(GTX 970/GTX 980): Why Bios modding is mandatory for most cards if you want a stable overclock - Page 2 - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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(GTX 970/GTX 980): Why Bios modding is mandatory for most cards if you want a stable overclock

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 09:09 AM
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Check this bios out:
1304.0 tdp base clock
1544.5 3d base clock(in-game and benchmark frequencies)
1544.5 boost
272.8W tdp and max power(95400x2/6-pins) and (82000-PCI-E slot)=272800mW(100%power limit, constant)
1.2750v
idle temps 22-37C
load temps 48-55C
no throttling or perf caps
I ran heaven and valley, both for an hour+10 rounds of fire strike.
EVGAGTX970SSCACX2.0_1.275v_1545Mhz.zip 136k .zip file Fire Strike 1620/4001, 1.275v, 49C Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6851504

This is the graph data from AB 4.1.0: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear flexy123, can you post your modded BIOS for your 970 ACX 2.0 that reflects your considerations in previous messages?
I think it will be easy for everyone to follow you with it opened in MBT.smile.gif

Sure!

1481lol.zip 136k .zip file


Be aware:

This my personal BIOS for my SC ACX2.0 GTX 970 with an ASIC of 70%. On stock, it only boosted to 1.200V

After many tests I concluded that the card hits its limit at 1.212V, therefore I don't use the 1.212V.

It uses my tested 1481.0 at 1.200V where it's stable. Power limit is also slightly increased to 196W default and 206W max. Those cards are IMHO not designed to get pushed higher, not with that junk of a cooler. 196W is a good value to keep temps still reasonable. I haven't seen the card throttling in games (this was the main reason I modded in the first place)..:EXCEPT firestrike demo and some special cases which I think is where most cards throttle.

* Be also aware this is for the standard SC ACX2.0 cards which have a crappy voltage controller which does not go higher than 1.212V and which also doesn't allow setting voltage externally.

A SSC+ etc. uses entirely different components, it also has 1x6pin + 1x8pin...so use my BIOS only if you have a normal SC ACX2.0 card and think that it would do 1480..and you want it stable. (Obviously, SOME cards might get higher....but for me I found 1480 the best, 1510 etc. might black screen me out after an hour or so Heaven Benchmark, even at 1.212V)

Edit: The fact that I dont use the maximum possible Voltage of 1.212V in my bios has another advantage: It never reaches the voltage limit!

Bios modding and flashing until the EEPROM smokes!! Yay!!
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 03:19 AM
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Sure!

Thanks a lot!
I will study it to learn more on the matter. smile.gif

PNY GTX970 reference 81% with EK full waterblock
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 06:20 AM
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I have a 970 PNY reference design and the voltage perfcap activates any time I read on AB 1.212 V or more.
Does it mean that my card is hardware limited at 1.212 V?
Can someone confirm if am I right?

PNY GTX970 reference 81% with EK full waterblock
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 06:28 AM
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Edit: The fact that I dont use the maximum possible Voltage of 1.212V in my bios has another advantage: It never reaches the voltage limit!

Is there something real suggesting not to reach the voltage perfcap?
I wish to squeeze any MHz my VGA can achieve and +12 mV could help. smile.gif

Using a full water dissipation, what level of normal and max power in W do you suggest?

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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brama View Post

Is there something real suggesting not to reach the voltage perfcap?
I wish to squeeze any MHz my VGA can achieve and +12 mV could help. smile.gif

Using a full water dissipation, what level of normal and max power in W do you suggest?

I'd say for any "normal" card I would always use the max. possible voltage, if temps are not a problem tho.

My SC ACX2.0 (AND the one I had before!) all have a problem with max voltage. Yesterday I found my card black screens even at 1.200V in Heaven BM, so now I changed my BIOS to use a maximum of 1.187V, it's still stable at 1480. I don't know what's wrong with those *****y EVGA cards but lower voltage is the only solution I found to prevent the black screens. That being said, on Air...and with the s****Y EVGA cards, say when it is stable at 1500 at 1.187V and doesn't really *require* 1.200 or 1.212 I would also prefer to run it at the lowest stable voltage, it reduces power draw (means: reduces the trehshold until it might throttle AND of course temps).

I am telling you, it's the ****y components, mainly voltage regulators etc. on those cards which cause problems, if they get too hot with high voltage the card(s) black screen. I am not the only one with this problem as it looks.

Bios modding and flashing until the EEPROM smokes!! Yay!!
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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 07:35 AM
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I am telling you, it's the ****y components, mainly voltage regulators etc. on those cards which cause problems, if they get too hot with high voltage the card(s) black screen. I am not the only one with this problem as it looks.


I suspect that cards with NCP81174 voltage regulator hit some overcurrent protection that cut the power to card. I have similar black screens and in my experience they don't seems a unstable overclock but some hardware protection that is triggering in.

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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I suspect that cards with NCP81174 voltage regulator hit some overcurrent protection that cut the power to card. I have similar black screens and in my experience they don't seems a unstable overclock but some hardware protection that is triggering in.

Yes, because with a non stable OC it's usually that the drivers crashes but the system recovers. The funny thing is, "in principle", those cards go up to 1550 or higher even, it's just that all of a sudden the card seems to "shut off" but otherwise is stable even at very high clocks. I wonder whether a good aftermarket cooler would actually help there.

Bios modding and flashing until the EEPROM smokes!! Yay!!
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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:05 AM
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I wonder whether a good aftermarket cooler would actually help there.

I don't think so.
I have an EK waterblock on my PNY 970 and the card is able to hit and mantain about 1580 MHz for about 30 minutes without any issue.
Depending on load (in my PC FarCry 4 is perfect to check this kind of stability issue), after this time there is the infamous black screen that is engaged more by power load than gpu core frequency.
With light games, I can stay at 1620 MHz for hours.

I think that in many 970 and 980 they used very cheap VRM components and the OCP (Over Current Protection) of NCP81174 is kept very low, to protect the poor VRM components.

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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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>>
that is engaged more by power load than gpu core frequency.
>>

Yes this is exactly the conclusion I came up with too! In fact, it's looking that anything beyond 195W draw is at some point becoming critical. The actual core freq or voltage doesn't matter (of course there is a relationship ultimately), but it's the overall power draw those cards cannot handle at some point. That's why I also say, IF YOU CAN and test your card stable at a certain freq...it might be a good idea to use the lowest possible voltage to keep the draw within tolerance. (I am simply assuming that lower voltage doesn't stress the VRMs that hard)

Bios modding and flashing until the EEPROM smokes!! Yay!!
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