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Author Topic: 5970 Cooling Solutions  (Read 12307 times)
Cablesaurus
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January 28, 2011, 11:48:33 PM
 #1

Those of you who use 1 or more 5970's with BitCoin, I'd like to inquire about your cooling solutions.

I am using the Sapphire 5970 in a Thermaltake case on a Gigabyte ep45-ud3p mobo and E8400 core2duo processor. With stock cooling on the GPU currently.

If I OC with some fairly standard OC settings the stock cooler runs fine at 80% for gaming, and keeps everything below the 70's even in a stress test. BitCoin, not so much, from overclocking the Core Voltage to 1.165 and 900mhz core speed (not touching mem for bitcoin) even with the fan at 100% eventually I push 82-84c and the card starts to downclock, not good.

So I'm considering an after market cooler of some kind and am looking for input from other folks in this situation

Thanks for any input!

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ArtForz
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January 29, 2011, 12:09:13 AM
 #2

It's throttling because the VRMs are hitting 120°C.
see http://www.anandtech.com/show/3590, bitcoin mining is about as bad as dnet.
Sadly, for aircooling stock is as good as it gets. The only 3rd party air cooler for 5970 is AC Accelero 5970, and its VRM cooling is *worse* than stock.
So a) go watercooling or b) fiddle around with more case airflow, fans pointed at rear of the card, ..., finally say fuck it and lower Vcore.

bitcoin: 1Fb77Xq5ePFER8GtKRn2KDbDTVpJKfKmpz
i0coin: jNdvyvd6v6gV3kVJLD7HsB5ZwHyHwAkfdw
Cablesaurus
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January 29, 2011, 12:26:59 AM
 #3

Thank you for the concise response. Do you (or anyone reading) have experience with the water cooling solutions to know which might be best? I have never done a water cooling setup before, but honestly the fan in this GPU is so loud, it would be a welcome change.

I wish I would have known about BitCoin about 3 months ago when I first purchased the card! Sad

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January 29, 2011, 12:32:36 AM
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Are you planning on having more than 1 5970?

You're looking at more than half the cost of the 5970 for a good WC setup. Money would be better invested in another 5970 and lowering clocks on both until your board is full then go 3x120mm radiator setups for every 2 cards. Even then I don't know how well that kind of setup will cool 2 5970s as you will be putting out over 350w of heat per card. Plus you'll have space issues with 2 radiators that size.

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Cablesaurus
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January 29, 2011, 03:41:02 AM
 #5

So a) go watercooling or b) fiddle around with more case airflow, fans pointed at rear of the card, ..., finally say fuck it and lower Vcore.

ArtForz or anyone if I may ask, do you know if it's possible to bump up the core mhz speed with a slightly lower vcore? I tried lowering vcore from 1.1625 down to 1.1125 just to test... running at just 900mhz core with nothing else raised, sys still locked up on  a test.

I don't know a lot about voltages in GPU's, but does there exist any other sweet spot I could try for any halfway significant gain, aside from 1.1625vcore? I tried actually running 725mhz core and 1.1625vcore in testing (nothing else raised) and things still got too hot, so the issue does seem to be with the max vcore setting.

I see people claiming 650-700khash with their 5970's on here so if there's any suggestions I can tweak, I'll try them. Thanks for any input. Smiley

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January 29, 2011, 05:09:51 AM
 #6

Your card is locking up because it's not getting enough volts for your core. Unsync them and have individual overclock profiles per core. I run 950core/1000mem at 1.1625v and get roughly 715 Mhash/s. I do not have the cores synced as one core is crappier than the other. So core crappy is @ 940, while the other one is at 960. I can also run 1.10v with core crappy at 900 and the other at 920. Unsyncing them will definitely help you balance core speeds with voltage.

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January 29, 2011, 05:26:50 AM
 #7

technopagan, which Thermaltake case do you have?  What I've found that works best is a bottom-mount fan of at least 100 cfm drawing cold air from underneath a mid-tower or tower case.  Take a look at this Cooler Master case:

http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6638

I have one 120 mm, 133 CFM Scythe Ultra Kaze drawing air in from the bottom just in front of the PSU and another mounted in the lower side mount.  They are both blowing directly on the GPUs.  I used to run 90+ degrees on the bottom card (with automatic throttling) and 87 degrees on the top card.  They are both now around 70 degrees.

I really don't recommend water cooling.  Trust me, I've played around with it a lot, and it's generally much more money and hassle than it's worth.  It does look cool with the UV coolant though.  Cool

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Cablesaurus
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January 29, 2011, 08:28:05 AM
 #8

Your card is locking up because it's not getting enough volts for your core. Unsync them and have individual overclock profiles per core. I run 950core/1000mem at 1.1625v and get roughly 715 Mhash/s. I do not have the cores synced as one core is crappier than the other. So core crappy is @ 940, while the other one is at 960. I can also run 1.10v with core crappy at 900 and the other at 920. Unsyncing them will definitely help you balance core speeds with voltage.

