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How far can I push my 5850's?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Okay I was getting a bit nervous after overclocking my GPU's. I mean stock settings for my 5850 are 700/1000. I followed the tutorial posted here on OCN. I have managed to get my core frequency to 820 and memory to 1125. I used the GPU tool to test for stability and I see nothing wrong and my temps haven't even went above 55C. Does all this sound right? Can I push my cards farther? There are absolutely no artifacts when testing for stability. How far have other users pushed their 5850's? Also what does the core frequency do and what does the memory do, and how do they affect gaming?
post #2 of 51
Pretty sure these things can easily do 1 ghz.
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post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
What does overclocking the memory settings do for in-game performance? Or should I keep that where it is and worry about the core frequency?
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by joemaniaci View Post
Pretty sure these things can easily do 1 ghz.
Assuming they're reference models, yes.

Speaking of which, are they reference models?
If they are an alternative option you may be interested in is BIOS flashing (great info here & here)

Using MSI AB with a crossfire setup can be a pain sometimes; if your cards are reference design you can flash them to reference 5870 BIOS (asus/msi = unlocked as well).
This will raise your default clocks/voltages to 850/1200 and allow you a bit more headroom too after that.

Again this is assuming you have a reference card/PCB, if they looks like this (note the cooler + *amd logo on the pcb) then they're reference.

As far as overclocking is concerned:

Higher core clocks will yeild better results than higher memory clocks.
See how high your can get the core stable, then move to memory.

Once you get to the memory you need to be aware it's ECC, so it will not throw code if you clock it too high.
You'll eventually reach a point where there are diminishing returns, and eventually performance loss - just keep an eye on it while testing (between 1200-1300 should be fine).
Edited by candy_van - 12/22/10 at 9:44am
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post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the fast/intelligent response. They are reference cards. Since I have both XFX cards they come with the life time warranty, will flashing the GPU's bios negate the warranty? I see you have a 5850 as well, did you do the same thing? And if so, how were the performance gains? +1 rep
post #6 of 51
I've dealt with 3 different reference 5850's and all could get above 1000 core and 1200 memory. some did with less voltage than others. The worst needed the full 1.35v. The best 1.21v.

Download MSI after burner. go to config.cfg and edit unofficial overclocking from 0 to 1. This will allow you to go above the 775 limit in AB.

It should be very easy.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesC8188 View Post
Thank you for the fast/intelligent response. They are reference cards. Since I have both XFX cards they come with the life time warranty, will flashing the GPU's bios negate the warranty? I see you have a 5850 as well, did you do the same thing? And if so, how were the performance gains? +1 rep
I'm not sure on XFX's warranty policy but with most manufacturers flashing the BIOS typically does, however even if your card is completely bricked you can flash it back to the stock BIOS with another card.
(plenty of discussion on that in both related threads I linked earlier - basically you just need to establish that you're flashing a differing PCI PEG, eg the bricked card).

Personally yes I flashed my BIOS to an ASUS 5870.

It raised my defualt clocks/volts to 850/1200 and 1.16v (IIRC) instead of the default 725/1000 / 1.08v
Was able to get my current clocks stable with it and I'm happy enough with the end figures - if I really wanted a bit more I'd probably edit the current BIOS in RBE.

Only reason I didn't stick with using MSI is because I don't prefer to be bound to software for my clocks and settings on my hardware.
In fact if you wanted to bypass any kind of software altogether (aside from initial use) you cold use RBE to edit the BIOS to exactly what settings you want for everything.

Don't get me wrong MSI does work amazingly well and can be VERY useful.
A quick .config edit as mentioned will let you adjust your voltages and be on your way to a big juicy OC in a few minutes (can help to determine figures for RBE if you so choose)

All a matter of preference I suppose

As for performance gains; a 5850 (on it's own) is within 3-8% of a 5870 when compared *clock for clock*
Anything 850+ will be a nice bump in performance over the stock clocks and comparable to it's bigger brother.
Edited by candy_van - 12/22/10 at 11:16am
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post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for your responses, it really helped.
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
any way you could give me a little step by step? I am very new to overclocking GPU's. Where do I get a 5870 bios? and how do I go about flashing it?

Also, why would I flash the card with an Asus bios and not an XFX bios?
Edited by charlesC8188 - 12/22/10 at 1:02pm
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesC8188 View Post
any way you could give me a little step by step? I am very new to overclocking GPU's. Where do I get a 5870 bios? and how do I go about flashing it?
Here is an excellent guide for how to flash your 5850s BIOS as previously linked.

It will break it down step-by-step, and isn't that bad I promise.
When I first thought about doing it I was very nervous about flashing my VGA BIOS, but it's actually not bad at all.

Here is a reference Asus 5870 BIOS

As the guide states you should backup your default BIOS incase you need to flash back; it can also be found here in TPU's VGA Bios Collection.
I didn't link to a specific BIOS, because I don't know what your default clocks are from factory (again you'd want it to all appear stock for an RMA).

It will be one of 725/55/65s from 2009.
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