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Overclocking Guide for noobs on their 4xx or 5xx series cards.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay so earlier this week I was looking for a overclocking guide and couldn't find one. So I did the logical thing I played around until I found what worked for me. This is also my first guide so any help would be aprecitated.

Do I need any special cooling considerations?
No, I am using the reference cooler on my GTX 580 and have hit the voltage wall before the thermal wall.

Okay so What do I need?
The first thing you will need is a Nvidia GTX 4xx or 5xx (I don't know if the older GPU's will do this.)
EVGA Precision
Some kind of stress testing (I used Folding @ Home I will explain why latter.)

Before we begin
First launch Folding @ Home or your stressing software and ensure it is configured to run with 100% of the GPU used (many benchmarks will use 100% at stock clocks but as you overclock it will use only about 80% GPU capability.
Second launch EVGA Precision and ensure that it is functioning it should look somthing like this 335
Except your clocks will be stock not OCed like mine (stress testing my 580 at 930MHz core).

Next familiarize yourself with the settings in precision itself explore all of the tabs and figure out what everything is WITHOUT changing any settings.

Okay now that we have done that we need (rather should) set a costume fan profile if you card supports it, here's why. The GTX 580's fan at default settings goes to 100% fan at 90C and when overclocked if you hit 90C you will likely keep getting hotter until you hit the 95C limit of the card before it under clocks itself. To set the fan profile go to settings and under the fan tab readjust the dots to something like this.
699
as you can see you should make the fan curve parabolic in shape, i like to go to 100% fan at 65C just so i have a quite a bit of headroom if i am not paying attention to my thermals.

ANYTHIG BEOND THIS POINT IS ALL YOU I HOLD NO LIABILITY FOR YOUR CARD IF YOU FRY IT.

Okay we are now ready to get free FPS.

So now you have installed a bunch of random software on your computer and messed with you Graphics Card's fan when will we Overclock!?!?
Have patience because it is now.

The first overclock should only be about 30 MHz on the shader clock so only a 15MHz core OC.

NOW STRESS TEST
OPTION 1
If you don't stress test you could end up ruining your card by going past what it can do and corrupting a lot of your data in the process.

So this is why I like to use Folding @ Home for my stress testing. It is extremely intolerant of instability, I have ran the traditional stress tests for about an hour and as soon as I launch Folding @ Home it kicks out saying the Machine is Unstable. When this happens it just stops partway through a work unit and gives you somthing like this in the log file (always check the log file if you think it kicked out from your OC)
524
Then open that up to get this
426
Next scroll down to the bottom then scroll up if it looks like this you just completed a work unit no worries.
425
However if it looks like this you need to bump your voltages
425

OPTION 2
(not recommended)
You can game or use the GPU in what you will be using it for for about an hour and if you don't notice anything wrong or pixels behaving strangely then go ahead and bump your clocks and repeat


Okay so now that F@H has said we have a Unstable Machine lets make it stable again. Open up precision and in the general tab select the configure voltages option and you will get a window like this.
224
Notice how mine is at the MAX that software will allow, this is perfectly safe it isn't until about 1.25V you need to start worrying, that said I STRONGLY recommend against volt modding your graphics card.

I was able to get my card F@H stable @ 930MHz Core and was able to run 3dmark 11 @ 985MHz core however this will not be obtainable with all cards.
Edited by zdude - 7/18/12 at 10:14am
post #2 of 13
Don't say "noob" if you can't spell guide... but thanks for the work.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raptorxrx View Post

Don't say "noob" if you can't spell guide... but thanks for the work.

sorry:( evidence of my great spelling
post #4 of 13
I'd ditch the folding from the guide, it's not very reliable for stress testing GPU's and over complicates things a little for beginners, I'm all for getting more people to fold but yeah, you know what I mean. If the GPU is only going to run FAH then fine but otherwise no.. I've had plenty of FAH stable overclocks that would fail in games, I even used to intentionally run clocks that were unstable while gaming but fine for FAH and lower them when I wanted to game.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeforceGTS View Post

I'd ditch the folding from the guide, it's not very reliable for stress testing GPU's and over complicates things a little for beginners, I'm all for getting more people to fold but yeah, you know what I mean. If the GPU is only going to run FAH then fine but otherwise no.. I've had plenty of FAH stable overclocks that would fail in games, I even used to intentionally run clocks that were unstable while gaming but fine for FAH and lower them when I wanted to game.

what would you suggest?
post #6 of 13
Most people will use Furmark etc but I think Furmark is ridiculous ;x

I just take my time testing in various games, a little folding too, a combination of everything basically. So maybe I was to hasty to say remove the folding bit completely tongue.gif
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeforceGTS View Post

Most people will use Furmark etc but I think Furmark is ridiculous ;x
I just take my time testing in various games, a little folding too, a combination of everything basically. So maybe I was to hasty to say remove the folding bit completely tongue.gif

the reason i used it is because it always is the first thing to tell me I am unstable by kicking out with the error message.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdude View Post

what would you suggest?

First, MSI Afterburner is what is usually recommended for OCing cards.
For stability testing, anything that stresses the GPU while rendering a 3d image. Heaven benchmark, Furmark, and anything that you can change graphics settings on and get the card to work hard.

Also, it depends on what youre going to do. If youre going to be folding (or other similar workloads), then by all means you want it to be stable while folding. If youre going to be playing games youre going to want to have it stable while rendering a 3d image.
    
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post #9 of 13
I personally don't like the idea of using F@H for stress testing. I would recommend OCCT.
It's a lot like furmark but has automatic error checking (handy for those little artifacts) and catches stuff a lot faster than any 3D mark, heaven, crysis etc run ever will.
However, that's only for core overclocking.
For memory clocking I haven't found a set-and forget solution yet (the F@H memory stresstest is horrible imho) so for now you'll have to sit behind your rig and check for artifacts yourself during heaven (or BF3, that game definitely bends my GTX570 over in terms of memory overclock ^^ )

PS:
If you get a black screen in OCCT ( you should see like a red fixed explosion/tunnel/whatever you want to call it) : use a resolution compatible with your aspect ratio and display specifications. (Personal settings: 1680*1050 for 16:10 for a longer fullscreen test, 1440*900 without fullscreen (that way I can bump up the clocks every 5 min without having to restart the stress test)

Video card stability is a personal matter. I've ntoiced a lot of people think their GPU is stable because it has been running their games flawlessly for the last X moths. And then they fire up OCCT and get errors all over the place. Well, if you're fine with the overclock you have now and it doesn't crash or artifact in games then that's fine.
But if you're going to fold (or show off your leet overclock here) then I'd appreciate it of you could make sure your graphics card is truly stable.
Edited by Bloitz - 2/20/12 at 10:14am
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post #10 of 13
I don't remember EVGA Precision having fan control but I swapped it out for MSI afterburner pretty fast. Afterburner has more on screen display options and video capturing.
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