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Sapphire 7950 Vapor-X Overclock

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February 23, 2013 12:57:13 AM

First time Overclocker here.. been lurking these forums and several others for months.

Picked up my Sapphire HD7950 Vapor-X the other day, and have been messing with it in Trixx and AfterBurner.

Currently, it's sitting at 1200 core and 1500 memory.. anything over 1200 on the core and it artifacts. Minor at 1210, but noticeable. With the memory, anything over 1500 and it hard locks the computer. length of time varies by how far over 1500, but even 1510 will do it after 15-30 seconds. At 1500 even it ran heaven 4.0 on extreme for 8 hours. Probably not the best BM/test but it's what my buddy said to start with.

Speaking of which, will be running it with Kombustor tonight, after a few things finish downloading/installing.

Voltage is set at 1100 vddc, 1600 mvddc. power limit % slider in catalyst/afterburner is at +20. In gpuz the vddc reads 1.240, pretty steady. mvddc is 1.602v.

Heat after that overnight Heaven run was 62 max, 60-61 average. vrms got a little high.. not sure what is safe on those, definately 75-80 plus, but was expecting that from what i've read.

So.. I know the gpu is bottlenecked. Was in the process of saving for a whole new system and My current one (old dell inspiron with a nx5800 (i think) thrown in it) dropped the fan out of the gpu.. plus the gpu was just dated. anyway. Decided to get the case and graphics card now, since they will be useable now while i save up for the rest of the build.

That being said, it's on that inspiron 530 mobo, whatever it is. Intel core 2 duo running at... 2.53 ghz. 3 gigs of ram, whatever speed the board is rated at. Two sticks of 1gig, two sticks of 512mb. evga 650w power supply. got a good deal on that.

It scores 1047 at these clocks in Heaven, but i'm sure the system is bottlenecking. Don't worry, the only thing going into the new build is the gpu, psu, and hard drives. Will be booting from a new ssd of course.

Oh yeah. Most recent amd beta drivers from amd's site.. gpuz says 62.5% asic quality.

So, questions.

1) Is this a good overclock on this card?
2) at those voltages?
3) are these voltages too high? I read that 1100mv core 1600mv memory is 'reccomended' for this card.. but the +20%(i assume) knocks it from 1100 to 1240(i assume that's what does it). Is that allright?
3) How would I go about increasing the Overclock without too much risk to heat/longevity. i.e. how much voltage increase is 'safe' and if anymore is 'safe' how much more clock speed should i expect.
4)For future reference(incase i do up the voltages) how hot is to hot for core and vrm? talking longterm gaming use. several hours (2-sometimes8) at a time.
5)probably a harder one to answer, but how much more performance can I expect when I update the rest of the system(because no bottleneck).

Again.. first time overclocker. I plan on having this card for atleast 2-3 years, if not more. Sorry if TL;DR, just wanted to cover all the bases.

I appreciate any help!

Edit for less confusion: Part number for card is 11196-09-40G, it has two 8pin power connectors
February 23, 2013 3:27:23 AM

That is a clear bottleneck . Look at my pc specs in my signature lol.
That overclock looks great but temps are high for a good cooler like Vapor-X ,70-80 + is tooo high
The temps you have now are a bit high try keeping them in 50- 59 degs.
As for the performance gains....huge , but depends on what you upgrade to.
The 7950 is a beast card , it even takes crysis 3 at max out.Should last you quite some time.
February 23, 2013 3:55:32 AM

To be clear, that 70-80 is on VRM1, which from what i hear is due to bad vrm cooling on this card. Unless i have it mixed up with a different/earlier 7950 vapor-x part number. vrm2, once under load for a while, is usually a bit cooler then vrm1. I was reading that as long as it's not prolonged at over 90c on the vrms, it's safe. But i could be getting confused.. like i said. first time overclocker.

For my final build, I'll be going with this.

Keep in mind, don't need sound card(High quality isolated chip set on mobo), mouse, keyboard, monitor, optical drive, and already have two hdds and an external for a total of like.. 2.15 tbs on platter space...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FlYa

Only.. 800.95 left to go on the build. Gotta get the rest all at once, cept the cpu cooler unless i want to oc the cpu when i first get it.

which, of course,

I do.

