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GIGABYTE GTX 9xx H2O/AIR BIOS Tweaking ┌(ô益ô)┐ - Page 11

post #101 of 6243
Thread Starter 
I thought I would share how I do my testing, what utilities I use and what areas/values I am looking at.

This explanation is going to be very short, and not very detailed because there is too much to cover. I just wanted to focus on a couple of areas that may help others fine tune things, understand how and where to find the information, and what to look for. i will be covering just the basics. If you have any other tips to share, please list yours also!

I want to emphasize that modifying your card's BIOS, flashing, overclocking foolishly, can not only void your warranty but can destroy your card! This thread is intended for experienced people that enjoy SAFELY pushing their hardware to the maximum STABLE performance level.


░▒▓│SOFTWARE LIST │▓▒░

Overclocking can be done safely and can produce significant performance improvements when done properly. Everyone knows these days that 3D performance actually has very LITTLE to do with CPUs these days (Click to show) . In fact, I still have a 790i Ultra platform with a Quad core and I run everything @ 4K with max settings. Overclocking your video card is by far the largest performance increase that you can make to your system for GAMING and CUDA apps such as folding@home.

Here are the basics of what you will need (I'm not going to post links, you can find them easy):

Θ A GPU overclocking utility (I use MSI Afterburner, they all work basically the same so pick your poison)
Θ MSI Kombuster (this integrates into MSI Afterburner which is convenient. Furmark is NOT effective, more on this later)
Θ GPU-Z, it is basically an essential tool for monitoring your GPU.
Θ NVIDIA Inspector, does a lot of the same things as GPU-Z but they each have unique features. Has overclocking options also.
Θ 3DMark for the Firestrike test (the latest one that they really couldn't manage to identify by any other name than just 3DMark lol)
Θ Unigine Heaven or Valley benchmarks are popular for stability testing. Resolution doesn't exceed 1440P though mad.gif.
Θ YOUR GAMES/CUDA APPS


░▒▓│MSI Afterburner │▓▒░
SEE ME (Click to show)
I use MSI AB, you can use whatever program you like best. I wanted to point out that the overclocking and voltage settings are NOT enabled by default so if you are trying out MSI AB, be sure to go into the settings right away and enable like I have shown in the screenshot above. I also show that there is a button on the side of the GPU power % limit (with this skin) that reveals additional settings. If you are running on AIR, you want to make sure you prioritize on temp and increase the temp limit to avoid potential unwanted throttling.

I also recommend learning how to configure the monitoring features of afterburner but FIRST go in and shut all of the default monitors off. If you monitor too many things at once you can cause crashes and we don't want any of that while overclocking. Only put on things you need like GPU temp, voltage, boost clocks and framerate.

Make small changes at once and use a method to track the settings and the results. Trying to keep it all in your head will just lead to repeating tests and/or making mistakes.

Be careful about using the "Start with windows" option if you are playing with different base clock values in your BIOS tweaking. "+100Mhz" could be a very different clock value depending on the BIOS settings!


░▒▓│MSI Kombuster │▓▒░
SEE ME (Click to show)
I don't use Kombuster as a performance OR stability test. It is able to trigger boost clocks in a windowed mode. That's the reason it is used. When I am testing a new BIOS I want to see what the default boost speed is going to be. The fastest way to do this is to just fire up Kombuster. It is not full screen so I can open it and then make adjustments with afterburner and monitor the changes in Kombuster. This is a good way to validate BIOS changes quickly that can provide a clue something is very wrong (such as really LOW boost clocks or really HIGH ones above what you would expect) without firing up an app like Firestrike. I can also easily monitor temps and TDP values. This is compared to Furmark a lot but Furmark doesn't trigger boost clocks properly. Compare Kombuster GPU clocks to Furmark and let me know what you see tongue.gif


░▒▓│GPU-Z │▓▒░
SEE ME (Click to show)
GPU-Z tells you just about everything you want to know.. but the #1 reason I use it is to monitor for perfcaps and to create log files.


░▒▓│NVIDIA Inspector │▓▒░
SEE ME (Click to show)
Very similar to GPU-Z and allows overclocking and further tweaking. As Oni pointed out earlier in the thread, you can view the power state.


░▒▓│3DMark Firestrike/UNIGINE │▓▒░
SEE ME (Click to show)
This is a very demanding test on your GPU and the test doesn't take too long to run. I feel that to FULLY validate your overclock, you need to test @ 4K resolution. Firestrike ULTRA will allow you to do this even if you don't have a 4K monitor (down scales) but unfortunately you need the professional version to get that test. I actually start by testing the overclock and/or new BIOS with Firestrike @ 4K once I've verified my voltages, TDP, boost clocks and temps are OK in Kombuster first. Unigine is limited to 1440P but can still stress your GPU.

"Artifacts" are irregularities that come in the form of screen flashes, texture flashing, red or green lines. You MUST sit there and STARE at the entire test and be very watchful for them. Just passing these tests do not indicate stability.

