How To: 4870X2 Temperature Control and Overclocking Profiles

Discussion in 'AMD Graphics Cards' started by psychlone, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    A lot of us are experiencing temperatures that we're not comfortable with on our new ATi cards, and while ATi says that these temps are acceptable, some of us disagree.

    There are a couple different ways to control the heat...let's explore them:


    Replace the Thermal Compound

    Removing the reference cooler isn't for the lighthearted...one slip-up and you've destroyed the most powerful piece of equipment you own, as well as negated your warranty. Removing the reference cooler isn't recommended, but can be done if you go slowly and thoroughly.
    I personally found a ~12*C drop in idle and load temps by replacing the thermal compound on the 2 GPUs with Arctic Silver 5. I also removed the thermal pads on the memory ICs and the VDDC chips (the long, narrow ones) and used AS5 there as well...only one problem - the heatplate on back-side of the card doesn't have risers for the memory chips underneath, so removing the thermal pads on the back of the card isn't going to help, in fact, it would make the temps on those chips higher, unless you have some little heatsinks that you can put on them.
    [​IMG]
    Here, you can see some of the thermal pads material on the underside of the reference cooler. (I removed those and used a thin layer of AS5 instead on almost everything there) I didn't happen to take an angle shot, but on the bottom of the reference cooler, there are little 'risers' for the memory ICs - these will make good contact with the memory ICs themselves, so removing the thermal pads shouldn't lead to any problems, although if those little risers aren't quite tall enough on yours, they may not make good enough contact and not dissipate the heat as well as the pads do - you all getting that I've got something against Thermal Pads? ;)
    [​IMG]
    By Psychlone


    For those a little less adventurous, you can control the fan speeds and core/memory speeds through Profiles made in CCC and tweaked in Notepad.

    Creating Profiles in CCC

    Open up Catalyst Control Center
    Click on Profiles at the top of the screen and then select Profiles Manager
    [​IMG] .. [​IMG]

    Create as many profiles as you wish, but at least 2 - I have 1 for surfing (little to no graphic need), 1 for gaming, and 1 for benchmarking and 1 that just the standard settings.
    As you create your profiles, ensure that ATI Overdrive is selected in the Composition window (it's the only thing we're going to do in here is just create - we'll tweak the settings in later)
    [​IMG]

    Tweaking your new Profiles
    Once you've created your Profiles, navigate to
    C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles
    Where %username% is YOUR username.
    You will probably have to ENABLE 'SHOW Hidden Files and Folders' through Folder Options.
    Inside there, you're going to see the names of the Profiles you created in CCC.
    [​IMG]

    Right-click on a Profile and choose Open With NOTEPAD
    [​IMG]

    This is what you're going to see:
    [​IMG]
    By Psychlone

    The specific lines for fan speeds are:
    Code:
            <Feature name="FanSpeedProtocol_0">
              <Property name="FanSpeedProtocolProperty" value="Percent" />
            </Feature>
            <Feature name="FanSpeedAlgorithm_0">
              <Property name="FanSpeedAlgorithm" value="Automatic" />
            </Feature>
            <Feature name="FanSpeedRPMTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want" value="1421" />
            </Feature>
            <Feature name="FanSpeedPercentTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want" value="27" />
            </Feature>
    
    If you want to set your fan speed to a specific speed all the time instead of dynamic, first change the <Property name="FanSpeedAlgorithm" value="Automatic" /> to "Manual"
    ...And then change the value of "27" in the line <Property name="Want" value="27" /> to whatever value you want (1 - 100) - obviously being the percentage of fan speed you want to run.

    There's a bit more that we can do in the Profiles .XML files. We can also change the core clocks and the memory clocks.

    For this guide, I'm using the Sapphire HD4870X2 card - so the core and memory values will be different for cards that are not the 4870X2.

