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MSI Twin Frozr II HD5850: needs BIOS flash to unlock higher clocks?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just recieved a Twin Frozr II HD5850 that I got for a real good deal (open-box from Newegg for $139.99). Before I ordered it I looked up the clocks and everything, made sure how to edit the .cfg file for Afterburner for unofficial overclocking, etc.

I installed the drivers for the card, then installed MSI Afterburner 2.1.0 beta 7. I opened the .cfg file and changed "UnofficialOverclockingMode" to 1, saved it and restarted it. Nothing changed. I opened up the settings tab, enabled the voltage control and voltage monitoring; that worked, but I still can't go any higher than 775MHz for my core clock and 1125MHz for my memory clock. The shader clock is greyed-out.

Am I doing something wrong? I've started seeing some people resorting to flashing their HD5850 with another BIOS in order to get higher default clock/memory settings, but isn't that the whole reason they 'fixed' Afterburner a year or so ago? Anyone have any idea what's going on? Thanks.
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post #2 of 9
You don't want to flash that card with a different BIOS, it's a non reference design and you will more than likely 'brick' the card.

I own the same card, most of them are not good overclockers. I run at 775/1125 with ease but every time I run it beyond that it will crash in game or watching video. I am using Afterburner 2.0 you might want to try it instead of the beta edition.
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post #3 of 9
I have the card too, it's awful. Return it if you can, I'm not joking. It doesn't overvolt past 1.164mV though it says it does, and even so, it gets lower clocks at that voltage than a reference card. Putting it past 1164 will eventually cause it to crash and return to 1164, it's a nightmare.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm starting to realize that getting this card was probably a mistake.. Thing is, I've been looking for a 'decent' card between $130 and $160, and there's generally not a market for anything in that price range. I saw this pop-up on Newegg for ~$140 and the other one I saw was a Zotac GTX 465 which was also ~$140. I did a little bit of researching for the 5850 and the GTX 465 (just clock speeds, ratings, etc.. nothing specific or by brands) and it seemed like the 5850 was the way to go rather than the GTX 465, guess I should've looked up this specific model or something..

I've been using Afterburner in combination with the AMD GPU clock tool and the highest I can really get to is 900/1250; it'll run Furmark (or Kombuster) all night without any hiccups but as soon as I go to youtube.com or load up a game, it crashes as well as the drivers. That sucks, too, because I thought Furmark was more limkely to crash the system or the video drivers rather than a game (I see a lot of people saying that if the card runs stable in Furmark, you're good to go; making it seem like Furmark is the ultimate torture test rather than just an insane heat producer).

Any advice on another card if I return this? I really can't go much higher than $150 or maybe $160 at the most, but is there anything that would run just as good as this (if not better) for this sytem?

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As you can see I'm limited by a Core 2 Duo processor as well as a 17" monitor that can go no higher than 1280x1024, so that's the highest resolution I'll be playing. The games I play most are the Stalker series, Fallout, then the Call of Duty series. Not really into Crysis and the stuff with no substance. Anyone have a suggestion on what would run well with this system and not be a bottleneck (and waste of money for right now)? Thanks.
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post #5 of 9
I'm deeply offended you consider crysis to be of no substance ^^

I live in the UK so pricing's different, but my decision was between a GTX 470 and a 5850, I picked the 5850 because it gets the same frames and had lower heat/wattage. So, a 470GTX if they're around the same price where you are
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to add that the card will run fine in Windows (ran Furmark all night at 950/1250 then dropped the clocks to 900/1200). This was without trying to increase the voltage past 1.164v; anything above that will crash as soon as it sees a Flash script or or if you try to play a game, but keeping the voltage right at 1.164v lets the card run without the crashing. I was playing games fine about an hour ago at this 900/1200, so I tried 900/1250 and I got a bunch of artifacts... Dropped the clocks back to 900/1200 and the artifacts were still there (I didn't reset). Hopefully I can just have it run at 850/1200 or maybe even 900/1200 if I'm lucky enough. I just wish I didn't have to use two programs to do this the right way; I tried the regular version of Afterburner and sure enough it let me go past 725/1125, but AYTHING past 750/1150 on Afterburner (even with a lower voltage) will eventually cause the drivers and system to crash.

What I've been doing is using the AMD GPU clock tool to set the clocks/memory to what I want, set it, then re-open the non-beta Afterburner and it'll be set to what you entered in the AMD GPU clock tool.. All I really use the Afterburner utility for is to increase the fan speed since the clock tool forces the card to run at the speed you enter anyway. And at first I was thinking the crashing was due to heat, but I don't think it is.. My case is completely open and I actually have a pretty powerful fan blowing directly at the 5850 itself. So far I haven't seen the temperature go higher than 76 C., and that was after running Furmark for about 45 minnutes last night before turning the monitor off and going to sleep.

