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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had numerous graphics cards over the years, both nvidia and amd, and like most people here, I like to overclock
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Important part of the overclock process is testing the card for stability.
Standard advice which can be found all over the internet is to run Unigine Heaven,3dmark11 and just play you favorites games.
While this advice is good, its not best advice to test gpu stability. I know this because I found a program which never failed me, over the years and different hardware, to expose gpu unstability much faster and more reliably then Heaven or 3dmark11 ever could.
Just running this program from 10-15 minutes would equal running Heaven for hours.
Sometimes, even looping 3dmark11 or Heaven for 10 hours wouldnt produce any artifacts or crash while this program would in 10 minutes.

So,what is this magic program which is overclockers dream ( or a nightmare ) ?

It is 3dmark06 Canyon Flight test !!!

Yes, that old 3dmark is much more effective in exposing unstably overclocks then newer editions such as 3dmark11.

All you need to do to test you card is just loop Canyon Flight test for 10-15 minutes and see if it will crash, and look for artifacts.

I dont remember how many times I had to dial back what I thought was 100% stable overclock, because I could run 3dmark11 or Heaven for hours without problems, and could also play games without any problems.

Lets just take for example my newest gigabyte 660 I just purchased. I got it to +50 core and +350 memory without any problems, played Crysis 3 for 5 hours, ran 3dmark11 and new 3dmark without single artifact, and also run Heaven and new Valley for about an hour.
Sounds stable, right ? Wrong ! I remember this damned 3dmar06 and do you know what my overclock is now ? Its +25 core and +100 memory.
Raising memory more causes artifacts, and raising cores causes it to crash.

So there you have, I just wanted to share this, because it seems this is not common knowledge.
Just take a look at a thread like "Master 670/680 overclocking guide" and you will see in overclock procedure that they instruct users to test it by running Heaven. Which is completely wrong advice, because Heaven is not overclock sensitive, unless you push your card too far.
So what is point in testing your overclock with it, is beyond me.
3dmark06 should be used to test overclocks, not Heaven.

So, anybody reading this who has his/her card overclocked, I dare you to loop this 3dmark06 test for an hour or so.
You may be unpleasantly suprised...
 

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Interesting. I'm going to try this when I get home. My 7970 @ 1300/7750 can run Metro at Very High Settings with Tessalation on @ 1440p for 5+ hours artifact free before crashing with a grey screen. This indicates to me in my humble opinion, that it is "pretty close" to being stable as Metro is very demanding and uses 99% gpu utilization. A slight bump in voltage or reduction in oc should do the trick.
I have been looking for a faster way to detect unstable OC's. I never use OCCT because it puts unrealistic strain on a gpu, and have always said running Heaven loops for hours is pretty redundant and ineffective when you can just play your favourite demanding games instead.

I have dialed my OC back to 1280/7500. Will be interesting to see how fast, if at all Canyon picks up on it. Will post my results.
 

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Just test it on the most application which you usually want to play....for me, I prefer a games...so I test my oc on the games...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by karn View Post

Interesting. I'm going to try this when I get home. My 7970 @ 1300/7750 can run Metro at Very High Settings with Tessalation on @ 1440p for 5+ hours artifact free before crashing with a grey screen. This indicates to me in my humble opinion, that it is "pretty close" to being stable as Metro is very demanding and uses 99% gpu utilization. A slight bump in voltage or reduction in oc should do the trick.
I have been looking for a faster way to detect unstable OC's. I never use OCCT because it puts unrealistic strain on a gpu, and have always said running Heaven loops for hours is pretty redundant and ineffective when you can just play your favourite demanding games instead.

I have dialed my OC back to 1280/7500. Will be interesting to see how fast, if at all Canyon picks up on it. Will post my results.
Yes, please do post your results
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Frankly, I've found that running a [email protected] client on any GPU will pick up instability issues faster than anything. If you're card can fold successfully, you won't find anything it won't be able to do. I've had cards pass all kinds of benchmarks without issue, but then fire up a folding client and crash. This is why I've taken to using [email protected] as my standard benchmark for any GPU or CPU overclock.
 

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If the result was that no overclock was the only thing stable then it may be one of those rare apps that glitch out when you run anything besides stock, which would be a software issue and not hardware. There's a number of old games like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by derfer View Post

If the result was that no overclock was the only thing stable then it may be one of those rare apps that glitch out when you run anything besides stock, which would be a software issue and not hardware. There's a number of old games like that.
No, I tested more and was able to get +25mhz core and +90 memory...its not worth it, I will just leave it at stock.
But I tested this much more over the years,not just on this card, for example on my old 460 gtx I was stable 800 mhz core in 3dmark06 while it could run Heaven without problems on 850mhz core.
I am telling you people, current advice on how to test gpu OC is wrong, Heaven or 3dmark11 are not really going to show you true picture, they will run on unstable cards just fine.

I thought this is going to get more replies, I am really on to something here
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But I agree with WonderMutt too that FAH client is also very good at exposing unstable OC, its either that or 3dmark06 for me, I dont even bother running games or Heaven when testing OC anymore...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really dont know what to do
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I can either run my card at +50 core and +350 memory which is nice overclock, and is stable everywhere, I just played Crysis 3, Far Cry 3, run new 3dmark etc...

Or should I settle at only +25 core and +90 memory just because it crashes/artifacts in 3dmark06 ?

Does it really metter, if its stable in games ?

Would it be bad for the card it it contantly runs at slightly unstable overclock ?
 

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Try OCCT gpu test mode with "error check" enabled.
 

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I find this rather silly tbh. You said that you had an OC on your card and it was stable enough to play your games without crashing but instead of being satisfied you run this bench over and over to force it to fail? If it plays your games just fine then why force a condition that is not there during your standard, day-to-day, usage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Originally Posted by qwertymac93 View Post

Try OCCT gpu test mode with "error check" enabled.
I thought these kind of programs similiar to furmark are now blocked by drivers ? ( card throttles down so you dont accomplish anything by running them ) ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canis-X View Post

I find this rather silly tbh. You said that you had an OC on your card and it was stable enough to play your games without crashing but instead of being satisfied you run this bench over and over to force it to fail? If it plays your games just fine then why force a condition that is not there during your standard, day-to-day, usage?
Because I wanted to see if its stable overlock, I knew this program stresses the cards.

Even now I am not sure if its good idea to leave OC I know is not stable, even if its stable enough to play games...
 

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I don't think modern cards block furmark, I think AMD stopped with the 69xx series since they had powertune.

OCCT's gpu test actually renames itself as "crysis2.exe" anyway, so it wont get blocked even on older cards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwertymac93 View Post

I don't think modern cards still block furmark, I think AMD stopped with the 69xx series since they had powertune.

OCCT's gpu test actually renames itself as "crysis2.exe" anyway, so it wont get blocked.
Well TBH I am kinda scared to run OCCT or Furmark because I heard these programs destroy cards.

Besides, I already know its unstable, question is should I pay attention to it since I can play all my games without any problems...

There is no any reason 3dmark would work correctly up to +90 memory and +25 core and then start making problems beside unstable overlock
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I'd say stick to what is stable.

Furmark used to blow cards back in the 48xx/gtx28x days before we had all the fancy power monitor/turbo modes. Now, cards do a good enough job keeping track of power consumption that its rare that they will blow from any kind of stress test.
 
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