And yeah.. I'm committed to the CPU and MoBo. Bout 95% on the cooler, give or take on the ram (1600 with cas 7 is pretty good from what i hear, especially at 1.5v, not 1.65 or w/e), and about.. 75% committed on the ssd.

Going to run heaven overnight and take a snapshot of gpu-z in the morning... Any other good benchmarks people recommend? preferably free, and can be left running for stability/heat testing. New to all this jazz, so I'd appreciate any recommendations. also, passed kmark. So if people are right, it's pretty stable. temps didn't exceed 58c on gpu or vrm1 or vrm2 during kmark.

Edit: Ran heaven overnight. Woke up to 61/62c on the core, 63c on vrm1 and 64c on vrm2, so i messed with the fan, increased the auto temps and such. ran heaven for about an hour and never saw over 60 on anything.
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February 24, 2013 1:22:33 AM

ZephyrTuvai said:
To be clear, that 70-80 is on VRM1, which from what i hear is due to bad vrm cooling on this card. Unless i have it mixed up with a different/earlier 7950 vapor-x part number. vrm2, once under load for a while, is usually a bit cooler then vrm1. I was reading that as long as it's not prolonged at over 90c on the vrms, it's safe. But i could be getting confused.. like i said. first time overclocker.

For my final build, I'll be going with this.

Keep in mind, don't need sound card(High quality isolated chip set on mobo), mouse, keyboard, monitor, optical drive, and already have two hdds and an external for a total of like.. 2.15 tbs on platter space...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FlYa

Only.. 800.95 left to go on the build. Gotta get the rest all at once, cept the cpu cooler unless i want to oc the cpu when i first get it.

which, of course,

I do.

And yeah.. I'm committed to the CPU and MoBo. Bout 95% on the cooler, give or take on the ram (1600 with cas 7 is pretty good from what i hear, especially at 1.5v, not 1.65 or w/e), and about.. 75% committed on the ssd.

Going to run heaven overnight and take a snapshot of gpu-z in the morning... Any other good benchmarks people recommend? preferably free, and can be left running for stability/heat testing. New to all this jazz, so I'd appreciate any recommendations. also, passed kmark. So if people are right, it's pretty stable. temps didn't exceed 58c on gpu or vrm1 or vrm2 during kmark.

Edit: Ran heaven overnight. Woke up to 61/62c on the core, 63c on vrm1 and 64c on vrm2, so i messed with the fan, increased the auto temps and such. ran heaven for about an hour and never saw over 60 on anything.

I'm sorry for my late reply. But below 60 is Fine. Parts are great, but change the psu

Best solution

February 24, 2013 9:51:25 AM
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I bought the Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X (2x8 pin power connector) within the last few days too.

1&2) My card was stable at 1200 Core and 1500 Memory at 2.3v using Trixx 4.4.0b (voltage couldn't be altered using 4.6.0), which shows 1.223v on the GPU-Z VDDC reading. I had similiar results with memory testing - pushing memory above 1500 caused my computer to lock out with a faint blue screen requiring a hard reset.

3&4) I heard 1.3v is the limit for this card with higher voltages causing long term card degradation. VRM temps should stay under 90c.

5) My system: 3570k (4.5GHz OC), 8GB 1600 DDR RAM, Z77MA-G45, 650w XFX PSU. I managed to bench 1250 Core 1500 Memory at 1.3v (1.287v GPU-Z VDDC reading), which scored 11262 on 3DMark11 graphics score at 64c. My physics score was around 8400.





February 24, 2013 10:43:38 AM

zaniro said:
I bought the Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X (2x8 pin power connector) within the last few days too.

1&2) My card was stable at 1200 Core and 1500 Memory at 2.3v using Trixx 4.4.0b (voltage couldn't be altered using 4.6.0), which shows 1.223v on the GPU-Z VDDC reading. I had similiar results with memory testing - pushing memory above 1500 caused my computer to lock out with a faint blue screen requiring a hard reset.

3&4) I heard 1.3v is the limit for this card with higher voltages causing long term card degradation. VRM temps should stay under 90c.

5) My system: 3570k (4.5GHz OC), 8GB 1600 DDR RAM, Z77MA-G45, 650w XFX PSU. I managed to bench 1250 Core 1500 Memory at 1.3v (1.287v GPU-Z VDDC reading), which scored 11262 on 3DMark11 graphics score at 64c. My physics score was around 8400.

