Results of 2011 iMac Overclock (bootcamp, prelim)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by swarleystinson, May 20, 2011.

  1. swarleystinson, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

    swarleystinson macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Ok! So Here we are...

    Overclock performed with the following programs...
    1) Software overclock: Sapphire Trixx
    2) Fan Speed Control: SMC Fan Control
    3) Temp Monitoring and Overclock Verification: GPU-Z
    4) Benchmarking Tool/Framerate recorder: FRAPS

    I've successfully overclocked my Radeon HD 6970m 2GB on my 2011 iMac to the following numbers for purposes of overclock testing.
    For me, 800/1100 was a conservative overclock. I never had temps go above 75C. I ran my fans at 2200,3500,2200 and make sure temps were nice and cool.

    It should be noted that higher overclocks are certainly possible. I achieved a few frame hiccoughs when at 820/1200 when running fans at 2200,2500,2200, so I erred on faster fan speeds and lower clocks to make sure I don't get into trouble with longer gaming sessions:

    Below is a list of benchmarks from FRAPS...
    The 1st item in each list = 680/900; the 2nd = 800/1000 overclock

    Portal 2 - Max settings including 8xMSAA at 2560x1440
    Frames: 4189 - Time: 60s - Avg: 69.817 - Min: 52 - Max: 96

    Portal 2 (OC) - settings same
    Frames: 5120 - Time: 60s - Avg: 85.333 - Min: 60 - Max: 120

    COD: MW2 - max details 4xAA at 2560x1440
    Frames: 6281 - Time: 90s - Avg: 69.789 - Min: 50 - Max: 95

    COD: MW2 (OC) - settings same
    Frames: 7591 - Time: 90s - Avg: 84.344 - Min: 60 - Max: 116

    COD: Black Ops - Max settings including 2xAA at 2560x1440
    Frames: 19634 - Time: 320s - Avg: 61.356 - Min: 19 - Max: 81

    COD: Black Ops (OC)
    Frames: 21967 - Time: 320s - Avg: 68.647 - Min: 0 - Max: 94

    Splinter Cell: Conviction - max detail 2x MSAA at 2560x1440
    Frames: 1559 - Time: 60s - Avg: 25.983 - Min: 20 - Max: 32

    Splinter Cell: Conviction (OC) - settings same
    Frames: 1827 - Time: 60s - Avg: 30.450 - Min: 23 - Max: 38
    (** note, framerates improved later in the game, this was taken from the 1st 60s of the game)

    Deadspace 2 - (max detail w/ AA on at 2560x1440)
    Frames: 4407 - Time: 90s - Avg: 48.967 - Min: 30 - Max: 86

    Deadspace 2 (OC) - settings same
    Frames: 5110 - Time: 90s - Avg: 56.778 - Min: 35 - Max: 96

    Just Cause 2 - Max settings, Dark Tower Benchmark (the most demanding of the 3 benchmarks - the game is playable w/ FPS 30s-40s w/ 2x AA and max settings with OC)
    AA off - 29.34 Avg Fps
    8x AA - 21.74 Avg Fps

    Just Cause 2 (OC)
    AA off - 34.35 Avg Fps
    8x AA - 25.81 Avg Fps

    Crysis (OC) (DX10, all very high except high motion blur/shaders/physics at 1920x1080)
    Frames: 13836 - Time: 320s - Avg: 43.238 - Min: 32 - Max: 63

    Crysis 2 (OC) (DX10, 'high' settings at 2560x1440)
    2011-05-26 02:42:59 - Crysis2
    Frames: 13832 - Time: 320s - Avg: 43.225 - Min: 28 - Max: 64

    Metro 2033 (OC)
    Options: Resolution: 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 10; Quality: High; Antialiasing: AAA; Texture filtering: AF 16X; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Not supported; DOF: Not supported
    Average Framerate: 47.00
    Max. Framerate: 92.71
    Min. Framerate: 7.90

    Options: Resolution: 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: High; Antialiasing: AAA; Texture filtering: AF 16X; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled
    Average Framerate: 43.00
    Max. Framerate: 86.67
    Min. Framerate: 9.88
  2. gcthompson macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    Good luck with that, I wouldn't overclock anything in an iMac given how close everything is in the case. Are an extra few FPSs really worth it?
  3. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Why does everyone feel compelled to add this? Thank you, that's why I'm watching temps and manipulating fan speeds to keep ahead of the heat issues. I'm fully aware of the risks.
    ... and yes, yes they are.
  4. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    GREAT NEWS!!! (for those looking to overclock)...

