Hello. I just discovered Rodney a couple weeks ago, but I think he does a great job. I hope this is the correct place to post this question.
I recently purchased an HIS Radeon HD 5850 with their iCooler V. The card runs great and stays very cool (max 60 degrees at max load / 50% fan). However, I would like to overclock it for more speed. The VGA BIOS appears to be limited to 775/1125 (core/memory) and the card is perfectly stable when overclocking to those speeds.
By using MSI AfterBurner and enabling unofficial overclocking, I was able to get the card stable at 830/1300 at stock voltage. However (and here is my problem), the driver now crashes whenever playing flash videos (ie. 2D acceleration). In addition, ATI's PowerPlay technology for reducing power and speed when the card is not in use no longer functions correctly. The card will slow itself down often during active game play. These symptoms go away when staying under the 775/1125 limit even though it is above stock speeds.
Does anyone know how I can solve these problems? Do I need to flash my BIOS to something more open? If so, what would that be and how do I go about it? Or am I just stuck at 775/1125?
I'd love to hear from Rodney on this as well since it appears that he uses a 5970, though I'm not sure if he has overclocked it.
Update FF to 3.6.6
Try disabling flash GPU acceleration in the flash player options.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I use Chrome, not FF. Also, disabling the hardware acceleration is less than ideal. After some research, I discovered that overclocking past 775/1125 is irrelevant at this point anyway.
After much research and trial & error, here is what I have concluded so far:
1. Since 2D acceleration causes crashes when overclocking more than 775/1125 (especially in Flash), it is not an option for me.
2. I do not have a reference card so I think it's too risky to try to flash the BIOS.
3. The sporadic choppiness in an otherwise high framerate that I attributed to PowerPlay only occurs over the OC cap. I still haven't pinpointed the cause, but it seems irrelevant at this point.
4. My CPU (Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.5~4.2GHz) seems to be a bottleneck for games that have poor multi-core support and are CPU intensive (at maximum settings). For example, WoW (especially in Dalaran) and Crysis (original) in some spots. In those cases, GPU usage is around 30% so no amount of OC of my graphics card will help. I will explore pushing my CPU a bit further after installing additional cooling.
5. Games that make good use of multiple cores (ie. Left 4 Dead) run beautifully at maximum settings. All 6 cores are used (but not max'd out) for the most part and GPU usage stays at 100%. FPS stays between 100-200 @ 1680x1050.
After figuring out all that, I am more pleased with how things are going. I am surprised that my X6 can't keep up with the 5850 when only 1-2 cores are used, but that definitely seems like the case. 650W power seems plenty for my setup.
Thanks again to everyone who helped out! I am still hopeful that new drivers may resolve some of these issues and improve game play. I really hope they improve WoW multi-core support with Cataclysm, but I'm not holding my breath.
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