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Got some trouble with ASUS 7970 directcu II

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#1
Ok, so I returned my MSI 7950 and got the ASUS 7970 instead, price drop ftw, but not sure how much I like it as I am having some difficulties with it.

First, it seems the voltage is locked to 1.17V as per HWiNFO64. I cannot use the voltage in MSI Afterburner, not does ticking voltage monitor & control does anything (voltage is not there).

Now all was nice and dandy, and I had my 2D clocks at 300/150, just like my old MSI 7950. I have installed GPU Tweak from ASUS, and I tried that one, but the voltage is locked there too. Then I tried an older version of GPU Tweak. Some people mentioned that might allow me to change the voltage. No success either.

However, since installing that old version now my desktop clocks stay at 500/1400 memory. (i have it currently OC'ed to 1100/1400). I can no longer get the clocks down to 300/150.

Now I am not sure if the 300/150 were ghost clocks from my MSI 7950, or if the ASUS 7970 did actually had 300/150 clocks. But I would really like to have those clocks back for desktop use (no point in burning away heat when watching a movie or browsing).

Also I would really like if possible to find a way to unlock the voltage, to unleash the card. Right now the card stays under 70c at under 50% fan. such a waste.

I don't really like GPU Tweak, so I would prefer not to use it. I'd like to be able to continue using MSI Afterburner, especially since I can use the OC without having to have MSI AB started on windows startup unlike GPU Tweak.
 
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#2
Hi

First try reinstalling last stable drivers

If are familiar with AtiFlash and invalidating warranty is not a concern; have a look here this may be of interest.

Note: always make a backup of vbios before flashing

atb (all the best)

Law-II
 
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#3
I have used that program atiman that you mentioned in the other thread. Interestingly enough, after reinstalling the drivers, now my card has a core of 460 and 685 memory under load and 300/685 on windows.

I have used MSI AB again to reapply the clocks to 1100/1400, but under desktop my clocks are still 500/1400.

If I flash with vBIOS, and then reflash back my original BIOS, would ASUS know I flashed it?

Also, wouldnt this card have a 300/150 clock on idle? What could be the reason it no longer applies it. Would I need to fully format?

EDIT: I opened my 7970 BIOS with VBE7, and indeed clock state 3 is only 300/150. Not sure why it's not getting activated. I must have messed something up when I kept going with ASUS GPU Tweaker.
 
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#4
I have used MSI AB again to reapply the clocks to 1100/1400, but under desktop my clocks are still 500/1400.
Uninstall all third party overclocking / vga utilities / set catalyst control centre [under preferences: restore factory defaults] uninstall drivers once again and reinstall

If I flash with vBIOS, and then reflash back my original BIOS, would ASUS know I flashed it?
Unless you tell Asus they would not know; saying that, if the procedure went wrong and or vbios corrupted or locked, due to the recovery procedure process they would; as this could involve removing the fan sink.

Also, wouldnt this card have a 300/150 clock on idle? What could be the reason it no longer applies it. Would I need to fully format?
(format as a last resort) try and find a restore point before asus gpu tweaker and msi; *may have to check the registry for left overs from asus and msi

EDIT: I opened my 7970 BIOS with VBE7, and indeed clock state 3 is only 300/150. Not sure why it's not getting activated. I must have messed something up when I kept going with ASUS GPU Tweaker.
Indeed this is a registry issue; as you mentioned *most likely a software conflict

atb

Law-II
 
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#5
Ok found the problem in regards to the 300/150 clocks on desktop.

It seems those clocks no longer apply (and UVD state is always applied - 500/1400, or whatever the memory OC is) if I have my 2nd monitor connected.

I just realised at some point during GPU Tweak/MSI AB I connected my second monitor to have the sensors online. I did not had my second monitor connected when I had the MSI 7950 because that card only came with 1 DVI (both my monitors only have DVI connection).

