Overclocking the 6970m ...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by swarleystinson, May 4, 2011.

  1. swarleystinson macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

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    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #1
    Figure I may as well get this thread started!
    My new 27" iMac w/ Radeon HD 6970m 2GB w/ the 3.4 GHz SB i7 processor upgrade should be arriving soon. My first order of business will be to try and overclock this badboy and see what she's capable of.
    Anyone else out there already doing or planning on the same?

    Post here and let's find out what works! :D
     
  2. Muppi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #2
    Any results or tips on how to do this? Ive bought a 27" with regular 1gb 6970 and its not even increasing its fan-speeds while gaming :p was wondering if there is any mac osx program that enables some tweaking of the graphics card(within reasonable boundries).

    How did it go with your results?
     
  3. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #3
    Why would you want to over-clock the GPU on Mac OS? It would only make sense on Windows over Bootcamp. and even then, dont expect a performance growth of more than 5 to MAX 10 frames per sec., also the heat will rise enormously. Over-clocking mobility cards is something you want to do carefully.
     
  4. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #4
    That's what I was thinking. The video card and OSX are already pretty much optimized. Overclocking the card may introduce issues you don't want. Heat is the main thing. Spending that much money on a computer just to tweak the specs outside their recommended boundaries is something that's best done on a cheaper computer.
     
  5. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #5
    You cant oc the gpu in osx

    Also. I see no harm in overclocking. The 6970 run cool as hell anyways.

    I overclocked my 2010 imac to about a 15-20% increase. In demanding games that makes a big difference.

    Also the temps were i creased by a measly 5-6 degrees.

    CAnt wait to try to oc the 6970
     
  6. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #6
    Care to post altered and pre-altered clock speeds?
     
  7. Muppi macrumors member

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #7
    Thnx for the info :) Im not really that read up on hardware etc and thats why i asked the question. I dont wanna risk my new pricy comp at all :p
     
  8. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #8
    If you don't know enough about over-clocking and computer in general i would really recommend staying away from it.
    Not wanting to risk your expensive machine is a wise decision.
     
  9. netkas macrumors 65816

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    Oct 2, 2007
    #9
    Actualy you can, editing clocks in rom of card and flashing that rom.
     
  10. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

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    #10
    Why post if you have nothing to add?
     
  11. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

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    #11
    To clarify:
    Naturally I'm talking about overclocking in Bootcamp. Gaming in OSX is without equivocation worse than in Windows at present. Hopefully this will change over time.

    In terms of OC'ing to those that are interested, I've read that Saphire TRIXX
    (Download here) is the utility of choice. I'm talking about a software overclock here.

    For the 2010 iMac I used smc fan control with great success in keeping temps low. I plan on getting my iMac in a few days and will start attempting the OC in short order.
     
  12. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

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    #12
    These cards are frequently 'optimized' to save the company that incorporates them into their hardware money. Thus it's not uncommon to find apple or any other manufacturer's cards slightly underclocked to limit the number of AppleCare calls.
    With the 5850m iMac I was apple to improve OC speeds to 750/1080 from stock and without any artifact or heat issues in Windows. This would improve Frame rates by as much as 20 FPS at native resolution and allowed me to play most current gen games at 60 FPS native res (usually without AA and a few minor settings tweaks).
     
  13. Muppi macrumors member

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #13
    Well i do know about hardware in terms of clocks and etc, its just the overclocking part ive never looked into (I know how the stuff works together but i've never tampered with the settings of the hardware if i can put it that way)
     
  14. Muppi macrumors member

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #14
    Im not a "hardcore" gamer and have never really investigated or looked into the limitations of gaming in mac osx and what overclocking can be done there, thats why i asked.

    I too recommend smcfancontrol, i use it on my macbook pro when i am doing tasks that are very heavy for the cpu etc, can keep it alot cooler then by using the suggested rpm for the fans. :)
     
  15. dwmac macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #15
    Sorry, can you elaborate? You're saying that you can overclock the card in Windows, and save those settings to the card's ROM so that they will carry over to OS X?

    I couldn't find any information about this with Google--is there a standard procedure?
     
  16. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #16
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=987388

    Here you go.

    I havnt updated the first page. Later clocks etc found further in the thread. Anyways i saw a 10-15 fps increase over stock clocks. Also it was far from warm.
     
  17. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    I recommend smcFanControl for fan control, and MSI Afterburner (w/ mobility card OC enabled) for overclocking. They seem to be the best, to me.

    I've been talking about this in an overclocking forum and was told the 6970M has rubbish VRMs (because it's a mobile graphics card) and whatever I do don't touch the voltage. Just thought I'd share that.

    Although, it was a 6970M from a laptop, don't know what Apple's will look like, but very likely the same.
     
  18. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #18
    I might be haluzinating or something, since its early morning here, but I remember ADDING something.
    I just started my post with a question. Since you neither wrote what OS you mean nor why, but still make a thread, asking to clear up things isnt a bad Idea.
    Also you did not in any way post about your previews experience with oc, so I told you what performance growth you can expect and if it is wise.
    Further I was also talking to Muppi, who is glad I did.