    To change the Core and Memory Speeds

    The specific lines for changing the core and memory speeds are:
    Code:
            <Feature name="CoreClockTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want_0" value="75000" />
              <Property name="Want_1" value="75000" />
              <Property name="Want_2" value="75000" />
            </Feature>
            <Feature name="MemoryClockTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want_0" value="90000" />
              <Property name="Want_1" value="90000" />
              <Property name="Want_2" value="90000" />
            </Feature>
    The Want_0 through 2 in each of the "ClockTarget" fields can be changed to whatever value you've determined is safe for your specific card.
    75000 is the stock core clock of 750MHz, 90000 is the stock memory clock of 900MHz for the 4870X2 (other cards will differ)
    Changing these values can be dangerous - DO NOT SET VALUES HIGHER THAN YOU HAVE DETERMINED SAFE!!!
    If you decide to change these values, put it in like this:
    Code:
            <Feature name="CoreClockTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want_0" value="80000" />
              <Property name="Want_1" value="80000" />
              <Property name="Want_2" value="80000" />
            </Feature>
            <Feature name="MemoryClockTarget_0">
              <Property name="Want_0" value="99900" />
              <Property name="Want_1" value="99900" />
              <Property name="Want_2" value="99900" />
            </Feature>
    This would obviously give a core clock of 800MHz and a memory clock of 999MHz.
    This may or may not be stable for your card, so last warning, don't just copy these settings into a profile and set it - you can damage your card for good!

    Here, you can also UNDERCLOCK your card to help lower temps while doing mundane things like surfing that don't take hardly any graphical power.

    In one of your Profiles, change the core to 250MHz and memory to 450MHz. This is obviously going to use less GPU and Memory power, thus lowering your heat considerably below the stock 500/500 for 2D mode.

    Running the 250/450 clocks along with a 33% fan speed on my 4870X2 has shown that idle speeds have dropped from 80*C to 62*C
    [img=http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/2997/atigpuzck7.jpg]
    By Psychlone

    You may select any Profile that you wish 'On The Fly' - meaning that you can switch between profiles whenever you wish. With Profiles, it's also possible to set your 3D driver settings for specific games...just set the 3D settings you want in CCC and when you save the Profile, ensure that 3D is also checked...this will save your entire driver 3D profile along with your overclock.

    UPLOADED Temperature Reducing XML Files
    Zardon has been kind enough to host 3 Profiles that I created and tested on my Sapphire 4870X2.

    This takes a little bit of work to get working, but isn't as involved as manually editing the entire XML as posted above.

    First, you need to go into CCC and create 1-3 Profiles named 45 100 and 400c/400m just like outlined above with Overdrive enabled as well as ticked in the lower window - be sure to hit SAVE.
    Download the Profile of your choice (or all 3 if you prefer) and unzip them with WinZip, WinRAR, 7zip, or equivalent, and then extract the XML contents to the Profiles directory
    Vista: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles
    XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\ATI\ACE
    ***where %username% is YOUR username...you'll probably have to enable Show Hidden Files and Folders through Folder Options (Control Panel > Folder Options) and ensure you've got administrator rights**

    First one has the stock core and memory settings along with a 45% fan speed - good for the average daily usage, and still be enough (in my testing) to be able to keep the GPU significantly cooler without having the excess noise
    http://www.driverheaven.net/zardon/45.zip

    Second one has significantly reduced core and memory speeds along with a slightly increased fan speed of 33% (can't hear a difference from 27%, but cools about ~3*C better)
    Running at 400MHz core and 450MHz memory significantly reduces the power consumption as well, so not only is the card running cooler because of the slightly increased fan speed, but also because of the reduced core and memory speeds.
    http://www.driverheaven.net/zardon/100.zip

    The third one is all about fan speed - full blast at 100% (doubt anyone is going to want to run that for long!) ;) The single line that can be changed at will is: <Property name="Want" value="100" /> <- That 100 can be any percentage a person desires (between 27 and 100)
    http://www.driverheaven.net/zardon/400c400m.zip

    One thing to mention here is the substring at the bottom of all the Profiles I'm hosted here - I believe that the "Adapter" string at the bottom may be specific to my card alone...I haven't got a chance to put anyone else's card in my system, and to date, I've have yet to see anyone else's entire profile, so I would believe that the "Adapter" string has my specific card's subsystem, revision, etc. information, and may not work for anyone else's card since CCC polls the XML data into it's own programming - technically speaking, CCC may not find the adapter it's looking for in the enclosed XML files since it's MY adapter's string, but then again, I could be completely wrong and it's really just the architecture it's listing.
    If you download and install these Profiles and happen to run into problems because your CCC won't recognize them, here's how to fix it:
    1) You may simply delete the Profile(s) from their directory
    2) You may edit the XML using Notepad by following the directions below
    2a) Go into CCC and Select Profiles > Profile Manager and create a new profile named TEST with Overdrive enabled and ticked in the lower window - make sure you hit SAVE
    2b) Open any Profile XML file by right-clicking on it and selecting Open With > Notepad
    2c) Open the XML file named TEST you just created in Notepad
    2d) Compare the bottom string - if they're different, copy/paste the string from TEST to any of the other Profiles and save. This should redirect CCC to find the device it's looking for.