So now my question is. Is there a way to have state 3 clocks, 300/150 with both my monitors connected? I would like the energy savings and lower thermals of not having my clocks to almost 3D application while my computer just idles or I watch movies
 
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#6
Hi

So now my question is. Is there a way to have state 3 clocks, 300/150 with both my monitors connected? I would like the energy savings and lower thermals of not having my clocks to almost 3D application while my computer just idles or I watch movies
It *may be possible adjust CCC [.XML]

Are able to edit the CCC; xml file? [#ProfileName#.xml]
example:
C:\Users\#UserName#\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles.xml
example:
<Property name="Want_0" value="30000" /> = 2D Clock =300Mhz
<Property name="Want_1" value="55000" /> = UVD Clock =550Mhz
<Property name="Want_2" value="92500" /> = 3D Clock =925Mhz

Note: *need to enable show hidden files and folders under view in folder options and enable file extensions

** however if these settings work they would have to be reapplied each time a driver is installed.

Warning: adjusting these settings *may course the second display to flicker

atb (all the best)

Law-II
 

newtekie1

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#7
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#8
Thanks for the reply guys.

I found a thread on these forums where a guy says that the AMD is suppose to maintain the high clocks when more than 1 monitor is connected

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-140164.html

Personally I find it a waste, I can't see how a desktop extension needs a jump from 300/150 to 500/1400 (basically the memory clock being the biggest jump)

I will try your suggestion Law, see if that .xml changes anything

As for my voltage lock, if I do need to flash the bios to change the voltage, now with the help of darkhmz and his awesome VBE7, it's a much better idea to just edit the bios myself, rather than to apply with bioses found over the net like the Asus 7970 Matrix BIOS right?
 

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#9
I don't remember the reason behind it, but I do remember there being a reason why adding the second monitor needs the jump. It happens on the nvidia side too, so I know there is a reason behind it.
 
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#10
Hi

it's a much better idea to just edit the bios myself
Yes; just keep a backup of the original [keep this in a safe place]/ edit a copy and only flash switch position #1 if the vga card has dual bios.

Download GPU-Z here - http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/
Example:
GPU-Z.jpg
*Save to file
Make a copy of the extracted vga bios to modify [*Keep a backup in a safe place*]

or

Create a bootable USB flash drive
go here http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/browse.php?c=21
-download - HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - v2.1.8 & Windows 98 System Files

click Primary Download unzip the files to a folder on your HDD; make sure your USB Flash Drive is attached to your PC; open HP USB Disk

Storage Format Tool v2.1.8 ; select Create a DOS startup disk/ select: using DOS system files located at: (these are the files you have just downloaded): browse to the files in win98boot; then start the process.

copy aitflash.exe onto the USB Flash Drive
latest atiflash here

select USB bootable in motherboard bios and boot to dos prompt and type the following command:
atiflash -s 0 OldBackup.bin EDIT either .bin or .rom file extinctions can be used

"0" zero is if your card is in the 1st PCIe slot

Note: Before flashing in DOS uninstall AMD Catalyst Drivers

atb

Law-II
 
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#11
Yeah its very easy to mod the bios with the new tool! Great for 7970 overclocking in my experience but my 7970 sucked.
 
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#12
Thanks a lot for all the info.

I am not very familiar with GPU's having dual bioses. I'm almost 100% sure mine does. I can see a switch next to where cross fire usually goes. But there is no indication which is BIOS 1 or BIOS 2. Also, not sure what is meant by "locking" the bios.
And should I use GPU-Z to save the original bios from both position 1 & 2 for each bios?
 
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#13
Hi

But there is no indication which is BIOS 1 or BIOS 2.?
By default the vga card will ship with the switch in position #1

not sure what is meant by "locking" the vbios.?
Locking is WP = write protect; this should stop the vbios from being flashed with the wrong vbios image; however this has been circumvented by force flashing and can stop recovery of the original image. In most cases a write protected vbios image from another vga card/different model and or manufacturer has been flashed or where individuals forget to move the switch back to position #1 when recovering their vbios.

Should I use GPU-Z to save the original bios from both position 1 & 2 for each bios?
That should not be necessary backup default position #1
[*switch position #2 is a recovery vbios that is write protected and should never be flashed]

atiflash command lines here
Thanks go out to CrackerJack

Command Lines for flashing as follow:
atiflash -ai 0 [shows vga adapter information, use this command first]

atiflash -s 0 Oldbackup.rom
[makes a backup copy of the vbios image prior to flashing]
(.bin or .rom file extension can be changed; however atiflash may prefer .rom extension)

Type DIR to check contents of Flash Drive [to see backup vbios image]

atiflash -p -f 0 VbiosName.rom [will flash the vga card]

On the bootable USB flash Drive will need atiflash and edited vbios image and a *copy of the backup vbios.

atb

Law-II
 
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#14
Cheers for the walk through.

