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MSI 7950 OC

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July 9, 2012 1:58:11 PM

Just wondering if I got bad luck in the silicon roulette and got the weak end of it...

Through a lot of testing, it seems I found a stable core clock of 1020MHz @ 1.093 (stock 1.031 for the MSI TF3) which gives me about 65C when playing games that tax it real good. The intriguing part if when I try to OC the memory... just a puny 25MHz = all hell breaks loose; if I so much look at flash/HTML5 video (aka youtube or any other site of the kind) desktop = bye-bye (flickering, black screen, multicolor pixels of death...) and I either have to reboot manually or it does so automatically after 10 seconds or so.

From most of the OC guides I've read, people tend to shy away from touching the memory voltage. I thought at first it was somewhat due to my low GPU core voltage and played with that up to about 1.750 with no better results aside from serious heat in games (80C+) until the games just crash.

Right now, I SOMETIMES get some artifacts in Tera, but any other game or benchmark (3dmark, Unigine) no artifacts + very good scores.

My question is, should I be worried that the "weakness" of this card might turn around and bite me in the long run or will keeping it @ 1020GPU/1250Mem be fine? Performance is a bit more than 2x what I had, which is exactly where it should be, so that's got me all in smiles; I just found it odd that I couldn't even get 25MHz on the memory.

Thanks

More about : msi 7950

July 9, 2012 7:52:44 PM

hhhmmm, no comments huh? heh.

I got a few weeks or so left for express RMA, so I guess I can play around with voltages (ever so slightly) and see what more I can squeeze from it.
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July 9, 2012 7:54:54 PM

Have you played with the GPU voltage at all? That card should do 1100+ core
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July 9, 2012 8:01:38 PM

If you adjusted the voltage and you cant get stable clocks much higher than stock then it might just be bad luck. Some cards OC really well, some don't. They don't technically have to be able to OC. The manufacturer tests it for stability at it's factory set clocks. If it passes the test then it gets packaged and sold. So luck of the draw really.

Just kind of odd because I have yet to hear of a 7950 that doesn't overclock well.
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July 9, 2012 9:10:56 PM

Lucem Ferre said:
Have you played with the GPU voltage at all? That card should do 1100+ core


Indeed I have.

I just got back home and turned up the GPU core back to 1100MHz @ 1.174mV and ran a few benchmarks with no artifacts, I went ahead and created an even more aggressive fan profile so that @ 70C the fans are at 75%; the sound is not noticeable because I'm used to the constant sound of the AC/heater/dryer going.

I also bumped mem to 1375MHz using stock voltage and just noticed something while monitoring more closely using GPU-Z; as soon HTML5/Flash is running, my memory clock automatically goes down to stock (1250)... this doesn't happen for ANY other kind of media content. I'm starting to wonder if it's a new thing with the 12.7 drivers? Maybe it wasn't switching yesterday and the clock stayed at 1375 and it crashed within 2-3 seconds of watching any web content... there's even a small flicker now when the browser loads up media and the clocks are back to stock...

Either way, for some reason I can't get it to crash (not a bad thing mind you, but my confidence in this card is iffy right now lol)
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July 9, 2012 9:13:14 PM

dechy said:
Indeed I have.

I just got back home and turned up the GPU core back to 1100MHz @ 1.174mV and ran a few benchmarks with no artifacts, I went ahead and created an even more aggressive fan profile so that @ 70C the fans are at 75%; the sound is not noticeable because I'm used to the constant sound of the AC/heater/dryer going.

I also bumped mem to 1375MHz using stock voltage and just noticed something while monitoring more closely using GPU-Z; as soon HTML5/Flash is running, my memory clock automatically goes down to stock (1250)... this doesn't happen for ANY other kind of media content. I'm starting to wonder if it's a new thing with the 12.7 drivers? Maybe it wasn't switching yesterday and the clock stayed at 1375 and it crashed within 2-3 seconds of watching any web content... there's even a small flicker now when the browser loads up media and the clocks are back to stock...

