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HD3870 & power saving

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by durz, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. durz New Member

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    Ok so I've had the HD3870 for a few weeks now and recently found a problem with its power saving feature since I was experiencing lower than expected FPS even in older games

    As many of you know the card's core underclocks to ~300MHz when not under heavy load. Using Rivatuner to monitor my card I found that the card won't go back to the rated 777MHz until about 80% GPU load

    That's good and all but for some older games (2005-2006ish) the GPU usage never goes above about 30-40% so the core speed stays stuck at 300MHz - resulting in diminished performance

    Forcing the speed to 777MHz using Rivatuner's overclocking doesn't seem to work because the card still clocks down to 300MHz during light load

    How can I fix this?

    Also my card's fan speed doesn't seem to go over 40% even at 90+ degrees celcius. It doesn't really bother me because I can set up fan profiles but just wondering if its intended that the default bios doesn't increase speeds over 40%?
     
  2. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Do you have ATI tool?
     
  3. Bob The Fish New Member

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    My HD 3870 also seems to slow. Well useing ATI tool 0.27 beta 3 i dont see any clock change but i do see temps in the 90'c and no fan speed. I checked it the fan is spining and it is and the PCB does not feel hot like 90'c should be. Ati tool and gpuz pick attacted.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  4. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    The clock change is in your Catalyst. here
    [​IMG]
     
  5. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    My 3850 is doing the same thing when I play W.O.W. :banghead:
    Currently trying to get ATI tool 0.27 beta to run, as 0.26 is a no go.

    Anybody figured out a workaround for this underclocking? :cry:
    (I like the idea, but hate not being able to control what apps will activate 3D mode)
     
  6. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    whats wrong with ati tool .27 not running?
    you just need to make sure the fan is running at 100% and you should be fine...
     
  7. trog100 New Member

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    so if i run 3dmark 2001 will i see a lousy score.. he he he

    gonna try it and see.. what sort of older games are we talking..???

    trog
     
  8. trog100 New Member

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    my curiosity is active.. he he he

    [​IMG]

    its while running 3dmark 2001 at a zillion frames a second.. it scored 58084.. the counter was locked at 999 some of the time so i aint even sure if it scored correct.. but it must represent an older game.

    as u see gpu usage drops of sometimes but core speed stay up.. just trying to find out what causes it not to trigger into 3d speed or drop out.. its not high frame rates.. so what is it.. ???

    unless less it decide 500 frames per second is enough and dont bother trying any harder.. :laugh:

    trog
     
  9. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    ATI tool 0.27 now seems to be working, but had some nasty pixelation after adjusting the fan speed to 100%. Didn't hear it spinning up either. :confused:
    I'll have to look at it in the morning, as sleep is urgently needed.

    I'm asking the same question as Trogg - how does the C.C.C. know when a 3D app is running?
    Maybe if someone finds the answer to that, a more elegant solution can be found to this power saving issue.

    And a suitable aftermarket cooler will be purchased next month. Zalman VF1000 anyone?:D
     
  10. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    got the vf900 on the way right now... should be here some time next week.. I'm hoping..
     
  11. trog100 New Member

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    well so far i cant make it not crank up its speed.. with fear my oldest game at present it runs a nice flat 100% gpu usage at an average of 136 frames per second well maxed out..

    supreme commander is very peaky.. in its gpu usage.. not flat like fear.. but it remains full speed

    the lightsmark bench makes it run only 50% gpu usage but full speed on the core...

    and wookie if u cant here a 3870 fan crank up its cos its not doing.. it really does sound like a leaf blower at 100%.. way too loud for none headphone usage..

    can someone run one of these older games in question and run the rivatuner monitor at the same time.. ??

    trog

    ps... one thing i remember from trying to use atitool is the 3d app needs to be fullscreen.. 3d in a window dosnt trigger it.. with the CCC running things it does trigger for 3d in a window.. that might be one explanation why some aint getting full speed with older games..
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  12. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Trog which drivers you running? (I'm running vanilla Cat 7.12)

    I was running world of warcraft in fullscreen, (1680 x 1050) and when I swapped back to the desktop with the game still running, clock was at 300mHz with temps on GPU about 6 - 8 deg above idle temp. Game still plays allright on that clock, (designed to run on Noah's ark) but I like things to work properly.

    As I've just installed ATI tool and rivatuner, I'll need a bit of time to get my head around them.