    Had an hour or 2 to noodle around today and gave my first attempt w/ an alternate program, Sapphire Trixx.

    Default clock settings were 680 core/900 mem.
    I was able to safely increase to 830 core/1130 mem with Tmax about 74C immediately after stopping benchmark.
    Artifact/Benchmark testing was performed via Furmark v1.8 at native resolution w/ no AA.
    I saw a jump in frames per second (FPS) from ~30 to 40 FPS.

    I ran continuous testing for about 30 minutes max.
    Fans were controlled via SMC fan control (though can be set w/ Trixx as well). Speeds were ran extra high as Furmark can cause really high GPU temps. I ran fans #s 1,2, & 3, respectively at 2200, 3000, and 2200 rpm.

    Did not try and "real world" testing w/ games but will give y ou updates results on gaming improvements noted. Based on furmark and the numbers I'm expected a ~10-12 fps gain. Will post benchmarks for COD 4,6,7; deadspace2; the witcher; etc. Let me know if there's a game you really want me to test, I have a few.
    I don't own crysis 2 but could check a demo.
  5. Monkeyoe macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2008

    I'm getting an iMac soon and was curious about this. Thank you! Have you increased the voltage in any way? Also, what were your temps after running Furmark for a while?
  6. Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    Any issues with not regulating fan speed manually and just letting the system increase the RPM?
  7. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    I guess cause you just bought a all in one and are over clocking it under windows. In that case why settle for ****** OC on a mobility gpu when you could have bought a kickass PC for the same amount and got very nice OC and got huge fps improvements .
  8. iSayuSay, May 21, 2011
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

    iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Everyone who purchased iMac actually had a choice to go with custom build -god almighty with 4 gpu sli crappy chassis noisy power hog so called powerful and crappy display PC-

    Yet lot of us here choose the alternative, we bought sleek beautiful all in one with so called incapable gpu

    We re not stupid here, we had a choice building a pc with $1000 - $2000 money. We were able to afford custom build. But we didnt go that way. Even Apple give us 14 days return policy in case we hate Macs, yet we didnt take the privilege.

    Can you return your whole $1000 custom build PC if you dont satisfied?

    Not so much on the other hand. Lots of pc camper out there bash apple simply because they cant afford one :rolleyes: well i didnt meant to be arrogant, but sometimes they just getting on my nerve :)

    We just love iMac more :p

    Why pc guys also so eager OCing their quad sli GPU? Still not fast enough? :eek: wanna blow the electric bill a bit more? Or simply feels inconfident to take down a Mac?

    Another proof are regular comments on YouTube videos about gaming on iMac ..."My $600 PC did better than that ... or My 2 years gaming PC had more FPS than that!!" Why didn't they say "My $3000 Alienware can do better?" ... see .. they can't afford iMac and they mad for one .. they envy iMacs :p

    For OP .. good job, maybe you can do dynamic overclocking and list FPS increase for each OC increment,tested on one particular game

    For example: Crysis 2, NativeRes, Ultra settings, 4x MSAA

    Memory / Core / FPS / Temp

    680 / 920 /38 /60
    700 / 950 /48 /67
    800 / 960 /57 /74

    and so on .. we can get better picture by limiting ourself for optimum overclocking :) Getting best FPS without toasting your GPU
  9. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Haha, nice clock speeds... that's faster than the 6850 desktop. On an overclocker forum I was told not to mess with the voltage on mobility GPUs as they use crappy VRMs and aren't made for it. So, just be careful if you decide to touch that stuff.
  10. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Actually not arrogant mate , you sound more like a snob sadly, making pc users out to be poor and the only reason they do not have apple products is $$$$. Apple does not support overclocking it's products, it's all about owning the most stable platform , your completely missing was macs are about.... But I guess it's all about status, showing off and shiny.... P.S smug arrogant apple
    Fanboys are worse then poor pc fanboys, and some of us own both.
  11. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I know even many members here build their own gaming rig. Im totally okay with that. But no one here bashing iMac for what they are.

