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View Full Version : Do you think OC'ing can damage a 7900GT?


pault123
05-08-06, 05:58 PM
With all these 7900GT issues at the moment - there seems to be a lot of talk on various newgroups and forums about being careful about OC'ing the 7900GT beyond factory clocks without adding custom cooling and memory heatsinks.

There seems to be a consensus if you OC too far with standard cooling which doesnt look amazing I have to admit you can permanently damage the card?

I was aware as soon as you reach the clocks that cause artifacting or glitches just lower down a notch and you'll be fine. I also thought the cards simply throttle down if pushed to far to prevent themselves from burning out.

I'm due to receive my Gainward 7900GT 512 Goes Like Hell 580/1650 clock. Once ive certified its stable at these clocks i'm going to begin the abuse!

No volt mods, bios mods etc, just stock cooling, gainward heatsinks, and increases of 5mhz a time on the core until it bleeds, then 5 mhz on the memory.

Theres been a lot of debate about it. One view being "this is my 3rd RMA i'm not risking damaging my new card by OC'ing without custom cooling" the other being "if the card can't handle itself with stock cooling i'm just going to keep sending it back time and time again until I get a good one"

I get the impression some people are getting a very bad crash or artifacting from a high overclock and the card then just doesn't seem to be as reliable or perform the same

What do you reckon?

SLippe
05-08-06, 06:04 PM
Anytime you overclock something, there is always the risk of damaging it. That's kind of a given. Just like you wouldn't or shouldn't overclock a cpu too much using stock hsf. That's why there are 3rd party coolers out there.

Stevedroid
05-08-06, 08:03 PM
I think a great many people are reporting issues without overclocking. I know I've been having trouble at stock factory overclocks, but it's difficult to know if the game is at fault. The other thing that's weird is that the 7900GT issues seem pretty erratic. I haven't seen any accounts that were as concrete as "the card always locks up after X hours of play." Mostly it seems completely random, I know I've had as many locks after 5 minutes as I've had after 4 hours. The other thing is that you usually get warning signs when a card is overheating right. Colors go wrong polys start screwing up, but most of the time you get a minute or more before things lock right? The 7900s seem to be locking up with no artifacts or almost immediately after artifacts.

The symptoms aren't classical overheating symptoms. I wondering if there's not some deeper issue here, like memory or core flaw with the 7900s.

--------

All that being said, I just got rid of CPU overclock and played Fable without problem. I'll have to play a bit more before I can be sure that was the cause, but perhaps the card isn't at fault - or perhaps it's only at fault with a combination of things.

jAkUp
05-08-06, 08:38 PM
Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

Joe Public
05-09-06, 07:33 AM
I have had all my graphics cards overclocked since day 1 starting with my GeForce3, they all had factory cooling, and they worked fine for the time I used them. Of course, the standard HSF doesn't always cool the card very well, so replacing it with something better isn't a bad idea.

Riptide
05-09-06, 08:59 AM
I had an X800XTPE that all of the sudden wouldn't take the overclock it had been fine with for six months. It started to lock up hard. Drop it back to stock and it was fine. Temps were never a problem either.

So yeah there is risk.

ViN86
05-09-06, 11:13 AM
unless you run the card at extreme temperatures or higher voltages, i wouldnt worry too much about damage. the biggest issue with OCing things is heat. take care of the heat, the risks should be minimized.

pault123
05-09-06, 03:20 PM
unless you run the card at extreme temperatures or higher voltages, i wouldnt worry too much about damage. the biggest issue with OCing things is heat. take care of the heat, the risks should be minimized.

since rivatuner doesnt work anymore on the Gt's what can I use to monitor my temps 'ingame'?

AdmiralHalsey..
05-10-06, 03:50 AM
I just completly ruined my xfx7900gtXE by overclocking it. My Bfg oc CAME screwed up, all in all my second dead card. There is something very wrong with the 7900gt line. They skimped too much on the hsf design just to try to limit overclocking. Oh well, thats what rma's are for.

KickAssCop
05-10-06, 05:12 AM
My card has been working fine since 17th of April @ 555/800 clock speeds. Haven't backed it down since then and I think plenty of stress testing being done since I play Oblivion for about 2-3 hours daily.

Quite impressed since my default clocks were 450/1320.

MadKent
05-12-06, 11:54 PM
I just completly ruined my xfx7900gtXE by overclocking it. My Bfg oc CAME screwed up, all in all my second dead card. There is something very wrong with the 7900gt line. They skimped too much on the hsf design just to try to limit overclocking. Oh well, thats what rma's are for.

