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Author Topic: Mining Strategy - Overclock or Not?  (Read 2058 times)
yjacket
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January 23, 2012, 07:50:19 PM
 #1

Hi all,

I've been mining for awhile now and I've found that I like to undervolt and slightly underclock cards for heat and power consumption reasons.

Lately though I've been wondering- will this really prolong the life of the cards? Will any mining card really be able to be used again in a gaming computer? All the cards that have mined at 24/7 work fine as miners but all show artifacts when used in gaming. Is this anyone else's experience? I just want my cards to last(mine stably) for a year.

Also, anyone buying Squaretrade warranties? It seems like it might be a good deal- and it would allow you to OC without really caring.

Any thoughts?
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portron
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January 23, 2012, 07:56:00 PM
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Just keep your temps in line, overclocking is done by many manufactors straight out of the box.
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January 23, 2012, 08:15:42 PM
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All the cards that have mined at 24/7 work fine as miners but all show artifacts when used in gaming. Is this anyone else's experience?

I don't think it's supposed to happen, for some percentage, yes, but not for all, unless it is some unlucky batch or something was overheating (GPU/MEM/VRM). A faulty PSU delivering high voltages could also damage GPU(s).
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January 25, 2012, 06:15:41 AM
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GPU's are designed to run at spec for years. Lowering voltage won't necessarily prolong the life. However, raising the voltage can and likely will shorten the life.
Clock speeds don't really change the draw much, it's the voltage. Lower voltage translates to lower E-bills. So, my recommendation would be to clock as high as you can at stock voltage. Then lower VRAM speed to conserve a little, and cut heat. To help conserve "E", you could lower the running clock/multi and voltage of the CPU.

My 6950, the wife's 5850 both mine 24/7 at *very* high clocks and stock voltage, and both still work fine for games.

These warranties, will they cover consumer inflicted damage. Excessive overclocking/voltages can physically burn components on the PCB, potentially telling the tale of GPU past.

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January 25, 2012, 07:21:08 AM
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GPU's are designed to run at spec for years. Lowering voltage won't necessarily prolong the life. However, raising the voltage can and likely will shorten the life.
Clock speeds don't really change the draw much, it's the voltage. Lower voltage translates to lower E-bills. So, my recommendation would be to clock as high as you can at stock voltage. Then lower VRAM speed to conserve a little, and cut heat. To help conserve "E", you could lower the running clock/multi and voltage of the CPU.

My 6950, the wife's 5850 both mine 24/7 at *very* high clocks and stock voltage, and both still work fine for games.

These warranties, will they cover consumer inflicted damage. Excessive overclocking/voltages can physically burn components on the PCB, potentially telling the tale of GPU past.

What ps are you using? I used a cheap coolmax Rm-1000B for awhile and now use a mush kin 1000w 80 gold and a rosewil 1300w 80 gold now. Do you think it could be the ps?
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January 26, 2012, 06:53:05 AM
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What ps are you using? I used a cheap coolmax Rm-1000B for awhile and now use a mush kin 1000w 80 gold and a rosewil 1300w 80 gold now. Do you think it could be the ps?


Mine is the Corsair tx850, and the wife's is an ocz mod-x 700w. Rosewill would be suspect, though I don't have much exp. with them. I didn't even know mushkin made PSU's.

A quality PSU is the most important component to not skimp out on. You want good, clean, consistant power from your PSU. A cheap one may have bad regulation, which can lead to voltage spikes, and dead cards/mobo.

My recommendation for PSU's would be Corsair, seasonic, Enermax, PC P&C, XFX, silverstone are the top choices. OCZ is "good enough". Mushkin makes good RAM, but I can't comment on their PSU's.
Look for higher amperage on the 12v rails. Remember, a full tilt GPU mining with OC is going to draw 20+amps, so you want to make sure you can supply it. Something like a 60A single rail, or multi rail with 30A or so per 12v rail would suffice.

You can buy PSU testers, but I recommend googleing how to test a PSU with a DMM (digital multi meter). Test under full load for fluctuating voltage/spikes.

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January 26, 2012, 07:02:45 AM
 #7

All the cards that have mined at 24/7 work fine as miners but all show artifacts when used in gaming. Is this anyone else's experience?

I don't think it's supposed to happen, for some percentage, yes, but not for all, unless it is some unlucky batch or something was overheating (GPU/MEM/VRM). A faulty PSU delivering high voltages could also damage GPU(s).
+1. Worth noting your overclocks will likely not be stable in gaming because it's using more of your card (probably same case with underclocks if you're undervolting). I've been mining since April '11 and still use the cards in a particular rig for gaming every once in a long while - no problems, but I have to use different clock/voltage settings than when I mine.

Don't mix your coins someone said isn't legal
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January 26, 2012, 11:46:09 AM
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Mine is the Corsair tx850, and the wife's is an ocz mod-x 700w. Rosewill would be suspect, though I don't have much exp. with them. I didn't even know mushkin made PSU's.
And what facts are you basing your suspicions on, pray tell?
Are you aware that the Rosewill Lightning 1300W is internally the same psu as the Superflower Golden Green?
Are you aware that both are excellent platforms?
You're basing your suspicions on your ignorance of the subject matter, aren't you?

My recommendation for PSU's would be Corsair, seasonic, Enermax, PC P&C, XFX, silverstone are the top choices. OCZ is "good enough". Mushkin makes good RAM, but I can't comment on their PSU's.
Do you happen to know that neither Rosewill, nor XFX, nor SilverStone, nor Mushkin, nor Corsair nor OCZ don't actually make PSUs? Putting their stickers on ready-made devices is all they do.
Thus, the quality of their PSUs depends solely on which manufacturer they sign an OEM contract with and what designs they choose to purchase.
Forget PC Power & Cooling, they have been reduced to just another brand name owned by OCZ - and not a top shelf brand at that.

A general statement like "OCZ is good enough" (at most you could say "This one here OCZ power supply, based on ASD PSU platform and manufactured by QWE" is good enough) is inherently flawed.
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January 26, 2012, 07:22:37 PM
 #9

Forget PC Power & Cooling, they have been reduced to just another brand name owned by OCZ - and not a top shelf brand at that.
Just because they are part of the OCZ technology group does NOT mean they magically have become shit and useless. The best and longest lasting PSUs of mine are PCP&C, and you can't argue with a 7 year warranty.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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January 26, 2012, 08:12:51 PM
 #10

Never said they were useless.
Just wanted to make sure everyone is aware what the current situation is.

No more PC P&C-style cooling(1), just the standard 120/135mm fans.
Worse still, the latest line of PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III PSUs is using a dated group-regulated design.
That's something I just don't like to see, how a hitherto well-respected brand is being used.

Notes:
(1) PC P&C used to employ smaller exhaust fans pulling air along the radiators and over the PCB. The standard approach nowadays is blowing air on the radiator tops.
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January 26, 2012, 08:46:08 PM
 #11

Most of my units are undervolted and standard clocked.  I figure by not having to have a card offline due to thermal damage ever I have come out ahead. 

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