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What's the right way to overclock a 970?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey OC.net,

I recently upgraded from my 670 to a EVGA SSC+ 970, and I'm trying to figure out the right way to overclock it.

I thought I would just follow the 670 master overclocking guide [1], but I've been hearing from a lot of people that BIOS editing is the way to go or I've also heard that Maxwell cards can't be properly overclocked using rivatuner or other software tools [2]. Sounds like a whole lot of FUD to me but I don't know.

What's the proper way to go about overclocking my new 970? Do I just set the Power Target / Voltage to max and start cranking the core clock up?

[1] http://www.overclock.net/t/1265110/the-gtx-670-overclocking-master-guide
[2] http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2432430
post #2 of 6
I would start with AfterBurner and see what your card can do on firestrike or valley. That's the safest way to start as they have alot of safety checks built in to the cards. Find out your core limit, then your memory limit. I also used OCCT error check test to find my memory limit as it gives you an error count. You will most likely hit a point where you don't have enough voltage or power to push it any further. At that point you can make the decision to jump into it's bios and play around a little bit. Keep GPUz graphs running as it will tell you your perf cap reason, the reason your card may be throttling itself, as well as your voltages and clocks. If you have temperature room, you can up the power and voltage, but there have been issues with upping voltage using AfterBurner as it dosn't seem to actually up the voltage.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay, I think I've found the maximum stable clock given voltage through software and also the maximum stable memory.

Going to try to combine the sweet spot between the two. But I also kinda wanna push more voltage to the card. I'm at 1.256v right now.

What are the safe voltages? Do these cards have hard limits? I hear there are many diminishing returns in voltage after 1.275v.
post #4 of 6
I have mine set at 1.206v. Since I'm running SLI, I don't really see the need to push my cards too much, but they are watercooled which helps with stability. The more extreme BIOS files use 1.281v on air and push around 1500MHz core and 8000MHz memory. Some people are addicted to benchmarking and push their cards, but I just want mine to perform well for [hopefully] a long time.

Some links if you want to ask some questions on other forums, more people may chime in, plus they have the software you need to view/edit your bios if you feel like diving into that as well as some good information.

Extract and Flash GTX 970 and 980 Firmware

Nvidia GTX 900 cards custom bios (upon request )

[Official] NVIDIA GTX 970 Owner's Club

(GTX 970/GTX 980): Why Bios modding is mandatory for most cards if you want a stable overclock

EDIT: Here's another good link for custom bios information.

Edited by kl6mk6 - 10/29/15 at 7:56am
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was reading on Kinpin's site that Maxwell doesn't scale (at all) with additional sub ambient so I thought that was pretty interesting. I dropped my voltage down from 1.256 to 1.206 and tried stability testing with my max clocks. (1490/4104).

It worked through all my stability testing so I'll probably just leave my card here and run it with stock bios. Maybe I'll change things to up the power limit or change the fan curve later.
Edited by sverreerik - 10/30/15 at 11:19am
post #6 of 6
Yeah, that voltage works fine for mine at very similar clocks. Sounds like you got a nice card there. thumb.gif
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