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Are my 7970s doomed to stock speeds?

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#1
I've always wanted to Crossfire, so I bit the bullet and bought a second 7970 Black Edition. I figured out something disappointing when I installed them though.

My first 7970 is out for RMA right now, but it was a single DVI model Black Edition that overclocked like a bat out of hades. 1150/1600+ wasn't an issue for it. While it was out I figured I'd buy another 7970BE from Amazon (Dual DVI). I can't even get it to 1100/1500 without driver crashes. It's ASIC quality according to GPU-Z is 69%. MSI Afterburner also won't give me an option to overvolt it at all. Is there any hope for being able to get at least GHz edition clocks out of the two cards, or are they going to be stuck at 1000/1425?

I actually picked up another 7970BE from Amazon, who was kind enough to send me an advance replacement, and its quality is 63%. It can't even get to 1050/1450 without crashing.

Edit: Something that may or may not be relevant to note. On GPU-Z it lists each card as being at PCIe 3.0 x16 @ x8 1.1. I understand that the x8 is normal since Z77 splits up the lanes half-and-half, but the 1.1 worries me. I did the render test in full-screen since I read idle cards lower the bus speed, but it still listed 1.1 in the full-screen test.

Also, on the Maximus V Formula there's a molex cable at the end of the board. At the moment it isn't plugged in, but it never was in single-card mode either. I've tried both cards by themselves with no other card in the system, and they still have the same driver crashes. Not sure if it's important, but I figured I should note that.
 
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#2
Wooooo!
first things first google unlock afterburner, down load it and follow instructions(save it also). Driver crashes, are you monitoring you temps? How did you remove the old drivers?
 
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#3
Don't fixate on ASIC quality. Doesn't mean how high your card will overclock.

I have an MSI 7970 OC (water cooled) that runs at 1050/1500 without issue. ASIC = 59 and it's not over volted. Managed 1125 tops.

That being said, my other 7970 is a Powercolor LCS with ASIC of 80 and ran benchies at 1300/1600.

Both cards run in tandem now at 1050/1500 (no need to run higher).

It's a lottery with overclocking though. I thought all 7970 cards went super high but maybe since they released the GHz versions they put duff chips into the non-GHz versions. Cherry picking for the higher clocks?
 
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#4
Afterburner is locked at the moment. Are you referring to the enableunofficialoverclocking thing in the cfg? I haven't done that yet, but I can certainly enable it.

I haven't done FurMark yet, but I keep Afterburner on my G510 LCD. I haven't seen the temps for either card exceed 85c on a 3DMV loop. When OC'd they crash right away, especially in the 3DMV New Calico benchmark.

As far as uninstalling the old drivers go, I'm actually looking for a bit of advice on that. I usually just go through device manager and uninstall + check the "Remove driver software" and then restart, but I'd be more than happy to adopt a different method.

Another thing I should mention that I was too forgetful to do before: The Intel GPU is still showing up, albeit as "Generic VGA adapter." I have the two 7970, and then the Intel is showing up under those two. On the Maximus V Formula is there a way to completely disable the IGP? I could have swore I turned off multi-monitor in the BIOS.
 
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#5
The iGPU will cause problems. Well, it did in another very similar post. Dive back into your BIOS and see if you can disable the iGPU entirely.

BIOS > Advanced > System Agent Configuration > Graphics Configuration > Primary Display > PCIE (instead of iGPU or Auto)
 
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#6
Look at mine, I have two reference model HD7970 and a Dual-X model from Powercolor. Two of my cards rated low on the Asic score, but I can make 1100/1475 on all, for benchmark runs that is. In the GPUZ full screen render test, my 1st card is doing PCIe 3.0 @PCIe x16 3.0, 2nd card at PCIe x16 3.0 @x8 3.0 while my last card's doing PCIe x16 3.0@x16 2.0. Bandwidthwise, my first card is the fastest, with my secondary and third card having about the same bandwidthwise. Btw, I don't maintain this OCed clock/mem speed, usual is 1060/1425 since my cards are placed closely together to allow for effective cooling. Also note that all my cards have the same BIOS, do yours have the same BIOS as well?

Just read about the igp, do disable it as it tends to cause trouble with discrete cards.
 
