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XFX 5850 reference cooler vs custom cooler

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a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2010 5:23:13 PM

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


XFX 5850
Stock reference cooler vs XFX custom cooler

The later probably cools better, but I've heard that the better coolers often use cheaper PCBs/parts, so you end up with the same overclocking potential. I assume the later will be quieter too right?


My friend is planning to get a 5850 and can't decide which one to choose. I'm not too familar with different coolers either in particular...

Which one will be better?

He can get the first one for $260ish, and the 2nd one for $20 more at $280. Is the better cooler worth the $20 - is the less noise/less heat significant?
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2010 6:16:14 PM

arrr
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
June 27, 2010 6:58:05 PM

Yea in this case the reference version would be a better buy, not sure why XFX dropped the ball on the non-ref version.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
June 27, 2010 7:41:53 PM

Almost all of the nonreference PCBs seem to have dropped the voltage control for some reason. The cards from Asus and MSI are the exceptions to that I believe.
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July 2, 2010 12:12:16 PM

Everyone,

Apparently I am in the same boat as the OP. Im in the market for a 5870, the 2 I'm eyeballing are the

587A-ZND9 (Reference cooler)
587X-ZNDC (Custom cooler)

Per the responses on this thread, it seems you all favor the reference cooler. I called XFX support/CS and they state that the ZND9 is being phased out for the ZNDC. I cannot find the ZND9 anywhere, so my question is, if I get the ZNDC, will I still be in good shape? I really want the ZND9 but I waited too long to cough up the cash and now its unavailable. Please advise. Thanks in advance


btw, please pardon my ignorance but what does PCB stand for and how vital is this to a GPU?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 12:24:47 PM

Well if you want to be able to up the voltage for the best overclock you will need the reference design from XFX.
Honestly I would just get an HD5850. They both tend to OC to the same levels. The HD5870 does have 10% more shaders but from the numbers I've seen when you fully OC both cards the actual performance difference tends to be 5-8%. Considering the $100 price difference that just isn't worth it imo but it's up to you.
If you do go for an HD5850 grab an Asus DirectCU version of the card. Here is a review;
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1273/1/
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July 2, 2010 2:15:41 PM

jyjjy said:
Well if you want to be able to up the voltage for the best overclock you will need the reference design from XFX.
Honestly I would just get an HD5850. They both tend to OC to the same levels. The HD5870 does have 10% more shaders but from the numbers I've seen when you fully OC both cards the actual performance difference tends to be 5-8%. Considering the $100 price difference that just isn't worth it imo but it's up to you.
If you do go for an HD5850 grab an Asus DirectCU version of the card. Here is a review;
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1273/1/



Jyjjy,

Thanks for the response. My intentions are to buy the XXX version and just leave it be, basically be content with the Factory OC. Im just mad at myself for taking too long and I cannot find the ZND9 anywhere, Im just really concerned about the fan in the middle design. I do not know much about it and I don't understand why XFX would change the design.

One other thing, Im pretty stubborn, I see your point concerning the 5850, but I have my mind set on a 5870, (I wish I could afford the 5970) as well as XFX for the lifetime warranty.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 2:30:10 PM

The non-reference card is fine then. We aren't really discussing the coolers so much as what they indicate about the underlying card. You only need the reference design for voltage modifications. If you aren't overclocking yourself then it doesn't matter at all.
That said paying extra for a factory overclocked card is really not something I would recommend. I'm sure a higher overclock than the factory one can easily and safely be achieved on even the cheaper card without any need to raise the voltage.
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July 2, 2010 3:01:39 PM

Thanks Jyjjy,

Im even aggravated with XFX for phasing out the ZNF9 for the ZNFC.

right now Newegg has the ZNFC for 389.99 and a free game (AVP), I thought about getting the ZNFC and OCing it to ZNDC stats but since its the custom cooler then the Voltage Mods aren't present so that wipes that route, which lead me to decide to possibly getting the ZNDC and leave it be...

but now we have ANOTHER twist.. the Sapphire Vapor-X... just read a review and the cooling on it is impressive.. so your thoughts.