    The bottom string, like I said, could be unique to each of our cards, or possibly unique to each vendor...the code below shows the EXACT lines that you'll be looking for if you need to edit any of the downloaded XML Profiles from above to recognize your card - This is really only a redundant backup just in case you need to use it, you may not have any problems at all, so it's not mandatory or necessary if the downloaded Profiles work 'right out of the box'.

    Code:
     <Adapter 
    
    name="PCI_VEN_1002&amp;DEV_9441&amp;SUBSYS_25421002&amp;REV_00_6&amp;D922
    EFA&amp;0&amp;00200010A">
          <Aspect name="Overdrive5" />
        </Adapter>
    If the above code does not match the XML at the bottom of your TEST Profile, simply c/p this portion from your TEST Profile into any/all of the above downloaded XML Profiles.
    Again, this may not even be necessary - I'd suggest trying the 100% fan speed Profile - if you don't hear the fan spin up to 100% right away after enabling the 100 Profile, then you'll lprobably have to c/p the correct device string into the bottom of the other Profiles.


    For those that don't dare or want to play in .XML files
    You can also control fan speeds in EXPERTOOL ATi
    [​IMG]
    By Psychlone

    The only drawback here, is that if you set it to Fixed Speed, you only have adjustments from 50% to 100%, nothing lower...might be a bit loud and a bit overkill for surfing the net!
    The program can also adjust your core and memory speeds as well (among other things, but no driver tweaks are included)

    This guide was really written for fan speeds, but adding the lines of code for adjusting core and memory temps was only 1 extra step in the same .XML file, so I decided to add it here.
    In no way is this supposed to be a complete guide on overclocking ATi cards - it's not what I intended to do and why I haven't referenced RivaTuner, ATT, ATITool, or any other programs that are capable of forcing driver settings/overclocking.

    Remember that no one but yourself is responsible for creating a profile that has unstable settings...I will not be held responsible for what you do with this information.

    Hope that this guide helps you all out!

    Psychlone
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
    Trusteft and Teme like this.
  2. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    Excellent guide, thanks Psychlone, I'll definitely pay this some attention when my X2 arrives.
     
  3. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    fantastic work, im sticking this. i hope it helps some people. If you want to share your profiles, email me them and ill host them for our readers.
     
  4. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    Realistically, I can forsee me solely sticking to the Expertool software, dynamic to get a quiet idle speed and manually forced to a reasonable figure under load. Will have to do some 'fuzzy cube' testing to get a good idea of what to set the fan speeds at.
    As much as I'd love to redo the thermal paste, even my HD3870 cooler fell to pieces when I took that off, so with a 4870X2 and no replacement part, I'm not risking it!
     
  5. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    @Zardon: Thanks for the sticky status! I hope this does help some people...
    As for uploading my profiles, that may not be a good idea - my 4870X2 is capable of 800core and 1000memory, and I know for a fact that several other people with the Sapphire can't pull 780/940 give or take a few MHz, so posting my profiles for the upper limits would just entice someone with no experience with their GPU to c/p directly into their own Profiles and damage their card...but I could do it for the 250/450 low power one if you like.

    @ sammorris: If you're careful, it's really easy, but if you're not comfortable, don't try it - it's certainly not for the lighthearted or those that have no experience, or those that don't dare chance loosing the most powerful card on the planet! ;)

    Psychlone
     
  6. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes the overclocked ones are not a good idea, i was referring more to the standard clocks with increased fan speeds. it might help some people struggling to understand all this. If you email me the files allan.campbell (at) driverheaven.net ill host them and link in this thread for you.

    Once again, very helpful thread, appreciate you taking the time to list this in a coherant manner.
     
  7. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    Yeah well, I managed to destroy an HD3870 fitting an Accelero S1 rev 2 to it, so I think I'll pass... :p
     
  8. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    Ok sammorris, I'm real sorry about your luck, and no one said you have to take off the reference cooler anyway, all I did was show a couple different ways to cool these beasts down...no need to get upset.

    Simply using fan speed profiles uses less resources than leaving a program running in your system tray - all you have to do is switch profiles before or after gaming...same thing goes for Expertool, but for it, you've got to bring it up by right-clicking, select fan speed, then change the speed - but it's handicapped to no lower than 50%, and is using resources just to sit there in your system tray.

