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Need a little help with my crossfire, and trying to overclock

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, so I'm getting into the high end of computers with my purchase of a 2nd powercolor vortex 2 7970. I have a few questions however. First a little background these cards don't seem to overclock very well for long periods of time. Eventually the voltage goes to where it pleases despite what I set it at in afterburner.

My second newer card (bottom of the crossfire config) runs at a lower voltage than my orinal card, I'm not at home but the original is stock volt of 1.194(seems really high, and the second card is 1.156. These cards do have quite a decent overclock out of the box 1100/1425, but if possible I'd like to push it a little further.

What I experienced in longer sessions with the first card is that it wouldn't heat up very much, but when I ran a gaming session of about 15-20 minutes it would reset the card and put it at super low clock speeds like 300/500. I wouldn't get crashes in any stress testers like heaven, or 3dmark but it just wasn't stable in normal gaming.

Now my top card is capable of getting quite hot. I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a fan profile set up in afterburner, but it never seems to kick in so I just set it all manually. When I set it to 100% fan the top card is running mid-80's after about 30-45 minutes under stress. Anyway for my questions

1) Would I be better off putting the card with lower voltages on top?

2) Is it worth changing the thermal paste on these two cards? Has the factory done a decent job to put thermal paste on my 430 dollar GPU?

3) Anyone have any clue why despite having voltages fixed via afterburner they'd be changing on their own? Also afterburner doesn't display correct voltage only GPU-Z does.

Any other advice or help to someone new to the high end computing world would be greatly appreciated as well. Thank you all!

Chris
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niexist View Post

My second newer card (bottom of the crossfire config) runs at a lower voltage than my orinal card, I'm not at home but the original is stock volt of 1.194(seems really high, and the second card is 1.156. These cards do have quite a decent overclock out of the box 1100/1425, but if possible I'd like to push it a little further.

Go into settings in AB and enable voltage control and voltage monitoring and make sure that you have "synronize settings for similar graphics processors" enabled. Also, you should be using a newer version of AB like 3.0.0 beta 6 or beta 7. Now since your temps are so high (I'll get to that later) just set the voltage to 1.15 and keep your OC that you have now, (I'll explain later)
Quote:
What I experienced in longer sessions with the first card is that it wouldn't heat up very much, but when I ran a gaming session of about 15-20 minutes it would reset the card and put it at super low clock speeds like 300/500. I wouldn't get crashes in any stress testers like heaven, or 3dmark but it just wasn't stable in normal gaming.

This is called ULPS. It is an ultra lower power state that the second card goes into. You want to disable this. You can do it through the settings in a newer version of afterburner.
Quote:
Now my top card is capable of getting quite hot. I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a fan profile set up in afterburner, but it never seems to kick in so I just set it all manually. When I set it to 100% fan the top card is running mid-80's after about 30-45 minutes under stress. Anyway for my questions

You should try to avoid letting your cards ever getting to these temps. What you want to do is buy some Coolaboratory Liquid Ultra and apply it to your GPU. You will have to take the cooler off which is a really easy thing to do and then use a lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe off the old thermal paste and apply the liquid ultra. You will see temp drops of about 20c and THEN you can raise the voltage and raise your OC.
Quote:
1) Would I be better off putting the card with lower voltages on top?
No
Quote:
2) Is it worth changing the thermal paste on these two cards? Has the factory done a decent job to put thermal paste on my 430 dollar GPU?
YES! Read above^ Do your research on liquid ultra before applying. Just remember that it is conductive and is all you need is a thin layer. It is a little expensive, but it is HANDS DOWN the best TIM you can get.
Quote:
3) Anyone have any clue why despite having voltages fixed via afterburner they'd be changing on their own? Also afterburner doesn't display correct voltage only GPU-Z does.
Are they "boost" cards?
Quote:
Any other advice or help to someone new to the high end computing world would be greatly appreciated as well. Thank you all!
Also you should overclock your CPU a little bit and it might help your FPS a little bit.

Chris[/quote]
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks some very excellent information on the low power state. Also I do overclock my 2500k processor to 4.7 ghz, that's why I have an h100 liquid cooling unit on it. As far as the TIM you mentioned, you're saying 20 degree difference? I've been looking to find info on this but I can't see anything that says this stuff stands out head and shoulders above other thermal pastes. Do you have any sources for the 20 degree difference you are saying?
post #4 of 16
I wouldn't recommend syncing similar settings for your GPUs if they are using different voltages, because that will cause one to use the same voltage as the other card which can result in instability. (unless they have changed this with the most recent build of afterburner)

I would recommend putting on some new thermal paste however because sometimes paste on these cards is not great.

