments of 0.025V.


Yeah I guess the answer is I'm currently very happy with the performance as it is so why bother putting more stress on the card? I don't think I need to overclock it any further at this stage. Perhaps I will try in the near future for sh*ts and giggles but for now I'm good!

In any case I've learnt a lot this week and I feel more confident about overclocking.

Thanks a lot for all your help!!
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 125 K Overclocking
February 22, 2013 1:32:55 PM

octoberhungry said:
Yeah I guess the answer is I'm currently very happy with the performance as it is so why bother putting more stress on the card? I don't think I need to overclock it any further at this stage. Perhaps I will try in the near future for sh*ts and giggles but for now I'm good!

In any case I've learnt a lot this week and I feel more confident about overclocking.

Thanks a lot for all your help!!

Yeah exactly, if your happy with the performance then leave it as it is and enjoy some games ;) 

No problem, glad I could be of service :sol: 
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February 22, 2013 1:51:25 PM

Best answer selected by octoberhungry.
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February 24, 2013 2:56:12 AM

Rustyy117 said:
Yeah exactly, if your happy with the performance then leave it as it is and enjoy some games ;) 

No problem, glad I could be of service :sol: 


Hey fella just wanted to you let you know...So I tried playing Crysis 3 with 2xSMAA and it was starting to struggle. Say 20-25fps. So I went for it and raised the Core Clock to it's max of 1125Mhz and I raised the voltage by .037mV and was stable. Running sweet now and on 4xSMAA at around a solid average of 35fps. Much better! I also tried raising the memory clock by 0.25Mhz but it actually ran worse like you said it might do so I dropped it back. Temperature is stable at 82 degrees. Cheers again!
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