    But, you can make your own choices. ;)

    Psychlone
     
  9. LukeK

    LukeK New Member

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    I dont think he was meaning you psychlone, just that he tried it before in the past on his 3870 card and wont risk it again.

    Great thread, my friend bought an X2 from yoyotech a few days ago, and man does this thing get HOT ! he is really concerned it won't last. Glad to see there are some tricks to get them cooled better.

    I still think AMD should have handled this better from the start with the fan speeds, its rubbish on that level.
     
  10. humonous

    humonous New Member

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    yeah im not sure how it got out the door. once I read the driverheaven review and the expert reviewers getting 95c, I said "oh ho, something seriously wrong here". Can't believe people have to manually set up driver profiles to cool the card properly. Even when AMD get the best card out the door they still manage to cock it up :uhoh:
     
  11. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    My card doesn't seem to overheat, no stability probs anyway - sadly the ATITool cube is neither compatible with PowerPlay or Crossfire, so I have no proper means of stressing the card with GPUZ open to test - the only demanding game I would run in CF is Age of Conan, which doesn't work with crossfire anyway, contrary to what benchmarks seem to report...
    Idle temps are 51 for GPU2 and around 69C for GPU1. Doesn't seem too bad. Fan speed seems 1250rpm idle, 2400rpm load, same as 4870.

    What AMD are doing is basically not improving their coolers, still having poor heatsinks with fans that have to run fast to keep them cool, so rather than produce noisy GPUs that run fine like they did before, they produce quiet cards that will slowly melt.
     
  12. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    AMD/ATi didn't cock up anything - this is how the card runs, and they've designed everything - this isn't a 'hindsight is 20/20' thing, they've fully decided that 90*C is an acceptable temperature for this specific dual-GPU component to run.

    It's US CONSUMERS that don't like it. None of us are used to seeing anything get that hot, but in our favor, we've not yet owned anything this powerful either - or power consumption-wise...this thing eats up A LOT of energy, and all that excess energy has to go somewhere! ;)

    HiS has always had the best aftermarket air cooling as far as I'm concerned. Anyone with any of their IceQ series coolers knows what kind of thought went into them - they all have copper risers for the memory ICs, solid copper base, copper heatpipes and copper HS fins - enclosed in the reference cooler cap, with an ultra-efficient fan to cool it all down...it would've been what I got if I didn't have $550 burning through my pocket the day they all went on sale - there's not a chance in the 9 Layers of Hell that I could have waited for an IceQ version to hit the market, but I know from experience (had no less than 4 different cards with different versions of IceQ cooling) - that the IceQ series is the one to have (barring any fubar on HiS' behalf on their BIOS like the 2900 cards...)

    In any case, I just wanted to point out that AMD/ATi didn't just shove this out the door, they determined that the temps we're all seeing are within their spex, or they wouldn't have released it (imagine a recall of that magnitude for an ailing company such as ATi - something like that could hammer the last nail) - so they knew what they were doing...WE, AS A WHOLE are the ones that just need to get used to it - and until we can cope with this new way of thinking, I've made a guide to lessen our collective burden. :D

    Good luck to all!

    Psychlone
     
  13. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    As it happens, I am used to seeing those sorts of temps. My X1900XT ran happily at 91-92C under load, and was noisy to boot. What's the difference? The problem is, the X1900 could run at 120C before panicking and shutting down for overheat. My experience with the 3870s at least was once they got to about 95, they just crashed instead...
    So far, no sign of that with either the 4870 or X2...
     
  14. brutusmaximus

    brutusmaximus New Member

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    Absolute nonsense. 90-100c is not acceptable for the long term life of any hardware based component regardless of the way ATI attempt to spin it. The reviewers on Driverheaven saw 95c in good conditions, it is perfectly feasible that in a warm climate in a not "top end" chassis that temperatures should easily sit over 105c. this is getting into the zone of heat that will shorten the long term life of components. They have basically slapped on a fan system which does not work right and is basically not considerably improved over the single core version of the hardware. This isn't even taking into consideration the ambient heat increases inside a chassis for the rest of the components in a system.

    Well yes the consumers don't like it (although I think you feel its perfectly ok), if going by the forums across the net is anything to go by, but in the long term, this card is a disaster waiting to happen. I have never seen a company (powercolor), bring out a card so soon after launch with a totally overhauled cooler with heatpipes AND a new fan based system. This is not a good sign.


