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Overclocking EVGA GTX 1080 FTW

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Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
This will be the first time that I am overclocking a GPU so I will need a lot of help. I will be using the Precision X OC v6.0.4 to do this. I do not have a GPU cooler.

Precision X OC is telling me that the idle:
GPU Clock = 1290MHz
Memory Clock = 5005MHz

If I hit KBOOST it reads:
GPU Clock = 2012MHz
Memory Clock = 5005MHz

If you need more information please ask and I will do my best to get it for you.

Questions:
1) What benefits will I get by overclocking my GPU?
2) What software do I need for testing?
3) Where do I start?
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Questions:
1) What benefits will I get by overclocking my GPU?

I'm assuming you are using this rig to game so you well see a higher fps in your games.

2) What software do I need for testing?

I like to use heaven benchmark for testing purposes.

3) Where do I start?

Forget using k-boost, this locks the gpu at full speed all the time and is more for benchmarking.

I suggest to start, run the heaven benchmark to getanidea of what your system does stock. After this increase the core clock by 25 and retest. When you start seeing artifacts during heaven or the test will not complete you've 2 choices, increase voltage or back the core down 25 and call it a day. If you decide to increase voltage and this stabalize the core speed you can try increasing further in small increments until you are seeing artifacts or not finishing the test.

You can then repeat this for the memory clock after stabilizing the core clock. You Will not see much gain from memory overclocking.

After completing this play your normal games and If it is giving you problems back the core and memory(if overclocked) down 25.

That card comes with a good cooler on it so I doubt you will have thermal issues but if you do you can adjust the fan profile to be more aggressive.
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Lochekey I have a few questions:

1) Heaven Benchmark.... is the free version fine to use? Don't think I want to pony up $400+ bucks.
2) After I run Heaven Benchmark to get an initial testing of my card, you say to increase the core clock (GPU Clock?) by 25MHz?
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Sorry yes when I referred to core clock I'm talking the gpu clock. Like Janus said 25mhz is a good baseline adjustment to get close to your max overclock. You can try tuning in smaller increments but the small gain is not worth the hassle for day to day use.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is you will want to keep an eye on the benchmark score. Sometimes when you are going along you will see a decrease in score compared to an earlier run. This is another indicator that your overclock is not stable and you need to increase voltage or back down the overclock.
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
I just ran my first benchmark and here it is:
https://gyazo.com/d6895c3389bcf9be215419df36d7fbb4

1) While I was benchmarking it showed my core clock at 2025MHZ..... should I start my overclocking there at 2025MHz or the idle speed?
2) I also am running a three monitor setup... should I run the benchmark at 5760x1080 or 1920x1080?
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Good average to try on the GTX 1080 is +200Mhz on the GPU. I would test on the game settings you use.
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Where should I start the overclock from the idle speed or the game speed?
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Don't understand? I have started the overclock at the idle speed and am going to test +125 right now.
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
I seem to have clocked out at
GPU Clock = +125
Memory Clock = +50 (I went up to +75 and passed the benchmark, but I got better score at +50)

1) Set power target to MAX? What will that do?
2) Set temperature to max also? Why?
3) What program should I use to make sure this is a stable overclock? Should I run RealBench for an hour?
4) Also, how do I know what the actual speed is? Is it the clock that you get when you load Precision X OC? or the game clock?
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
First thing which I would do is to raise power limit, then load card to the max and check how high is max clock. Then I would add voltage which is probably only +0.03V ... and check if max clocks are higher. At the end I would check how card reacts to each +20MHz.
My point is that boost clock is not raising by the value you set but it's being calculated based on some variables like theoretical card potential. In older series it was based on ASIC but here is no ASIC.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
+1 Woomack...

I can see getting "+200" on a FE card with low clocks... but I can't/haven't seen that on any of the higher end cards, like the FTW, MSI Gaming, etc. 1080's are seemingly topping out around the 2100 MHz mark.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
The FTW card is heavily overclocked at stock. It will probably do 2025 MHz for the GPU without touching anything other than the power limit. As ED said, most of the 1080s are topping out around 2100 MHz for the GPU boost clock.

I have a FTW, and it tops out about 2150 MHz.

When you are overclocking, it's the sustained boost frequency that matters, not how much you add to the GPU overclock slider.

The FTW has 2 different BIOS on the card. The standard one which raises the power limit to 120% max, and the second one that raises it to 130% max. If you want to overclock the card, you need to use the secondary bios (the higher power limit stabilizes the GPU boost clock...versus it jumping all over the place.) To enable this BIOS, you need to power off the computer, move the switch (it's little, and the words "master/slave" are on the GPU backplate). After you move the switch, you need to remove AC power from the power supply and wait about 10 minutes (the capacitors on the FTW card have to fully discharge).

Reboot your PC, and you will be able to set the power limit to 130%.

Overclocking your card will cause it to get hotter. So, you should setup a custom fan profile. For me, I just keep the fans running at 90% all the time (the ACX 3.0 cooler is very quiet).

When I dial in my overclock, I keep the Heaven benchmark running continuously and increase the GPU slider by +25 MHz after it makes it through each pass. You should wait 1 pass on the Heaven benchmark to let the card heat up before increasing GPU frequency. When you are overclocking too much, you will see artifacts on the graphics display, Windows will report a graphics driver crash, or your PC could just lock up. For everyday use, when I find the max overclock, I have my "daily" overclock be about 25 MHz lower.

If you want, then repeat this process with the memory (although memory won't give you as much of a performance boost). Start with a 100 MHz increase on memory frequency and then increase in 50 MHz increments until you get artifacts, display driver crash, or Windows crash.

As you are running a multi-monitor surround setup, the GPU will never fully downclock when idle. Mine never goes below 1731 MHz idle. If this bothers you, you can install NVIDIA Inspector software (free) and enable the extra power savings mode.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Why would you need to remove AC power from the PSU? The switch should have it load from the other BIOS without such a move... at least that is how it has worked on all boards and GPUs that have a switch (that I used) anyway...
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Why would you need to remove AC power from the PSU? The switch should have it load from the other BIOS without such a move... at least that is how it has worked on all boards and GPUs that have a switch (that I used) anyway...

Check the EVGA forums...this is how it works on this card. Just turning off the PC and moving the switch doesn't always work.

I had to personally remove the AC power to get it to "stick".
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Yeah - my guess is that the mechanical switch is tied into a solid state switch...which is powered. That's a "safer' way to design this type of circuit.
 
OP
Meatball0311

Meatball0311

Registered
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
I switched to the 2nd BIOS on the card and set my:
Power Target = 130%
Temp Target = 91c
GPU Clock Offset = +125MHz
MEM Clock Offset = +50MHz

1) Can I start overclocking with these settings or should I put GPU/MEM Clock Offset = 0?