Either way, for some reason I can't get it to crash (not a bad thing mind you, but my confidence in this card is iffy right now lol)



Wouldn't worry too much about clocking the memory super high as the 79xx series already has a boatload of memory bandwidth. Going for 1200 core next? :D 
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July 9, 2012 11:12:53 PM

Doubt I can make it much more than 1.1GHz; even though it's ~20-22C in my basement (32+ outside, thank you AC!), I'm hitting 80C in no time even with 100% fan speed in STO.

STO is pretty weird though; video setting 3 (High I think) locks the FPS to 60FPS (even if I have vsync off) but I can manually edit every setting after that & set to Highest/Extreme and GPU will be ~60% usage & ~68C temp.

Using setting 4 which which automatically sets everything to highest/extreme but seems to unlock some type of vsync I hit 140+FPS but GPU goes to 100% and heat shoots past 80C... no way I can play hours doing that (hell, I was up to 84C when I decide to turn graphics back down to setting 3).

Gonna have to seriously watch those temps
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July 9, 2012 11:18:50 PM

Try using MSI Afterburner. It's very reliable and easy to use.
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July 9, 2012 11:36:40 PM

Yep using that, awesome app.

And I just confirmed that it's the stupid memory clock switch while watching HTML5/Flash that crashes the desktop when it can't switch...

I had HWMonitor on my second screen while browsing (forgot to close it) and everything was going fine for 1+ hours when I hit a new site with that type of media and main display went totally out to lunch (huge vertical grey/white/black bars) while the second monitor seemed intact but HWmonitor showed my memory clock still @ 1375 when it should be 1250 (from what I could see anyways).

WTH is the reason behind having the driver trying to automatically go back to stock memory clock when watching youtube & the like?!?!
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July 9, 2012 11:47:08 PM

You-tube and other HD video isnt actually graphically demanding so whats happening is when it feels like it should be in "Idle Mode" it switches to 2D clocks. Since you use multiple screens AMD wont let the 2D clock go below stock because it gives a screen tear as it switches. However with any AMD card I have ever owned the memory clock stays at whatever I set it at. However this makes for higher idle temps. I'm not sure why your memory clock is changing and why it is causing an issue. Rollback to the 12.6 and see if that helps.
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July 10, 2012 12:22:30 AM

I just reset the card to completely stock numbers... and temps don't add up

I'm putting this card under the microscope and going back to looking at older benchmarks when the 7950 first came out (and more specifically for the MSI TF3), something is off with my cooling; the VERY best I can do with a pretty low ambient temperature (case OPEN; I haven't had a closed off case in YEARS) without ANY other card around it and tons of room to breathe... even checked if both fans worked properly) is 51-52C when most reviews put idle @ 30-35C

Hell reference designs barely push 45C

Gonna pull it out and see how easy it would be to reseat this beast... if not it's going the RMA way ASAP.
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Best solution

July 10, 2012 12:25:32 AM

Try it with just one monitor connected to the card. I bet its in the mid thirties...

Cards run hot with extended displays. They can't down clock to 2D clocks.
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July 10, 2012 12:54:24 AM

Best answer selected by dechy.
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July 10, 2012 1:00:30 AM

What I do since I run dual monitors I go to screen resolution in windows and disable one of the monitors until I need to use it. That way you can have low idle temps but don't have to reconnect the monitor when you want to use it.
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July 10, 2012 1:01:36 AM

Wow, I didn't quite read between the lines with your last post; the damn dual monitor was indeed the cause. Over 20 years playing with computers (I started out VERY young :p  ) and I still learn something new ever day, gotta love these forum)

So yeah ~34C with 1 120Hz monitor; reason being it can now go down to 300MHz GPU/150MHz memory instead of being stuck @ 500MHz / 1375MHz

Thank you sir!
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