Sorry about the Crysis comment.. Haha, what I meant was that I never play Crysis for more than 10 or 15 minutes, and it's usually just to check settings.. With the other games (particularly Stalker) I'm usually playing them for at least two hours at a time.

I actually just read some stuff about the 470, and I even read that the older black PCB 465s can be flashed to a 470 if it has 10 RAM chips and the right GPU... But that's taking a big chance, plus I didn't see anyone saying the Zotac 465 can be 'unlocked' anyway. But here in the US, the 5850 and the GTX 470 are about the same price, and pretty much everywhere I go I see people saying that the better bargain is the 5850 for whatever reason.

About a month ago I had the opportunity to try an Asus HD 6870 and a PNY GTX 460 OC. The HD 6870 was apparently complete overkill for my system; it performed pretty much the same as the GTX 460 (which was almost $100 less). The GTX 460 ran pretty good itself, but I just figured for another $10 or $20 I might be able to get something for this system and just be able to say "that's good enough for now, it can run everything the CPU can handle".
Edited by plunx - 3/12/11 at 11:47am
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I borrowed a friends' GTX 465 that he said can do 800/1600/1800 with no problems, and I'm actually able to run it at 900/1800/1850 without any problems; ran Furmark at those clocks for about an hour a little bit earlier with no problems, then I decided to do some benchmarks. The card's a Zotac GTX 465 with 8 RAM chips and the 'real' GTX 465 GPU (can't be flashed to 470). I ran the Stalker: Call of Pripyat benchmark at 1280x1024, extreme settings, with static lighting.. This is what I got, at 900/1800/1850:

Zotac GTX 465 Stalker: Call of Pripyat (1280x1024, extreme, static lighting):
http://www.uploadimage.ws/out.php?i=...465regular.jpg

Then, I ran it at the same settings, but with full dynamix lighting DirectX 11. This is it here:

Zotac GTX 465 Stalker: Call of Pripyat (1280x1024, extreme, full dynamic lighting DX11):
http://www.uploadimage.ws/out.php?i=...tac465nice.jpg

The card actually performed a little better than I thought it would.. Actually, a LOT better. I had heard that the regular GTX 465s don't clock very well, but this one clocks like a champion without any issues whatsoever.

I put the MSI Twin Frozr II HD 5850 back in the system and got rid of all the nVidia drivers, then put all of my ATI 3D settings back to normal. I ran the Call of Pripyat benchmark again with the HD 5850, both with static lighting and with full dynamic lighting DX11 just like I did with the Zotac GTX 465. The clock settings were 850/1250. Here they are.

MSI Twin Frozr II HD5850 Stalker: Call of Pripyat (1280x1024, extreme, static lighting):
http://www.uploadimage.ws/out.php?i=...ozrregular.jpg

And now, with the full dynamic lighting (DX11).

MSI Twin Frozr II HD5850 Stalker: Call of Pripyat (1280x1024, extreme, full dynamic lighting DX11):
http://www.uploadimage.ws/out.php?i=...nfrozrnice.jpg

Seems like the cards run pretty much neck-to-neck, with the GTX 465 performing better with static lighting rather than DX11. At this point, I dunno what I should do... Maybe go with the GTX 465, hoping to get another for SLI? Or keep the HD5850, hoping it'll overclock better someday and maybe eventually get another for crossfire? My friend will sell me this specific GTX 465 for $100 flat which I might end up doing anyway (and sending the HD5850 back while I can). Does that sound reasonable? Or am I missing something?
Edited by plunx - 3/12/11 at 3:17pm
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post #8 of 9
Eh you must be missing something unless the 470 is inferior to the 465, because it's been tested and the 470 is equal or worse than a 5850 all at stock
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunx View Post
I just recieved a Twin Frozr II HD5850 that I got for a real good deal (open-box from Newegg for $139.99). Before I ordered it I looked up the clocks and everything, made sure how to edit the .cfg file for Afterburner for unofficial overclocking, etc.

I installed the drivers for the card, then installed MSI Afterburner 2.1.0 beta 7. I opened the .cfg file and changed "UnofficialOverclockingMode" to 1, saved it and restarted it. Nothing changed. I opened up the settings tab, enabled the voltage control and voltage monitoring; that worked, but I still can't go any higher than 775MHz for my core clock and 1125MHz for my memory clock. The shader clock is greyed-out.

Am I doing something wrong? I've started seeing some people resorting to flashing their HD5850 with another BIOS in order to get higher default clock/memory settings, but isn't that the whole reason they 'fixed' Afterburner a year or so ago? Anyone have any idea what's going on? Thanks.
Hi, my advice for you is to become a member of MSI forums,

http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?board=9.0

Open a thread in VGA section and ask for help, post your serial number.

The Modes and Power users there will give you a definite solution. I personally has experienced this. Cheers and all the best.
    
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