Originally Posted by andydabeast
You could try this I2C thing. if you want the risk. they also say cooling vrm doesn't help.
I won't likely go the I2C route...just a BIOS flash to remove voltage/power restrictions.
For benching I didn't see any issues without VRM cooling, but VRM cooling gave me perfect stability for gaming. Without VRM heatsink my card would last 10 minutes, or so, at best and then brown screen.
I can ensure you that VRM cooling does make a difference, if it didn't then there would be no point in full cover blocks cooling them. It may not drastically increase the OC potential, but it typically makes a difference from my experience. I've had full cover 4890, 7870, (2) 290's and soon to be the 480. In every one of my experiences, adding the water block increased the speeds I was able to achieve.
If it didn't do anything then I wouldn't have already seen a 10MHz gain in maximum overclock. The card absolutely would not go past 1400 before I installed the VRM heatsink. When the VRMs run cooler, there is less leakage which increases the efficiency of the card. If you can free up a few extra watts of power then you have potentially increased your overclocking potential.