Warning to video card overclockers!

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
2
76
ostif.org
Hi guys, just a heads up as i have recently learned the hard way...

Some cards do not have any cooling at all on their DDRII or GDDRIII memory. Overclocking the card may appear stable for hours or even days without artifacts when severe overheating is taking place. Neither Geforce nor Radeon GPUs sense overheating of memory, so they will not throttle as a result, they will run at full speed until they fail.

I just ordered a 2nd 6600GT as a result of this :(

Just a reminder that if you dont have any sort of cooling on your memory chips to be careful when OCing them.
 

Silversierra

Senior member
Jan 25, 2005
664
0
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My 6600gt doesn't have ram cooling and I oc'ed a while ago and recently I have noticed some missing textures in some games, could my memory have been harmed and caused this?
 

czech09

Diamond Member
Nov 13, 2004
8,990
0
76
Originally posted by: Silversierra
My 6600gt doesn't have ram cooling and I oc'ed a while ago and recently I have noticed some missing textures in some games, could my memory have been harmed and caused this?

Yes it could have.
 

Silversierra

Senior member
Jan 25, 2005
664
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0
Can it get worse by itself, or will it stay like it is? It isn't terribly messed up in games, and it is only a few games it does it in.

So you shouldn't oc your video card memory without ram coolers?
 

Creig

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,171
13
81
Has anybody performed an empirical RAM heat test during benchmarking/overclocking? (ie - stick finger on RAM chip?) The failure could be just a coincidence.
 

Silversierra

Senior member
Jan 25, 2005
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How far is too far, how long too long? I ran memory at 1160mhz for less than 2hrs. I tried 1200mhz, but got artifacts.
 

Keysplayr

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
21,209
50
91
Originally posted by: Silversierra
How far is too far, how long too long? I ran memory at 1160mhz for less than 2hrs. I tried 1200mhz, but got artifacts.

How are we supposed to answer that? It's common sense really. If you push anything too far (Undefinable) it can become toast. Every transistor in every bit of memory on the planet is not exactly the same. Your Results May Vary. Overclock at your own risk.
You want to play, sometimes you have to pay. Unfortunately, Acanthus now has to pay to get a new card.

This is just my opinion, but it might be worth it just to go for broke and buy a video card or CPU thats fast enough where you really don't need to overclock. For the price Acanthus paid for his original card, and now a replacement card on top of that, he could have purchased a 6800GT or X800XL or something.
By the best you can possibly buy at all times within your means. If you don't have the means, hold off for a while until you do. Don't settle for a lesser card with an attractive price tag. They are cheaper for many reasons. IMHO.

 

Creig

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,171
13
81
Excellent advice, Keys. Only overclock those components you can afford to replace.
 
Jun 14, 2003
10,442
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all ram etc will get hot with overclocking, and heat kills things, shouldnt be any different for any other type of memory or semi conductor
 

Silversierra

Senior member
Jan 25, 2005
664
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0
My 6600gt was at 564, 1160 as the last stable oc(I was a little higher for a little bit, but it was showing artifacts). This was for about 2 hrs, slowly going from 500 to 564 and from 1000 to 1160 (~10mhz increments with a bench at the different steps to check for artifacts.) It was only at the highest speed for less than 30min(I know 1second can fry stuff). If the ram was too hot, wouldn't it have been showing artifacts or something? Once I got artifacts I toned it down until they weren't there anymore.

This is a weird forum. People tell you buy 6600gt (or higher) and oc it like crazy, then when someone does it and has problems (I don't think I did it like crazy, I could have probably gone higher clock speeds) the people here are like, "well that's what you get when you overclock." If that's what you get when you oc, then why does everyone here advocate it? People make oc'ing seem like a "free ride" something for nothing, when it actually is a bad idea. No I'm not blaming all of you guys, I did it, I decided to take the risk, so if it stops working, I'll get something else, but for now, I can handle it because it's only 2 games, and they're still playable.
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
2
76
ostif.org
The memory was at 1160mhz, the card was bought in february and ran fine in all games with the exception for simcity 4 (video bios bug). The card was overclocked for a period of 2 days with no artifacts before it died (had a long day of gaming while brother was in town, display suddenly went black, restart revealed heavy artifacts in bios).

Feeling the memory (bare chips on leadtek 6600GT) they were very hot to the touch, i then knew the fate of my $215 card :(
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
2
76
ostif.org
Just a note to add, im not saying dont overclock. Im just saying make sure you have some form of cooling on the memory chips, even if its one of those $20 ramsink kits, or just ensuring you have a design with cooling on the memory to prevent failure from heat.

