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[How-To] Overclocking ATI cards in Linux

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
This is a small guide for overclocking your ATI card under Linux. This guide targets Ubuntu, but it should be the same for any distro.

Pre-requisites:

- Working fglrx driver
- Card supported by Overdrive (last time I checked only r6xx and up were supported, mobile and integrate chips excluded)


If you type the command aticonfig in a terminal, you will get several config. options that you can use with the driver, including Overdrive options; the proper synthax is aticonfig <option>. This is a list of Overdrive related options:
Code:
--od-enable
        Enables Overdrive. 

  --od-disable
        Disables Overdrive.  You need to restart X for clocks to go back to defaults.

  --odgc
        List your card's current core and memory clocks, the current peak clocks, and the range by which you can overclock (Overdrive locks are applicable).

  --odgt
        Gives out a core temperature reading.

  --odsc={NewCoreClock|0,NewMemoryClock|0}
        Specify desired clocks fore core and memory.

  --odcc
        Apply the new clocks specified by the setclocks command

  --odrd
        Restores default clocks.  You need to restart X for changes to take effect.
Steps for overclocking:

1. The first step obviously is to turn on Overdrive:

Code:
aticonfig --od-enable
If your card is not supported, you will get a message saying so.

2. Next we get the current clocks and the valid overclocking range for your card:

Code:
aticonfig --odgc

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
                            Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
           Current Clocks :    500           750
             Current Peak :    625           993
  Configurable Peak Range : [500-700]     [750-1200]
                 GPU load :    2%
3. Now we can specify valid frequencies for our overclock:

Code:
aticonfig --odsc=700,1000

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
                  New Core Peak   : 700
                  New Memory Peak : 1000
4. Finally we apply the new frequencies:

Code:
aticonfig --odcc
5. Check your new overclock:

Code:
aticonfig --odgc

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
                            Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
           Current Clocks :    500           750
             Current Peak :    700           1000
  Configurable Peak Range : [500-700]     [750-1200]
                 GPU load :    2%
You can also use Overdrive for Crossfire setups. The process is identical, with the difference that you need to specify the device being overclocked. Example:

Code:
aticonfig --list-adapters
#each card will be given a number that you append to the normal Overdrive commands

aticonfig --adapter=0 --odgc
#and so on...
Stress Testing:

There is also a stress test available for Overdrive. For me this never works and I have yet to get an answer on this from any ATI dev. But you can try it and see if it works for you:

Code:
atiode -P 60 -H localhost:0; echo $?

#runs a stress test for 60 seconds; you can specify whatever time in seconds you want
After the test finishes it will spit out a number. Each number corresponds to a certain status:

Code:
   
0: Test successfully completed.
1: Invalid command-line parameters.
2: Test failed because of rendering errors.
3: Target adapter not found.
4: Test aborted due to unknown reason
Another way of stress testing is to run furmark. It works perfectly under WINE (just make sure you have Compiz off).


Other Tools:

If you don't like the command line, there are also a pair of third party tools that you can use. Same pre-requisites still apply, since this are just frontends for Overdrive:

ATI Overclocking Utility
32bit
64bit






It's pretty self explanatory. The latest version also has support for Crossfired cards.

AMDOverdriveCtrl





Edited by Melcar - 4/14/11 at 5:49pm
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post #2 of 17
Good work Melcar. We should get all your ATI tutorials stickied since ATI questions come up so often.
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post #3 of 17
yeah, great guides, I'm sure they'll help out a lot of people with linux/ati related issues
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post #4 of 17
This thread has been added to the Official Linux FAQ Directory sticky

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caedis View Post
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post #5 of 17
Hey Melcar,

How do I get around this problem?
Code:
root@underground / # aticonfig --odgc

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series 
                            Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
           Current Clocks :    775           1000
             Current Peak :    775           1000
  Configurable Peak Range : [550-775]     [900-1125]
                 GPU load :    98%

It won't let me overclock past 775MHz. I know this is doable in Windoze with MSI Afterburner, but that doesn't really help me in Linux. Should I go try to edit the BIOS or is there a better solution?
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post #6 of 17
Hey Melcar,

How do I get around this problem?
Code:
root@underground / # aticonfig --odgc

Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series 
                            Core (MHz)    Memory (MHz)
           Current Clocks :    775           1000
             Current Peak :    775           1000
  Configurable Peak Range : [550-775]     [900-1125]
                 GPU load :    98%

It won't let me overclock past 775MHz. I know this is doable in Windoze with MSI Afterburner, but that doesn't really help me in Linux. Should I go try to edit the BIOS or is there a better solution?
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
BIOS editing is the only way that I know of. The driver uses the BIOS frequency limits, so Overdrive won´t let go pass those. The other overclocking tools for fglrx also use overdrive, so the same applies. There is currently no overclocking software on Linux that lets you break BIOS frequency limits
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post #8 of 17
Good guide I actually used this to downclock my cards to reduce temps. I was getting about 10-13 degrees higher in linux than windows and I do nothing on Linux that requires highend graphics.
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melcar;13574769 
BIOS editing is the only way that I know of. The driver uses the BIOS frequency limits, so Overdrive won´t let go pass those. The other overclocking tools for fglrx also use overdrive, so the same applies. There is currently no overclocking software on Linux that lets you break BIOS frequency limits

I got the core/memory unlocked with RBE (and only one failed flash). Thanks! No luck with voltage, though I wasn't really expecting it.
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post #10 of 17
Should add:

aticonfig --pplib-cmd 'set fanspeed 0 XXX'

XXX is the speed, 0 is adapter obviously

Also, none of the tools currently work well. At least, the first two are trash now and the 2nd one won't compile with the latest python libs. It also doesn't load with the current python, might be due to Fedora using more up to date software but I don't know why that should matter.
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