Radeon HD 5830 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. Based on Rivatuner you can alternatively use MSI AfterBurner which will work with 90% of the graphcsi carsd out there. We can recommend it very much, download here.
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.
Above you can see the overclocked results for Resident Evil 5, same image quality settings as before, in DX10 mode. Blue is the default test session we showed you, and then in red the overclocked results.
|Core Clock: 800MHz||Core Clock: 800MHz||Core Clock: 900MHz|
|Shader Clock: 800MHz||Shader Clock: 800MHz||Shader Clock: 900MHz|
|Memory Clock: 4000MHz||Memory Clock: 4000MHz||Memory Clock: 5200MHz|
As you can see, the Radeon HD 5830 can overclock, but you'll max out as there is a driver and BIOS lock set at 900 / 1100 (x4). Still, this is a slight overclock and you'll gain 10% extra performance. This is the maximum you can select with ATI's CCC.
Now then -- ATI defines a maximum allowed clock in the BIOS and signs that area with digital key, which we so much would like to see put to a halt really. To bypass ATI's restrictions we recently made a tweak for MSI Afterburner (which works on all 5830 reference models). Now let me address that MSI does not support this feature officially.
Here's what you do. Once you installed MSI AfterBurner just edit the AfterBurner.cfg file located in the installation directory, here we can now bypass the clock frequency limits set by ATI.
In the .cfg file seek EnableUnofficialOverclocking and set it to 1 like so:
|Original||Official OC||Overclocked with Rivatuner|
|Core Clock: 800MHz||Core Clock: 900MHz||Core Clock: 940MHz|
|Shader Clock: 800MHz||Shader Clock: 900MHz||Shader Clock: 940MHz|
|Memory Clock: 4000MHz||Memory Clock: 5200MHz||Memory Clock: 5364MHz|
Now here's the thing. By enforcing this tweak you will loose PowerPlay, that could open a new can of worms (because ATI really don't support these undocumented overclocking interfaces), there can be different (negative) side effects. Your call to make, if you run into problems... it's not Afterburner causing it, so please do not complain.
We now force the fan RPM towards 40% for a little extra cooling -- we got another 40 MHz out of the GPU which isn't a lot really, the memory overclock was stable at 4x1341= 5364 MHz.
Now granted, our additional increase in performance is very slim, but at least we are free from any clock frequency restrictions this way.
* small error in the graph, second bar reads 4400 MHz mem - that should be 5200 mem
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