The card had been running intense gaming for nearly 10 hours when it failed, so it was an abnormally high load of heat on top of being overclocked that likely killed the card.

I am a pretty experienced overclocker and system builder, I just didnt think about the fact that no ramsinks on the memory could cause overheating when overclocking without any appearent stability or quality loss until its too late.
 

Matthias99

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2003
8,808
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This is a weird forum. People tell you buy 6600gt (or higher) and oc it like crazy, then when someone does it and has problems (I don't think I did it like crazy, I could have probably gone higher clock speeds) the people here are like, "well that's what you get when you overclock." If that's what you get when you oc, then why does everyone here advocate it? People make oc'ing seem like a "free ride" something for nothing, when it actually is a bad idea. No I'm not blaming all of you guys, I did it, I decided to take the risk, so if it stops working, I'll get something else, but for now, I can handle it because it's only 2 games, and they're still playable.

Not "everyone" here advocates overclocking. I have on a number of occasions recommended people just buy a faster card rather than taking the advice of others to buy a slower/cheaper model and softmod/OC it. Among other things, you lose your warranty, which can be a rather nice thing to have.

I think most people would recommend that you not OC components unless you can afford to replace them (at least the ones who actually think about it). It can be a good deal, but it's certainly not a risk-free process.
 

Creig

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,171
13
81
Originally posted by: Silversierra
This is a weird forum. People tell you buy 6600gt (or higher) and oc it like crazy, then when someone does it and has problems (I don't think I did it like crazy, I could have probably gone higher clock speeds) the people here are like, "well that's what you get when you overclock."

It's just a form of competition to see who can squeeze the most performance out of their system. It's also a crapshoot. You can get lucky and receive a components that runs way above factory specs or you can get something that either barely overclocks at all or possibly even self-destructs with the added strain. That's the chance you take.

The only totally risk-free path is to buy something that satisfies your performance needs at default settings.
 

Sexy D

Member
Mar 28, 2005
43
0
0
/me lowers the his memory speed to 1150

sorry to hear about that i bet u were heartbroke dude, i would have been.
 

VIAN

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2003
6,575
1
0
This is a weird forum. People tell you buy 6600gt (or higher) and oc it like crazy, then when someone does it and has problems (I don't think I did it like crazy, I could have probably gone higher clock speeds) the people here are like, "well that's what you get when you overclock." If that's what you get when you oc, then why does everyone here advocate it? People make oc'ing seem like a "free ride" something for nothing, when it actually is a bad idea. No I'm not blaming all of you guys, I did it, I decided to take the risk, so if it stops working, I'll get something else, but for now, I can handle it because it's only 2 games, and they're still playable.
I haven't heard of 6600GT overclocking like crazy, but some cards are great overclockers, like the 9800Pro. Newer cards suck at overclocking. Everyone should know that there is a risk in overclocking. Most of the time I recommed that you should buy a good card over a slower card and OCing it. There was just this one time with the 9800Pro that I actually said to OC it, but I always provided a secondary recommendation just in case OCing wasn't their bag. It's not a free ride either, it can get very expensive. And there is a lot of work involved that I just don't find worth the trouble for the performance increase. If it's not something you enjoy doing, then don't look at it as a free ride.

 

Silversierra

Senior member
Jan 25, 2005
664
0
0
So how could my memory be partially messed up? I mean the card still works fine, just 2 games have a few missing/off color textures. Shouldn't my memory be "alive" or "dead" and not "half dead". If the memory was messed up wouldn't it do it in all games? Bf1942 seems ok, no weird textures in aquamark 3. Here's a link to what I'm seeing. http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Silversierra/rct3yellowlava.jpg
I have the game patched, using the 76.41 drivers, (was using the 71.80, still problem). Is there anything else that could be causing this? I don't understand how memory on a video card can be partially fried.
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
2
76
ostif.org
Originally posted by: Sexy D
/me lowers the his memory speed to 1150

sorry to hear about that i bet u were heartbroke dude, i would have been.

Im replacing it with an evga 6800GT, so im not that heartbroke :p

Ill miss the $150 i couldve got reselling it though :(
 

Noid

Platinum Member
Sep 20, 2000
2,376
183
106
Yup,

If you can't afford the loss ... don't do it...

Even automobiles will fail under high tolerances....
I remember a friend was going to buy a new car, only to find out the turbo was burned-out.

I have alpha 'fins' on my r9700pro, and a fan on the side of my case that blows cooler outside air directly over my card.

My r9700pro has the highest 'air' cooled scores at 3dMark.
Purchased before release, arrived 1st week in the USA.
Been running perfect since I got it. GPU volt modded it last fall.
Even modded the BIOS for tighter timings on the DDR memory.