overclocking MSI Lightning 6970

Sufu

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Contrary to all the reviews, I am unable to get my OCs stable at anything say past 970MHz, even when pushing the voltage up to 1.3v in MSI afterburner. GPU gets to around 80C at 98-99% load, and then I get a hard lock in a few minutes requiring a reboot.

I don't know how the reviewers were getting 1Ghz+ stable OCs. I have power control settings in CCC set to +20%, and I flipped the bios switch on the card to the middle setting without any luck. It's perfectly stable at the factory clock speeds, but it does not want to go higher. :mad:

Has anyone successfully overclocked this card, and can give some tips?
 

Evil Scooter

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Contrary to all the reviews, I am unable to get my OCs stable at anything say past 970MHz, even when pushing the voltage up to 1.3v in MSI afterburner. GPU gets to around 80C at 98-99% load, and then I get a hard lock in a few minutes requiring a reboot.

I don't know how the reviewers were getting 1Ghz+ stable OCs. I have power control settings in CCC set to +20%, and I flipped the bios switch on the card to the middle setting without any luck. It's perfectly stable at the factory clock speeds, but it does not want to go higher. :mad:

Has anyone successfully overclocked this card, and can give some tips?
Well a stock 6970 runs at 880/1375. The lightning comes at 940/1375. If you are able to get an additional 30Mhz outta the GPU on top of the factory overclock you are doing fine IMHO. There is a point when more voltage will do no good and it looks as if you've hit it. Nothing wrong with the speeds you are getting. Back it down a hair and enjoy. That extra GPU overclock at 1K will only get you an additional 2~3fps anyway. Not worth possibly turning your card into a crispy critter.

GL
 

Lord_Exodia

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Contrary to all the reviews, I am unable to get my OCs stable at anything say past 970MHz, even when pushing the voltage up to 1.3v in MSI afterburner. GPU gets to around 80C at 98-99% load, and then I get a hard lock in a few minutes requiring a reboot.

I don't know how the reviewers were getting 1Ghz+ stable OCs. I have power control settings in CCC set to +20%, and I flipped the bios switch on the card to the middle setting without any luck. It's perfectly stable at the factory clock speeds, but it does not want to go higher. :mad:

Has anyone successfully overclocked this card, and can give some tips?
I agree that not all samples will go that much higher and even to beyond 1Ghz frequency. You could have gotten unlucky. However lets pretend that's not the case now.

What are your specs. If your too new in this forum to have a sig always post them when you have a thread like this. Have you turned up your fan a bit more? The fan on that card isn't supposed to be that loud. Your temps seem fine as far as card tolerances but if you can lower them just a bit that would be good too.

Here are my OC Tips

Try under clocking the rest of the system first
Try setting the ram to 1375 and leave it alone there.
Set your voltage to 1.295 instead of 1.3
Try overclocking only the core to higher values
Try again at 1.3v if you get nowhere at 1.295

If you sucessfully get your core to a high area test it in furmark/Kombuster etc.. for stability. Once you find the highest stable core value from 1mhz to instability lower the core speed 10Mhz from there and that would be a good permanent overclock

Finally once you established your core overclock try and lower voltage to see if that new 10mhz less can run fine with a lower voltage. The goal is to stay away from the highest voltage possible.

Once you got that done repeat with the ram on the card.

Note that you may not get a great memory overclock as it's a trade off in most cases. I've found over the years that memory overclocking can limit your gpu overclocking quite a bit. You will see much better gains by having a much higher core than by pushing both the core and memory and sacrificing core speed to get your ram a little faster.
 

Sufu

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those temps seem like something is wrong with your card
I think reviewers actually tend run the card in the open. I have two in a Corsair 800D, but the top card is not getting good airflow, so it runs a bit hot. The bottom card runs mid to high 60s because it's next to the 140mm fan. I plan to get my window modded to put another 140MM fan to blow ontop of the cards.

