Monday, January 25, 2016

Now on Youtube. For real this time.

Now don't worry I'm not going to drop the blog. I'm only gonna put things on Youtube if it makes sense for me to do them that way. For now that means terribly draw explanation videos however in the future there will be some other content. All the content on Youtube is going to be entertaining to some extent unless its a full blown guide. Here's a link to the channel.

I will not abandon the blog. Just right now I'm kinda learning to live on my own and as you can guess I'm not that great at that. However I have now moved most of my equipment from the CZ to the UK and if get my latest order together I will be churning out guides about a bunch of stuff really soon. I'm also waiting for a guy to send me a better 5960X which should clock to 5+Ghz and that will let me finally trash 3Dmark because the Fury Xs are having my current 5960X for lunch.

Also you may have noticed that the blog is ad free again so you know go and press that donate button if you want more content.

There is a possibility of shirts so if you'd want one leave a comment down bellow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Say hello to the TITAN Strangler + some benching data and thoughts on the Fury X.

Well that's how I dealt with having to cram 3 radiators onto an open air test bench. They are literally just sitting there All the pipes are twisted 1 time over and then held together by some velcro straps to make sure that none of the radiators falls of the bench. It looks pretty bad but it works just fine so I have 0 plans to change it.

Here's the parts list off the top of my head so some name may be incorrect:
i7 5960X
4x4GB Geil Super Luce 3400 16-18-18-36 1.35V DDR4
Rampage V Extreme
3 way Power Color Fury X
Dimastech Easy V3.0 Metallic grey
3TB Western Digital Black
480GB Crucial BX200(The first time I have an SSD in a desktop)
Thermalright TY143 fans
Phanteks PH-TC14PE (with the 2.5K RPM fans it handles IBT even at 1.25V core voltage)

My only regret right now is the RAM. The default XMP doesn't work with the RVE at all. I have managed to manually time and clock it to a variety of settings however due to this being my first time with DDR4 and X99 I spend more time trying to get all 4 sticks to boot up than actually running benchmarks(dual channel vs quad channel is a big deal).

My IKEA furniture was supposed to arrive today but due to a mess up on my part I didn't actually get any of it and so I'm continuing with benching from the kitchen counter. The monitor is an AOC G2460VQ6. As far as I know it's the cheapest Free Sync 24" monitor. The colors and viewing angles are pretty good and it starts up way faster than any of my ASUS monitors so I'm happy with it. It also came with a very complete accessory pack including a DP HDMI and VGA cable. However the DP cable turned out to be really dodgy once I started to push over 1200mhz core clocks and ended up running the rest of my benching with HDMI. I don't particularly need Free Sync on this monitor because it is my secondary to the 2560X1080 LG 29UM67 which I'm using because I hate the curve that the 3440x1440p Free Sync monitors come with.

From behind

When I go for my serious attempts I will be running all 3 cards without the shrouds and this fan will be helping with keeping the VRMs cool.

And this mess of wires and tubing is where the system gets the Strangler name from. I do have an idea how to clean this up however my budget for computer parts has reached an O.

(don't actually do that. 155 people donating 5$ would just lead to me buying another Fury X causing further suffering)

Now seriously the cards are running just fine like this however it is an awful mess. Now then lets get to the part where I talk overclocking.

Some overclocking of the Fury X
First thing first the Cooler on the Fury X is a freaking beast. The room had an ambient temperature of 20C according to the heating controller and these cards were running sub 40C even after I fed them +174mv (how to get more voltage in Trixx using a hex editor by /u/Meretrelle). I was running all 3 cards in Crossfire the whole time I was overclocking but I was overclocking them one card at a time.
All 3 cards were running +174mv on the core with +50% power limit and 100% fan speed. The first card is running PCI-e 3.0 X16 from the CPU, the second is running PCI-e 2.0 X4(this does not affect scores at all!) through the chipset and the third is running PCI-e 3.0 X8 from the CPU. This configuration has the lowest possible heat density and puts less strain on the CPU's system agent than running all 3 cards from the CPU's PCI-e.
The primary managed 1250mhz core 572mhz HBM it finished 3Dmark Fire Strike without going over 37C°. This card also ran without any artifacts until I started overclocking the other 2.
The secondary did 1200mhz core 555mhz HBM and ran at the same temps as the first.
The third card did 1210mhz core and 566mhz HBM and ran at the same temps as the other 2.

