Overclocking the Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ayeying, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #1
    Possible? Yes.
    Good Idea? Maybe.
    Increase in heat? Not really.

    *Note: This only works for Windows, and not every CPU is constructed the same. Results may Vary.

    Using nTune, under windows 7 professional, I was able to overclock the CPU to a whopping 2.6GHz stable. The highest I've gotten was 2.73GHz, but it started crashing faster then a granny driving a car.

    What I mean by not every CPU is constructed the same, my old logic board would start crashing after 2.26GHz... yet this one can hit up to 2.6GHz without issues.

    Attached are a screenshot, ignore the huge keyboard on screen, I don't have a PC keyboard right now, friend borrowed it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In your basement
    #2
    That's pretty brilliant there, I think I'll be following in your footsteps...

    Though does the increase to 2.60 ghz provide a huge performance boost? Or was this a matter of, "lets see if I can do it?"

    Also, is it possible to (though I might try it for myself when I get home) to get more juice from the 9400M with nTune?
     
  3. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #3
    That would be really cool. The limitation with the MBA's CPU is throttling. However, at 2.13 GHz, the MBA's CPU is plenty capable. The real problem is the Nvidia 9400m throttling.

    If the 9400m could be "turned up" to full capability, that would be a much nicer MBA to use. It would make a MUCH LARGER difference than anything to do with the CPU. I wonder what it would do to the heat to set the 9400m to its MB/MBP speed capabilities?

    That definitely makes the thread more interesting. I am not concerned about 2.6 GHz on the MBA, as the CPU is plenty capable. And a faster clock speed isn't really going to change that much of the MBA's performance. However, the 9400m capabilities could really change the performance of the MBA.
     
  4. macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
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    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #4
    That's crazy. Now just need to install a more powerful fan, cut some holes in the back, and we're in business!
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Location:
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    #5
    At first, it was more of a "If I can do it" type... but now I have it enabled so it only overclocks during BOINC sessions and gaming sessions. I've noticed an increase in performance with Sins of a Solar Empire, up to 10 fps especially when the CPU throttling kicks in.

    I still haven't been able to overclock the video card again. I have done it but it just kinda died there and I haven't been able to increase the speed at all.

    The GPU creates way too much heat. At 100% load, the GPU can reach over 85 deg C very easily so they kinda had to underclock it quite a bit.

    The CPU overclock does factor in a bit. Under Windows, the CPU hits a "getting too hot, trying to cool down" speed and voltage of 1.6GHz and 1.00V for the 2.13GHz owners. At 2.6GHz, that speed gets bumped to 1.95GHz at 1.00V. Makes a difference.

    Also, I like to mention that the DDR3 ram speed is also upped to almost the speeds of a 1333MHz stick. I'm currently at 1300MHz.

    You know, I kinda figured that I need more cooling but I haven't noticed any major increase in heat. Running CUDA and 2x CPU at 100% overnight, the CPU and GPU maintained within the same temperature as stock speeds. so... I'm not sure what's going on here.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #6
    let's not forget that we will probably only be able to run it if we were in the south pole.

    Scottsdale:

    i'm not sure that the nTune software allows for it, but we shall see later one. I'm at work at the moment (yes yes...) and shall be eagerly trying it out sometime later this week (i also have an essay due...)

    The reason why this interests me so much is, if the 7400M can be made to run better, I can play Dragon Age...which well let's just say I loved BGII
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    #7
    alright, I tried to use nTunes and i can't get my CPU to move...which annoys me, and I have no idea what i'm doing wrong.

    as for my GPU, i tried de-throttling it to 400, it got to 85 degrees C pretty quickly which is probably a little too hot....but i let it sit at 350 now and it's at about 70?

    So any suggestions as to hwo I can OC the CPU as well?

    EDIT:

    Ok, i can't quite get my CPU to go up to 2.6Ghz, but instead, I got it up running to 2.5 or so...i think it's moot to push any further.

    The GPU has been clocked to 350 GPU Clock with 800 MHz CPU (as opposed to 300/600 respectively), and that I believe is just dethrottling, I don't want to push it any further...

    I ran Batman to test whether it helped: and the results are my Max FPS has gone up SIGNIFICANTLY (at a higher resolution I might add) and the average has gone up by about 5 FPS which is quite pleasant considering that I'm now running at a better resolution than previous.

    I will continue to see if there are any other improvements that I can squeeze out of my slight overclocking...

    Oh and my previous problem was the wrong version of nTunes....
     
  8. TBi
    macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    The CPU is probably throttling itself to keep temperatures down. There is a program to measure this but i can't remember the name of it.