Well a stock 6970 runs at 880/1375. The lightning comes at 940/1375. If you are able to get an additional 30Mhz outta the GPU on top of the factory overclock you are doing fine IMHO. There is a point when more voltage will do no good and it looks as if you've hit it. Nothing wrong with the speeds you are getting. Back it down a hair and enjoy. That extra GPU overclock at 1K will only get you an additional 2~3fps anyway. Not worth possibly turning your card into a crispy critter.

GL
Yeah I was even unstable at 970 @ 1.27 voltage, though it would last like 10-15min before locking up. I brought GPU back to stock because it's like hitting a brick wall past 940.

I can run the memory @ 1450 on stock voltage though no problem. Not sure if OCing the memory is going to make a difference in fps though.
 

Lord_Exodia

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I can run the memory @ 1450 on stock voltage though no problem. Not sure if OCing the memory is going to make a difference in fps though.
Funny you were typing this as I was typing. Definitely read my post above, make sure to post your specs. Especially CPU and current speed you have it clocked to, Motherboard, how much ram and how many sticks and at what speed, and Finally what motherboard and bios revision you have on it. Did you look at your bios settings etc..?
 

Sufu

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I agree that not all samples will go that much higher and even to beyond 1Ghz frequency. You could have gotten unlucky. However lets pretend that's not the case now.

What are your specs. If your too new in this forum to have a sig always post them when you have a thread like this. Have you turned up your fan a bit more? The fan on that card isn't supposed to be that loud. Your temps seem fine as far as card tolerances but if you can lower them just a bit that would be good too.

Here are my OC Tips

Try under clocking the rest of the system first
Try setting the ram to 1375 and leave it alone there.
Set your voltage to 1.295 instead of 1.3
Try overclocking only the core to higher values
Try again at 1.3v if you get nowhere at 1.295

If you sucessfully get your core to a high area test it in furmark/Kombuster etc.. for stability. Once you find the highest stable core value from 1mhz to instability lower the core speed 10Mhz from there and that would be a good permanent overclock

Finally once you established your core overclock try and lower voltage to see if that new 10mhz less can run fine with a lower voltage. The goal is to stay away from the highest voltage possible.

Once you got that done repeat with the ram on the card.

Note that you may not get a great memory overclock as it's a trade off in most cases. I've found over the years that memory overclocking can limit your gpu overclocking quite a bit. You will see much better gains by having a much higher core than by pushing both the core and memory and sacrificing core speed to get your ram a little faster.
tyvm, I am going to try to set ram to stock and see how it goes. I found furmark makes one of the GPU temps jump to ~105-110c in GPU-Z, before the fans get a chance to spin up, even though @ 1.29 I only see temps in the 80s in MSI. I already have a fan profile to make them spin about 2% higher than the actual temp.
 

Sufu

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Funny you were typing this as I was typing. Definitely read my post above, make sure to post your specs. Especially CPU and current speed you have it clocked to, Motherboard, how much ram and how many sticks and at what speed, and Finally what motherboard and bios revision you have on it. Did you look at your bios settings etc..?
Originally I was planing in watercooling both cards, but I can't find any waterblocks that will fit the MSI Lightning :(

Since I don't feel like taking a huge loss, I will wait for 7xxx series instead.

Specs:
EVGA Classified3 E770
Core i7 920 D0 @ 4.2GHz (200x21)
6GB G.Skill Triple Channel DD3 1600

Heatkiller 3.0 Ni waterblock
BP Motherboard Block
BP Mosfet Block
HWLabs Black Ice SR-1 360
Corsair 800D Case
Inverted Rear Exhaust fan to blow into the case, and I have 3x120mm fans in pull on the rad.

