I'm not sure if this will be of use to anyone or not, since I'm a novice at overclocking compared to most of you here. I just thought I'd let you know what tweaks have finally got my Aorus 1080Ti at a stable and (relatively) cool overclock giving me a 6 FPS boost in both benchmarking apps and actual gameplay.
The most important thing I learned: Almost ALL of my crashes along the way were coming from an unstable CPU overclock. I had not set my LLC correctly on an 8700k and most of my benchmarking runs in Superposition were crashing. My games were also crashing. I mistakenly assumed this was because I had got a bad 1080Ti in the hardware lottery. Not so; it was due to a botched CPU overclock the whole time!
So, tip number 1: Get your damn CPU overclock properly stable first, because it's an unstable CPU that will be crashing your benchmarks and games long before the GPU does. I finally learned how to set up a stable CPU overclock and tested it thoroughly with both Prime95 and IntelBurn. Lo and behold, no more crashes in my GPU benchmarks and games!
The next thing I did was to ensure that my GPU had the latest BIOS installed. This was version F3P at the time.
I then opened the card up, after reading through this forum, and replaced the crappy generic thermal paste over the core with a thin layer of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaught. This immediately reduced my temps by a few (+/- 5) degrees at idle, but only 1 or 2 degrees under full load. I did not replace any of the thick thermal padding, only the grease over the core.
Note 1: The backplate (that copper X on the other side of the core) only has thermal padding around the core, so there's no need to open it up if you're only changing the paste over the core itself.
Note 2: Don't be intimidated about opening the card and replacing the thermal paste. It's much easier than you think and it's really hard to screw up. There are just a couple of screws to remove, plus 4 fan/LED connectors. It really was quick and simple.
Now that I had a stable CPU overclock, I put some time into learning more about the best way to overclock my GPU...
The curve + voltage offset. I had previously been trying to overclock my card the old way (only dragging sliders) and wasn't getting very far. This time I used Afterburner to first set a semi-aggressive fan profile for my card - from 30/30 up to 100/70 (30% at 30 degrees, up to 100% at 70 degrees).
Next I unlocked the voltage control, and dragged the voltage offset up to 100%.
Power and Temp sliders were then set to maximum (150% and 90 degrees respectively).
I then opened the curve editor (Ctrl + F), held down Ctrl and dragged my curve's final point up to +35.
Finally, I set the memory overclock to +300.
Now I ran Superposition at 2560x1440 for ten passes. Each time the benchmark was stable (not a single crash or hangup) and my core clock stayed at 2062 Mhz the whole time. There was NO throttling down, and no dips at all. It was stable the whole way through and my max temp was 62 degrees celcius. This was something I had never been able to achieve before.
I then tested the card in two games in which I had previously experienced crashes; ECHO and War for the Overworld. Both were running at max settings at 2560x1440, with DSR factor 2.00, plus a bunch of shaders using Reshade. This time there were no crashes and I saw a framerate boost of around 6 to 8 FPS across the board, compared to playing at stock speeds.
For ****s and giggles I then upped my overclock to +60 and +500 to the core and memory respectively, and it quickly locked my system up during a benchmark run! The funny thing is, while it was running, my core clock was still 2062 Mhz. So upping the core clock to that insane level made no real difference to performance.
I'm therefore more than happy with a stable 2062 Mhz and a 6 FPS gain.
Anyway, this info might help someone who, like me, is just a novice hobbyist and mistakenly believes they have a dud card. For me, it all came down to properly ensuring a stable CPU overclock first, then setting my GPU overclock using the core voltage offset and the curve editor.
i7-8700K overclocked to 4.9Ghz + 4.6Ghz Uncore.
Aorus Z370 Gaming 5 mobo.
32Gb 3000Mhz memory.
Aorus 1080Ti GPU.
Edited by Kerry000 - 11/26/17 at 1:22pm