I haven't tried unsynching the cores yet, I'll give that a shot and play around with it.

One thing to note though, that during testing, (synched of course at the time,) I set voltage to 1.1625 and left the core speed @ 725mhz. Even with 100% fan speed I was approaching the critical temperatures at 725mhz. Would unsynching make a difference then here?

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sc8nt4u
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January 29, 2011, 10:54:23 AM
 #9

Your card is locking up because it's not getting enough volts for your core. Unsync them and have individual overclock profiles per core. I run 950core/1000mem at 1.1625v and get roughly 715 Mhash/s. I do not have the cores synced as one core is crappier than the other. So core crappy is @ 940, while the other one is at 960. I can also run 1.10v with core crappy at 900 and the other at 920. Unsyncing them will definitely help you balance core speeds with voltage.

I haven't tried unsynching the cores yet, I'll give that a shot and play around with it.

One thing to note though, that during testing, (synched of course at the time,) I set voltage to 1.1625 and left the core speed @ 725mhz. Even with 100% fan speed I was approaching the critical temperatures at 725mhz. Would unsynching make a difference then here?

You do not need to run at 1.1625v on the cores for 725mhz. Stock volts would run that. Unsyncing would help with stabilizing your system at a particular voltage, and optimizing core clock for each core, as each core is slightly different and one will almost always be better than the other.

- I would start at 1.1625v @ 100% fan. I use a combination of Sapphire Trixx and MSI Afterburner. Use Trixx to set the voltage and sync the core speed to a core clock you think may work. Test this configuration and make sure m0mchill's client isn't throwing you errors. Scroll up in the prompt to check your logs. This will take several tries if you don't already know the cores’ limit.

- Using GPU-Z, check your VRM temps at your synced core speed and voltage and make sure it’s not throttling you at this speed; throttling kicks in around 120C for the VRM. If it is throttling, lower your clock speed and voltage. Repeat the previous step until it is not throttling you anymore. When it stops throttling, this particular voltage is very close to the most voltage you will be able to use. I let my VRM temps hang out around 110C so that I can account for room temperature fluctuations throughout the day.

- Once you figure out the maximum voltage and a core speed that works for both cores, use afterburner to unsync the cores and raise one of the core speeds up 5-10mhz, check that GPU’s log for errors. If this is the bad core, your system might crash or start throwing you errors in the log. If it is throwing you errors, revert back to the original core speed for this gpu and make a note of which one it was, GPU1 or GPU2. This is the bad core.
Note: Afterburner messes up my fan speed, I don’t know if it will do it to yours, but if it does, you will need to go back into Trixx to fix it.

- If it is not throwing you errors, then most likely this is the better core and you can keep bumping up the core speed in small increments and checking the log for errors. When the first error comes up or your system hangs, move down 5mhz and retry that core.

- Once you’ve determined the max clocks for each GPU @ 1.xxxx  volts, recheck your VRM temps as this higher clock rate as a higher clock rate at the same voltage will dump a little more heat.

Good luck with overclocking! Do it at your own risk!

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January 29, 2011, 03:11:29 PM
 #10

So a) go watercooling or b) fiddle around with more case airflow, fans pointed at rear of the card, ..., finally say fuck it and lower Vcore.
ArtForz or anyone if I may ask, do you know if it's possible to bump up the core mhz speed with a slightly lower vcore? I tried lowering vcore from 1.1625 down to 1.1125 just to test... running at just 900mhz core with nothing else raised, sys still locked up on  a test.
Maximum stable with stock voltage and lowish temperature (at least below 80°C, lower is better down to about 60) is about 640 MHz with my card, but this will vary a bit from card to card.  The problem with overvolting, aside from higher temperature, is the fact that your performance per watt will fall significantly.  It would be more profitable in the long run to get another card than to invest in advanced cooling solutions, assuming you pay for the electricity.  A 5770 and a waterblock for a 5970 cost about the same, and the 5770 gives much better Mhash/$.  A stock 5770 gives better performance per watt than an overvolted 5970.  Power consumption is proportional to the frequency (linear) and square of the voltage.
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I see people claiming 650-700khash with their 5970's on here so if there's any suggestions I can tweak, I'll try them. Thanks for any input. Smiley
I get 620 with mine overclocked to 840 MHz.  I think this is common.  mrb's miner will probably perform a few percent better.

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January 29, 2011, 11:31:00 PM
 #11

So a) go watercooling or b) fiddle around with more case airflow, fans pointed at rear of the card, ..., finally say fuck it and lower Vcore.
ArtForz or anyone if I may ask, do you know if it's possible to bump up the core mhz speed with a slightly lower vcore? I tried lowering vcore from 1.1625 down to 1.1125 just to test... running at just 900mhz core with nothing else raised, sys still locked up on  a test.
Maximum stable with stock voltage and lowish temperature (at least below 80°C, lower is better down to about 60) is about 640 MHz with my card, but this will vary a bit from card to card.  The problem with overvolting, aside from higher temperature, is the fact that your performance per watt will fall significantly.  It would be more profitable in the long run to get another card than to invest in advanced cooling solutions, assuming you pay for the electricity.  A 5770 and a waterblock for a 5970 cost about the same, and the 5770 gives much better Mhash/$.  A stock 5770 gives better performance per watt than an overvolted 5970.  Power consumption is proportional to the frequency (linear) and square of the voltage.
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I see people claiming 650-700khash with their 5970's on here so if there's any suggestions I can tweak, I'll try them. Thanks for any input. Smiley
I get 620 with mine overclocked to 840 MHz.  I think this is common.  mrb's miner will probably perform a few percent better.

