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A few questions on oc'ing the MSI GTX 970 4G.

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New Member
Feb 13, 2015
Hi everyone, I created an account on this forum as I'm looking for some help when it comes to overclocking my cpu as well as gpu (further). I'm not a pro or anything so please don't be too harsh if I don't know something or have done something wrong.
Without wasting anymore of your time, let's get to my setup as it is probably the most important part.
CPU: i5 2500k 3.3Ghz OC @ 4.4Ghz however I have a separate topic when it comes to the cpu as I'm trying to go even further. Here is the link if you would like to also help there: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/...-on-oc-ing-the-i5-2500k?p=7791030#post7791030)
Cooler: Be Quiet! Pure Rock 210
GPU: MSI GTX 970 4G- So far I got the memory to 2003, core clock to 1253, boost clock 1393. The voltage while testing in Heaven 4.0 was on 1.218 (Which I think is a bit odd as it seems a bit higher than what other people have? Especially since I was not tweaking it at all and they were like that from the start while running the Heaven 4.0 Extreme. I'm pretty sure anyway.) The temps were at around 60 degrees and the power consumption didn't go over 90%.
Mobo: AsRock P67 Pro 3
RAM: 2x4GB RipjawsX 1600 CL9

If you need any more information about my setup then I'm more than happy to answer your questions as well as if you want me to do any other tests a part from Heaven 4.0 on the Extreme preset then again, I'm more than happy to do so. Btw. I was using the GPU Z in order to see all the exact values while testing and the MSI Afterburner to do the actual oc.
Now the questions:
1. Is there anything wrong with my voltage? It seems as if it's a bit higher than what other people have. (At least that's what it seems like to me after reading/watching some reviews/overviews, etc.)
2. Is it safe to use the card with that 0db feature on? Or would it better to change it so the fans always spin? (I'm asking because the opinions on this are split and this is why I ask for advice here.)
3. How does that 0db feature work exactly? I was checking it myself and it seems like the fans turn on when temp gets to +/- 55degrees and 30% load? I'm not sure. If it's possible I would like some more exact figures.
4. What are the max. safe temp when it comes to this card? (I couldn't find any info on this, dunno why...)
5. Which clocks can I still go up with?

In other words, what do I need to do (If it's possible to get anything more out of this gpu ofc) in order to get some higher clocks on it. Also, if there are some threads already which answer at least some of my questions then I'm of course willing to go and have a look at them. :)
Thanks in advance.
1. Nothing wrong with your voltage. Every CPU and GPU are different.
2. Of course its safe... vendors wouldn't do it wasn't. ;)
3. Each maker its different. My MSI GTX 960 for example turns on at 59C. I don't think its load dependent as it was 100% load and didn't turn on until it hit that set temp.
4. 90C. It will throttle and clock down at that speed.
5. Every card has a different maximum it can handle. You need to test and find out! Raise the power limit to its max in MSI AB or similar applications and raise the voltage. Keep it under the power limit to prevent throttling.
Thanks for the quick response! (Again! :))
Two more questions then.
What's the max voltage I can go up to without worrying about damaging the card in the long term? 1.4?
If let's say I run BF4 for several hours and the card is constantly on e.g. 85C, will it damage it in the long term?
You wont kill modern cards with voltage due to the power limits. As I said, it will throttle down to protect itself.

It won't damage the card, no. Just make sure its not throttling due to temps or the power limit. MSI AB will show the power limit. And when you raise that, you raise the throttling temp too.
Thanks. So now, I'm going to try to overclock it a bit more and then I'll post the scores here and if anything will need changes then hopefully we can work it out. :>
All GTX970 on stock settings will show the same voltage as software is reading VID ( voltage ID under which is saved voltage value ). After software overvoltage it will stop at about 1.25V but without mods it's about 1.21V. These voltages are probably on what Nvidia agreed with graphics cards manufacturers.

Voltage under load is controlled by driver so depends from power limit, temps etc it can be slightly lower or higher.
Most GTX970 have overvoltage/overcurrent protection set to ~1.3-1.31V and I think it's also Nvidia specs as most GTX970/980 end up at this voltage without additional hard mods or special unlocked BIOS.
So it's simply not possible to damage card due to software overvoltage.

If you are overclocking on air/water then for OC set temp/power limit to the max ( Afterburner is linking it by default ). GTX 970 has throttling set ~71*C, above which card is slowing down to keep lower temperature. Most cards have tuned cooler speed to keep it below 70*C at full load but after OC with some overvoltage temps will go up.
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