    So you must excuse me but I think I did contribute something to the matter, so I would recommend taking your sarcasm somewhere else.

    Thanks!
     
  19. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #19
    basicaly:

    you overclock card in windows, find stable clocks, test it to make sure nothing overheats.

    Then dump vga bios via gpu-z (or better with atiflash, but u need to create dos boot cd for it, you will need it later anyway, to flash the card)

    You open bios dump in radeon bios editor, hope it supports mobile 6xxx chips.

    then you change clocks there to the one u figured, save and flash this bios to card.

    also post dumped bios here, so we can look at it too :D
     
  20. Inara macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #20
    Take a look here, it is what we do on the 6750 M for the MBP 2011.
    Generally speaking, an 10-15% core/mem is quite safe. If you want to go further, you have to monitor temperatures and fan speed carefully, the on screen display (Ati Tray Tool) and the temperature log (GPU-Z log) are your friends.
     
  21. dwmac macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #21
    Awesome, thanks! It's all hypothetical right now, since I'm waiting for the SSD iMac to ship, but I'll try this out in a month or so....
     
  22. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #22
    I used this way to overclock 4850 for macosx, it was on hack tho, but it doesnt matter here.
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #23
    Overclocking the internal gpu card may be a waste of time and money, but it is something to do for now. When sonnet tech comes out with the PCIe T-bolt adapter this will keep your computer longer and you can update your gpu with ease. also it won't over heat the internals of the iMac

    http://www.sonnettech.com/news/nab2011/

    Expand Your Adapter Card Possibilities
    Sonnet’s Echo™ Express PCIe 2.0 Expansion Chassis with Thunderbolt™ Ports enable you to connect high-performance PCI Express® 2.0 adapter cards to any computer with a Thunderbolt port. Imagine using full-size professional video capture cards, 8Gb Fibre Channel cards, 10-Gigabit Ethernet cards, and RAID controller cards with your new MacBook® Pro—the Echo Express expansion chassis makes it possible! Available in two sizes, the standard Echo Express PCIe 2.0 Expansion Chassis with Thunderbolt Ports supports one half-length, double-width, x16 (x4 mode), PCIe 2.0 card, while the XL model supports full-length cards; both models have fans to cool the cards. The standard model includes a built-in 75W power supply, while the XL model includes an integrated 150W power supply with a 75W PCIe power connector. Two Thunderbolt ports support daisy chaining of up to six devices to a single port on the host computer.
    Room to Expand—Connect a half-length (full-length in XL model), double-width PCIe 2.0 adapter card to a computer with a Thunderbolt port.
    High Bandwidth—x16 (x4 mode) 2GB/s PCIe 2.0 slot perfect for special-purpose PCIe cards for video capture, Fibre Channel, 10-Gigabit Ethernet, digital audio, RAID control, multiple screen video, etc.
    Power for Powerful Cards—Integrated 75W power supply (150W including one 75W PCIe power connector in XL model).
    Two Thunderbolt Ports—Daisy chain up to six devices to a single port on the host computer.


    some other forums


    http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?57676-Sonnet-Thunderbolt-PCI-Express-expansion-chassis


    http://forum.telestream.net/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=45&threadid=7761
     
  24. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #24
    Am I reading this right? Does this mean Thunderbolt is fast enough to attach an internal desktop graphics card to a case and use it?

    Does that mean we can upgrade our iMacs with desktop level graphics cards that are compatible with Macs???
     
  25. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #25
    Very interesting post re: external GPUs and thunderbolt. I've wondered that myself.

    Ok, Trial run of basic overclock without any voltage modification.

    On previous websites re: 6970m in Alienware notebooks, the consensus was the only way to get it to work was using Sapphire Trixx.

    Being that I'm more comfortable with MSI Afterburner, I checked their website and the most recent version specifically mentioned update to include ATI Radeon HD 6970 (didn't specificy mobile variant).
    So I did what I normally do: enable unofficial overclocking (usually have to change user priveleges to edit the file).

    With standard voltage I was able to push core clock to 710 MHz and Memory clock to I believe 1000 MHz (at work right now). These were respectively the max settings available w/o voltage modification.

    I was able to do this with SMC fan control maintaining temps w/ fan speeds 2200 2200 1800 at a balmy 73 degrees celcius. After a total of >1hr continuous playtime w/ various games including deadspace 2, COD MW2, COD MW1, COD BO, I did not see a single stutter or artifact.

    Of note: Deadspace 2 runs at 60 fps at max settings, native resolution. The COD MW 1&2 run at 60 fps native resolution, AA 4x on COD MW1, AA 2x MW2. Saw just a few stutters to high 30s with 4x on MW2. COD BO has a little more difficulty at 4x, but runs smooth as silk - dips to as low as high 40s but overall runs around 60 fps - at 2x.
     

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