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Geforce 8800 Destruction Competition Wrap-up

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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The Geforce 8800 series are among the most iconic video cards ever produced by Nvidia.  The 8800 GT, codenamed G92, was released on 29 October 2007 and was the first to transition to the new smaller 65 nm process.  This core proved to be so popular it was rebadged into the next series of cards, the 9000 and even made it into the later 2009 offerings like GTS 250. Now these ground breaking cards lay forgotten in drawers, closets, and garages.

 

During the months of October and November, Overclock.net hosted a competition to bring these forgotten cards back to their glory.  Using three benchmarks from the era of Geforce 8800 dominance, members kept one eye on the cash prizes and the other on the current world records as gathered by HWBOT.org.

 

 

It was quickly established that the greatest card in the entire 8800 series was the GTS 8800 512MB, which when launched in December of 2007 put Nvidia in the odd position of having a sub-$200 card outperforming its $400 brother the GTX.  For this competition, it was the must have card to catch the fastest 8800s of all time.

 

 

Looking at the above picture you can see the stock specifications for the GTS 512.  The current record holder for 3DMark 03, Smoke, was able to move from stock (650 core/970 memory/ 1625 shader) to an astounding 1253 core/1274 memory/2916 shader cooled by liquid nitrogen and powered by a 4770K @ 6251 Mhz.  A long way to go for anyone willing to take up the challenge.

 

The first step was selecting a suitable GTS 512, likely sourced from eBay.  Of all the GTS 512 versions that were manufactured, the hunt was on for cards sporting Samsung memory chips.  These were found to overclock higher and better than the Qimonda counterparts, which actually required downvolting in order to get them to overclock halfway to decent.

 

 

Even with a GTS 512 and Samsung memory in hand, the stock power and voltage limits of the card made it impossible to raise the core much higher than 800 Mhz with exceptional cards making it up to 900 Mhz.  Soldering irons would be required to get these cards into world record range and to win the competition.

 

          

 

Luckily the voltage mods for the 8800 series are fairly easy [LINK] even for the novice among the competitors.  If you wanted to see volt modding, this competition did not disappoint, from the basic to the extreme, cap and inductor additions and replacements, including some incredible work by Mllrkllr88.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With cards selected, the mods soldered, it was time to get the scores down.  Each competitor needed scores in Aquamark (Record: 485773), 3DMark 01 (Record: 147544), and 3DMark03 (Record: 73596).  Each of these top scores were done using liquid nitrogen but one competitor, Poparamiro put together some pretty good runs without any subzero assistance.  Pushing his vGPU voltages to 1.5v and his vGDDR up to 2.18v and managing a very respectable 954/1318/2376 for core/memory/shader clocks.

 

4TH PLACE [LINK]

 

 

 

Third place was taken down by Senior Moderator xxbassplayerxx using a LN2 cooled Skylake processor.  The GTS managed an impressive 1107/1260/2484 (core/memory/shaders) also cooled by LN2 and volt modded complete with LED voltage readouts for ease of use.  

 

3RD PLACE [LINK]

 

 

 

Mllrkllr88 took some convincing to even participate in the competition but when he got started his skills with the soldering iron were impressive.  Not settling with just a simple volt mod, he added additional caps and even replaced inductors.  Not every adjustment was an improvement and it appeared he destroyed his 8800 as many as three times and still managed to bring it back to life.  

 

 

Even XFX took interest and chose Mllrkllr88 to receive a donated card they had laying around.  It was given the royal treatment but was just outstripped by the faster GTS cards.  Still, that card didn't remain stock long and hopefully they didn't need it back!

 

 

It should be noted that despite only using DICE, instead of the colder LN2, Mllrkllr88 managed to take second spot even using a 4790k instead of the newer Skylake platform.  Impressive work that saw 1080/1296/2484 (core/memory/shader) clocks for his Aquamark 3 score, certainly a hard won second place effort.

 

2ND PLACE [LINK]

 

 

 

Finally top spot went to another overclocker that didn't much appreciate the stock power package supplied by Nvidia.  When trying to take down the title of fastest 8800 ever, drastic measures would have to be employed.  Strong Island decided to go with an E-power board to try and give the card all the clean, stable power it would need to reach the heights needed for a record run.

 

 

 

With mods complete and everything set, Strong Island managed to take the Geforce 8800 series record for 3DMark03, setting the new bar at 74160, almost 600 points higher than the previous best.  He pushed the card to 1203/1269/2970 (core/memory/shaders) cooling with LN2 and running a 6700K Skylake processor.  As an almost distant afterthought, he also took first place in competition.

 

1ST PLACE [LINK]

 

 

 

Congratulations to everyone that participated and managed to keep their hardware alive, and thanks to all the subscribers for following along for the two months of the competition.  Thanks to Wiggles5289 for supplying a lucky draw prize, that was much appreciated, and to OCN for the prizes.  If you managed to win one, Pizzaman will be contacting you, or has, regarding how to claim.

 


Want to read the entire journey, start to finish?  [LINK]

 

Submission thread for all the scores [LINK]

 

 


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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 06:16 PM
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Congrats to the winners!
Look forward to more comps in the future thumb.gif
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 07:04 AM
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Woo! Awesome write up and great competition biggrin.gif

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 07:35 AM
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What a great article and awesome competition, well done everyone! This wrap-up definitely looks like the work of a future OCN editor / moderator thumb.gif

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 11:04 AM
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awesome write up, you have some really nice writing skills and story telling skills

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 01:46 PM
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wish I coulda done these in time, 3024mhz shader.




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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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You can't win same contest twice you know! ?

Awesome runs!

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strong island 1 View Post

wish I coulda done these in time, 3024mhz shader.




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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 06:31 PM
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Nice! Cool of you guys to keep OCN, you know, OCN, and not bickeraboutgamesinnewsthreads.net.

 

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