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Endless Overclocking

We are always interested in finding the overclocking limits of a high-performance product. The ASUS card was tested too and was found capable of working at 670MHz GPU and 800 (1600) MHz memory clock rates. This is a normal result for a Radeon X1900 graphics card manufactured by ATI’s guidelines.

Graphics cards are usually overclocked in our labs in an accessible, safe and cheap way, so we only helped the card’s own cooler by setting a 120mm fan to blow at the PCB. We also tried to replace the card’s thermal interface with a different one, but that only helped increase the GPU clock rate to 675MHz which isn’t impressive for an R580 chip, either.

And finally we decided to use RivaTuner v2.0 RC 16 and set the speed of the card’s stock cooler at the maximum value. To improve the overall stability and overclockability of the card we increased the GPU and memory voltages with ATITool 0.25 Beta 14 (from 1.175V to 1.475V voltage for the GPU and from 2.084V to 2.096V voltage for the memory).

As a result we managed to increase the GPU frequency to 710MHz but the system began to hang up after running tests for an hour and we had to lower this frequency to 705MHz. The memory chips were stable at 815 (1630) MHz. So, our results suggest that the R580 chip works almost at the limit of its capabilities. It is virtually impossible to use the card when its fan works at the maximum speed because of unbearable noise. The increase in the voltages of the graphics card didn’t improve its overclockability.

Water- or cryogen-based cooling may bring you better overclocking results, but it is unlikely to be used in an average PC.

 
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