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ASUS DCU II Mediocre OC?

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June 3, 2012 7:36:50 PM

I recently upgraded from a gimped 5850 (running multiple monitors would cause display corruption) to a shiny new ASUS 670. I was originally going to go with a gigabyte model, but seeing as the availability was just below 'unicorn', I decided to have a look at the ASUS cards instead. I got the non-TOP version with stock clocks, figuring I could just OC to TOP levels anyway.

Anyway, despite a couple RSOD (gpu tool was causing it) this card has been working great at stock speeds.

A couple days ago I decided to OC, so using msi afterburner with Unigine Heaven as a stress test, I started to crank up the card. Now, msi afterburner unfortunately doesn't list the actual core and memory clocks, just the OC, so I'm not certain whether I'm at 195 mhz boost over the default 915 or over the default boost of 980. However, even at 980 +195 that only brings me to 1175 mhz core. Even with the 670s being somewhat tame overclockers (or so I've heard), this seems quite low. I'm not demanding 1350 mhz here, but I was certainly expecting to be comfortably within the 1200 range. Similarly, my RAM tops out at +325 mhz.

Here are a couple useful facts: My card idles at 25-30c with 27% fan speed and I have a profile that keeps it at 65C and below, even under load. My power limit is only set to 110% out of a possible 130, and my core voltage has not been adjusted (I had heard that this doesn't make much of a difference). The weird thing is, I'm not seeing artifacts at all. At a hair above +195 or +325, my drivers will crash after 30 seconds to a minute of unigine. I run Heaven benchmark maxed with extreme tessellation at 1600 x 900.

Here is my question: Does this mean I just got a mediocre overclocker? Or are there more things I can do to increase the speeds. My card is never going above 105% power usage, but would increasing the power limit help? What about the core voltage? (shot in the dark). Is the extreme tessellation of Heaven causing this? I would like a universally stable OC, but if normal games will run and benefit from increased clock speeds I'll most certainly push the card further.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Specs:
Core i5 2500k OC - 4.4 ghz
ASUS DCU II 670 Gtx
Gskill DDR3 1600 8GB
ASROCK p67 Extreme 4 Gen 3
CM HAF 932
750 Watt Kingwin Gold Certified
Seagate Barracuda 750GB (yes, the ones with the absurdly high failure rate. fingers crossed)
I've got a Creative sound card too, if that matters...

More about : asus dcu mediocre

June 3, 2012 7:43:16 PM

I don't think the GTX 670 reliably clocks up to the 1200 MHz range.

Sounds like you have somewhere between an average and above average overclocker (915+195=1110, which is roughly average, or 980+195=1175, which is above average).

Artifacts do not always occur on a bad overclock. Sometimes they do, but sometimes the card just flat out crashes. I think all you're seeing is the limits of your card, which is right about where it should be based on hwbot data.
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June 3, 2012 7:43:34 PM

It most certainly is. I'll be keeping the card regardless (sending back a card because it doesn't quite OC the way you want is foolish). I like my frames, and if there's any more performance to be squeezed out of this card I'd love to know. This thing isn't even close to hitting its thermal limit, and driver crashes, rather than artifacting, make me think that I'm missing something. Think of it as curiosity for curiosity's sake. Also, because I forgot in the OP, I'm running 301.42.
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June 3, 2012 7:45:02 PM

Strawzza said:
It most certainly is. I'll be keeping the card regardless (sending back a card because it doesn't quite OC the way you want is foolish). I like my frames, and if there's any more performance to be squeezed out of this card I'd love to know. This thing isn't even close to hitting its thermal limit, and driver crashes, rather than artifacting, make me think that I'm missing something. Think of it as curiosity for curiosity's sake. Also, because I forgot in the OP, I'm running 301.42.


Driver crashes are just another possible symptom of a bad overclock, so you're probably not missing anything.
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June 3, 2012 7:48:16 PM

BigMack70 said:
I don't think the GTX 670 reliably clocks up to the 1200 MHz range.