    Oh they have, its far too early to make assumptions based on your feelings or how ATI spin it to the public. I dont see how its perfectly fine for a card to sit at such appalling fan speeds when its reaching almost boiling point, then for the public to be recording 20-30c drops in temperature by making driver profiles or using 3rd party OEM tools!

    They need to fix catalyst control center, get the fan working right and hopefully their partners will fix the coolers (like powercolor have already done).

    I think its shocking and not acceptable at all. Im glad you guys are happy spending £350 on a board that needs tweaks and mods out the a$$ to get working half decently.
     
  15. macbiter

    macbiter New Member

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    I gotta say, to a certain extent I agree with brutusmaximus.

    I think this thread is an awesome piece of work from the thread starter, but I dont think end customers should really be placed in this situation a few weeks after the product has been released. I mean clearly the fan is capable of dropping temperatures by 20c+ so why not sort that out.

    Its logical that the extra 20c is going to be dispersing heat inside the computer chassis so if the fan was working harder that heat would be vented out the rear of the case. I understand that not everyone wants more noise with this situation however why are ATI not even letting the end users have the option at all? I would guess less than 5% of the userbase even know all these tweaks so they are running cards at 100c when they could be running at 70c.

    A mixture of poor fan control, underpowered cooling system and ATI cuttiing costs are due to this because I fail to see that none of their staff saw these issues during the testing phase. All the reviewers did immediately.
     
  16. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    Xpertool ATI works brilliantly to the percent - why couldn't they have just stuck that in Catalyst, with more aggressive profiles?
    Given the temps older cards used to run at, I don't think there's much of an issue up until 90C, thats when it gets a bit hot, so 95/96 is a bit far. All they need do is get the load temp down to 85 though and that would be acceptable in my book as it's the same temp normal graphics cards run at.

    I couldn't help but notice that 50% is 3300rpm and 100% is 4600rpm though - hardly double... Dynamic fan speed uses 1250rpm idle and 2000-2400rpm load.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  17. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    OP Updated: Added some temperature-reducing Profiles already tested and ready to go with special thanks and help from Zardon.


    While I couldn't agree more about Expertool ATI working brilliantly, being limited to 50% as your lowest adjustable speed is still a bit overkill - these fans begin to make a whole lot of noise starting just about right there, but at 40-45% fan speed, the noise is barely more than at stock 27%, but the cooling efficiency is greatly increased. And, I couldn't agree with you more about ATi not implementing some fan control in their own CCC, or at least not creating adjustable Profiling with fan speeds...I mean, if we can do it, why won't they?

    Perhaps some of these cards are a bit different - my Sapphire's max fan speed is ~5200RPM (fluctuates to 5280 at top end, but doesn't sit there) - obviously a scaling issue with the fan speeds though - 100% should, by all accounts, be 50% faster than it's half you would think!

    Psychlone
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  18. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    Yeah, 50% is loud, especially since it's actually 70% of the total fan speed. Under normal usage at around 50% actually (so what, 40% in the driver?) it's acceptable, and better still, it only runs at this speed in a game where both GPUs are working.

    What's quite funny about the card is that my PC is on the desk, and above 60% fan speed the desk rumbles with the vibration from the fan slightly, you can even feel it in the floor!
     
  19. psychlone

    psychlone M3A32-MVP GURU

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    :) lol

    That would make me nutz, but I have the Cosmos S, so putting something that size on my desk would make it impossible for me to fix other people's computers on my desk - I'd have to set up a workbench elsewhere, and that's just not feasible for me. I work on other's computers all the time - it's sort of a hobby/side project for me when I'm not running my restaurant...in fact, if I didn't own a restaurant, this is what I'd be doing 24/7! ;)

    Speaking of cases, the new Tt Spedo (not out yet, but there's a killer review on Youtube - just search for Thermaltake Spedo) - this is going to be a really nice case for cooling as well as aesthetics.

    -Sorry, I won't derail again... :oops: :lol:

    Psychlone
     
  20. sammorris

    sammorris New Member

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    My desk is big, but most of it is taken up by my 3007WFP... haha
    I'd put my PC on the floor because it'll be quieter down there, but there's nowhere for it to go here without risk of being kicked - and it's too good looking to risk that... :p - Plus I don't really want it touching my Z-5500's sub, you know, just in case.
     

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