    27" iMac is powerfull for a computer with 310watt of power. Could u build a pc with 300watt psu, still capable doing some hi end game, having i5 or i7 desktop processor and feed the power into 27" display with 1440p?

    Not to mention being dead silent and quite energy saver too
  12. arthursk macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2009
    Have you tried using any different drivers? I'm not sure if Im going to overclock but I definately want to check the temperatures and use fan control as I find it's getting pretty hot.

    I'm running Win 7 with the same iMac set up

    I've been able to run Crysis 2 on the higest settings without any framrate issues.

    Wither 2 seems very demanding though, it runs around 35 fps on high settings at max resolution, but it has it's slowdowns.
  13. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    An iMac is an all in one. You cannot built that. As all in ones go, the iMac is the best. The discussions here escalate when people effectively try to justify that an all In one is a great gaming system, and people with dedicated gaming rigs roll their eyes. I love my iMac, it's my favourite computer, but I use my gaming rig and the iMac as a display using target mode when I game. Anyone trying to convience me that the iMac is a great gaming solution has no hope as the gaming experience with all the setting at ultra at 1440p is so much better on my PC then in my iMac (I cannot max games out on an IMac at 1440p)
  14. jborko macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    What I am interested to know is how loud are the fans on 2000 or whatever speed you are using to cool the heat?
  15. arthursk macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2009
    fans are really not bothersome at 2000 RPM

    Though my GPU diode runs hotter than OP

    Playing CS:Source (OSX)

    GPU Diode 75°C
    GPU Heatsink 65°C

    Should I be concerned?
  16. pander005 macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Ok, so I own a Mac pro, iMac, Mac mini, Apple tv, iPhone, multiple iPods and an iPad. So I can safely say that I've paid my right of passage, and can afford it. - You my friend, sound like a complete jerk. - I beg the pc community to understand that all people who own Mac's aren't this full of their own @#$%.

    As for price vs performance...
    I completely understand that I pay a premium. I understand and accept the "FACT" that I could get better performance for less money in a pc. - I enjoy and prefer the Mac operating system & user experience over the Windows offering. I also prefer the overall styling of the products. For the record I also own and use an Asus G73 gaming laptop, running Windows 7 64 bit, just so there's no question if I have paid enough money... It's a well built system (granted, a bit bulky...), and good stable operating system with useful features. -
  17. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    1) It's dangerous
    2) You should've bought a gaming rig.

    I don't have room for 2 computers in my apartment. I chose to go with iMac because it's the best all-in-one available. Furthermore, Windows 7, though leaps and bounds better than vista and all-around a great OS, I prefer Mac OSX. I use a great deal of applications that are unique to Mac and have my content geared towards Mac use.


    For those who are actually interested in discussing overclocking, please see next post...
  18. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Icy. I would not recommend overclocking without maximizing your cooling. The iMacs are already beasts in a tiny box w/ minimal ventilation. If you're really concerned about fan speeds being as low as possible, I would test your fans at higher speeds and, assuming stable GPU temps (monitored by the GPU-Z program), you could try inching them down. I would rather keep things as cool as possible. If they're noisy I just turn up my external speakers :D.

    My goal was to push better clocks than the desktop 6850! Especially since the 6970m is just an underclocked version of it's older brother. 6850's core clock I believe is 775. ;)

    iSayuSayu: I will be posting game info in the coming days whenever I get some spare time. Stay tuned!
  19. Salkovich macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2011
    Great job. I have been wanting to get my hands on a i7 6970 2GB, and overclock it. I am a ex pc gamer, but I am not so "hardcore" anymore.

