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Need help overclocking Radeon 9550

LazyD

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#1
Hello

I've read the various guides and threads on overclocking this card, but so far have got no where due to a few problems. I've never overclocked anything before. Firstly this is my card:

ATI Radeon 9550 Powercolor 256mb 8x AGP


This is the information appearing in AtiTool 0.24 (which, by the way, is displaying no temp or fan speed information anywhere in the menus)

Catalyst version - 4.3
Device ID - 4153
Chip Type - RV350
Memory Size - 256 MB
Memory Bus Width - 128 MB
Active Pipelines - 4
Default GPU Clock - 250.00 Mhz
Default Mem Clock - 200.75 Mhz


I started by trying to flash the bios to a 9600 version, but I don't know which bios to use. In the guide on http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/107 it says to "Download a 9600 Pro Bios which matches your card's configuration. For example, if you have Samsung 4.0/5.0 you could use the Powercolor 9600 Pro 128 MB Bios dated 2003-08-23 11:56". I don't understand this, where does samsung come into it? They manufacture the ram chips on the card or something? Or the whole card? My card is made by Ati and the chips on the card display this information:

"Elixir 0408
N2DS25616BT-5T
025V0AFY TW"

I googled for the longest number, but found a few pdf's which made my browser crash and some other information which consisted mainly of numbers and was of no help. Someone said to look for the speed in nanoseconds? Even if I found this, how would it help me choose which BIOS to download and flash my card with as the bios download pages contain no information on the speed (in nanoseconds?) of the memory. Basically I don't know what I'm looking for and don't understand the instructions on how to look for it.

Then I tried to edit my existing bios as suggested by Nobru_rv, so I checked the max core and memory settings with AtiTool. The automatic checker just confused me even more, so I followed trog100's advice and checked them manually (after setting "apply clock immediately after moving slider"). After a few restarts from hitting the max core speed, I found that to be about 450 Mhz, according to AtiTool. Then I checked the memory max speed with the core speed back at 250 and found the maximum to be between 220 and 225, it varied (and seemed to allow a much smaller increase than the average before the appearance of artifacts, only 20 Mhz...?). Armed with this information I thought I would try to overclock it with the core at 400 and the memory at 210 for now, so I dumped the existing bios and opened it in RadEdit 1.1.02beta. This is where I got confused once again, RadEdit shows the Bios Title as: RV350LX 256MB B817D16.sa525b, which seems to be ok. But then displays the following information on the core and memory speeds:

Effective Memory Clock: 398.25 Mhz (Type memory DDR)
Real memory Clock: 398.25 Mhz (59 * 6.75 Mhz)
Real Core Clock: 249.75 Mhz (37 * 6.75 Mhz)

Hmm, so considering it was showing the memory speed to be double that what it shows up in AtiTool, I left these settings and did not make a new bios. The core speed shown in RadEdit is exactly the same as the core speed shown in AtiTool when I revert it to default (249.75), however you can see there is a big inconsistency between the two programs with the memory speed. So I am stuck as to how I can overclock this card for now.

Sorry this post is so long, but perhaps others may have had the same problems, I thought I would explain it in full to try and clear it up easier. Any and all help much appreciated

Thanks!
 

Jimmy 2004

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#2
Ok, I'll try to answer all your questions. Yes, Samsung do manufacture memory chips, but not yours. Yours are made by Elixer and are 5.0ns chips (lower numbers are better, yours is slow memory like mine). Modding your own bios is a good way to go (it's what I did). Your core seems to overclock well, and you can't expect much of 5.0ns memory so that's not a bad speed to get.

The reason you have an inconsistency between ATI tool and RadEdit is linked to DDR. I'm not an expert on how it works, but effectively 200MHz memory has 400MHz memory bandwidth so RadEdit is reporting the DDR speed (it just gets multiplied x2). So in RadEdit I'd recommend setting your speeds at 440 core and 420 memory, possibly put the core down to 430 to be conservative. Good luck flashing your new bios!
 

Ketxxx

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#3
First and formost, are you using stock cooling? and is it passive or active?
 

LazyD

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#4
Thanks Jimmy2004, what you said about the ram makes sense I guess. Any Idea why I seem to get a relatively low increase in ram speed? And also, what bios to flash to?

In response to ketxxx's question, I am using the fan that came on the card, it also has a small heatsink underneath. There is a close up picture of it on this page if you scroll down a little:
http://www.techniz.co.uk/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=116

That's the exact cooling I have, although the rest of the spec featured there isn't what I have. Incidentally, that fan has recently started making a lot of noise which subsided for a day or two when I cleaned the dust out so I have ordered new cooling, this one:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VIDEO-CARD-CO...ryZ80151QQssPageNameZWD2VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I ordered that one because it was one of the only I could find that would fit the card at
that kind of price. Although since ordering I have found what looks to be the exact same cooler I have but by another make. It spins about 500rpm faster than the one I have ordered, and is only a couple of pounds. Should I get this one instead? Here it is:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Aluminum...86694559QQcategoryZ131489QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks for your help.
 

Jimmy 2004

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#5
I don't know much about cooling so can't help you on that, most 5.0ns memory like yours can't go above 220MHz, 230MHz is often pushing it and mine only reaches 210MHz. The only thing you could do to try and help that would be to get ramsinks to help cool the memory a bit.
 

Ketxxx

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#6
the cooler in the first link. if i didnt get screwed over by usps for postage to uk id get that fan for a lil project im up to. but that lil wee fan, not even a quarter of a kg and postage to uk will be $12.80? or $21 to get it in a reasonable time? get real.

anyway moving swiftly on.

fit that new cooler when u get it and see how far it takes you. also update your drivers their well old. latest officialati drivers are 6.5.
 

Jimmy 2004

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Memory 1GB Kingston PC3200 (2x512MB)
Video Card(s) Saphire 256MB X800 GTO @ 450MHz/560MHz (Core/Memory)
Storage 500GB Western Digital SATA II + 80GB Maxtor DiamondMax SATA
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#7
Wow... didn't spot that. Catalyst 4.3!! Would've been released in march 2004, probably can't play any new games very well!