So, I've been looking through this thread and the Stilt R9 290x BIOS thread and have done a few things I wanted to share with you guys and get your input on.
My R9 290x is watercooled and maximum temps while looping Unigine Heaven are around 50°C core, 52°C VRM1 and 40°C VRM2 (already overvotled), so pretty decent I think. My card was never a good overclocker when I first got it, replacing my HD7970 which was also under water. The R9 290x frequently gave me black screens and driver crashes when overclocked/overvolted. I was a bit disappointed, because my HD7970 was a decent overclocker (1200/1600 for 24/7, stable up to 1275/1650, but the voltage increase wasn't worth it for me) and now this one was faster, but not by as much as I had hoped. But I didn't play a lot of demanding games at the time, so I let it run @ stock and wasn't too bothered.
Two months ago, I decided to upgrade to Win10 from my 8.1 system. And the last weekend I decided to tackle the whole OC thing once again.
First I switched my "dumb" CPU overclock to an "intelligent" one (from a static frequency and voltage to enabling Intel SpeedStep again and using adaptive voltages) and then I went online to search for R9 290X BIOSes. I had already tried a PT1, PT3 and 390x BIOS when I got the card, but had more trouble with them than with stock BIOS. Now I found the Stilt BIOS with tuned RAM timings and having used his HD7970 BIOSes for mining, I was ready to try them out.
First I used his 1075/1375+50mV one, aim high I say
, and put it through its paces. Normally, that memory overclock was already too much for the card and with the tighter timings, it should not have worked well. But it did. Then I gradually increased the core clock, 1100, 1125, 1150. 1150 required +56mV to not give me rendering errors in Grim Dawn. But it bothered me that Afterburner showed the +50mV as +50mV. I DDU reinstalled the driver and saw that the card worked with increased voltages even without Afterburner which was good in case I ever decided to sell it to someone else. But then I install AB again and it showed the +50mV. I guess I'm a bit OCD about that part.
So I turned to voltage editing via Hawaii Bios Reader. I took the biggest overclock BIOS from Stilt without a voltage increase, which was the 1050/1375+0mV one and flashed it. It worked. Then I looked at the voltages and compared them with the notes I made on the other BIOS. Old +50mV BIOS had 0.969V idle voltage and about 1.180 - 1.211V load voltage. The +0mV one had 0.919 - 0.925V idle and 1.146 - 1.180 load voltages. I then loaded that BIOS in the reader and changed the clock to 1150, the TDP and Power limit to 300W and the DPM7 voltage state to 1250 and flashed. That process was repeated until I ended up at 1306 DMP7 voltage with the desired load voltages of 1.180 - 1.211V, give or take 5mV. It seems to be working well so far. I over did it once and used 1325 and even with all the other stuff being the same, I got a black screen. I think my card just does not like voltage increases over a certain point (~+60mV?). Even with the temperatures being in the green. I have a Korean 110Hz OC'd monitor, maybe that got something to do with it. I never touched AUX voltage btw. I read about it, but it seemed to be very hit or miss with its OC contributions.
Anyway, long story short, did I make any mistake in editing my BIOS that can bite me in the ass?
I'm happy with it so far, good idle voltages, enough load voltages to be stable, MSI AB giving me normal values, treating my OC'd card as stock in the way it handles "reset" etc. Any input would be appreciated.
P.S.: Sorry for the wall of text, I tend to blabber on a bit when I first post something.