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Hardware Hacking The hammer and tongs school of Overclocking. (NOT for the beginner and you assume all risks)


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15th August, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Question 6800 GT not performing as well as it should

First of all I'd like to say hello to everyone. This seems like a great forum for o'cing and tweaking in general, hopefully I will have a long and happy stay here.

Okay, now onto the topic. I recently purchased a second-hand Gainward GeForce 6800 GT Golden Sample (hopefully the last AGP card I'll ever buy), the card is about 2 years old. Since my previous card, a 6800 LE had unlocked to 12pp/6vp and clocked a very nice 400/1050 (I call it my "6800 GS+"), I was quite excited to see what a full-powered 6800 GT could do.

However, my overclocking experiences with this GT have been less than stellar. As Gainward advertises, it is able to reach Ultra speeds (400/1100), but at those speeds, my 3DMark05 score is around 1000 points lower than at 350/1100. Obviously, the core is throttling (and the throttling isn't temperature-related - max temp at load is around 60 C).

A quick BIOS dump with NiBiTor showed me that the core was running at 1.3V, so I upped it to 1.4V and re-flashed the BIOS. Now running at 400/1100 gives me a score of 4683... better, but still a long way away from the 5370 points I get at 380/1100.

So, anyone know how can I get the core to run happily at 400MHz? Upping the core volts seems to work, but the next voltage step up in my 6800 GT BIOS is 1.6V, and I'm worried that this will fry the card.

Finally, I've tried using ATITool to find the max core/mem speeds, and everytime the core gets to around 420MHz, the computer BSODs. I'm not sure if it's the core or the 91.33 drivers I'm using, but this is quite a worrying problem. Anyone know why it happens and how to overcome it?

Any and all advice is very welcome!
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Old 15th August, 2006, 02:38 PM
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When i used the 91.33 drivers they were full of problems. Try the newest 91.45 Xtreme-G modified drivers, you can get them in the files section. They should allow you to get higher clocks and they also have many other improvements in image quality and performance. I have a 6800LE and i have gotten my core to 425 without any problems. Give them a try.
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Old 16th August, 2006, 04:00 PM
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Thanks, I will probably only be able to download those drivers on the weekend, so I guess I'll just have to be patient.
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Old 16th August, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Could you give us a system spec rundown, and do you have any debug reports from the card?
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Old 17th August, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Yeah, system specs might help...

Athlon64 3400+ (Socket 754)
ASUS K8N-E Deluxe mobo
2x 512MB DDR400 (2.5-3-3-8) (hopefully upgrading soon ;p)
Antec TruePower2 430W
120GB Western Digital hard drive (SATA)
LG H10 DVD-RAM drive
1x 12cm, 2x 8cm casefans
Windows XP SP2, ForceWare 91.31 drivers (WHQL)

As you can see, it isn't the newest or best system, but considering I paid next to nothing for it, I'm not complaining . And I know that 430W is considered relatively low for a PSU, but I had the same PC, with a 380W PSU, running the aforementioned 6800 GS and no problems whatsoever.

Regarding the cabling, the 6800 GT has a molex power cable all to itself, to ensure maximum stability. According to the PSU's specs, there's 17A on both the 12v1 and 12v2 lines, which should be enough for a 6800 GT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
... do you have any debug reports from the card?
Not quite sure what you mean by "debug reports". Do you mean the WinXP crash dumps when the computer BSODs?
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Old 17th August, 2006, 11:13 AM
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The drivers that were suggested above will allow you to see the debugging screen which informs you of core slowdowns and explains the reason for them.

A 430W Antec is not enough for a 6800GT. A 430W Enermax or an equally good brand would, but not an antec. This very site's BDFL recently had his 6800GT doing something similar to this due to his 550W Antec not being able to cope with it. This is a high power chip, and if you volt mod it, it will get worse, and put an even greater stress on that PSU. Overclocked, and with a volt mod, this thing can draw over 120W easily. That is simply massive.