My best score for the session was 31 761 points because of a huge CPU bottleneck caused by  losing 2 channels of RAM and running only 4.67Ghz. To be fair I wasn't really focusing on getting a high score and was more interested in the maximum GPU clocks.

My other observations so far are:
At 4.67GHz the 5960X can't keep up with the FuryXs which led to absolutely terrible FPS scaling.

Running more than 1GPU from the CPU PCI-e lanes limits the RAM overclocking capabilities.

The RVE's retry button is god send allowing me to get RAM settings that I would otherwise abandon to boot.

Booting all 4 sticks of RAM is really hard. To get my best settings to start with all 4 stick I had to use 1.935V RAM voltage. I also confirmed that the RAM is indeed Samsung based.

To get the best FPS scaling the HBM clocks of all 3 cards need to be somewhat similar running 572/500/500 and 572/555/500 was a disaster but there was a nice jump when I clocked them all up to 572/555/566. I hope to find a way to get all 3 cards to run 600mhz HBM.

I need to test the new AMD Crimson drivers to see if they don't lower the CPU bottleneck that I have right now.

35.2K Fire Strike is definitely within reach of 3 Fury Xs however the CPU power needed is way higher than what a 3 way TITAN-X setup needs. (4.7GHz on T-X vs ~5Ghz on Fury X)

There is a possibility that the apparent stability of the system during testing was caused by the CPU bottleneck leading to the GPUs not being used 100%. Testing with Fire Strike Ultra will either confirm or refute this theory.

Running low temps on the Fury X seems to be the key to high clocks and getting good voltage scaling.

I might be able to rip up some single GPU scores if one of the cards will hit 1300mhz on air

My Opinions(may change as time passes)

IMO the Fury X is a budget/ambient overclocker's dream. However an overclocker's dream and should not be mistaken with a gamers dream. This is because card is incredibly fun to overclock. It is however not "easy" to overclock unlike the GTX 980Ti where the ASIC is everything and you either hit 1550mhz or you don't. The Fury X scales with everything. If you can run it colder. It clocks higher. If you give it more voltage. It clocks higher. Now there are many cards that do this. However the Fury X is the first card where the card already comes with pretty much everything you need.
Voltage Scaling
Temperature Scaling
Beastly VRM
Great Cooling
Basically Unlimited Software Voltage Control

The only things missing are low CPU overhead and high core clocks. However if you just look at percentages the average 980Ti does 25% over stock. My best Fury X did 19% and I didn't think I maxed it out yet(I didn't try more than 1250mhz). 25% or 1312mhz core is probably doable on a Fury X and if it is I'll do it. I approach GPU like games. It's no fun without any challenge. However too much challenge is also bad. The Fury X hits the happy medium. 

Well the Fury Xs blew me away and left me with a great big stupid smile on my face I think I got my moneys worth. Now I just need to get the RAM to behave and the CPU to not die in 3Dmark Physics.

BTW: None of this is "gaming" style overclocking. I consider an overclock good if it finishes the benchmark I really don't care that it might crash if I run it for an hour or 2 because I only need it to work for the 2ish minutes that 3Dmark needs to run. I will do a proper 24/7 overclocking guide for the Fury X some time soon. I will also be helping with some modded BIOSs for the Fiji cards with the goal to run higher HBM voltage and power limits along with more stability oriented power play tables.

Monday, November 9, 2015

R9 380 Nitro Volt mod guide

As you all know I wanted to make an Sapphire R9 380 Nitro(review of the card) volt mod guide. However me being me I royal messed up my R9 380 and had to leave for the UK before I fixed it. However a kind gentleman on Facebook has provided PCB pictures. They aren't exactly what I need however they are good enough to do the guide with. Lets get to it.

DISCLAIMER: Everything past this point will void your warranty! If the GPU stops working due to you doing any of the things described bellow I am at no fault what so ever.

So first lets breakdown that PCB into what's important.