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#8
Just went in and manually set the PCIe lanes in the BIOS to 3.0. Now both cards read as x8 3.0 in GPU-Z with a load applied.

I also checked the BIOS for an explicit disable toggle for the iGPU and didn't see one. Multi-monitor is off, Memory is set to the lowest it will go, and I think there was a "render standby" that was enabled. My flash drive didn't want to cooperate for a BIOS screen print, or else I would have posted one of what I saw.

I just uninstalled the Lucid software. Maybe that was what was keeping the iGPU enabled.
 

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#9
wow I didn't realize there were 7970s out there that couldn't do 1100.. I have a reference release date 7970 and it does 1225
 
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#11
Still no luck disabling the IGP. Even with Lucid uninstalled it still keeps popping up as Generic VGA adapter despite me removing it. It actually for some reason just killed off the signal to my video cards and forced me to reboot. I'm seriously stumped as to what's going on.
 
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#12
here is instructions how to unlock afterburner:

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=182403

I recommend uninstalling your current AfterBurner before proceeding

1st - Dowload the latest MSI AfterBurner link located in Update above and install.
2nd - Locate the folder where MSI Afterburner installed to, open it, and locate the CFG file named MSIAfterburner. When you 1st dbl click this file it will ask you what program you want to use to open it, choose "Notepad" and click "ok" Once you have the MSIAfterburner CFG file open in notepad you need to change a couple of settings near the bottom:

UnofficialOverclockingEULA = I confirm that I am aware of unofficial overclocking limitations and fully understand that MSI will not provide me any support on it
UnofficialOverclockingMode = 1 (to keep PowerPlay active (may not work on old ASICs), 2 to traditionally disable PowerPlay or to 0 to temporary disable unofficial overclocking path)<--Do not type this, just for reference ;) I have mine set to = 1

After you have made these changes, DO NOT forget to click "file" and "save" before exiting notepad, or your changes will not take into effect!

Nvidia Users: Working just fine on my GTX 680, you are finished :evilgrin:

AMD/ATI Users: There are still additional step you need to take or your PC will lockup if you try to change any clocks or voltages in AfterBurner!

Once you have saved your changes in the CFG file, close notepad, click "start" and type "regedit" (with no quotes) in the search field near the bottom. A new window will open (pictured below), this is your Registry Editor.

Here is the path you need to follow - click on each folder, in order until you get to {4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

From there follow the instructions I have made on the picture! After you have finished, RESTART your PC and everything should work! If you do not restart your PC after making these changes, your PC WILL freeze up if you try to change your clocks or voltages in Afterburner!

http://imageshack.us.../regeditss.png/
 

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#13
Many 7970's now are voltage locked, and clock like crap(less than 1100). The better chips are now hitting the GHz SKUs, and that's that.

Easiest way to check for working voltage control is using Sapphire Trixx, you don't need some silly config file mod to unlock voltage control is available.
 
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#14
Many 7970's now are voltage locked, and clock like crap(less than 1100). The better chips are now hitting the GHz SKUs, and that's that.

Easiest way to check for working voltage control is using Sapphire Trixx, you don't need some silly config file mod to unlock voltage control is available.
Voltage tops out at 1175 on each card in Trixx. I guess I basically have slim to no chance of getting them up to GHz edition speeds then?
 
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#15
Voltage tops out at 1175 on each card in Trixx. I guess I basically have slim to no chance of getting them up to GHz edition speeds then?
All you have to do is flash the bios to the link I put up(GHz edition bios) or use Afterburner and follow the directions. I just flashed 3 cards that were locked with the bios.....
 
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#16
All you have to do is flash the bios to the link I put up(GHz edition bios) or use Afterburner and follow the directions. I just flashed 3 cards that were locked with the bios.....
Is there any concern of the cards being bricked or unstable because of low-quality memory or anything? My logic, though probably wrong, is telling me that if my cards crash every time above 1050, then GHz edition speeds would kill them.
 
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#18
GHz edition speed is 1000mhz. If your at 1175 your already above that
The 1175 is for the voltage. They're sitting at 1000/1425 for core and memory, respectively. The slider won't let me go past 1175 for voltage on either card.
 
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#19
Here is screen shots from CCC for all 3 cards. Read the post I gave you earlier...








