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Radeon 5970 and OVERCLOCKING. 5970 OWNERS COME IN

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 14, 2010 8:35:24 AM

Hey guys, before I start and get build questions, here is my build.

Tower: HAF 932 Full Tower
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58A-UD5 mobo
Processor: i7 920 @ 3.6ghz
CPU Fan / Heatsink: Zalman 120mm cpu fan 9900ALED
Ram: 12 gig Crucial Ballastix ddr3 1333mhz @ 8-8-8-24
Videocard: XFX Radeon 5970 Black Edition ( ATI 10.3 driver )
Power Supply: Antec 1200 watt
OS: Windows 7 x64
Monitor: HP 25" 1080p monitor ( ALL GAMING DONE @ 1920x1080 )

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Anyways, onto overclocking. As we all know, the 5970 comes underclocked from factory. Still a beast regardless but were talking overclocking today. Its very easy to overclock it through ATI CATALYST and move up the sliders to your desired amount. This card specifically came with an 'XFX Overvolt' tool to apply the extra needed voltage to make it stable when you overclock.

My problem with this whole situation is the fact that it does not save your voltage preferences and it seems you have to enter it everything you reboot. As you can imagine, that pisses me off like no tomrrow. WTF is going on here? Why can't it be saved ? This thing is an absolute monster when overclocked.


For reference, with 3D Mark Vantage trial with clocks @ 850/1200 (with stock voltage settings):




But when you play a game, for example Bad Company 2, Im getting insane FPS with this overclock, over 135fps but it crashes to a blank white screen 4 minutes in without voltage changes. You can obviously push the card even higher but my point is this, the voltage settings dont save, or I dont know how to make them save so it stays the same after every reboot.

I mean how fcking retarded is that? You cant save your settings? Anybody have any input on this ?
April 14, 2010 11:02:47 AM

Hey there,

I was in the same situation as you.

I am NEW to ocing GPUs, but followed the guide from Guru3D.

I used ATI Overvolt, MSI Afterburner and Furmark to test. I managed to get it to 5870 clock speeds.

However, it kept crashing (GSOD) in apps such as BF BC2.

Like you said, I thought it was saved, but upon reboot, the overclocked voltages would load, but the system would hang because voltages were at default.

I thought ALL settings (including voltages) were saved when I saved it under a profile in CCC.

I gave up having to reboot/reset voltages all the time.

Sorry I cant offer you a solution.
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a b K Overclocking
April 14, 2010 3:05:00 PM

You can use MSI afterburner to overclock your voltages and clocks. You can set it to start on boot to overclock for you.

I don't like setting max clocks on boot since I don't need extra voltage and clocks for windows operations.

What voltages and clocks are you guys using?

1.149v from 1.049v default
950mhz core
1250mhz memory.

Pulls about 80FPS in BC2. Minimum is slightly under 50FPS which is good enough.
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April 14, 2010 4:53:53 PM

I used 1.1625V using ATI Overvolt.

In BC2, I am getting 120fps in a 5970 quadfire setup @2560x1600 @max, so in the end an extra few frames didn't justify an overclock.

I will probably play around with it again when I get bored.

Thanks for your input.

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April 14, 2010 5:18:29 PM

hunuok said:
Hey there,

I was in the same situation as you.

I am NEW to ocing GPUs, but followed the guide from Guru3D.

I used ATI Overvolt, MSI Afterburner and Furmark to test. I managed to get it to 5870 clock speeds.

However, it kept crashing (GSOD) in apps such as BF BC2.

Like you said, I thought it was saved, but upon reboot, the overclocked voltages would load, but the system would hang because voltages were at default.

I thought ALL settings (including voltages) were saved when I saved it under a profile in CCC.

I gave up having to reboot/reset voltages all the time.

Sorry I cant offer you a solution.


It's ok man, I read that whole 9 page guru3d thing too. I think that article is old though. I can't believe there arent many more threads on this thing. I guess its because the card is expensive and not many people have it.

rofl_my_waffle said:
You can use MSI afterburner to overclock your voltages and clocks. You can set it to start on boot to overclock for you.

I don't like setting max clocks on boot since I don't need extra voltage and clocks for windows operations.