Couldn't have said it any better. Cooler on the 7900 GT is the wimpiest I have ever seen on any high-end card, 7800GT/GS have much better ones. Dunno what the idea was with this but it sure as hell causes issues specific to the 7900 GT. Anyone "upgrading" to 7900 GT from 7800 GT should keep the 7800 GT cooler lol

Saintster
05-12-06, 11:58 PM
Anytime you overclock something, there is always the risk of damaging it. That's kind of a given. Just like you wouldn't or shouldn't overclock a cpu too much using stock hsf. That's why there are 3rd party coolers out there.


Got mine oc quite a bit with the stock hsf.;)

john19055
05-14-06, 01:27 AM
they did it for one to save money ,by putting on a cheap HSF and it made it harder to overclock because of tempertures.

AdmiralHalsey..
05-14-06, 08:16 AM
they did it for one to save money ,by putting on a cheap HSF and it made it harder to overclock because of tempertures.


Ya think??? My point was, and really no offense to you, is that they were TOO optimistic with the heatsink design fitting the thermal dissapation requirments of the 7900 core, since people are mildly overclocking and killing their cards, then rma'ing them. The only losers are Nvidia's board partners, since they cant prove someone overclocked their cards, I'm proof of that lol, so they have to replace them. Besides, an overclock should result in corruption, not instant and irreversable damage. Come on...these card simply have issues even deeper than this, and I'm sick of messing with them. I'm not overclocking the XFX when it gets back from rma, but I'll still be suprised if it lasts [rma shipping is killing me :( ]

Edit: And I think this is also clear evidence of a lack of speed binning, or a lack of bad cores, since all these alternative measures were taken to prevent overclocking, I.E: Small heatsink, lower voltage, overvoltage protection [why else would this one even be necassary in the real world?] lower quality power regulation chip [the one on the back that fries on people who do the volt mod, don't know it's technical name] etc...etc...

rflair
05-14-06, 09:05 AM
Ya think??? My point was, and really no offense to you, is that they were TOO optimistic with the heatsink design fitting the thermal dissapation requirments of the 7900 core, since people are mildly overclocking and killing their cards, then rma'ing them. The only losers are Nvidia's board partners, since they cant prove someone overclocked their cards, I'm proof of that lol, so they have to replace them. Besides, an overclock should result in corruption, not instant and irreversable damage. Come on...these card simply have issues even deeper than this, and I'm sick of messing with them. I'm not overclocking the XFX when it gets back from rma, but I'll still be suprised if it lasts [rma shipping is killing me :( ]

Edit: And I think this is also clear evidence of a lack of speed binning, or a lack of bad cores, since all these alternative measures were taken to prevent overclocking, I.E: Small heatsink, lower voltage, overvoltage protection [why else would this one even be necassary in the real world?] lower quality power regulation chip [the one on the back that fries on people who do the volt mod, don't know it's technical name] etc...etc...

I couldn't agree more, bad heatsink, worst I've seen on a mid-upper range card in a long time, mines been replaced with a Zalman VF900. The Voltage regualtion is easily bypassed. The power regualtion chips are extremely hot when anything 3D happens, I've put a heatsink that covers the regualtion chip and the two mosfets, the heat sink gets warm but no where near as hot as stock.

To tell the truth I think the majority of problems is with the power regulation and burnt out/damaged mosfets.

If Nvidia did do this to limit overclocking its just turning around to kick them in the ass, the amount failed 7900GT and GTX's is quite obvious from forum posts on the web, this is the first time I've seen Nvidia cards with such a high failure rate.

tieros
05-14-06, 09:14 AM
The overvoltage protection is there to protect the chip, and has absolutely nothing to do with 7900GT overclocking. The GT default voltage is 1.2V, and the overvoltage barrier is over 1.5V.

I agree there is not likely to be any binning going on, unless it's for a new card over 700MHz that we don't know about yet. And I also think yields are high on the chip, but only from secondary evidence. I haven't seen anyone officially mention it yet.

I personally don't think it's the single slot cooler causing the issues. The GPU and RAM temps on mine were fine before I swapped it out. I just wanted a silent solution. people don't seem to be reporting heat issues, which suggests there's something else at work.

My theory is that 1.2V is a little too aggressive of an underclock, especially if you are trying to OC, or if it's being fed from a "wobbly" PSU. I think if the GPU was getting 1.25 or 1.3V, you'd see FAR fewer problems.

It might also be the memory, since all the cards seem to be running 1.4ns RAM, but well above its rated spec. of 700Mhz.

john19055
05-15-06, 10:43 AM
I too think Evga and others were having problems with the cards when overclocked because of the 1.2v because the new 7900GT SS has it coe volted to 1.45v .