There isn't much to modding the card. Hook some sensing wires to the memory and core voltage VRMs and pull a GND from where ever you want to. I highlighted some good candidates in brown.

First up core voltage and core current limits. The current limit is simple to disable just cut the 2 traces highlighted in green. Now your card will think it's pulling 0W regardless of what the powerdraw actually is. So power related throttling is history. However it does make it easy to blow up the VRM by running Furmark since there is nothing to stop the card from pulling too much power. This should only be a risk when going over 1.45V core voltage. To cut the traces I suggest digging into them with a needle. This picture also shows how you could try modding core voltage however I recommend that you avoid soldering onto a pin or trace because it is really hard to not screw up. 

Instead solder a 22K(+/-5K) ohm variable resistor from the red point to ground. This will give you free control over core voltage. I recommend not going over 1.35V on air cooling for daily usage. For benching 1.45V is my ceiling. More than that seems to rapidly degrade 28nm GPUs.

The VRAM is an easy mod. All you do is hook a 220K(+/-50K) ohm variable resistor from the pin highlighted in orange to ground and you'll have VRAM voltage on manual control. There is no power limit for the VRAM so you don't have to worry about that. I don't rember the stock voltage of the VRAM on the 380 but don't go over 1.7V for daily usage. On sub zero 1.85-1.95V should be optimal.

Practical Tips
Use a fine chisel tip for all the soldering. A needle tip will make everything much harder because the tip of the pen won't actually melt anything.

If you have a temperature regulated iron set it to 240-250C for everything.

When you finish soldering one of the connections to an SMD component I recommend using plastidip to hold it in place. Hot glue is harder to apply without breaking a weak soldering joint and is very bulky which might prevent you from fitting the heatsink back on the card.

Please donate if you want to see more guides! I can't do mods on GPUs I don't have and unfortunately I'm not important enough to get free samples yet...
If just 200 of you were to donate 5$ I would be able to do almost any GPU you're interested in.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Overclocked Power Draw Calculator

Back in 2012 when I first started this blog(there aren't any posts left from then because it was literally just me ranting about everything in existence) I figured out how to calculate overclocked power draw. Over the years I have tested the equation and tried to perfect it. I failed to perfect it. However I have found all it's flaws and so I feel safe in releasing a program that does the calculation for you. The usage should be self explanatory. However I recommend you read the README.txt to understand the flaws. Like everything else I make it's still written in Java. Java 7 might run it but you will most likely need Java 8.

Download Link

Pic of it in action:

Donate if you want to see the app get better! With enough funds I can make this take operating temperature and architecture into account and possibly extend the functionality to include some degradation rate estimates. I could also make it a whole system power draw calculator but I think that's unnecessary because there are plenty of those on the net already.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's official I'm gonna build a 4 way Fury-X system.

 Prepare for reviews statistics guides and more importantly me going to town on the 4 way GPU rankings at HWbot.

This system will be fulling two of my dreams:
- Use a system with 4 GPUs
- Use a system with 2 PSUs

I like to give pet names to my permanent systems. The 3960X is called CPU Cannon. The FX 6350 is called MASSFX(I want to put an 8 core in it one day). I wonder what I'll call this one because I only give the names after I'm done with the build. Octopus seems like a candidate because of the CPU and all the water tubing for the Fury Xs.

Either way I'm not dead uni is going fine and this blog will be back in a several weeks(admittedly these are buidlzoid weeks so they share similarities with months).

In other news I now write gaming peripheral reviews for so the monthly blog budget just got more substantial and I will not run into stupid problems like: doesn't have the right value potentiometer.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stream is delayed... and some more

Due to unforeseen issues I'll be streaming on Sunday. Sorry for the delay.

EDIT: More delay on the stream. I start it randomly when I have time some time soon. After the 24th I will go silent as far as blogging goes because I'll be in the UK with no access to any of my stuff. Hopefully I will figure out some way to transport all my stuff and store it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

R9 Fury Tri-X and Fury X Vmod Guide.

Wow am I sloooooow. I promised a Fury Vmod guide in August. It is now September. But hey better late than never. This guide will work for ALL reference PCB Furys. That means any Fury X and the Sapphire Fury Tri-X and the Powercolor Fury. If you have the ASUS STRIX use this guide from Xtreme Addict. Another way to get some extra performance out of the Fury is to try unlock extra cores on it.