Vapor-X vs ZNDC, which would you prefer?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 2, 2010 4:11:24 PM

Get a DirectCU, with Bing cash back you can get it for 299.99$. You will have voltage control, low temps even when heavily overvolted, you can match/surpass 5870 speeds and a 3 year warranty. I guess what Im trying to say is that unless your pockets are fat you should try to get the most bang for buck deal.

If you are not going to touch the clocks then go with whatever you feel is best...

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July 2, 2010 4:17:12 PM

OvrClkr said:
Get a DirectCU, with Bing cash back you can get it for 299.99$. You will have voltage control, low temps even when heavily overvolted, you can match/surpass 5870 speeds and a 3 year warranty. I guess what Im trying to say is that unless your pockets are fat you should try to get the most bang for buck deal.

If you are not going to touch the clocks then go with whatever you feel is best...



DirectCU? I've never head of that brand. however I will try to do the bing cash back, keep in mind it ends July 30th

but between the 5870 Vapor-X and the XFX ZNDC, which would you pick?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 2, 2010 5:04:32 PM

Thats an awesome deal also as long as his PSU can handle it =)
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July 2, 2010 6:24:57 PM

OvrClkr said:
If you are the kind that upgrades every 2/3 years then the Vapor-X hands down, if not the ZNDC.

Here is the DirectCU, same card jyjjy was talking about :

http://www.bing.com/shopping/search?q=Asus%205850%20Dir...




AHH.. got confused. its the Asus.. ok

Actually I'm not that kind. The next card I buy will be it for a while, so from what you say get the ZNDC for the long haul right?
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July 2, 2010 6:26:58 PM

Quote:
What about a 470 for 299.99? :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...'



Your avatar is why I'm not getting any Fermi cards.. I hear they draw too much power and produce too much heat and doesn't WOW out the ATI cards for the price.

XFX and BFGTech's refusal to make and sell them tells a lot.
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July 2, 2010 6:28:02 PM

OvrClkr said:
Thats an awesome deal also as long as his PSU can handle it =)




I had the iBuy No 72 800 Watt house special PSU, but replaced it with a Corsair 850HX
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July 2, 2010 6:35:10 PM

Quote:
BFG went out of business :lol:  Explain why EVGA only makes Nvidia stuff if ATI is that great? :lol: 

Power consumption is not that crazy as most make it out to be. A 470 system pulls 62 more watts then a 5850 rig.

http://i725.photobucket.com/albums/ww252/2MCHBoost/powa.png




BFG's CEO stated in an article that the latest chipsets from NV were not that profitable...


As far as EVGA, they've never made ATI Cards before so I guess they just stuck with the exclusive partnership with NV.


it seems there are more negative feeback concerning NV's cards than ATIs, and besides, I want a 3 monitor set up and its less expensive to go the ATI route rather than NV.

I will never understand why NV didn't include display ports on their cards like ATI does.


So if you were to pick between the Vapor-X or the ZNDC, which one would you select.?
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July 2, 2010 6:43:19 PM

Quote:
Whichever one has Voltage control bro. :lol: 

THIS one as it's a reference and has voltage control.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...




Thanks for the link, however I don't think either the Vapor-X nor the ZNDC have the Voltage control. I just want to get an OC version out of the box and leave it be...

and Im being pretty stubborn, I want a 5870.
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July 2, 2010 6:50:52 PM

Quote:
Why the hell did i link a 5850. :lol: 

All 5870's with the reference cooler will have voltage control. The ones with the center mounted fans do not.




LOLOL!! why did you!!?? all good.