No other card will stress your power supply as much as a 6800GT/U. X1950XTX and 7950GX2 may be higher power, but PCI-E slots can provide far more power, and the 6 pin +12V PCI-E ATX connector makes things much easier than forcing a single +12V wire to do all the work.
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Last edited by dsio; 18th August, 2006 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 17th August, 2006, 06:32 PM
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I've had a chance to check out that PSU, unfortunitly dsio speaks the truth.
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Old 18th August, 2006, 10:44 AM
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430W Antec TP2 is not enough for my system??? O_o

According to 3 power supply calculators that I have used, my system needs a 300W PSU minimum. The one site claims a 6800GT/Ultra draws 70W, which was factored into the calculation of 300W. If a 6800GT can draw 120W then my actual "minimum" PSU wattage is 350W, which leaves me with about 80W headroom.

I'm confused, therefore, why 430W (and even 550W!!!) is too little. I'm not doubting your words, but an explanation would be most appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
This very site's BDFL recently had his 6800GT doing something similar to this due to his 550W Antec not being able to cope with it.
If there is a thread on this topic, could you please link me to it? I tried the Search but didn't come up with anything.

Also, if I do need a better PSU, what would you recommend? Is the Enermax Noisetaker 600W a good choice?
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Old 18th August, 2006, 11:36 AM
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The fact that it says it can do 430W doesn't mean that it can. It means under certain ideal conditions, it can deliver 430W, evenly distributed across the rails.

Your system is putting the vast majority of its load on the +12V rails, which means the 150-200W of capacity that the +5V rails count for is not helping. Same for the power the +3.3V rail is supplying.

Even though they say that it can do that, under ideal conditions, there is a likelyhood with age and use, it will no longer be able to cope. It can't deliver it continuously in other words.

The reason why the Enermax 600W costs so much more than the Antec 600W (or thereabouts) units is quality. The antec is built down to a price. The Enermax is built down to specifications.

Those minimum PSU calculators are as a result of this, completely useless. They don't factor in how the load is spread, or how long the unit can run at its rated speed, and at what temperatures.

Then there is also the efficiencey of the unit...

Heres Daniel~'s thread about the 7800GS he bought, and the PSU issues he had with his Antec 550W. http://www.aoaforums.com/forum/graph...gs-oc-apg.html
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Last edited by dsio; 18th August, 2006 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 21st August, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Well, I installed the Xtreme-G 91.45 drivers and they're every bit as good as was said. Finally I have transparency AA on my 6800 !

Anyhow, I played around over the weekend and dropped the RAM speed back to 1GHz. Then I tried increasing the core clock by 5 MHz and benchmarking with 3DMark05. Up to 385MHz, scores increase, but at 390/395/400, the core throttles.

However, at 405 and 410, the core DOES NOT throttle. But anything above that and throttling kicks in again.

dsio - the attached file is a screenie of my Control Panel event log. What's weird is that the drivers show no throttling at all, yet running RivaTuner while benchmarking clearly demonstrates that the core frequency is dropping during the benchmark run.

I'm going to try giving the core 1.5V and see what it does. At 410 MHz I've managed 5563 points in 3DMark05, and I'm determined to break the 6000 barrier. If that requires a new power supply or better cooling, so be it!
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6800 GT not performing as well as it should-nv_debug.png  
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Old 21st August, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Currently my 6800GT is sitting around the 6500-6700 mark in 05, running with a massive overclock, greatly improved cooling, and a very slight volt mod. If I went into the 1.6+ volt range on air with a delta fan blowing on it, or watercooled, 7000 would be a snooze.

I think you could get 6K out of that card with some tweakery. What are your temps right now, and what's the cooling situation?

Also, yea I absolutely love my TR SSAA, and have it enabled always. The performance hit is not even close to noticable and the image quality improvements are brilliant.

This would be yet another reason why back in 2004 all us early adopters were picking up our 6800GT/Us rather than X800s. Also another reason why I never bothered with a Geforce 7, also known as the shrunken Geforce 6.
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Last edited by dsio; 21st August, 2006 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 21st August, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Temps right now average 49 C idle, 62 C under load, and the highest I've seen is 70 C when running ATITool. As it's a Golden Sample card, it comes with awesome cooling:

http://images.planetamd64.com/phatsob/6800gt/3.jpg
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