Your top card will be hotter in crossfire because it has the other card heating it up as well. I ended up buying aftermarket coolers for my cards (arctic accelero 7970). If I had to do it again I think I would just water cool the GPUs for all the money I spent on an aftermarket aircoolers.

For some immediate results I think your best bet is to repace the paste on your cards.
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niexist View Post

Thanks some very excellent information on the low power state. Also I do overclock my 2500k processor to 4.7 ghz, that's why I have an h100 liquid cooling unit on it. As far as the TIM you mentioned, you're saying 20 degree difference? I've been looking to find info on this but I can't see anything that says this stuff stands out head and shoulders above other thermal pastes. Do you have any sources for the 20 degree difference you are saying?

http://www.coollaboratory.com/en/products/liquid-ultra/

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10740/thr-77/Coollaboratory_Liquid_Ultra_100_Metal_Thermal_Interface_Material.html

CL Liquid Ultra is probably the best TIM you can buy. ask around in the HD 7900 users thread if its safe to use it .

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-November-2011/1430
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchkinpuncher View Post

I wouldn't recommend syncing similar settings for your GPUs if they are using different voltages, because that will cause one to use the same voltage as the other card which can result in instability. (unless they have changed this with the most recent build of afterburner)

I would recommend putting on some new thermal paste however because sometimes paste on these cards is not great.

Your top card will be hotter in crossfire because it has the other card heating it up as well. I ended up buying aftermarket coolers for my cards (arctic accelero 7970). If I had to do it again I think I would just water cool the GPUs for all the money I spent on an aftermarket aircoolers.

For some immediate results I think your best bet is to repace the paste on your cards.

Thanks for the tip regarding syncing settings. If I were to decide to go with water cooling, I'm noticing this card is not compatible through the EK website. My case is set up to accept water cooling so I'm wondering how much work it would be.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niexist View Post

Thanks for the tip regarding syncing settings. If I were to decide to go with water cooling, I'm noticing this card is not compatible through the EK website. My case is set up to accept water cooling so I'm wondering how much work it would be.

Its not really alot work per se...It just takes alot of planning ahead. Getting the proper components, fittings, visualizing how the loop will be....Key things that many have informed me here on OCN when it comes to watercooling is to be patient, plan, plan, and plan ahead. Good luck.
 
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm doing a little research, and I'm wondering if I can even get a waterblock on this GPU. From what I understand I would take the cooler off the same as if I was changing the thermal paste and in place of it would go another piece that runs the water through. I'm going to go ahead and order the thermal paste you guys are recommending. but I'd really like to consider watercooling as this is really my dream system and I've spared no expense thus far.

According to the coolingconfigurator website, if I'm reading it correctly the following would work

http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/step1_complist?gpu_gpus=686

What would be my best choice for one of these?

Can I purchase a kit for the rest or am I just limited to purchasing part by part?

Both of these cards are very low ASIC, a 57.8, and 60.3, according to gpu-z these would be MUCH better suited to watercooling. Is this true?

Will I really be looking at a 20 degree cooling with this paste you guys are recommending?

Would I be better off if I decide to go this route to include a loop for my CPU, and taking out the H100?

Thanks again all you are all amazingly helpful on this forum.

Chris
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niexist View Post

I'm doing a little research, and I'm wondering if I can even get a waterblock on this GPU. From what I understand I would take the cooler off the same as if I was changing the thermal paste and in place of it would go another piece that runs the water through. I'm going to go ahead and order the thermal paste you guys are recommending. but I'd really like to consider watercooling as this is really my dream system and I've spared no expense thus far.

According to the coolingconfigurator website, if I'm reading it correctly the following would work

http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/step1_complist?gpu_gpus=686

What would be my best choice for one of these?

Can I purchase a kit for the rest or am I just limited to purchasing part by part?

Both of these cards are very low ASIC, a 57.8, and 60.3, according to gpu-z these would be MUCH better suited to watercooling. Is this true?

Will I really be looking at a 20 degree cooling with this paste you guys are recommending?

Would I be better off if I decide to go this route to include a loop for my CPU, and taking out the H100?

Thanks again all you are all amazingly helpful on this forum.

Chris

My suggestion would be if you plan on watercooling. You should just wait to apply your TIM then. No need to take GPU apart 2x. And yes, I would just sell your H100 and get enough radiator to cool both of your 7970 and cpu. I assume you plan on doing some heavy overclocking. As for the GPU blocks. Do some more research in what you want. There are many test results that roundup most of the GPU blocks. check out these sites:

http://martinsliquidlab.org/

http://skinneelabs.com/ Good luck
 
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I did use the arctic silver I had already purchased, now I'm running at load with 100% fan at 76-77 degrees. A ten degree difference is quite pleasing, My bottom is running at around 55 under load should I redo that one too even though it is so much lower?
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