I agree. I've learned alot in the past week from some of the articles and this thread.. The ZND9 was the card I wanted, however XFX phased it out for the ZNDC

ZND9 = reference cooler and hard to find now..
ZNDC = fan in the middle.

my thoughts were, if Im going to settle for a fan in the middle card, I might as well get the Vapor-X since it cools better.

so if you had to pick physcho, which would you go with?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 7:01:55 PM

Well he says he isn't going to OC so the voltage control doesn't matter at all.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 7:07:45 PM

Hey, some guys are gay, some are scared of overclocking. Both seem silly to me but I'm not one to judge. :p 
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July 2, 2010 7:10:32 PM

Quote:
I swore after the 5830 debacle with no voltage control that i would never ever buy another ATI card without it so i would go with the ZND9.




Psycho, wait wait wait.. I misstyped.

The ZND9 is hard to find and its being phased out for the ZNDC..

I meant to type if you had to choose between the ZNDC and the Sapphire Vapor-X, which one would you pick?
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July 2, 2010 7:12:18 PM

Quote:
He's a liar. :lol:  That's like dangling a naked girl infront of you and saying don't touch



LOL!! Video Card or naked hawt chick.. Naked Hawt chick FTW!!
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a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 7:14:36 PM

Quote:
BFG went out of business :lol:  Explain why EVGA only makes Nvidia stuff if ATI is that great? :lol: 


XFX used to make only Nvidia.
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July 2, 2010 7:28:59 PM

Quote:
Neither Bro.




Gotcha..


Its ultimately my fault for taking too long saving the money for it... Can't find the reference ZND9 anywhere.. oh well.

Any idea if ATI has any info on the 6xxx Series?
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July 2, 2010 7:35:14 PM

Quote:
No info yet on the 6 series. They say it's about 6 months out.




U think I should wait?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 2, 2010 8:24:16 PM

I see it this way, if you have the option for voltage control and you are not someone who upgrades sooner than later then try to get the best option available.

Voltage control can give you up to a 30% increase in performance in most situations, this in-turn helps you save money down the road because you are not capped @ a certain clock (due to stock voltage) and you know you have that extra overhead if needed.

I bought my 5850 because I was not going to spend 100.00$ more on the 5870 when I can manually adjust the clocks/voltage and meet or exceed a 5870.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 8:34:09 PM

I don't understand the problem. You say you aren't OCing so the other cards are fine. Like I said even if you want to OC you can do so well past the mere 25mhz factory OC on the XXX card even on a card at stock volts.
If you DO want a card that can increase the voltage should you choose to do so then they are available. This ASUS card is the reference design and allows for such;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The voltage control is really a bigger deal on the HD5850 as it both has a lower stock voltage and much lower stock speeds(725mhz vs 850mhz)
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July 2, 2010 10:39:03 PM

Quote:
What do you have now?




Garbage Tessellation 240
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July 2, 2010 10:43:52 PM

jyjjy said:
I don't understand the problem. You say you aren't OCing so the other cards are fine. Like I said even if you want to OC you can do so well past the mere 25mhz factory OC on the XXX card even on a card at stock volts.
If you DO want a card that can increase the voltage should you choose to do so then they are available. This ASUS card is the reference design and allows for such;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The voltage control is really a bigger deal on the HD5850 as it both has a lower stock voltage and much lower stock speeds(725mhz vs 850mhz)




hmmmm.......


The only thing is, I had 2 Asus MoBos go bad on me within a 2-3 year period so Im a little turned off from them......
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July 2, 2010 11:10:08 PM

@ Jyjjy,


Remember, I want OC out of the box...
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 11:26:31 PM

Well with the cards you are looking at have extremely small overclocks. The XXX card has a 25mhz OC and the Vapor-X has a 20mhz OC. Those OCs are 2.9% and 2.4% respectively. If you buy one of those you are basically paying extra just to say your card is OCed, not for any real benefit in gaming.
Just stop worrying so much, get the cheap one with the free game you wanted; there's nothing wrong with it. If you ever do decide you want to OC it will still do so easily to a level much higher than the XXX or Vapor-X.
If you REALLY need someone else to OC your card for you there are a few with worthy factory overclocks but you are going to have to pay considerably more. Namely these two cards;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 2, 2010 11:38:09 PM

