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Warning - ATI Radeon 9800pro nearly fried



Hi, just a small warning to fellow users trying to oc an Radeon 9800pro 128mb (in my case a Gainward).
I know my card quite well and due to less than optimal cooling and not-to-good memory chips it ususally won't run over 360 Mhz memory clock without artifacts. After installing the new catalyst driver I decided to try ATITool for my overclocking needs.
I tried finding the highest possible memory clock automatically, clicked on the button and went to work with my other pc, having an eye on ATItool. I noticed the clock is increased very quickly. With great suprise I found it went up to 380Mhz (!) without artifacts (!) until it ran into some problem and started to lower the clock again. Being a bit paranoid I stopped the process and instantly lowered the clock to stock values. After then everything went downhill quickly. I had artifacts galore even on the desktop and even after lowering the clock speeds way below defaults. After running the card at 200/200 with maximum fan speeds I switched my machine off. Luckily the card survived and went back to normal. I'm quite sure a few more moments with speeds of 375Mhz+ would have sent my gfx card into display adapter nirvana for good.
Browsing through older forum posts I found several people have damaged their 9800pro's memory chips with ATITool. Seemingly it does not detect artifacts early enough and stays at way too high clock speeds for too long.

My theory: Some Radeon 9800s have an unhealthy tolerance for small gradual increases in memory clock speed and will not display artifacts until heat death, at least not with the testing ATITool does. Do not use "Find Max Mem" with these cards!

"Find Max Core" works as expected and did find the same working clock speed I found manually.


New Member
Aug 11, 2004
137 (0.02/day)
Yore wrong most likely (which is almost a good thing in this case :D). The memory got a bit hot, or went too high. I got my memory stuck at 460 or so for like a minute (lol, i was bein dumb or somethin) and it caused no damage. Your memory just doesnt happen to like that speed. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that a few more seconds could do damage.

But yes. Some radeons clock well, some dont. Theres no reason to be scared of the findmax fuction either :p. If you had a different raddy, i bet it wouldnt have done the same thing :)