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Overclocking the memory on an R9 290 / 290X

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know you can potentially shorten the life or even damage computer components when you overclock them, but you are usually playing around with voltages when you do so.

My question is in reference to the 290 and 290X specifically. Since you are unable to increase the voltage of the memory on these cards, can you still shorten the lifespan or damage the cards by increasing the memory clock?

I have the cards on water so temps are not an issue.

Since I'm not increasing voltage and temperature isn't an issue, can I safely increase the memory clock until the card becomes unstable?

I always associated chip degradation with too much voltage or too much heat but this was more of an assumption than anything I've specifically read.

Also, I'm not sure if it makes a difference but I've been using MSI afterburner to overclock.


Thanks, I appreciate any information or suggestions.
post #2 of 6
you increase the memory clock till you see Artifacts or star like glitches in the Graphics then back off 50 odd MHz
there are a few programs that are specifically for this like MSI Kombustor or Furmark personally I just look for them while gaming.

also you should check this out

http://www.overclock.net/t/1443242/the-r9-290-290x-unlock-thread/0_20
kamikaze
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kamikaze
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feznz View Post

you increase the memory clock till you see Artifacts or star like glitches in the Graphics then back off 50 odd MHz
there are a few programs that are specifically for this like MSI Kombustor or Furmark personally I just look for them while gaming.

also you should check this out

http://www.overclock.net/t/1443242/the-r9-290-290x-unlock-thread/0_20

Thanks feznz, I appreciate the response.

Sorry if my question wasn't clear. It isn't how to overclock that I'm wondering about but more about the potential risks.

For example, when you overclock a processor, you can increase the multiplier until stability issues arise. At this point you can feed more voltage to the processor (among other things) to potentially re-establish stability. It's a given that feeding too much voltage to the processor can significantly shorten the lifespan or even permanently damage the processor.

In the case of 290 / 290X memory overclocking though, the memory voltage is fixed, correct? So my 290X has a stock memory clock of 1250 MHz at X voltage. If I increase the memory clock to 1400 MHz, will the memory still be running at X voltage or does the GPU dynamically adjust the voltage with the memory clock?

If the memory voltage is static, is there any potential for the increase in memory clock alone to shorten the lifespan of the card?

I was always under the assumption that voltage is the main culprit in chip degradation (assuming temperatures are under control) but as I said, I haven't actually read or heard this anywhere so i wanted to make sure this is correct.

Thanks again, I appreciate the help.
post #4 of 6
the memory voltage will remain the same unless you manually adjust it.
But also it is important to note that it takes significant OC to actually have any gains during gaming but bench marks when every little point counts then we will do anything for a gain.
Honestly there are so many variable factors to determine the impact of life span any OC will have to comment if you plan on keeping your hardware for ten + years then don't OC personally I OC the crap out of everything I normally keep my PC 3 years or so before upgrading.
I blew up my GTX 580s one time but it did take 6months of folding over summer months I had the core OCed from 832Mhz to 1000Mhz on water.
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post #5 of 6
Memory voltage on Hawaii cards is somehow tied to GPU voltage. Raising GPU voltage helps you achieve greater memory overclock. Worst thing with memory overclock is that unstable memory leaves you with black screen. Even in desktop or low load. Or with waking from sleep state, which sometimes affect even non-overclocked cards. Probably driver issue.

But, I wonder how some users got high memory overclocks without core raise. Looks like some memory chips rely on GPU voltage more and some less.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys. I wasn't aware that the memory voltage was in some way tied to core voltage. That's good to know.

I'm guessing the difference in memory overclocks between cards is just "luck of the draw" as they say.

Anyway, sounds like as long as temps are in control, there shouldn't be any noticeable impact on lifespan by increasing core clock without increasing voltage.

I'm usually like you feznz, in that I don't keep stuff more than a couple years before upgrading. Because of this, I normally don't worry too much when overclocking. Recently though, performance gains from one generation to the next seem to be diminishing (especially with CPUs) so I'm thinking I might be keeping my current computer a bit longer this time around.
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