How many more watts are needed to jump from 725 stock to 950? I know you'll get about 35% more performance.

He also needs to consider space requirements. If a 5770 is better at Mhash/$ than an OCd 5970, you still need to consider he has a finite amount of PCI-E slots and having a higher density of video cards would be better.

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Cablesaurus
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January 30, 2011, 12:07:03 AM
 #12


What's the minimum voltage required to hit 900 or 950 on the 'better' core?

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January 30, 2011, 12:20:32 AM
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What's the minimum voltage required to hit 900 or 950 on the 'better' core?

Card dependent. I use 1.1625v @ 955mhz on my good core and 925mhz on the crappier one. YMMV. The new m0mchill client increased my hash rate, but at the same time throws up more errors so I need to clock down.  Currently testing my 2nd 5970.

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January 30, 2011, 12:45:44 AM
 #14

You do not need to run at 1.1625v on the cores for 725mhz. Stock volts would run that. Unsyncing would help with stabilizing your system at a particular voltage, and optimizing core clock for each core, as each core is slightly different and one will almost always be better than the other.

By the way, I understand you don't ened to run 1.1625 to run stock 725mhz, however what I meant was in testing, I set just the voltage up (to 1.1625) before increasing any core speed to see how the temperature handled. I still approached mid 70's without increasing the core.

This was of coursed synched, but moreover what I meant was that I essentially raised the core voltage without changing anything else, and was approaching the critical range of temperatures.

If this is useful info at all.

I'll try playing around with unsynching later tonight too.

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January 30, 2011, 02:44:30 AM
 #15

I can't seem to actually unlink the cores with MSI Afterburner, newest version of the program, the option is greyed out :/

Edit: Interesting, I can control them individually with the ATI Control Panel, however, voltage isn't setting on the secondary core with MSI, and only with ATI Overvolt which doesnt have any choices between default and 1.1625. Sapphire Trixx locks up the machine and I'm wondering if I have the right version.

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January 30, 2011, 04:16:25 AM
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I can't seem to actually unlink the cores with MSI Afterburner, newest version of the program, the option is greyed out :/

Edit: Interesting, I can control them individually with the ATI Control Panel, however, voltage isn't setting on the secondary core with MSI, and only with ATI Overvolt which doesnt have any choices between default and 1.1625. Sapphire Trixx locks up the machine and I'm wondering if I have the right version.

Weird, I can individually individually set core/volts on each one separately but manual fan control doesn't work. I have to go back to CCC to set the fan speed after i apply my settings in afterburner.

Trixx now crashes on me, now that my 2nd 5970 has come. So I've change to use afterburner to set the voltages and use ccc to set the core speed because afterburner's fan control is broken for me. Scaled down all the voltages to 1.15v @ 900 for each one. I'm going to tweak each individual core later as every 25mhz or so you move up it only increases ~ 10 Mhash/sec between 900-950 core. I estimate a loss of about 3-4% of my theoretical Mhash if I don't unsync. Probably going to go solo mining as I'm having latency issues connecting to slush's mining pool and I'm losing 5 seconds or so on each core every couple minutes per core.

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January 30, 2011, 08:10:33 AM
 #17

Anyone know enough about Afterburner to know why I wouldnt be able to set volts/corespeed on both cores? :/ I only see 1 slider.

Do you see 2 seperate sliders?

I unchecked the option to "sync like gpu's" and that didn't change a thing.

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January 30, 2011, 11:02:20 AM
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Anyone know enough about Afterburner to know why I wouldnt be able to set volts/corespeed on both cores? :/ I only see 1 slider.

Do you see 2 seperate sliders?

I unchecked the option to "sync like gpu's" and that didn't change a thing.

In the same menu did you pull down the box to select GPU1, GPU2, etc..

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January 30, 2011, 08:55:55 PM
 #19

Found it, it was under the 'settings' screen
Played around with individual cvolts and cmhz, not really comfortable with the temperatures i'm getting sadly,

With the 'better' core clocked up to 900 / 1.149 , the un-oced core still hits 110c VRM temps and 82-84c+ core temp

Tried sticking an extra case fan pointed at the GPU and it totally didn't help, lol

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January 31, 2011, 02:24:31 AM
 #20

I'd lower the voltage by 2 more steps i.e. 1.1625 --> 1.15 --> 1.1375 --> 1.125 etc.. Looks like 2 voltage steps down will get you temps of around 75C core and 100C VRM.

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