VRM overview
The Fury has 4 VRMs. The HBM and Vcore are controlled by the IR 3567B the AUX and 0.95V voltage are controlled by other controllers which I can't find because none of part numbers for the ICs that could be voltage controllers return anything. That also means that I won't be covering how to mod the AUX and 0.95V voltage. If you're on air or water cooling this doesn't matter. For LN2 users you'll have to figure out how to get 1.05V on the 0.95V VRM output your selves because I don't have the resources to figure it out.

DISCLAIMER: Everything past this point will void your warranty! If the GPU stops working due to you doing any of the things described bellow I am at no fault what so ever.

 Before starting with any volt mods you need a way to measure you voltages. So hook up one wire to any of the GND points, one wire the Core voltage points and one wire to the HBM voltage points. This will allow you to use a multimeter to check the voltages because software does not pick up on the increase in voltage due to volt mods. Also there is no software voltage reading for the HBM or AUX voltages. For AUX it doesn't matter. The stock voltages are 1.2V core and 1.35V HBM.

Now for the actual volt modding. The 3567B is a very very smart voltage controller. It's so smart that if you try to hard mod the power limit you end up with this and run the risk of burning the VRM. Instead just max the power slider in you overclocking software(Sapphire Trixx 5.0.0 goes upto +50% and supports HBM overclocking). To get core voltage under control hook up a 100ohm variable resistor(potentiometer or trimmer) to any of the red points and to ground. To limit the maximum core voltage to 1.8V put a 7ohm resitor in series with the variable resistor. If you want a maximum voltage of 1.5V use a 14ohm resistor. For the HBM hook up a 220ohm variable resistor use a 50ohm resistor to limit the maximum voltage to 1.62V.

Practical tips
Use a fine chisel tip for all the soldering. A needle tip will make everything much harder because the tip of the pen won't actually melt anything.

If you have a temperature regulated iron set it to 240-250C for everything except when trying to solder onto the GND pins of the PCI-e connector. Those act like massive heatsinks so I suggest you raise your pen temperature to 300C.

When you finish soldering one of the connections to an SMD component I recommend using plastidip to hold it in place. Hot glue is harder to apply and very bulky which might lead to you not be able to fit the heatsink back on the card.

Route wires from the 3567B between the PCI-e power connectors. This will hold them in place without the need for more glue/plastidip.

Some results.

Due to budget constraints I do not have 100ohm nor 220ohm potentiometers. So I improvised a dipswitch voltage controller. However they seem to be much higher resistance than the values of the resistors I used to make them. My maximum core voltage is 1.3V and with it I can run 1165mhz core clock this is a 65mhz increase over the 1100mhz that I was getting on stock volts. My maximum HBM voltage is only 1.37V and it didn't improve the HBM overclocking capabilities of my card in the slightest I'm still stuck at 570mhz HBM. So I think HBM doesn't scale with voltage on air cooling or I'm just not giving it enough voltage. Keep in mind that SK Hynix specs HBM to run at 1.2V so over volting it much more than 1.35V might not be the best idea. For the core you can run 1.3V if you keep it sub 80C and if you keep the core sub 60C you can run it at 1.4V. If you set the fans on the Tri-X to 60% you should have no problem keeping the card sub 60C. For benchmarking you can run an extra 100-150mv on top of the safe 24/7 voltage for a given temperature.

Some tips for Tri-X owners
Sapphire used some weird thermal paste on the VRM heatsinks and core. For the core do whatever you usually do when you repaste a GPU but for the VRM heatsinks you can use 0.5mm thermal pads. They will contact the MOSFETs just fine and are cheaper than the 1mm and 1.5mm thermal pads.

Tip to lower or even eliminate coil whine.

Apply hot glue or plastidip on the marked sides of the inductors. If the first time you still get coilwhine you can apply more plastidip/hotglue.

I would like to thank for allowing anyone to use their PCB pics. My attempts at PCB pictures are better for making desktop backgrounds than Vmod guides:

Thank you to Cooler Master for powering this blog.