    What kind of FPS do you think I will get if I overclock my GPu to your clocks, in Crysis 2 Native, High or Ultra?

    Again, great work!
  20. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Wow .. wait .. I tried to say the same thing you post here ... Let´s compare for a while, sir...

    Yeah I didnt mention other Macs since the discussed Mac here is iMac .. and granted you´ve wrap it on a nice shiny words .. beg your pardon I´m a peasant, I don´t live with fancy words. Yet essentially same point :rolleyes:

    Now you show more things off than I did .. You know many people out there even struggle to get a single Macbook? or even just to buy an iPad? So I confirmed and said

    That means I didn´t mean to sounds like a jerk and I was sorry, dude ... again, you wrap it on shinier box, that´s all. Yeah sure you´ll just quote this message again in fancier words :rolleyes:

    OP: Sorry for off topic, I didnt mean to be rude or something ... I´ll stay tuned, thank you for starting the thread
  21. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yeah, no Macs are perfect gaming solution, not even MacPro ... but some people here willing take the risk to make iMac as BETTER gaming machine, it´s not perfect, but it´s quite capable. You should just appreciate that.

    OCing the GPU on iMac can quite boost performance as every gaming CPU do. Gaining some more FPS on our iMac by OC (with some limit of course) sounds fine to me. We won´t see 3digits FPS on iMac too often, but 60FPS, while keeping some eye candy effects on native resolution should do it for me.

    We cool?
  22. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Not sure to be honest. I'm guessing pretty good though!
    Tom's Hardware Benchmarked the game here. Showed Radeon HD 6850 displayed avg of almost 53 FPS at 1900x1080 no AA, very high settings. I ran Crysis 2 on my mid-2010 iMac which I had overclocked as well and it ran pretty darn well. Shocking improvement over Crysis 1.
    You should expect probably a dip of b/w 5-10% running at native (1440p vs 1080p). Alternatively most games have a way of running lower resolutions in windowed mode.
  23. swarleystinson thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    New York, NY
    Briefly, before I left for work tonight I did a quick benchmark of Just Cause 2 (b/c it's demanding and includes a benchmark utility).

    I was looking at gains on the order of 7-9 FPS improvement between default clocks and 820/1120. In certain cases this meant the difference between skipping and no skipping.
    This puppy seems to handle AA pretty well! I had max settings including SSAO set to 'high' and light point spec on. Tested at 2560x1440 w/ 2x AA. Looked gorgeous and no skipping. Avg FPS in the 40s without a single noticeable stutter.

    I will post more tomorrow evening with actual numbers.

    Also... I tried COD: BO at max settings at native res w/ 2x AA, and when attempting a benchmark with FRAPS, the screen froze! I was seeing FPS in the 60-70s though!!!
    Could have been a software bug as I'm running the original release version of the game and running other software for benchmarking, but in the meantime...
    If you're OC'ing you may want to back down to 800 or 810 and cautiously move upwards. I still have not tested these numbers with any lengthy playtime (>1 hr). I have not seen temps go above 74C yet, however.

    I can tell you that COD4 runs perfect with everything maxed out at default clocks high 50s-60s native res. COD MW2 also runs quite well. COD:BO but the hurt on when ratcheting up the AA w/ default clocks. I will see what difference the overclock makes, but I'm thinking you'll be able to comfortably run 4x AA at 2560x1440.

    For those who see AA doesn't make a difference at that resolution, you're wrong! It's so crisp with AA it makes it hard to go back to PS3.

    So far things are looking good!
  24. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    You better elaborate all your work here and update it on your first post. You can copy other member OC result too with identical GPU.

    GameTitle/MemClock/CoreClock/FPS/GPUTemp ... something like that. I appreciate your work, just don´t make your result sporadic along with your posts, this thread could be awesome like another thread about OC last year model 5850M
  25. 5piN macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2010
    Could you run the three Just Cause 2 benchmarks and post results with settings and then I'll run the same on mine, just want to see if the extra 1gb on your 6970 makes any difference. .... oh yea on stock settings please.

    Thanks in advance.

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