What voltages and clocks are you guys using?

1.149v from 1.049v default
950mhz core
1250mhz memory.

Pulls about 80FPS in BC2. Minimum is slightly under 50FPS which is good enough.


I guess I gotta play around with it. People are able to manage 950-980mhz core and 1200-1250 memory with it being stable after messing with voltage. And that is SUPPERRRRRRRRRR FAST. Im just sick of this thing crashing.

But your saying if I use MSI afterburner it'll save my overclock and voltage settings after every reboot ?


ALSO, does anyone know what voltages are safe for a stock 5970 ?
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a b K Overclocking
April 14, 2010 9:38:05 PM

Are you crashing in windows or in game?
Crashing in windows = not enough idle clock

Crashing during load can be either not enough voltage or too hot.
Leaky transistors will need higher voltage to function. When not enough voltage is fed to a transistor, you can get a crash or artifacts.

Increasing voltage means increasing heat as well. At the same time, hotter transistors tend to leak more voltage. You hit a wall of how much voltage you can increase before the extra heat counters the effects of additional voltage.

My card can reach 1000mhz core, perhaps more (I didn't try) because at 1000mhz the voltage was 1.25v . I used an additional 0.1v to get 225mhz overclock. Adding another 0.1v only got me 50mhz, no thanks. Id pass on the extra heat dumped in my room.

The memory chips max out at 1250mhz. The samsung chips aren't rated for anything higher. A voltage increase wouldn't make a difference.

Max safe voltage is the 1.3v allowed in MSI Afterburner. You can't get any higher without flashing the BIOS.

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April 14, 2010 9:54:28 PM

Hmmm, thanks for the tips. It would crash in-game. So that is the settings you are using on your 5970 ?? I actually installed the afterburner myself earlier today. I will try those settings.
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a b K Overclocking
April 14, 2010 9:59:12 PM

With those settings I ran the heaven benchmark so it is pretty stable.
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April 14, 2010 10:07:04 PM

Ok, I just ran Furmark benchmark @ 640x480 in window mode with those settings and it crashed completely lol.

WTF?


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a b K Overclocking
April 14, 2010 10:12:42 PM

I forgot to mention my card is watercooled. As you can see my temperatures are holding at 40C
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a b K Overclocking
April 15, 2010 3:32:59 AM

Had a Sapphire 5970@ 1Ghz/1175 1.26v, way overkill and power was wasted on a 1920 screen. But, FPS are insane, Crysis 8xAA 1920 54Fps and that's with a Q9550!

1) XFX overvoltage tool, both core&Ram

2) MSI Afterburner ,set votlage to 1.162v

3) Raise fan with Both, Catalyst&Afterburner.

4) Try 850/1100 First and start bumping up the fun +10Mhz steps. You may need higher voltage when near the 950 Mark. Raise it to 1.26v and see if its stable, if it is, try lowering the voltage.

5) Set auto OC at boot, otherwise you will get grey screening as the voltage are reset.

Nice, 950Mhz@1.49v, my 5850 needs 1.22v to that.

Note: Dont try running Furmark as Dual-Gpus VRMs will hit 120C and throttle to slower clocks but that will never happen during games, actually for me VRMs in games such Crysis never passed 80 and Core were ~72 with 40% @ 1Ghz.

Personnally, I dont see the need for a 5970 for a resultion under 2560x1600, or Programming and coding, I sold the card for a Coder I was shocked when he said he wont play games with it lmao He said for school work, software engineer lol
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April 15, 2010 8:03:58 AM

Thanks for the info man but I dont quite understand your steps. Im a total noob when it comes to this. I need like a step by step video or pics so I can fully grasp it.
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a b K Overclocking
April 15, 2010 11:28:23 AM

You need to bump your fan speed to keep the card cooled if you want good clocks.

You shouldn't run a stress test since it pushes your card too much and causes it to overheat. Something that won't happen in a game anyway.

I don't recommend over 70% fan because it sounds like the thing is going to break.
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April 16, 2010 7:04:05 AM

Ok I see what you mean. I didn't touch the fan settings because I figured it would automatically adjust along with the overclocking process. Man, this is soo frustrating.
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