jyjjy said:
Well with the cards you are looking at have extremely small overclocks. The XXX card has a 25mhz OC and the Vapor-X has a 20mhz OC. Those OCs are 2.9% and 2.4% respectively. If you buy one of those you are basically paying extra just to say your card is OCed, not for any real benefit in gaming.
Just stop worrying so much, get the cheap one with the free game you wanted; there's nothing wrong with it. If you ever do decide you want to OC it will still do so easily to a level much higher than the XXX or Vapor-X.
If you REALLY need someone else to OC your card for you there are a few with worthy factory overclocks but you are going to have to pay considerably more. Namely these two cards;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Powercolor...seems that no one wants them.. the powercolor link you sent me there is an open box one on NE that has been there for 2 days almost..

That gigabyte is a sweet card. Anyway, Thanks for all of your help. but just to review real quick then I will venture on,

Vapor-X
ZNDC
Asus EAH587

if you will, rank them 1st 2nd and 3rd and which one if your arm was twisted :bounce:  which one would you buy?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 2, 2010 11:52:02 PM

Well I personally would buy the DirectCU HD5850 discussed earlier.
If I must pick out of those 3 then I would get the ASUS card because I would up the volts and OC the card. You aren't going to be doing so so there is no reason for you to choose it.
For you I would seriously recommend the ZNFV. The ZNDC and Vapor-x are $44 more(including the difference in shipping) and the ZNFV gives you AVP for free as well. I would certainly choose it over the ZNDC or Vapor-X myself, even if I wasn't going to OC. Paying that much more for a factory OC under 3% is madness even if you have no interest in the free game.
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July 3, 2010 12:02:11 AM

jyjjy said:
Well I personally would buy the DirectCU HD5850 discussed earlier.
If I must pick out of those 3 then I would get the ASUS card because I would up the volts and OC the card. You aren't going to be doing so so there is no reason for you to choose it.
For you I would seriously recommend the ZNFV. The ZNDC and Vapor-x are $44 more(including the difference in shipping) and the ZNFV gives you AVP for free as well. I would certainly choose it over the ZNDC or Vapor-X myself, even if I wasn't going to OC. Paying that much more for a factory OC under 3% is madness even if you have no interest in the free game.



jyjjy,

You've been a big help.. I guess I lied... how hard is it to OC if I was to get the Asus 5870?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 12:24:00 AM

Its this hard, thats from a 5850? I believe. Which comes stock at 725/1000. You can see that you can bring it up to 5870 speeds, and most can.
edit: that must be a 5830, they come clocked at 800 stock.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 3, 2010 12:39:46 AM

jacksoncau said:
jyjjy,

You've been a big help.. I guess I lied... how hard is it to OC if I was to get the Asus 5870?

lol
It's really not that hard and is quite safe. Basically you up the core speed which is as simple as dragging a slider bar. You'll be able to push it a certain(usually pretty large) amount on stock voltage before you get artifacting/instability. Then you will need to bump up the voltage a little to get higher speeds. How far a card can OC and remain stable will vary from card to card but most HD5870 fall in the 975-1050mhz range from what I've read. If remember properly the core voltage is fine up to around 1.3v, over that is probably a bit much for constant usage.
OCing the memory is usually the same process basically but the HD5000 cards use error correcting memory so rather than become unstable the card will start losing frame rates instead if you push it higher than it can handle. I've never actually OCed a card with that kind of memory before so maybe someone who has OCed an HD5850/5870 can chime in and give you more info on OCing the memory(and the core as well.)
The preferred software to OC these cards is MSI Afterburner(you don't need an MSI card to use it.);
http://downloads.guru3d.com/MSI-AfterBurner-download-23...
You can use something like Furmark to do a stability test once you think you've got a good OC to use;
http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 3, 2010 12:44:29 AM