 
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#20
Here is Trix. The cards were locked at 950/1425. I unlocked them altering the .cfg in Afterburner but CCC would still lock them max 1125/1475. I flashed them with the ati flash tool i put in the response earlier.... and trhats what I got. Here is Trixx. Now the cards are unlimited...

Here is the link. Try reading what we put up instead of strolling through the thread. Remember, flashing your cards bios is at your own risk....

http://icrontic.com/article/leaked-bios-easily-turns-radeon-hd-7970-into-ghz-edition

 

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#21
I don't think a bios flash is necessary. I'm running the original bios for my card 1125/1575 max clocks in CCC. With Trixx I can adjust beyond those clocks and set voltage over 1.35v.
 
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#22
Don't fixate on ASIC quality. Doesn't mean how high your card will overclock.

I have an MSI 7970 OC (water cooled) that runs at 1050/1500 without issue. ASIC = 59 and it's not over volted. Managed 1125 tops.
Funny how a lot of people saying ASIC doesn't matter advocate the added expense of water cooling. This is the first time I've seen anyone doing so only getting 1050 core on a 7970 though. You can spend less total money buying early and getting much better chance of high ASIC, high OC.

My Sapphire 7970 Dual X OC is only 61.5% ASIC quality. After lots of OC attempts I've just resigned to leaving it at 1000/1450 to avoid the headache of worrying about random artifacts here and there. I don't consider aftermarket air or water coolers to be a worthwhile gamble either, esp considering the cost.

From what I've seen, you buy late in the model cycle after prices drop and you're more likely to get low ASIC quality with high leakage and lousy OC results, esp on air. There are some exceptions of course, but for the most part I don't feel you can count on good OCing when buying late.

That said, I'm still consoled by the fact that at $330, it was a good deal anyway. I really do think you have to be careful how much you pay when buying late though. The GPU market is rigged to sell the best product quality early in the model cycle at higher prices. It just makes business sense.
 
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#23
Here is Trix. The cards were locked at 950/1425. I unlocked them altering the .cfg in Afterburner but CCC would still lock them max 1125/1475. I flashed them with the ati flash tool i put in the response earlier.... and trhats what I got. Here is Trixx. Now the cards are unlimited...

Here is the link. Try reading what we put up instead of strolling through the thread. Remember, flashing your cards bios is at your own risk....

http://icrontic.com/article/leaked-bios-easily-turns-radeon-hd-7970-into-ghz-edition

http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/qq77/AAdeath/4-2_zps60fb148c.png
Funny how a lot of people saying ASIC doesn't matter advocate the added expense of water cooling. This is the first time I've seen anyone doing so only getting 1050 core on a 7970 though. You can spend less total money buying early and getting much better chance of high ASIC, high OC.

My Sapphire 7970 Dual X OC is only 61.5% ASIC quality. After lots of OC attempts I've just resigned to leaving it at 1000/1450 to avoid the headache of worrying about random artifacts here and there. I don't consider aftermarket air or water coolers to be a worthwhile gamble either, esp considering the cost.

From what I've seen, you buy late in the model cycle after prices drop and you're more likely to get low ASIC quality with high leakage and lousy OC results, esp on air. There are some exceptions of course, but for the most part I don't feel you can count on good OCing when buying late.

That said, I'm still consoled by the fact that at $330, it was a good deal anyway. I really do think you have to be careful how much you pay when buying late though. The GPU market is rigged to sell the best product quality early in the model cycle at higher prices. It just makes business sense.

Some liquid cool GPU's for noise factor, others for benchmarks
 
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#24
Thats a relly good price for a 7970 some people are paying more for used ones on Flee Bay. Albeit they are the Asus version that everyone seems to want.
 
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#25
I bookmarked the link for the GHz Edition BIOS. I might end up trying that when I get my RMA'd card back. Does XFX's warranty cover BIOS modding at all? If there isn't any risk to throwing the GHz Edition BIOS on my cards I'm sold.

@ Frag Maniac, my card wasn't that bad of a price either. The first was a gift, and the second was $379 after rebate. It also comes with Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3 which I was going to buy anyways, so I consider that $120 off of the price tag as well.

I appreciate all the help and advice I've gotten here. Seems like 1035/1475 is stable for both cards so far, but I'll be experimenting more later tonight and tomorrow. That BIOS is sitting in an open tab and constantly tempting me.