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Confusion in ATI catalyst setings

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 17, 2011 11:39:05 AM

Hey guys ,as i am new to gaming ,i am not able to figure out some of the things in my ATI catalyst control system. There are few things which i want to clear out. First of all ,here are my system specs(MSI GX660): core i5-460M, ATI mobility radeon HD5870/1GB DDR5, DDR3 4GB(2GB*2), 15.6 HD 1366*768, 500GB @7200 rpm.
1)In my ATI overdrive settings,there is a key shown on top and while moving the cursor on it it says locked and when i clicked on it, it shows a warning of opening the overclocking settings at your own risk and if during the overclocking procedure system can suffer damages(including processor damage,or lead to other problems,data loss,reduction in system performance,and in extreme cases total system failure)an if anything happens ATI will not be responsible and warranty would be voided. now i don't know what to do next,should i activate the key or should i let the system run on default settings???
2) Secondly,can someone tell me exactly where does my graphic card stands when it shows current GPU clock @100 mhz and memory clock @150 mhz,while the GPU clock settings are being locked @700 mhz out of 860 mhz and memory clock settings are being locked @1000 mhz out of 1200 mhz. Also,activity always remain locked at 0% while the fan speed is locked at 30%. what exactly do all these things mean?
3) Thirdly,as i know that i haven't activated the overclocking settings(which in mention in 1 point),so if i note some lagging or decrease in performance in my system while running games,then what"s the use of pressing turbo key,will my system maximize its performance or will i have to activate the key in overdrive settings first and only then it will maximize performance?
4) Lastly, please advice me of some software which are safe to use and by which i can able to see FPS and GPU temp on the screen and where does i can see the the CPU temp within my system?
January 17, 2011 4:25:49 PM

Ahhhh need paragraph spacing, so hard to read. I'll try to answer, but in the future, just try to space out your text so it is easier to isolate everything being asked.

1) If you want to overclock using ATI's overdrive you have to unlock it. You can unlock it safely, its how you overclock it afterwards that will determine if you do anything to your card. By unlocking nothing changes, except you can now overclock if you want to.

2) Your card downclocks automatically when not in 3D mode. Meaning if you aren't gaming then you aren't going to see the clock at the maximum. Once you are gaming, you'll see it clock up to what its maximum is. Activity is 0% because you aren't doing anything intensive for your graphics card, it will increase if you have some 3D rendering running or a game. Fan speed is just how fast the fan on your card is spinning.

3) Overclocking is simply making your card perform a little extra than what the standard is. You push it harder, kinda like turbo charging a car's engine. If you let Catalyst Auto Tune your card, it will determine what the best OCing you can get while still running stable. Use Auto-Tune if you are new to this.

4) HWMonitor is a good program to monitor your computer in general. MSI Afterburner is great for your graphics card. CoreTemp is another good program.

Just note, don't overclock just for the heck of it. No reason to push your card when you don't need to. If you already play games on maximum graphics, or at a level you're happy with, no need to OC.
January 18, 2011 6:16:09 AM

Your advice is really useful and surely i'll do paragraph spacing in the future. Well as you said, don't do it(overclocking) unless you feel the need for it and presently I think everything is running quite well and I am pretty much satisfied. The thought of overclocking was purely because of curiosity to check this feature on my new laptop. So,will keep your views in mind and will overclock only when i feel its really necessary. So, once again THANKS A LOT for replying my post.
January 18, 2011 12:46:54 PM

Hey no problem :) .

Since you have a laptop, you have less control over the heat of the system. Unlike a desktop, you can't install more fans for a laptop, so overclocking parts of a laptop are a little more "dangerous".

Basically, overclocking produces more heat on the hardware you are doing it to. This heat isn't a problem unless it can't be removed from your system so that your hardware doesn't have to feel it. If you can keep the temp down on your hardware, overclocking is safe (with the caveat being the hardware can be overclocked to the setting you ask and you have sufficient power).

Since laptops are compact and efficient, making them work harder will most likely have an affect on the lifetime of the hardware within it. For example, if you run a laptop very hot for hours a day, it won't last as long as one run at a cool temp. This is because heat is the #1 reason a piece of hardware can decrease in life.

Good luck to you. I don't mean to scare you from overclocking, but if you do, make sure to not over do it and just understand the "risks". Many many people OC every day, so it is a safe thing if done correctly.
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