Once you've reached a comfort level with your overclock and you can pass this test without artifacts, fire up your favorite game and then test for GAME STABILITY. Just because Firestrike runs fine doesn't validate your overclock just yet. You need to push it over time, tested and true. Don't forget changes in temps affect your overclock! SUMMERS ARE THE ULTIMATE TEST.

The biggest tip I can share is that the last thing you want to do is blindly overclock, walk away and not monitor temps and stability. Please be aware of what you need to look for and what programs you need to use and enjoy the "free performance" more safely! thumb.gif
Edited by Laithan - 3/24/15 at 11:59am
post #102 of 6243
Very good explanation and yet not overwhelming.
Should be added to the first post.
post #103 of 6243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OniLink View Post

Very good explanation and yet not overwhelming.
Should be added to the first post.

Good idea, added to first post thumb.gif

Now back to tesing biggrin.gif
post #104 of 6243
Thread Starter 
UPDATE:

I think I'm pretty much finished tweaking the voltage tables at this point.
thumb.gif

I'm testing V5BETA right now and the only change I've made so far was to expand the software +mV slider to go from 0-100. This does nothing at all for performance or stability, it is just a user choice. I figured people might like to have the 0 - 100mV slider option instead of just 0 - 87mV well... because it looks nicer tongue.gif

This means that there haven't been any issues discovered or reported with V4BETA.
V5BETA is so far just a cosmetic change.

coolsmiley02.gif

I'm still looking for a volunteer with a 980 G1 that has an ASIC of around 80% or higher to put the max voltage debate issue to rest (if you've been following this thread from the beginning), so we will revisit this when one steps up. proof.gif
STARTING AROUND THIS POST (Click to show)



I certainly would like more testing results and feedback so cummon peeps, join in and get rockin! biggrin.gif
band.gifguitar.gifwhistle.gif
Edited by Laithan - 3/25/15 at 6:53pm
post #105 of 6243
Heh, I wish I had such a good ASIC on mine. Changed 3 because of excessive coil whine and they had 69,68,71. Now I kept the 71% one. And to think my first 980 had 80.5% and Samsung memory.. but it was defective and had huge artifacts out of the box frown.gif had to sent it back frown.gif
Btw interesting thread, found it today, will be reading and maybe testing the BIOS on my card. Nice work! thumb.gif
post #106 of 6243
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obyboby View Post

Heh, I wish I had such a good ASIC on mine. Changed 3 because of excessive coil whine and they had 69,68,71. Now I kept the 71% one. And to think my first 980 had 80.5% and Samsung memory.. but it was defective and had huge artifacts out of the box frown.gif had to sent it back frown.gif
Btw interesting thread, found it today, will be reading and maybe testing the BIOS on my card. Nice work! thumb.gif

Thanks bud!
I can't take all the credit though.

Glad you are joining in on the fun here! A team effort for all thumb.gif
post #107 of 6243
I am still lurking too!
post #108 of 6243
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd955be5670 View Post

I am still lurking too!
Me as well. And I don't even have a 900 series card! tongue.gif
Everyone loves a good bios mod. smile.gif
post #109 of 6243
Thread Starter 
We were talking about the P0 state earlier in this thread..
P0 state is the basically state your GPU gets to when a load is placed on it.

Why do we see P0 state @ the desktop when idle (you can check yourself with NVIDIA Inspector)?
Even when using the STOCK OEM BIOS...

Why does it happen? SEE THE SECRET REASON (Click to show)
OVERCLOCKING! thumb.gif


evo.gif
post #110 of 6243
Thread Starter 
devil.gif
I wonder if the next area to experiment with should be power....

Personally, I've got some detailed questions about the values in the power tab. To be clear, I am not referring to the power % slider found in an overclocking program, I am talking about the POWER TAB in MBE to edit the power settings on the card in the BIOS.


I'm wondering if anyone else has a good understanding of the power tab specifically with MAXWELL that can get things started for us. What is the specific relationship to power and further overclocking/stability as a result of modifying the BIOS?

Thermal Design Power - What does it mean? Apparently there is quite a debate wink.gif

I found this in the interwebnet:
"To clarify, TDP is what a card is designed to output as heat. On similar architectures, this can be used to compare power consumption. The fact that maxwell has a lower TDP just means less energy is wasted as heat, and more is used for calculations. All energy that goes into the chip as electricity must go out again as heat, as there's nothing inherently power-consuming about calculations.

So why are TDP and power consumption not identical, then?

Heat can be stored inside the mass of the heatsink. The TDP is how much heat energy the cooling system must be designed to be able to dissipate on average over a relatively large time period.

The peak power consumption is how much the card should be able to draw from your psu to ensure reliable operation. This is a worst-case-scenario figure. If the chip needs, by coincidence, to turn on way more of its transistors than average, it'll require an instantaneous inrush of current, perhaps for many milliseconds (more than you may be able to achieve with caps alone). Your power supply needs to be capable of that.



So I think in terms of TDP in the BIOS, it is clear that we are referring to heat dissipation.

I made this chart, does anyone know what the last 3 sections are for?

Edited by Laithan - 3/27/15 at 5:31pm
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