But it's better to stay cool right?
February 24, 2013 11:28:46 AM

compgenie said:
But it's better to stay cool right?

Yeah, I aim to keep my voltage under 1.25v. At 1.22 - 1.23v my temps ranged from 57c to 61c - a lot of the readings were sub 60c (GPU Thermal and VRM #1&2). At 1200 - 1500 it was 59c.
February 24, 2013 10:33:19 PM

zaniro said:
Yeah, I aim to keep my voltage under 1.25v. At 1.22 - 1.23v my temps ranged from 57c to 61c - a lot of the readings were sub 60c (GPU Thermal and VRM #1&2). At 1200 - 1500 it was 59c.

Look at my rig in my signature... Lol
My 8400gs without an overvolt can take a 600mhz oc on the core and shader and max load temps are 53 c! Anyway, it doesn't heat up cuz it has just 16 shaders, lol :) 
Really crappy. My rig is like 6 years old, new one coming soon with a 7950 in it :D 
February 27, 2013 10:24:37 PM

So, been working, sorry for lack of replies.. anyway.

Been messing with it all day. I'm comfortable at 1.24v. it has vdroop down to 1.18-1.19..

running 1200mhz core, 1500 mhz memory. Memory at stock 1.6v

After messing around with fan profiles and such, I've found that it not only cools incredibly well at 55%, it's also really quiet. barely increasing noise over the casefans (stock 922 haf fans).

That being said, running it at flat 55% now. Temps in unigine heaven 4.0 never go over 58c core, 60c vrm1, 63c vrm2.

Highest score in Heaven was a 1073 run..

Ran 3dmark demo off of steam, firestrike graphics score was 8445.

As an example of how crappy the rest of my build is though.. my physics score was 2133 and combined was 1565.

I've actually stopped using msi afterburner or trixx or any of that. I can get to all this with just catalyst, saw no improvements using anything else, and just set the fan speed to 55% manual in catalyst. Tada, done. +20% seems to keep me at 1.24v actually. atleast according to gpuz.

I also noticed some throttling in games, first saw the stutter then noticed it in gpuz. have since made a modified preset in catalyst that forced 1200/1500 constant. I turn it on before I game and It's significantly improved. Nice workaround to disable powerplay over whatever they call it, the throttling to 2d clocks.

Speaking of which, 2d clocks go down to 300/150. at like.. 0.9v. Runs at 30-35c just browsing internet, netflixing and such.

Have tested it on a few games.. Dead space 3 max settings easily. Crysis three can do max settings at around 10-30 fps (rain and lots of physics/cloth is the killer for me.. I know that's due to physics on the cpu causing a major bottleneck in the game. I wonder how it will run with my oc'd 8350.)

So.. I'm comfortable with where it's at. Very happy with it's performance. Can't wait to complete the rest of the build. Just making sure real quick that everything I've done looks good to those who know, incase i might have done something unsafe or that might decrease the life of the card.

Thanks for your help Zaniro.





February 27, 2013 10:26:20 PM

Best answer selected by ZephyrTuvai.
March 2, 2013 3:50:26 AM

Hey guys,

I figured this thread was on specifically on topic with my issue, I'd give it a shot. I have this same exact card and having fps issues, more importantly the issues are visible at stock settings and I have to OC just to get by. Borderlands 2 and BF3 dip into the teens at times, could these be a driver issue? I can't get past 1025mhz/1450mhz without any benchmark utility or game crashing and forcing me to hard reboot. Voltage is at 1.25v/1.6v, and I'm using afterburner. I'm just confused because I'm seeing that all of you are able to get 1200/1500 and a bit higher voltage just fine. Here are my specs:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.2ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB 3.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case
Case Fan: Cooler Master R4-S2S-124K-GP 44.7 CFM 120mm Fans
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: HP 447328-B21 DVD/CD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)

Any help is appreciated.
March 2, 2013 12:26:01 PM

According to the Newegg website your 7950 Vapor-X came with a 6 and 8 pin power connector? My card was 2x8 pin - part of a newer batch. This could be the reason for a difference in performance but its mainly down to luck on the chip. Playing Crysis 3 really stressed my card and at 1200/1500 it crept past 70c, so I downclocked to 1150/1250 at 1.2v.