Sounds like you have somewhere between an average and above average overclocker (915+195=1110, which is roughly average, or 980+195=1175, which is above average).

Artifacts do not always occur on a bad overclock. Sometimes they do, but sometimes the card just flat out crashes. I think all you're seeing is the limits of your card, which is right about where it should be based on hwbot data.



Ok, thanks for that. I guess the numbers for this card were being distorted. I was under the impression that the average OC was much closer to 1250. Any comments on the power limit or Core voltage? I'm still hunting for reliable info on those.

Thanks for the quick replies.

Also, I love my system, defined as it was by my budget, but Mack, your xfire setup makes me feel a twinge of jealous. heh.
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June 3, 2012 7:50:30 PM

Oh, looks like my info was wrong on the ram. That's actually a fantastic speed. I am quite happy with 7.3 ghz.
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June 3, 2012 7:53:37 PM

Well my setup isn't really impressive from a price/performance standpoint ;) 

Anyways, I was under the impression that most Kepler cards are voltage locked, such that the core voltage couldn't be increased in any meaningful way. If your card DOES have voltage control, then by all means try increasing the voltage.

You should probably set the power limit as high as you can.
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June 3, 2012 8:02:04 PM

Yeah, I was reading that too. Imagine my surprise when I opened MSI AB and discovered a voltage slider. It could be that non reference designs are starting to have unlocked voltage, I'm not sure. What made me initially twitchy about upping the voltage is that as of this moment I do not know the safe voltage for a 670, nor what exactly AB will be increasing my voltages to. I really wish the values were absolute.
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June 3, 2012 8:04:21 PM

Yeah... sorry bout that I don't know enough about the DCU II 670 to advise on voltages. If it has beefy custom VRMs, then you can adjust voltage and be fine, but if not then it's probably best to leave it alone. As always with voltage tweaking, don't just throw a large increase on the vcore and hope for the best... give it slight bumps (not more than 10mv usually) to see if it gives you an increase in stability.
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June 3, 2012 8:15:52 PM

This thing looks pretty solid. I was wary of ASUS before I got it, but after closer inspection of the hardware I'm incredibly impressed with the quality. I've got a great case for air cooling, but even so, I'm not seeing any temps on the card go above 65 even under high load. Unlike the gigabyte card, its only got two 6 pin connectors, but the ASUS advertising seems to indicate hefty voltage controls. 680 PCB can't hurt either. If I can't get any more speed now, I'll probably wait for the new drivers. There's at least a slim chance that its a driver issue thats causing the crash. I know these initial updates can be a bit twitchy.

I had my old 5850 running at 995 Mhz core tho, so I think its just my nature to push these things as far as they can go. (within reason). Thanks once again for your help, I wasn't sure if max power limit was going to be safe, but it looks like it is.
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June 3, 2012 8:48:17 PM

Ok, here's an interesting update. I managed to get MSI AB's monitoring to work without crashing my drivers (apparently its the combination between it and certain settings in Heaven benchmark that cause the RSOD) and ran another bench. Now I know what my voltages are reaching as well as my fan speeds, which is great. Looks like voltage is hitting a max of 1.175, which looks right on target.

The interesting thing here is my core clock speed. I had read on some forum somewhere that stock 670s with boost clocks "advertised at 980" were in reality boosting closer to 1080. Turns out, although my boost clock is set to +195, for a total of 1175 mhz, during the benchmark, MSI showed my core clock sitting 1287 Mhz! That is... pretty fantastic.

Thank you for your replies, it looks like boost did actually make over clocking more complicated than I thought. I'll make sure to do even more research/tweaking before I post next time! Now I gotta go play more ubersampled Witcher 2...
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Best solution

a c 607 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
June 3, 2012 9:11:20 PM

Did you increase the power limit to maximum? Be aware that the TOP models get the higher binned chips and the regular models get the ones that don't pass the TOP standards. Also, it looks like you got pretty much what Techpowerup got in their overclocking results:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_67...

