So I'm probably either going to make a lot of people smile with hopeful anticipation or really irritated with me, I guess we'll just have to see how this goes...
The other day whilst scouring my facebook local marketplace I found a guy that was selling his GTX 780 for 35 bucks. I told him I had 25 at the moment, and asked if that was okay with him to which he agreed. Now, the disclaimer: I NEVER expected this GPU to work, since the pictures, well, they were a bit disconcerting. The graphics card was an ASUS GTX780-DC2OC-3GD5 - It had ONE single blue fan (Yes, I said blue. This led me to believe at first that this was either a very poorly treated card, or a scam, but I had to take the chance for 25 bucks), and a missing fan shroud.
So off I went after we agreed to the price of $25 to go meet this mystery seller at his house (Starting to think less that it's a scam, and more along the lines that he probably just painted the fan.)
I get to his house, it's dark, so we just do a quick exchange, and chat a bit about computer modding and such, since I told him I'd be modding this card, and putting better cooling on it.He heads back inside, and I jump into my car and drive back home (about five minutes away.)
I get home and immediately start breaking the card down. Immediately I notice the sheer weight of this thing. Between the steel, reinforcement stabilizing bracket, and the steel backplate this card is HEAVY AS HELL, and I LOVE IT!
I take off the fan, and sure enough, it's been painted blue (Who would DO such a thing?)
I go into my drawer-o-fans, and grab a Cooler Master 120mm [email protected]
h2o, and a Rosewill 120mm 72CFM 2.9mm/h2o fan, (the only two spares on which I had already cut wires) and at first, I attempt splicing them together, and running them off the fan controller on the card (Yeah, didn't really expect that to work either, but it was worth a shot) but to no avail. So I splice them into a single 3pin fan connector head, and get back to work (I Have the MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard in this particular rig, so there's a fan header like RIGHT above the PCIex16 slot that I can use SpeedFan to regulate temperatures with.
I re-paste the card with Arctic's MX-4 Paste, reassemble it, and voila..uhh...I have an extra screw. I tear it back down, and re-reassemble it, realizing my mistake, and get all the screws in the right spot, and plug it in, and fire it up...
Crap, knew it, well, wait, let me see something here (sets Dell S2740 Monitor as HDMI instead of DVI - R9 270x didn't have DVI)
Power up the rig, and BAM! MSI Startup Logo (excitement building **** IT WORKS! - Now will it crash once the driver loads?)
Fast forward a bit, I get it loaded into the O.S. Removed the drivers for AMD (AFTER ensuring the Nvidia ones didn't kill the card) and currently have the fan speed set to 50% at all times.
I research the typical run temps, and max safe temps for the card, and program SpeedFan to control my System 1 Fan (the two fans I have on the GPU) to certain temp curves.
The mod is "complete." Now it's time to load up GPU-Z and check out the ASIC sco...HOLY *****
The ASIC on this card was 74.3% - That's VERY Unexpected for a $25 card!
Okay, Drac...calm down...breathe, you've got this. It's time to see what this baby can do.
After SEVERAL hours of overclocking, changing settings for power draw, undervolting, overvolting, etc. I've come to the maximum that this card can handle WITHOUT a bios mod.The Result:
A whopping 42% overclock ON AIR COOLING WITH THE STOCK HEATSINK! AND I NEVER GO OVER 65C!!!!!
Now, I HAVE gotten higher clocks on the core with lesser on the memory; but the result on that is slight instability (my PSU atm is only a Cougar A760) as well as lower scores, so I'm not even going to bother validating that one.
I have tidied up the system a bit, and sleeved the red, and black case wires for the power, reset, etc. so here's a picture of the entire rig as it sits right now:
1080p Benchmark result fully maxed in Valley @ 1345.6 Core/ 3505.6 Mem