Voltages:
Vcore 1.35V
CPU VTT +300 (anything less I get BSOD, STOP 0x101)
IOH/ICH I/o Voltage 1.55V (Auto/or +50mV makes no difference for GPU stability)
QPI PLL @ 1.275v
IOH PLL @ 1.725
CPU PULL @ 1.725
IOH VCore @ 1.2v
DRAM @ 1.55V
PCI is locked at 33.3
PCIE is at 100mhz in BIOS
 

Lord_Exodia

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What power supply. BTW save your bios settings before you set your i7 920 to stock values. this way you can simply go right back to your overclock after trying my overclocking steps above. As far as your fan profile I'd try a more aggressive one. 2% fan speed over the temperature isn't that aggressive in terms of 950+ ballpark on a Cayman GPU. If the sound becomes a problem you can always lower it but form my own reading on that card it seems the card runs very quiet even with the fan VERY high so I'd say go a bit more balls to the walls on the fan profile. ;)
 

Sufu

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What power supply. BTW save your bios settings before you set your i7 920 to stock values. this way you can simply go right back to your overclock after trying my overclocking steps above. As far as your fan profile I'd try a more aggressive one. 2% fan speed over the temperature isn't that aggressive in terms of 950+ ballpark on a Cayman GPU. If the sound becomes a problem you can always lower it but form my own reading on that card it seems the card runs very quiet even with the fan VERY high so I'd say go a bit more balls to the walls on the fan profile. ;)
Forgot - it's a Enermax MAXREVO 1350w, and I'm using latest bios from EVGA website (I forget the number, I flashed it about a month ago).
 
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I was just wondering if you run at 2500x1600 resolution?

If not why are you overclocking the card, is there a game not running fast or something?
Seems like a waste of heat and noise if not.

Just because is also a good reason. :)
 

Lord_Exodia

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Forgot - it's a Enermax MAXREVO 1350w, and I'm using latest bios from EVGA website (I forget the number, I flashed it about a month ago).
Great, that's a good supply and more than you need so your good to go on specs. Please don't forget to post any updates if you start getting further. And @ happymedium, he's overclocking a lightning because he bought a lightning :) I know it's factory overclocked and all but that's just what you do with a lightning. ;)
 

Sufu

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I was just wondering if you run at 2500x1600 resolution?

If not why are you overclocking the card, is there a game not running fast or something?
Seems like a waste of heat and noise if not.

Just because is also a good reason. :)
Actually I run at 2560x1440. I find 30" screens to be a bit big to fit on my desk, but like the size of my 27" Hazro display.

Great, that's a good supply and more than you need so your good to go on specs. Please don't forget to post any updates if you start getting further. And @ happymedium, he's overclocking a lightning because he bought a lightning :) I know it's factory overclocked and all but that's just what you do with a lightning. ;)
Indeed it is. I will have to mess around again tonight and put the memory back to stock. Even at 970 GPU @ 1.27v it was unstable. I don't know if it's voltage hungry or if I've hit a brick wall and just got a shitty overclocker.

I found running it at 1.3 made it get very hot, but I will just make the spans spin faster and test again. The fans on this thing are pretty quiet even at 100%, compared to the reference fan.
 

Lord_Exodia

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Indeed it is. I will have to mess around again tonight and put the memory back to stock. Even at 970 GPU @ 1.27v it was unstable. I don't know if it's voltage hungry or if I've hit a brick wall and just got a shitty overclocker.

I found running it at 1.3 made it get very hot, but I will just make the spans spin faster and test again. The fans on this thing are pretty quiet even at 100%, compared to the reference fan.
If the fan is that quiet, I'd make a profile specifically for overclocking to the extreme (above 950mhz) to run at 60% speed minimum, then up to 100% by the time it reaches 70 degrees and to stay there until it goes back below 70 degrees. I would do it in little increments and have it go up little by little from 60 degrees up in 5% increments so that you don't notice the fan simply get twice as loud. I find if they move in increments the noise isn't as obvious. Even a fan that is considered quiet could sound much worse to you if at the snap of a finger it gets 2x as loud.
 
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