MSI R5770 HAWK review -
Overclocking & Tweaking
Overclocking & Tweaking
As most of you with most videocards know, you can apply a simple series of tricks to boost the overall performance a little. You can do this at two levels, namely tweaking by enabling registry or BIOS hacks, or very simple, tamper with Image Quality. And then there is overclocking, which will give you the best possible results by far.
What do we need?
One of the best tool for overclocking NVIDIA and ATI videocards is our own Rivatuner that you can download here. If you own an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card then the manufacturer actually has very nice built in options for you that can be found in the display driver properties.
Where should we go?
Overclocking: By increasing the frequency of the videocard's memory and GPU, we can make the videocard increase its calculation clock cycles per second. It sounds hard, but it really can be done in less than a few minutes. I always tend to recommend to novice users and beginners not to increase the frequency any higher then 5% of the core and memory clock. Example: If your card runs at 600 MHz (which is pretty common these days) then I suggest you don't increase the frequency any higher than 30 to 50 MHz.
More advanced users push the frequency often way higher. Usually when your 3D graphics start to show artifacts such as white dots ("snow"), you should back down 10-15 MHz and leave it at that. Usually when you are overclocking too hard, it'll start to show artifacts, empty polygons or it will even freeze. Carefully find that limit and then back down at least 20 MHz from the moment you notice an artifact. Look carefully and observe well. I really wouldn't know why you need to overclock today's tested card anyway, but we'll still show it ;)
All in all... do it at your own risk.
Overclocking with afterburner
So once you picked up the HAWK you should install the latest version of afterburner. Inside the application properties allow voltage overclocking, and then as you can see in the screenshots above, you get an unlocked voltage slider, allowing you to increase the voltage towards 1.35 Volts (we applied 1.3v) The results .. well, check out the graphs and info's below.
Above you can see the overclocked results for Resident Evil 5, same image quality settings as before.
|Original||This sample||Overclocked with Rivatuner|
|Core Clock: 850MHz||Core Clock: 875MHz||Core Clock: 1050MHz|
|Shader Clock: 850MHz||Shader Clock: 875MHz||Shader Clock: 1050MHz|
|Memory Clock: 4800MHz||Memory Clock: 4800MHz||Memory Clock: 5660MHz|
So normally with a 5770 based card you'll see an average overclock at 925~950 MHz after which ATI will apply a lock (950 MHz BIOS limit). The HAWK is unlocked though, and with the Voltage tweak we can easily take it over 1 GHz, in fact 1050 MHz was roughly where we ended. And memory is astonishing as well at 1415 MHz (x4 QDR).
So after applying the tweaks we ran 3DMark Vantage as well again, we now end up at a nice P score of 12657. A nice step up for a 30 second tweak.
Mind you that our overclock results are never a guarantee for your tweaking experience. Systems differ, products differ and batches can differ. You could get the very same, lower or even higher results.
Today here at Guru3D.com we'll be looking at a Radeon HD 5770 HAWK edition based on a custom PCB, voltage check points, improved power phases and a nice heavy duty yet silent cooler. MSI labels it as their military class products, as the quality and choice in components is just top notch.