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Please provide feedback on my 2500k/6950 over-clocking strategy

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by JamesWatt, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. JamesWatt New Member

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    A few days ago, I bought the following machine.

    Intel Core i5-2500K
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6950 2GB
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24
    Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SATA III
    ASRock P67 PRO3
    COOLER MASTER HAF 912
    XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

    While I’ve been waiting for it to show up, I’ve come up with a plan for over-clocking it. I would appreciate it if you let me know how I can make my plan better.

    I am looking to increase the performance of games like Mass Effect 2 and Left 4 Dead 2.

    I am going to use these benchmarks to measure my improvement:
    Far cry 2
    Stalker call of Pripyat
    Heaven

    In principle, my strategy for the CPU, CPU memory, GPU, and GPU memory is:
    1) Ensure that the component I bought is stable at advertised speeds.
    2) Assuming it is, identify a maximum voltage given my risk tolerance.
    3) Set the voltage to the highest value I will tolerate.
    4) Identify a maximum temperature given my risk tolerance.
    5) Increase the clock
    6) Test whether the component is stable and that I am below my temperature tolerance.
    7) If unstable or above my temperature tolerance, then decrease clock and test again.

    My goal with the voltage and temperature tolerances is to hit a point where I am getting a good performance increase, but not seriously diminishing the longevity of the part. Please let me know if any of the values I provide below are too conservative or aggressive given this goal.

    I don’t want to run stress tests for too long, because I don’t want over-clocking the machine to take forever. However, if I run them for too short, I may miss stability issues. I am inclined towards an hour per test. Is this a reasonable place for striking this balance?
     
  2. JamesWatt New Member

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    Here is how this strategy plays out for each component.

    CPU
    1) Run prime95 for an hour to make sure I got a good processor. Then, before increasing voltage and clock, I will make the following bios changes: set LLC to ultra high and disable speed-step.
    2) I am willing to go to a 1.4 core voltage.
    3) Set the voltage to a 1.4 core voltage in BIOS.
    4) I will tolerate a maximum of 60 degrees Celsius at load.
    5) Increase the multiplier until I hit my temperature tolerance. I am going to start with 40 and then increase one at a time. I am not touching the base clock, as I am concerned about screwing up things like my SSD.
    6) After each increase, I will run prime95 for an hour.
    7) If unstable or above my temperature tolerance, then decrease clock and test again.

    CPU memory
    1) Run memtest86+ for an hour
    2) I am willing to go up to a 1.6 memory voltage. I will increase VTT to 1.1 to ensure that it is within 0.5V of the memory voltage.
    3) Make the above changes in bios.
    4) I’m not worried about memory temperature. Should I be?
    5) Increase the clock and/or decrease the latency.
    6) After each increase, I will run memtest86+ for an hour.
    7) If unstable or above my temperature tolerance, then decrease clock and test again.

    I am not sure whether increasing the memory clock or lowering the memory latency will make a bigger difference in games. I would be curious to hear what you expect. For example, is a latency of 7 cycles @ 1600 Mhz better than 9 at 1866?

    GPU
    1) Run FurMark for an hour. Then, before over-clocking, I will increase power control in overdrive to +20% and flash my card with a 6950 bios that has the dormant shaders unlocked.
    2) I am willing to increase VDDC to 1.175. For, the folks who bricked their 6950s by flashing them to 6970s seemed to do so because the graphics memory voltage was too high, not because of an issue with the graphics core voltage.
    3) Set the voltage as described above in MSI After-burner.
    4) I am willing to have the card run at 70 degrees C at load.
    5) Increase the clock after unlocking the >840 adjustments in MSI Afterburner.
    6) Run FurMark for an hour.
    7) If unstable or above my temperature tolerance, then decrease clock and test again.

    GPU memory
    1) Run “Video memory stress test” for an hour.
    2) I am going to leave the memory voltage where it is. For, it sounds like the cause of the 6950s that were flashed 6970 and bricked was over-voltaging the memory.
    3) I am not changing the voltage.
    4) I am not measuring the temperature on the graphics memory.
    5) Increase the memory clock in MSI Afterburner.
    6) Run FurMark for an hour.
    7) If unstable, then decrease clock and test again.

    As I write this, I am concerned that this GPU memory strategy is too aggressive. For, it is ambiguous whether the high memory voltage or high memory temperature was the cause of the bricked 6950s that were flashed to become 6970s. I haven’t been able to find guidance on what graphics memory temperatures are safe, so I am reluctant to proceed obliviously. Though, this wouldn’t be an issue if an increase in clock without an increase in voltage has a negligible impact on temperature. Does anyone know if this is the case for graphics memory? If not, do you know if it is the case for the CPU, the CPU memory or the GPU?
     
  3. Over_Lord

    Over_Lord News Editor

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    nice strategy... try undervolting
     
  4. JamesWatt New Member

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    Which component and why?
     

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