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View Full Version : MSI 5870 won't overclock properly



Musho
11-14-2009, 04:55 AM
I've recently received my MSI 5870 and I'm using it to drive 3 monitors in portrait mode for a resolution of 3456 x 2048. Although I am very happy with it's performance, it won't overclock at all. :shrug: Trying 900mhz core at stock volts (1.1625) fails to run heaven benchmark all the way to the end at auto fan speed, bringing the temperatures in the 70s. I have been able to run a heaven benchmark at 1000mhz core, although it required 1.3v @ 100% fan speed. This wasn't even 24/7 stable. (even if it was, I wouldn't use it because of the jet engine sound.) Are the latest 5870 batches very crappy overclockers? Because I was hoping to be able to run 1000mhz core at 40ish % fanspeed for 24/7, but there's no way that's going to happen. Or am I missing something? Before installing this card I removed all left over drivers from my previous videocard with driversweeper and did a full reinstall of 9.10 CCC. The GPU came shipped with MSI's unlocked BIOS and I used MSI afterburner 1.40 to change volts, fan speed and clock speed. I've tested my PSU with a multimeter, to see if the 12v rail was stable. Running OCCT PSU test my 12v rail drops from 12.18 to 12.17 and stays there forever, meaning rock solid power.

Another problem I have is the card running in idle mode at the desktop. I know the idle clocks are way higher in eyefinity mode to prevent screen flickering, but what I do not get, is why the core clock is changing between 400mhz and 850mhz all the time, while just sitting at the desktop, doing nothing. Here's a screenshot that shows what's happening at the desktop. Really weird behaviour.

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4623/corespeed.jpg

My system specs:
MIIF p45
Q9650 @ stock (to rule this out as the cause, was previously running it at 4140mhz)
Corsair HX1000 PSU
4x 1gb kingston 1066mhz CL5 ram
MSI 5870
Antec Twelve Hundred case with all optional case fans installed, meaning excellent airflow.

TechloGoblin
11-14-2009, 09:31 AM
The card should be running at low idle speed on the desktop. That is part of ATI's Powerplay mode.
You can have it overclocked in Afterburner and it will still idle low at the desktop and ramp up when gaming/heavy use. This is normal behavior. You can disable this if you'd like. You have to create a profile in ATI's CCC and then edit the .xml file. A quick google search should help you out bigtime.

Don't forget all chips are different. You could just have a real dud of an overclocker.

Musho
11-14-2009, 09:41 AM
The card should be running at low idle speed on the desktop. That is part of ATI's Powerplay mode.
You can have it overclocked in Afterburner and it will still idle low at the desktop and ramp up when gaming/heavy use. This is normal behavior. You can disable this if you'd like. You have to create a profile in ATI's CCC and then edit the .xml file. A quick google search should help you out bigtime.

Don't forget all chips are different. You could just have a real dud of an overclocker.

I know it will run idle clocks at the desktop, but if you look at the GPU-Z screenshot, you can see it is clocking up to 850mhz and down to 400mhz all the time. That is with the pc just sitting at the desktop doing nothing. Isn't it supposed to stay at 400mhz while it's at the desktop? I know I could have gotten a dud, but these results are worse than the worst results I've seen online. I'm fairly disappointed with it, to be honest. :shakes:

gamervivek
11-14-2009, 02:44 PM
I know it will run idle clocks at the desktop, but if you look at the GPU-Z screenshot, you can see it is clocking up to 850mhz and down to 400mhz all the time. That is with the pc just sitting at the desktop doing nothing. Isn't it supposed to stay at 400mhz while it's at the desktop? I know I could have gotten a dud, but these results are worse than the worst results I've seen online. I'm fairly disappointed with it, to be honest. :shakes:

If there is graphics intensive thing going on the desktop it will still clock up, since these cards do not have any 2D chip, but those spikes to higher core clock would not make a significant change to the power consumption anyway.Its like saying that a PSU consumes higher power just because its total wattage is higher.
Keeping on riva tuner's graph on screen would see the card flicker up and down, if the monitoring was done in background there was very less upclocking.

roller11
11-15-2009, 10:15 AM
I have been able to run a heaven benchmark at 1000mhz core, although it required 1.3v @ 100% fan speed. This wasn't even 24/7 stable. (even if it was, I wouldn't use it because of the jet engine sound.)