    Watch this space.;)
     
  13. Lillebror New Member

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    I dont have this problem with my 3870
    [​IMG]
    I tried with an old game (pharao) and then with need for speed Carbon.
    Mine dosent throttle at anytime :s
     
  14. trog100 New Member

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    i have read something about power management with the card thow.. its supposed to know when full power isnt needed and throttle back.. not just the basic 2d or 3d speed.. its supposed to use something in between speeds when it thinks full wack isnt needed.. what is supposed to make it think it can throttle back (if it does) is still a mystery to me as yet..

    it did seem to be only using half gpu power during parts of the 3dmark 2001 run..praps it thought 999 fps wasnt needed.. he he he

    more like system speed holding it back thow.. dunno never run these kinda tests before..

    trog
     
  15. King Wookie

    King Wookie New Member

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    Well, ever since I attempted to change the fan speed with ATI tool last night, the card keeps blackscreening on me.:cry:
    With everything on default, and not running ati tool, it will die on me either just after booting into windows, or run for about 20 min.

    Card will be RMA'ed tomorrow morning.:ohwell:

    So for now my trusty 7600GT will have to do.

    I'm beginning to think that this mb is allergic to ATI cards.:banghead:
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  16. trog100 New Member

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    dont run atitool is my advise.. uninstall it and see what happens..

    i say it dosnt work with the 3870 card some say it does and i aint gonna argue with em..

    trog
     
  17. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    it dont work on the 3850,i tried changing the fan speed and it does nothing.Just change the cooler or use riva tune 2.03.
     
  18. mikek75

    mikek75 New Member

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    My ASUS EAH3870 came with a utility called "SmartDoctor", which monitors temps of the card and has variable fan speed, either manually setting a speed or having it ramp up according to user defined temp/fan speeds, much like ATI Tool would allow if it worked properly on the 3870's. You can also set clock speeds and it includes a diagnostic to say whether the card is working OK. MAYBE it can be cracked to work on other brands of card, might be worth looking into.

    I don't bother with it TBH, as I don't feel that the high 80's load temp is particularly dangerous, especially since the X1900's ran similar load temps without problems. I can't stand the noise the stock fan makes when speeded up, if it gets to summer and temps are worrying then I might just slap my VF900 on it, or I might try this BIOS with the modified fanspeed table. Although I'd prefer to modify it myself, but I've heard that RaBit doesn't work with the 3870 bios....Is there a utility which does?
     
  19. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Ati Tool .27 is a pain in the wazzole when it comes to the new 3xxx series cards. the fan speed tab doesn't like to start up til hours later. Its like this for some reason. I'm beginning to think that the 3xxx series will be ok with ati tool in a month or so... But, intil then riva tool is working wonders with a lot more people. imo
     
  20. trog100 New Member

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    it wont run hotter in summer.. its set to target 90 C or so.. if the temps try and get hotter the fan simply runs a little faster.. it has plenty in reserve.. it runs less than 40% speed most of the time under full load..

    the card has to shift far less heat than the 1900xtx i used to have did.. it literally spat flames out the back of the case.. the 3870 is just gently warm..

    ati think the temps are okay.. its how they set them to be.. basically the older 1900xt cards struggled to maintain a noisy 90 C.. the newer card just cruises and does it thru choice.. ati made that choice..

    90 C is okay.. folks make the mistake of thinking the cooler is struggling.. it isnt its well up to the job.. its rigged for silent running at 90 C instead of noisy running at 70 C..

    try over volting the card and see what the fan does.. he he .. its quite capable of blowing a gale and sounding like a leaf blower if it has too..

    trog
     
  21. trog100 New Member

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    if 90 C bothers anybody or they want clock the shit out of the 3870.. flash this bios..

    u can swop a silent 90 C for noisy 75 C easy..

    being as i am clocking the shit out of my card and upping the voltage i am using it..

    it targets 70 C or so and runs the fan around 80% while running the fur bench.. its noisy.. gaming its not so noisy cos the fur bench heats things up more than games do..

    the stock cooler at least blows heat out of the case.. aftermarket ones act like a mini room heater and heat the case up..

    trog
     

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  22. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    hmm i am really liking these cards and i do want one - but his business about clocks and fan reducing on idle and then up on load bothers me - alot.
     
  23. mikek75

    mikek75 New Member

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    Overvolting? No ta, LOL! I did turn up the fan, just to see how noisy it got....Unbelievable, leafblower is a very accurate description!

    Yeah, I don't have a problem with 90c as I said, I prefer quiet to anal temp. control. (Erm, does that sound right?)

    As for that Smart Doctor utility, scrub that. I just installed it to have a play, and it doesn't seem to work right. With it set at manual 40% I ran 3D06, and all of a sudden it increased to 100%, and continued that way till the bench had finished. Surely if its set at 40% it should stay there, not increase at all?
     
  24. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    my card is still up and running. it's even been back from the dead. ATi tool .27 is being a pain in the butt, but I would never tell someone to think twice about getting this card. Riva tune is working and i don't see any bad thing with it.
     
  25. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    With the 3850's cooler,i set the fan to 100% with atitool(when it works) and monitored temps with riva.On 100% the fan made the temp drop by 1c,unless its more efficiant on load temps.It does sound like a leaf blower on 100% too.
     

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