    If you do a benchmark you'll probably get similar results to un-overclocked.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Location:
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    #9
    Cool info and post.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Dec 5, 2007
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    Yay Area, CA
    #10
    What version of nTune are you using? I remember I was able to overclock the GPU but I'm still stuck at 300MHz Core/800MHz Shader

    The CPU dethrottles to 1.95GHz vs the 1.6GHz before. However, temperatures are still the same regardless of the clocks.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #11
    6.0 something. Could just be like you said, not all GPU/CPUs are made the same. But i could get it up to 400/800 but that shot the temps up to 87 which can't be good...
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #12
    I could care less about temperatures. Right now, my temps dont shoot any higher than 75 deg C for CPU under windows and 82 deg C for GPU.

    There's 6.02 to 6.05 for nTune. I need to know the exact version to test it. I know I was able to overclock the video card before but somehow I can't anymore.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #13
    i think it is 6.05, i downloaded it off the nVidia website, so I assume it's the newest one. I am also using the 1.79.x version the drivers.

    I'm at work right now, so I won't be able to verify for you, I'll edit this post when I get home and I've checked, though I am 90% sure it's 6.05....
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #14
    Please do check because I have 6.05 with 195.39 Drivers and I can't overclock the GPU, only the CPU which is a drag for games that depends more on GPU rather than CPU. For those, I see no improvements whatsoever.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #15
    will do, but that could be in like 8 hours time, so yeh, you might be waiting a while...sorry about that

    in the meantime, try rollback your drivers to 176.x the ones off the nVidia website i think? I tried to use the drivers off laptop2go, but they weren't doing me any favours, so I figured I'd try the stock nVidia drivers.

    good luck mate.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #16
    No problem, I'll probably be playing Modern Warfare 2 while I'm waiting :D

    The problem with the original stock nVidia drivers is that CUDA doesn't work. I require CUDA 3.0 for some of the grid computing and apparently only 195.xx works.

    I'm hopeful that I'll be able to overclock the GPU again but I'm not sure.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #17
    my brother's playing that on the PS3, which just makes me not want to install it on my MBA because I know it's just not goign to look as pretty....but i really want to...gahhh the indecision!
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #18
    I played Call of Duty World at War on this system. It wasn't pretty but I finished the entire game without any problems. Of course the iMac plays it lot prettier lol
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    #19
    Ok ayeying, here are my results:

    My nTunes is 6.05.13, it is called "performance" or whatever.

    My drivers are 179.48

    And i've technically NOT overclocked my GPU, i've restored them to their 'factory settings'..though that came from overclocking..so go figure.

    My thoughts are that it is your drivers which are preventing you from overclocking, but you as you have suggested, you can't roll back from 192...so you might have to wait till nVidia releases something....

    EDIT:

    Because I'm such a procrastinator, I did more testing.

    The nVidia 9400M is set to run at stock speeds of 450/1100, and so I set the card to these speeds.

    I ran batman again to do a diagnostic. My new stats at 800x600 (I could TRY to run 1024x768, but i prefer a smoother experience...we'll see) are as follows:

    Min: 13 (crap)
    Max: 99 (woohoo!!)
    Average: 33.1, that's 5 more FPS than my previous jiggling.
    Temp: 83 degrees C. (i'm from Australia)


    All in all, i just felt like i have a new computer. To those who say that the MBA can't game, i say HAH!
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    #20
    Just to make it even clearer, we are currently experiencing a heatwave down under
    Computer operating temperature maybe hotter than it was meant to be
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Location:
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    #21
    I'll try using nTune 6.05 again.. I reverted back to 6.02 and now I can't seem to uninstall it lol.

    The temps are actually within tolerance. Regardless if it's CPU or GPU temp, 83 deg C is fine. I've actually let it hit over 95 deg C before but now it's steady at under 85 deg C even under gaming.

    I have to admit, with just an overclocked CPU at 2.6ghz, I'm getting 50+ FPS in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with a 720x480 and All high textures. The lowest I've hit was 15 during a lot of smoke situations in the first campaign.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    #22
    i changed my drivers to 192.x or whatever it was too, and i can still overclock my GPU.

    But, it's really hard to stop the GPU from throttling...so I don't know how much practical difference there is....

    as to your insane performance in CoD MW2...dammit, you're making me want to buy it for PC all the more....i've already spent $100AUD on Dragon Age...
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #23
    I find the Air to be very capable under gaming. It's not a speed demon but it's not bad at all. For something this thin, it's amazing.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    #24
    i'm inclined to agree, and I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised by it's capabilities. CoD MW 2 is NEW, and you're running it. The same is true for DA:O.

    For the portability and form factor, it's amazing that we can run these games at all, let alone at a good playable fps.

    I must say it never occurred to me to overclock the air, so thanks for the inspiration :)
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #25
    Would any of the overclocking help the Air to run GTA IV? I was able to play the game on the Air with the stock settings; however the game would typically crash on me about 20 minutes of playing. Would it be worth testing it again while OC'd to 2.4 to 2.5 Ghz?
     

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