There's a simple fix for the horrible noise your card makes at 100%, I've done the following with every new VGA card I've owned: Remove the cover/fan and position a standard 120mm fan to blow air into the HS. The 5870 has about 60% of the fins uncovered, so there's a decent chance this will sufficiently cool with the stock HS. I did this on my 5850 and it didn't quite work (see below) so I replaced the HS with a six year old Intel HS from a Pentium chip. Now, my card runs cool (75C in 3D games) with the fan blowing at about 1100 RPM, overclocked and overvolted, it's about the same noise level as the stock fan at 35%. At idle, 675 RPM and it's virtually silent.
With all Nvidia cards, the HS fins are totally uncovered. ATI however does the same design blunder with all their cards except the 4870x2...they close the fins at the top so air can't enter the HS from above. The 5850 is about 80% covered, so a HS replacement may be in order in addition to the fan change. In your case (5870), only 40% is closed off so you may get away with only replacing the fan.

Neuromancer
11-15-2009, 10:31 AM
The 3D clock mode jump I would assum has to do with moving windows and such with Aero Glass enabled.

Musho
11-15-2009, 02:14 PM
Thanks for all the replies. It's still a horrible clocking card compared to others, so modding a dud doesn't seem like a good idea. I've left the card clocked at it's default clocks, since it's performing well enough already, but a bit better performance would never hurt. Today my computer hardlocked while I was playing Dragon Age: Origins showing weird artifacts on the screen. I'm actually glad it did that. Hopefully it will do it again, so I have a reason to RMA the card. Hopefully my next card will clock to 1000/1300 with the stock cooler running at ~40% with a minor bump in voltage, like it's doing for most other people around here. Here's a picture of the crash. This does look like a GPU problem, right?

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/5596/crashg.jpg

Kurz
11-15-2009, 03:57 PM
Oh yea serious GPU problem just RMA it.
Try Furmark that'll probably stress it to Lock again.

Deanzo
11-15-2009, 04:42 PM
Hopefully my next card will clock to 1000/1300 with the stock cooler running at ~40% with a minor bump in voltage, like it's doing for most other people around here. Here's a picture of the crash. This does look like a GPU problem, right?


Most others ?

I have 4 of these cards, none of mine will do that with a minor bump in voltage.

And most of the benchers that I know that have these, run them at 1.35v for 1000/1300 or so.
And thats benching, I'm not talking 24/7 stable.

One of mine won't even do that :(

Musho
11-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Most others ?

I have 4 of these cards, none of mine will do that with a minor bump in voltage.

And most of the benchers that I know that have these, run them at 1.35v for 1000/1300 or so.
And thats benching, I'm not talking 24/7 stable.

One of mine won't even do that :(

Huh? In the overclocking thread in this section, people are posting screenshots of their 5870 doing 1000/1300 with just 1.25v at relatively low fan speed (40% ish). And with stock volts, they are maxing at around 930-970 depending on how good the card clocks. Mine won't even do 900 at stock volts :shrug:

Deanzo
11-15-2009, 07:05 PM
I can run 3 of my cards that way, but they throttle back if it's unstable (odd, one card doesn't and just gives me a funny looking screen)
I've tested my cards in 10Mhz jumps to find what point they start to throttle back, it looks fine when you're running, just if you check your score/fps it's lower.

With 3 cards 960/1250, 4Ghz cpu, scores a little under 33K 3D Vantage, up the mem to 1300 score drops to 28K

I can show you screenshots of really high clocks too, doesn't mean anything unless they have tested to see if it's throttle back.

bhavv
11-15-2009, 10:09 PM
Huh? In the overclocking thread in this section, people are posting screenshots of their 5870 doing 1000/1300 with just 1.25v at relatively low fan speed (40% ish). And with stock volts, they are maxing at around 930-970 depending on how good the card clocks. Mine won't even do 900 at stock volts :shrug:

I doubt this because the 5770 needs around 1.25v for 1000 Mhz, and then the fan needs to be running at around 70-80%.

Also, dont forget that the people posting here are enthusiasts and are overall a very small proportion of the number of people who actually own a 5800 graphics card. A few people getting 1000 Mhz @ 1.25v and being fine on 40% fan speed is definately not normal for the 5870.

I consider myself to be very lucky to be able to get 1000 Mhz @ 1.225v, and 1050 @ 1.3v, and that is on a chip that is only half the specification of the 5870, meaning that recieving these results on a 5870 is going to be even more difficult and far less likely.

Musho
11-16-2009, 05:01 AM
I can run 3 of my cards that way, but they throttle back if it's unstable (odd, one card doesn't and just gives me a funny looking screen)
I've tested my cards in 10Mhz jumps to find what point they start to throttle back, it looks fine when you're running, just if you check your score/fps it's lower.