Unfortunately it seems that my card crapped out :/

It started suddenly in one of my gaming session. All of the sudden redish rainbow artifacts shooting from the center of the screen. Did that a couple of times. I decided to close the game.
All of the sudden my screen goes gray, with what it appeared to be squares.

The only way it would work is without the drivers. As soon as I install the drivers and I try to open up HWiNFO64 or Catalyst center, it would give a blue screen (not the BSOD, but just blue screen).

I did OC'ed it. I managed to get a nice 1125/1500, and it ran fine while benchmarking it in Heaven 4.0. Temps never went over 75c. It was a great overlocked :confused:. Never had artifacts or crashed.

And of course the voltage was the stock 1.17v.

Going to have to RMA it. Not sure if I want to force the clocks on the new card. Tho I don't think a GPU should crap out if you push the OC, especially if you use the defalt voltage. It could become instable, but should be fine again if you just loose the clocks a bit. I mean there are reviews and people using them with 1.25 or 1.3v and 1200 mhz.

I have no facts, but it feels that the card might have crapped out even without OC'ing it, but it would have just taken longer. At least I have the 30 days within purchase to return to retailer, rather than to have to ship to ASUS for RMA. Better to find out flaws now than later, right?
 
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#15
Hi

Better to find out flaws now than later, right?
Sorry to hear of your loss; this is certainly not the norm.

Saying that as manufactures strive to produce OC versions of their cards and tend to bin (bin= sort wafers) the GPU's for quality and use the best wafers (wafer = GPU) for the top end cards it is becoming more of a lottery as to whether cards that use lower binned wafers will OC and play nice.

Your right better now than later; the card may have been a lemon, but still not nice.

Hopefully a minor setback, better luck with the next card

atb

Law-II
 
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#16
Will report again tomorrow after I exchange it.

In your opinion just OC'ing the clocks (without modifying the voltage) can also damage the card?

What OC's would you personally put if you had this card (provided that OC is stable)?

And I have no idea if I'm wrong or not, but wouldn't slightly increase the voltage "take away" the stress of running those higher OC?
 
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#17
Hi

In your opinion just OC'ing the clocks (without modifying the voltage) can also damage the card?
Yes; Overclocking a card can damage it; period. [anything beyond manufactures default core and memory]

What OC's would you personally put if you had this card (provided that OC is stable)?
This is not a linear question, all vga cards can differ from system to system and or at component level and unfortunately dose not have an off the peg answer.

Note: 1100 core & 1400 memory was a good overclock for the ASUS 7970 direct cu II sample [Based on ASUS 7970 direct cu II Top default clock's] after looking Asus web site it looks possible that Asus chose to use the higher binned wafers for their Matrix series

Factors to be built in to the OC process for Single and Cross fired Cards
-New or second-hand; test the card at default to ensure the card dose not carry a fault
-Fabrication process of the GPU [differs from one to another some OC well and other not so well]
-With AMD 7XXX series vga cards Check ASIC using GPU-Z as a general guide for how the GPU should perform
-all cards are different even if they are the same model
[General Rule of Thumb; find out the max OC for each card/s individually and then use the lowest OC for both cards, increase 5~10Mhz on core in stages test at each stage, if the system freezes you have gone to far, lower the OC by 40Mhz and then start the same process with the MEM increase 5~10Mhz once you get artifacts back the OC down by 40Mhz; Use GPU-Z to keep an eye on *VRM Temps these can rise quickly when OC's are applied Keep these between 70~80c : 85c Max]

Note: During this process it may be necessary to hard reset the system and could course a loss of data; therefore backup all mission critical data and or use a spare hdd or ssd with a windows install.
Example ONLY
Useful Vid on youtube

-Adjust vga card fan speed manually or set an aggressive fan profile
-Be aware that some games do not like OC's and testing with each game as well as benchmarks is necessary
-Coolers differ [When using cards in crossfire: While one card may cope well with heat the other may not; Place the cooler card at the bottom]
-When using cards in crossfire make sure the OC is synchronised, most third party OC software will allow for this
-Make sure the drivers are stable; if they are unstable they will crash the OC
-Check that the motherboard is setup and chipset drivers are up to date [Run CPU and MEM at default speeds while testing vga card OC]

Note: use afterburner, sapphire Trixx or other third party software to OC to attain stable core and memory clocks that can be used 24/7 before flashing a vga card

Wouldn't slightly increase the voltage "take away" the stress of running those higher OC?
Voltage = Heat & Heat = Stress
First ascertain max clocks on default voltage / then *up the voltage [*in small increments] for stability for core clock and then memory clock all the time keeping a close eye on CORE< MEM & VRM temps

Note: see what others with that card have managed to achieve to get a rough idea on how hard to push the card, be carful to read between the lines.

atb

Law-II
 
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#18
Thanks. I'l take my time to work out that OC.

