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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi!

I have a brand new EVGA GTX 960 SC 2 GB (short ITX version with 1 fan).

I want to overclock the BIOS of this card. For me it is the first attempt at overclocking a GPU. Could someone give me a recommendation please what settings I should choose for a stable overclock.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 09:50 AM
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Use MSI afterburner to determine what clocks your card becomes unstable at during Unigine Heaven or a similar GPU benchmark program. Make sure to note the actual core and memory clocks and not just the offset numbers. Once you know what your card can handle using a program, you can translate those numbers into your 960s BIOS. Check out these links for more help.

Extract and Flash GTX 970 and 980 Firmware - Zoson's H2O and AIR Custom BIOS

Nvidia GTX 900 cards custom bios (upon request )
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! How can I tell when it becomes unstable?

I don't want to push it to the max. Are there some GPU / memory clocks that I can expect to reach without much dificulty?

What about Aida64 to test the GPU?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anak85 View Post

Thanks for the info! How can I tell when it becomes unstable?

I don't want to push it to the max. Are there some GPU / memory clocks that I can expect to reach without much dificulty?

What about Aida64 to test the GPU?

I'm not sure on the 960. On a 970 its around 1500MHz core and 4000MHz on memory. As for testing, you may see artifacts (color flashes, lines, flickering objects, etc.) or your gfx drivers may crash and leave you with a blank screen and you will have to reset your pc. For GPU memory limits I used OCCTs error check, for the core I used Heaven on a loop for 15-30 min.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kl6mk6 View Post

I'm not sure on the 960. On a 970 its around 1500MHz core and 4000MHz on memory. As for testing, you may see artifacts (color flashes, lines, flickering objects, etc.) or your gfx drivers may crash and leave you with a blank screen and you will have to reset your pc. For GPU memory limits I used OCCTs error check, for the core I used Heaven on a loop for 15-30 min.

I have been reading some articles and still have some questions.

What core voltage should I set?
Do you set a fixed clock or work with a boost clock? I have read people doing both. The system will mainly be an office PC so power efficiency is still important for me.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kl6mk6 View Post

I'm not sure on the 960. On a 970 its around 1500MHz core and 4000MHz on memory. As for testing, you may see artifacts (color flashes, lines, flickering objects, etc.) or your gfx drivers may crash and leave you with a blank screen and you will have to reset your pc. For GPU memory limits I used OCCTs error check, for the core I used Heaven on a loop for 15-30 min.

I will be overclocking with Afterburner this evening and then poceeding to modify the BIOS with the BIOS Tweaker.

Before I flash the card with the new BIOS I would really appreciate if someone could check the BIOS for me to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. Could anyone help me with this? I don't want to end up making a big mistake.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anak85 View Post

I will be overclocking with Afterburner this evening and then poceeding to modify the BIOS with the BIOS Tweaker.

Before I flash the card with the new BIOS I would really appreciate if someone could check the BIOS for me to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. Could anyone help me with this? I don't want to end up making a big mistake.

You can post it here and I'll take a look at it, or post it in the thread I posted earlier. Also explain what you are trying to achieve with your clocks, power, and voltage. thumb.gif
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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You can post it here and I'll take a look at it, or post it in the thread I posted earlier. Also explain what you are trying to achieve with your clocks, power, and voltage. thumb.gif

So, I tested what overclock I can run with my card still stable. I got to +120Mhz core clock and 7.800Mhz memory clock.

I tried three settings for the voltage control. +0mV +20mV and +40mV

Strange thing was, that the +120Mhz core clock resulted in different max CPU clocks depending on the voltage -> 1486Mhz (+0mV), 1499Mhz (+20mV), 1512Mhz (+40mV)

Benchmarking results with Heaven:

+0mV: Score 1883 / 74,8 FPS
+20mV: Score 1880 / 74,6 FPS
+40mV: Score 1895 / 75,2 FPS

Strange that the second is lower than the first.

Also, the power consumption obviously varied. It was hard to say exactly by how much thought. TDP was around 80-85% (0mV), 85-90% (+20mV), 90-95% (40mV).

Attached you can also see 3 screen shots of the testing.

So, how should I set up my card? My aim is to get a little bit extra out of my card. I am not a hard core gamer and am happy if my card can last 1 year longer with an overclock. But I do not want to just waste power because I crank up the card to the absolute maximum just to get a few FPS extra out of the system.

I guess the question is, where is the sweet spot between power consumption and added performance. I read somewhere that the most gain is around 1400-1450Mhz. Everything above that cost a lot of power to achieve. Is that correct?



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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 06:59 PM
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Your card is throttling. If you look at the perf cap in gpuz graphs, it will either say vrel (voltage) or pwr (power). That is what is why your clocks are not maxing out. We could probably do just below 1500 mhz core and leave the memory around the 7800 mhz. We can raise you voltage a little over stock and your power limits. Your temps seem ok, but you can set your fan more aggressive if you want.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kl6mk6 View Post

Your card is throttling. If you look at the perf cap in gpuz graphs, it will either say vrel (voltage) or pwr (power). That is what is why your clocks are not maxing out. We could probably do just below 1500 mhz core and leave the memory around the 7800 mhz. We can raise you voltage a little over stock and your power limits. Your temps seem ok, but you can set your fan more aggressive if you want.

How do I raise the voltage? I thought that is what I was doing by adding +40mV Core Voltage and raising the Power Limit to 105%. Or do I need to raise it even more?

Here is the report I was talking about regarding Core Clock vs. Performance Increase. (The report is in German though but the graphs are still pretty clear).
http://www.tomshardware.de/geforce-gtx-960-overclocking-efficiency,testberichte-241729-3.html

Their conclusion is that 1450Mhz is the ideal combination of increased performance to power consumption ratio (see graph below).

Since I do not want to change my fan curve (which actually I had done in my tests previously and will be reducing the speeds again), I guess I should decide to reduce my overclock a little and test the temps again. What do you think?

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