With 3 cards 960/1250, 4Ghz cpu, scores a little under 33K 3D Vantage, up the mem to 1300 score drops to 28K

I can show you screenshots of really high clocks too, doesn't mean anything unless they have tested to see if it's throttle back.

This is ECC kicking in at high memory speeds. Basicly, when you run the memory at high speeds, the link between the memory and the GPU will produce errors. These errors are detected and the data will be resend. If you are running your memory too high, it starts producing more and more errors, needing more and more resends causing the performance to go down rather than to go up. This has nothing to do with overclocking the core, however.

Musho
11-16-2009, 05:15 AM
I doubt this because the 5770 needs around 1.25v for 1000 Mhz, and then the fan needs to be running at around 70-80%.

Also, dont forget that the people posting here are enthusiasts and are overall a very small proportion of the number of people who actually own a 5800 graphics card. A few people getting 1000 Mhz @ 1.25v and being fine on 40% fan speed is definately not normal for the 5870.

I consider myself to be very lucky to be able to get 1000 Mhz @ 1.225v, and 1050 @ 1.3v, and that is on a chip that is only half the specification of the 5870, meaning that recieving these results on a 5870 is going to be even more difficult and far less likely.

Here's a picture of someone else's overclocking results. Do note he's running at 70% fan speed. He could most likely reduce the fan speed and up the voltage to maintain stability as well.

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/4407/5870oc.jpg

Here's a 900/1300 vantage run at stock volts, no way mine would complete that.

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/440/vpi74ghz58701gb9001300.jpg

Here's a 1000/1300 vantage run at just 1.225v at 45% fan speed!

http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp219/Nizzen/58703dvantagestock.png
http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp219/Nizzen/58703dvantage1000-1300.png

I guess I could show more screenies, but I think everyone can see these results are quite a bit better than what I am getting at the moment. :(

Musho
11-16-2009, 07:22 AM
Woohoo! All of a sudden my card likes to play nice and clocks VERY well for 24/7 clocks. I've been benching the card for 1:30 hours without a single crash at 1000mhz core at 50% fan speed. I've done a few runs at 40% too without the card crashing. The thing that's also very nice, is that it scales with memory clocking all the way to 1350mhz. ECC doesn't seem to lower the performance more than the clock upping highers it, resulting in overall higher performance. All testing was done at 1.35v. Going from 44.8 fps all the way to 51.0 fps is some very nice scaling. Enjoy! I certainly am. :up:

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/8528/resultsp.th.jpg (http://img39.imageshack.us/i/resultsp.jpg/)

bhavv
11-16-2009, 07:53 AM
Well done :)

Any idea why it wasnt working before?

The 5870 stock cooler is very nice with its 4 heatpipes. The 5770 one on the other hand is a piece of garbage =D

Musho
11-16-2009, 08:25 AM
Well done :)

Any idea why it wasnt working before?

The 5870 stock cooler is very nice with its 4 heatpipes. The 5770 one on the other hand is a piece of garbage =D

I have simply no idea. I was using the same settings previously, and now it suddenly is stable :shrug: Not that I'm complaining ofcourse :p:
Dragon Age: Origins started showing artifacts at 1000-1300 @ 50% fan after playing for ~1 hour. Going to try and tweak the settings a bit to get it 24/7 stable. Wish me luck! :up:

Musho
11-16-2009, 01:40 PM
I now settled my clocks at 970-1350. It's a bit lower than what I had in mind for the core and I could get 1ghz stable, but the fan would be too loud for my liking. And this card isn't a bad clocker at all for increasing performance, really. These 5870s seem to scale nicely with increasing memory speeds unless ECC kicks in. Seeing as mine even scales all the way to 1350mhz, while most others are seeing decreases in performance going from 1250 to 1300, I'd say it's a fair tradeoff to run 30mhz lower on the core. Seeing as it started clocking better all of a sudden, I'm hoping it might start clocking even better after using it some more :p: No idea why it would do that, though. But hey, there's hoping :rofl::up:

Draxx
11-16-2009, 01:56 PM
The GPU-Z clock up and down thing is a bug in GPU-Z as in Afterburner you'll notice the clocks stay at idle (with GPU-Z closed). There is something in GPU-Z that is causing "some" 58x0's to increase and decrease clocks.

I have notified Wiz.

gamervivek
11-16-2009, 02:06 PM
sometimes the card might be a bit loose in the slot,it can affect the overclocking and general performance.

zshadow
11-20-2009, 09:13 AM
My 5870 showed a screen like that when playing Crysis then VPU recovery kicked in. I'm only running 900/1250 so I don't think it was the OC just a fluke driver issue. Hasn't happened again.