Like I mentioned on my old card it never had any kind of artifacting or crashing. Nor did the temperatures went past 75c (I did had a custom fan profile making sure of that).

I looked around at some reports on that thread, and most people run over 1100 on the 7970, or even 7950. Granted most are MSI's.

I will keep this updated, for now I don't really have time the next 2 days, so I will install the card tomorrow night. I would almost just run an average clock of 1050/1500 no matter how high it could clock, but seeing a lot of people getting really solid clocks, most rising the voltage too (which as you mentioned, puts even more stress, something I still have not done on my card that collapsed), almost makes me hope that the reason that card collapsed was because it was a lemon, rather than my 1100 clocks on default voltage.
 
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#19
Hi

I would be interested to see the ASIC of the new card and *VRM temps at stock/default core, mem & volts, after two hours of gaming.

atb

Law-II
 
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#20
Well got the new card. This one didn't even boot in windows. I got a nice gray screen with vertical stripes..

After restart it did the same as my collapsed card. Screen stayed black. Unplugged my second monitor (which allowed me to boot into windows with the collapsed card, but would still get blue screens - not BSOD - if I tried to access catalyst, play movie or game) but with this one, I get the same gray screen with vertical stripes.

I am even questioning if it might not be my motherboard, but then again, right now I am using my computer with my old 4870, and it works fine.
 

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#21
Thanks for the reply guys.

I found a thread on these forums where a guy says that the AMD is suppose to maintain the high clocks when more than 1 monitor is connected

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-140164.html

Personally I find it a waste, I can't see how a desktop extension needs a jump from 300/150 to 500/1400 (basically the memory clock being the biggest jump)

I will try your suggestion Law, see if that .xml changes anything

As for my voltage lock, if I do need to flash the bios to change the voltage, now with the help of darkhmz and his awesome VBE7, it's a much better idea to just edit the bios myself, rather than to apply with bioses found over the net like the Asus 7970 Matrix BIOS right?
Sorry to hear about your card issues. The reason they boosted the clocks on when using 2 monitors was because the lower clocks were causing "Grey Screen" issues because there wasn't enough power at those low clocks clocks to maintain 2 monitors.
 
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#22
Unfortunately I got that gray screen even when I only connected one monitor. It must be another faulty card right? It's not my motherboard, as I am using my old 4870 and it's running fine.
 
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#23
Hi

It must be another faulty card right?
Test the vga card in another system, if same result RMA and or return it to the supplier; maybe ask for a different brand/model as a replacement if they are willing.

atb

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#24
Well, managed to get that replacement card working. I updated my mobo BIOS, and made sure I uninstalled all the Radeon drivers before taking out my 4870 and putting back in the 7970.

Anyway, I did the ASIC quality, and as I feared, this replacement 7970 is not that great. Only 63.5%

Now, the card did came sealed, but I found "scuff marks" on it, and slightly darkened aluminum (where the connectors at the back are), telling me that this might have been an RMA, sent to ASUS, ASUS refurbished it, and it got sent back to where I bought my original 7970, and they gave me this.

Currently just set it at a very modest overclock of 1000/1400. Will see how it behaves in the next couple of days, and I will be increasing the clock regularly every 20 or so every day, running a 3dmark, 3dmark 11 and Heaven 4.0 Benchmark after clock, and then gaming in my spare time, until rising it again next day if no artifacts/crashes occur. I'l give it today and tomorrow tho to make sure it's stable as is

edit: Interestingly enough and as a side note, my CPU is not bouncing between x36 and x38 multiplier (3.6-3.8 ghz). Before it stayed at 3.8 all the time. Maybe a result of the BIOS update...
 
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#25
Hi

Will see how it behaves in the next couple of days
Seem like a good plan

Maybe a result of the BIOS update...
may be worth a shot if have not already done so; try loading default bios settings and setting the overclock up once more tweak values

atb

Law-II