Overdrive which notty showed you is actually part of the Catalyst Control Center and can also be used to overclock. It's not something to use to get the highest overclock you can or anything that involves raising the voltage but it will still do alright and it basically overclocks for you. If OCing does sketch you out that may be a reasonable choice for an ok but not spectacular OC. If that is what you would like to use then just get the cheap XFX card with the game as the voltage flexibility of the ASUS card wont matter.
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July 3, 2010 12:46:39 AM

jyjjy said:
lol
It's really not that hard and is quite safe. Basically you up the core speed which is as simple as dragging a slider bar. You'll be able to push it a certain(usually pretty large) amount on stock voltage before you get artifacting/instability. Then you will need to bump up the voltage a little to get higher speeds. How far a card can OC and remain stable will vary from card to card but most HD5870 fall in the 975-1050mhz range from what I've read. If remember properly the core voltage is fine up to around 1.3v, over that is probably a bit much for constant usage.
OCing the memory is usually the same process basically but the HD5000 cards use error correcting memory so rather than become unstable the card will start losing frame rates instead if you push it higher than it can handle. I've never actually OCed a card with that kind of memory before so maybe someone who has OCed an HD5850/5870 can chime in and give you more info on OCing the memory(and the core as well.)
The preferred software to OC these cards is MSI Afterburner(you don't need an MSI card to use it.);
http://downloads.guru3d.com/MSI-AfterBurner-download-23...
You can use something like Furmark to do a stability test once you think you've got a good OC to use;
http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/



Cool. saving these links as we speak. once again, TY for your help
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July 3, 2010 12:48:41 AM

jyjjy said:
Overdrive which notty showed you is actually part of the Catalyst Control Center and can also be used to overclock. It's not something to use to get the highest overclock you can or anything that involves raising the voltage but it will still do alright and it basically overclocks for you. If OCing does sketch you out that may be a reasonable choice for an ok but not spectacular OC. If that is what you would like to use then just get the cheap XFX card with the game as the voltage flexibility of the ASUS card wont matter.




So that Overdrive Notty is showing and the voltage software from Asus are 2 different programs?

if its that easy, then I might want to give the Asus 5870 a shot....
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 3, 2010 1:01:11 AM

Overdrive is part of the Catalyst Control Center(CCC) like I said. CCC is the control panel for ATI video cards that comes with the drivers.
Like I said it will basically OC for you, but mildly so and it won't raise the core voltages. Certainly higher than the factory overclocks you were looking at though.
For the highest OC your card can handle you'll want to use MSI Afterburner which can raise the voltages and allow you to set the core/memory/fan speeds yourself.
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July 3, 2010 1:20:26 AM

jyjjy said:
Overdrive is part of the Catalyst Control Center(CCC) like I said. CCC is the control panel for ATI video cards that comes with the drivers.
Like I said it will basically OC for you, but mildly so and it won't raise the core voltages. Certainly higher than the factory overclocks you were looking at though.
For the highest OC your card can handle you'll want to use MSI Afterburner which can raise the voltages and allow you to set the core/memory/fan speeds yourself.



MSI Afterburner = MSI' OC program

Voltage Tweak = Asus's OC program http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=iAXaiw2KfP5w0xU0

so you are saying MSI AB > Voltage Tweak?

and whats your opinion on the Fermi Cards?
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July 3, 2010 2:12:02 AM

don't think MSI Afterburner will work with the Asus Card.

This was a review from a buyer of it on NE..

"Pros: Runs Cool
Good Performer
Overclocks to at-least 950/1250 on stock Volts with ATI OD
Color Scheme
Asus Smart Doctor
HDMI to DVI connector included
VGA to DVI connector included
Power Cables Included

Cons: *Will not overclock in MSI Afterburner*
Fans is Loud(but what do you expect when it says on the box pushes more air)
Power Connectors on the end makes the card longer

Other Thoughts: This is a Great Performer overall! I think why spend the extra 70+ for a factory overclocked card when it will easily do it out of the box. "
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 3:24:21 PM

jacksoncau said:
don't think MSI Afterburner will work with the Asus Card.

This was a review from a buyer of it on NE..