You can check your chip's ASIC quality using GPU-Z to see if you got a GPU with less overclocking capability.

Guru3d overclocking guide for GTX 680/670:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-overclock...
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June 3, 2012 9:30:56 PM

Sooo, this may seem like a stupid question, but how on earth do I test the ASCI? The only how to I've seen is the vague "right click context menu", otherwise its just people posting their scores.

Thanks for the guide, I was already following that one.
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a c 607 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
June 3, 2012 9:38:44 PM

In GPU-Z, yes, right-click the title bar, which opens up some menu options. Go down to "Read ASIC quality..." and it will show you in terms of a percent. Higher is better, up to 100%.
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June 3, 2012 9:41:49 PM

Oh wow, cant believe I missed that. I was probably clicking everywhere except on the title bar...

I guess some good chips to make it through the sort into non TOP cards. My ASCI is 93.6% That seems pretty great.
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June 3, 2012 9:53:29 PM

Aww... Time for an upgrade? lol
My power limit is now maxed at 122% and I just got up to 1297 Mhz. highest temps are 66C after 15 minutes. That seems to be my absolute max stable. I REALLY hope I don't wake up all of a sudden...
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a c 607 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
June 3, 2012 9:54:22 PM

Strawzza said:
Oh wow, cant believe I missed that. I was probably clicking everywhere except on the title bar...

I guess some good chips to make it through the sort into non TOP cards. My ASCI is 93.6% That seems pretty great.

That is very good. As I have read at Techpowerup, it seems that ASIC quality correlating to higher overclocks is mainly in theory only. As with recon, a lower ASIC quality chip can sometimes still overclock well. Mine is at 76%, and I'm a little disappointed in the overclocks.
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June 3, 2012 10:00:50 PM

Hahaha. Two 670s would crunch your SLI setup, I just don't have the budget for it. How's that 500 Watt power draw treating you tho!? :D 

Mine is around 175, yeah? I never thought nvidia would make such an efficient card. I was sticking with AMD after the 9800 fiasco, but this deal was just too good to pass up!
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June 3, 2012 10:53:30 PM

Hehehe I would be a complete enthusiast, as well as a complete audiophile, if I wasn't also a semi-broke student. As it is, I spend a bit more on computer hardware than I probably should. This card is the best bang for buck I've found in a while. I hope they'll stay available for a while so that I can pick another up for SLI some ways down the road. Maybe once Crysis 5 comes out... Who knows

Speaking of crysis, I remember being happy to get 25-30 fps in that game. Now my card eats it for breakfast. Oh how things change...
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June 3, 2012 10:54:59 PM

Out of curiosity, have you played Witcher 2 with those 480s? Can you play with ubersampling on? I was amazed to see more than playable framerates with it on this single card...
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June 3, 2012 11:29:06 PM

I'd recommend it. I don't even like RPGs generally, but Witcher 2 is a top game. A single 580 will be brought to its knees by ubersampling. Mostly because it's not incredibly efficient, but it does serve as a good test of hardware. I'd be curious to see whether the 6xx series hardware/software is somehow more effective at ubersampling or whether its simply raw power. I know I'm getting roughly 40 fps at 1080p with ubersampling on in Witcher 2.

16x AA... whyy! Oh right... I forgot myself :D 

I'm perfectly happy running it at 70 fps with 8x AA at 1080p
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June 4, 2012 1:03:38 AM

SLI 480s would probably play the witcher 2 with ubersampling with an fps somewhere around 30-35 average (1080p).

Ubersampling is an insanely taxing form of SSAA... can't really compare it to games running MSAA.

On another note, I've seen nothing to suggest an actual correlation between ASIC quality and overclockability. My cards have poor ASIC (in the 70s) but overclock just fine to 1200 MHz in crossfire.
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June 11, 2012 9:44:25 PM

Best answer selected by Strawzza.
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