About the instability ... I'd try different drivers and if that doesn't help monitor VDDC through GPU-Z to see if the voltage is accurate. You could also try Trixx version 4.4.0b to tinker with voltage. Try running process explorer to see if there are a large number of hardware interrupts. The worst case scenario is the card is unstable and needs to be returned. My card plays up when I alter the memory from 1250 - 1400 the performance drops below my benchmark for 1250 - performance only increases above 1250 between 1400 - 1500 (crashes after 1500).
March 2, 2013 1:50:28 PM

zaniro said:
According to the Newegg website your 7950 Vapor-X came with a 6 and 8 pin power connector? My card was 2x8 pin - part of a newer batch. This could be the reason for a difference in performance but its mainly down to luck on the chip. Playing Crysis 3 really stressed my card and at 1200/1500 it crept past 70c, so I downclocked to 1150/1250 at 1.2v.

About the instability ... I'd try different drivers and if that doesn't help monitor VDDC through GPU-Z to see if the voltage is accurate. You could also try Trixx version 4.4.0b to tinker with voltage. Try running process explorer to see if there are a large number of hardware interrupts. The worst case scenario is the card is unstable and needs to be returned. My card plays up when I alter the memory from 1250 - 1400 the performance drops below my benchmark for 1250 - performance only increases above 1250 between 1400 - 1500 (crashes after 1500).
\

My card is 2x8 also. I've been switching between Trixx 4.4.0b and the newest afterburner. I am just also discovering that using the boost ios locks the voltage, which I wasn't aware of. I'll try your suggested steps tonight and see what I can get out of it, let ya know what happens. Thanks for the info.
March 3, 2013 1:11:41 AM

zaniro said:
According to the Newegg website your 7950 Vapor-X came with a 6 and 8 pin power connector? My card was 2x8 pin - part of a newer batch. This could be the reason for a difference in performance but its mainly down to luck on the chip. Playing Crysis 3 really stressed my card and at 1200/1500 it crept past 70c, so I downclocked to 1150/1250 at 1.2v.

About the instability ... I'd try different drivers and if that doesn't help monitor VDDC through GPU-Z to see if the voltage is accurate. You could also try Trixx version 4.4.0b to tinker with voltage. Try running process explorer to see if there are a large number of hardware interrupts. The worst case scenario is the card is unstable and needs to be returned. My card plays up when I alter the memory from 1250 - 1400 the performance drops below my benchmark for 1250 - performance only increases above 1250 between 1400 - 1500 (crashes after 1500).


Well, I was able to bring it up 1100/1500 with 1.15v playing Crysis 3, and haven't taken it any further yet. Temps look good and I think I got a bit ahead of myself by pushing the voltage a bit too much without verifying the stability of the core and memory clocks. Also brought my CPU to 4.3 so I don't know if that helped a bit. Trixx allows to change the voltage but doesn't keep the setting for long, are you experiencing this also? It seems afterburner allows the voltage to cap at your discretion and goes to the stock 0.8v at idle. I'm going to keep OCing and run more benchmarks.
March 3, 2013 9:29:01 AM

bull22 said:
Well, I was able to bring it up 1100/1500 with 1.15v playing Crysis 3, and haven't taken it any further yet. Temps look good and I think I got a bit ahead of myself by pushing the voltage a bit too much without verifying the stability of the core and memory clocks. Also brought my CPU to 4.3 so I don't know if that helped a bit. Trixx allows to change the voltage but doesn't keep the setting for long, are you experiencing this also? It seems afterburner allows the voltage to cap at your discretion and goes to the stock 0.8v at idle. I'm going to keep OCing and run more benchmarks.

I have been using AB more recently but I hadn't experienced any issues with Trixx 4.4.0b - I had issues with 4.6.0 not changing voltage. Vdroop affects my voltages in AB: when I set the voltage to 1.23v I actually get 1.223v. Haven't tried forcing voltage but mine idles at 0.8v too. I think 1100/1500 is a good clock for 1.15v. Crysis 3 is a good stability test and 3DMark11 is good to measure performance to see how your memory clock affects performance - you may get a lower score at a higher memory clock.
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