"Pros: Runs Cool
Good Performer
Overclocks to at-least 950/1250 on stock Volts with ATI OD
Color Scheme
Asus Smart Doctor
HDMI to DVI connector included
VGA to DVI connector included
Power Cables Included

Cons: *Will not overclock in MSI Afterburner*
Fans is Loud(but what do you expect when it says on the box pushes more air)
Power Connectors on the end makes the card longer

Other Thoughts: This is a Great Performer overall! I think why spend the extra 70+ for a factory overclocked card when it will easily do it out of the box. "


Don't go by what others say on the Egg as most reviews do make sense, many are just frustrated users that need some schooling. The reason some Asus cards have the voltage "locked" using AB is simple, AB has a certain file that needs to be edited in order for that value to unlock but that is not really necessary when you have Smart Doctor since you can overclock using AB and overvolt using Doctor.

Here is an example:



as you can see both programs work great together..


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July 3, 2010 5:21:24 PM

OvrClkr said:
Don't go by what others say on the Egg as most reviews do make sense, many are just frustrated users that need some schooling. The reason some Asus cards have the voltage "locked" using AB is simple, AB has a certain file that needs to be edited in order for that value to unlock but that is not really necessary when you have Smart Doctor since you can overclock using AB and overvolt using Doctor.

Here is an example:

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/Dirt2_1025_1250_143v.png

as you can see both programs work great together..



And it will work on the Asus card?

The buyer on NE made it sound like it won't work at all..
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 5:38:38 PM

jacksoncau said:
And it will work on the Asus card?

The buyer on NE made it sound like it won't work at all..


Of course it will work, that specific Asus 5870 comes with a copy of Smart Doctor, again don't go by Newegg's reviews ;) 

Quote:
Bundled Software :

In addition to the hardware tweaks, ASUS is bundling a few software utilities with this Voltage Tweak edition. Key among them is the SmartDoctor program, which allows software control of the GPU voltage and is the key to getting a serious overclock on the Radeon HD 5870. At its most basic, SmartDoctor starts up with this default screen, and if you want to manually overclock the GPU and memory this is all the further you need to go. Voltage adjustments are limited to a maximum of 1.35 VDC, which is considered a safe number, at least for air cooling. For most of my review this is what I used, as I like manual controls for benchmarking, but there are other options if you want to explore.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

page 3 has the overclocking/over-volting info ..
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July 3, 2010 5:51:00 PM

OvrClkr said:
Of course it will work, that specific Asus 5870 comes with a copy of Smart Doctor, again don't go by Newegg's reviews ;) 

Quote:
Bundled Software :

In addition to the hardware tweaks, ASUS is bundling a few software utilities with this Voltage Tweak edition. Key among them is the SmartDoctor program, which allows software control of the GPU voltage and is the key to getting a serious overclock on the Radeon HD 5870. At its most basic, SmartDoctor starts up with this default screen, and if you want to manually overclock the GPU and memory this is all the further you need to go. Voltage adjustments are limited to a maximum of 1.35 VDC, which is considered a safe number, at least for air cooling. For most of my review this is what I used, as I like manual controls for benchmarking, but there are other options if you want to explore.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

page 3 has the overclocking/over-volting info ..



No, I was referring to the MSI AB software, he made it sound like it won't work period.

but you are saying it will correct?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
July 3, 2010 6:06:16 PM

The voltage is not going to be present (unless you edit the .cfg file in AB), but again this is not needed because you are adjusting the voltage via Doctor not AB.

If you want the voltage present w/o doing anything you need a reference version, not sure if all of them have that option w/o editing any files.

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July 3, 2010 6:36:46 PM

OvrClkr said:
The voltage is not going to be present (unless you edit the .cfg file in AB), but again this is not needed because you are adjusting the voltage via Doctor not AB.

If you want the voltage present w/o doing anything you need a reference version, not sure if all of them have that option w/o editing any files.


ok. gotcha. so I take it you approve of the Asus EAH 5870 im looking to buy?
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!