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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:24 am 
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Posts: 117
Location: Denmark
To be fair, I can run Furmark on it without the fan turning up much at all (2000-2100 RPM) so that could be considered pretty good (although not very quiet). Just really stupid it cant turn further down when its running 30 C at idle :/


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:27 am 
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Posts: 24
Location: Holland
allwinner wrote:
Sounds like an Asus quality control issue or you 2 happen to share the same defect (b/c we know from the SPCR review that the min rpm is lower than what both of you are experiencing). If I understand correctly, flashing the bios did not enable a lower rpm. It doesn't seem like an ATI driver issue given that you're able to adjust the rpm's no matter the ATI Catalyst setting.

Do you have multi-display enabled? When using multiple monitors (or perhaps even having it enabled....I haven't tested either way), the card's downclock is less (300 300, iirc). I believe the standard single monitor downclock is 100/100 or 100/150 (I'm not in front of the PC with the 6850 at the moment).


Quality control sounds unlikely to me, more likely that SPCR got a special more silent version. Maybe there are some settings in the bios we do not see with RBE.

No multidisplay, multidisplay gives me 250 1000 (also a weird setting, which I cannot find in the BIOS, so must be in the driver I guess).

I tried the 10.10e hotfix drivers (from the SPCR article), these give me 100gpu 300mem (instead of 300 300 with catalyst 1.11a), no change in fan speed, still 22% lowest. Now back to back to catalyst 1.11a, which means back to 300 300 idle. This is definitely a driver issue.

The fan speed is still a mystery to me, something is stopping the changing of the PMW below 22%, or our versions have a different fan with different fan settings for the PWM percentages (but now I'm getting paranoid).


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:31 am 
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Posts: 717
Location: San Francisco, CA
Whoa I thought this thread was dead since nobody replied for a while. I haven't done much testing yet since I was waiting for a way to edit the bios itself. Since that seems like an option more, I'm going to see if I can make adjustments as well. My card is pretty quiet in general, but it could certainly use a lower voltage that'll help keep the fan at minimum speed at all times.

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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:19 pm
Posts: 16
merlin wrote:
Whoa I thought this thread was dead since nobody replied for a while. I haven't done much testing yet since I was waiting for a way to edit the bios itself. Since that seems like an option more, I'm going to see if I can make adjustments as well. My card is pretty quiet in general, but it could certainly use a lower voltage that'll help keep the fan at minimum speed at all times.


I have already flashed my card. The only issue was that WinFlash hangs the PC after flashing, so you have to restart it. :shock: :) Other than that, it worked. I set 3D voltage to 1.00625V. Well, actually, I initially set it to 1.006, but if you reopen the BIOS after editing, you'll see that the actual value may be a little different. MSI Afterburner reports 1.000V in actual use - which is a little lower than the safe limit I got after software-based undervolting. But so far it works fine.

Unfortunately, fan control doesn't work. It looks like the Catalyst Control Center overrides BIOS settings (probably only when they're lower). But lower voltage keeps the card quiet - at least in winter :) - so now I don't have to use the MSI Afterburner.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:52 am
Posts: 36
Location: East
Frosty Grin wrote:
I have already flashed my card. The only issue was that WinFlash hangs the PC after flashing, so you have to restart it. :shock: :) Other than that, it worked. I set 3D voltage to 1.00625V. Well, actually, I initially set it to 1.006, but if you reopen the BIOS after editing, you'll see that the actual value may be a little different. MSI Afterburner reports 1.000V in actual use - which is a little lower than the safe limit I got after software-based undervolting. But so far it works fine.

Unfortunately, fan control doesn't work. It looks like the Catalyst Control Center overrides BIOS settings (probably only when they're lower). But lower voltage keeps the card quiet - at least in winter :) - so now I don't have to use the MSI Afterburner.


4 questions:
(1) After flashing your card, please confirm that the voltage downclocks while in 2d mode (.945) and then switches to 1.006 for 3d mode.
(2) Fan control no longer works after flashing the bios? Your previous posts indicate you had no issues with fan control prior to the flashing.
(3) Could you provide a link to a forum post with good instructions and program links?
(4) I see that you opted for a higher 3d voltage than previous testing indicated (.945 for your card). Instability or just being conservative?

I'm trying to decide whether to flash my bios. The lower voltage would be nice but I'm not sure I like the fact that fan control is lost. I understand that it should remain cool enough that fan control is unnecessary, but the fact that flashing the bios impacted another feature isn't reassuring.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:19 pm
Posts: 16
allwinner wrote:
(1) After flashing your card, please confirm that the voltage downclocks while in 2d mode (.945) and then switches to 1.006 for 3d mode.

Yes, it does.
Quote:
(2) Fan control no longer works after flashing the bios? Your previous posts indicate you had no issues with fan control prior to the flashing.

Software-based fan control (e.g. Afterburner) works as before. The point was that BIOS-based fan control doesn't work because, apparently, the CCC overrides BIOS settings. So it looks like there's no point in editing fan control settings in BIOS (at least for the Sapphire card). Also, it looks like voltages are the only thing you can edit because the CCC and/or drivers won't work with BIOS-overclocked cards.
Quote:
(3) Could you provide a link to a forum post with good instructions and program links?

Tutorial on how to use RBE

And here's the entire forum: http://forums.techpowerup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=63
Quote:
(4) I see that you opted for a higher 3d voltage than previous testing indicated (.945 for your card). Instability or just being conservative?

Overclocking.

I'm overclocking the card to 850 Mhz using the CCC. As a result, I get lower voltages, higher speeds and there's no need to use additional software. The problem with Afterburner and Trixx is that monitoring and fan control cause micro-stuttering. You can make it less annoying if you increase polling period, but it's still there. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to use Afterburner in summer because fan speeds are only borderline acceptable now.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:46 am
Posts: 49
I'm sitting at 0.977V on my Gigabyte 775mhz 6850, with the voltages committed in its BIOS with RBE. The two fans were way too noisy even at 20% (whine), so I took off the plastic shroud + fans and slapped on a Noctua 140mm at 7V with zipties. Sits at 70C while running Furmark, much nicer :-)

Now just waiting for my MiniNG T-Balancer to arrive so that I can run it (near) passive when it's idle!

Awesome thread!


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:52 am
Posts: 36
Location: East
Frosty Grin wrote:
allwinner wrote:
(1) After flashing your card, please confirm that the voltage downclocks while in 2d mode (.945) and then switches to 1.006 for 3d mode.

Yes, it does.
Quote:
(2) Fan control no longer works after flashing the bios? Your previous posts indicate you had no issues with fan control prior to the flashing.

Software-based fan control (e.g. Afterburner) works as before. The point was that BIOS-based fan control doesn't work because, apparently, the CCC overrides BIOS settings. So it looks like there's no point in editing fan control settings in BIOS (at least for the Sapphire card). Also, it looks like voltages are the only thing you can edit because the CCC and/or drivers won't work with BIOS-overclocked cards.
Quote:
(3) Could you provide a link to a forum post with good instructions and program links?

Tutorial on how to use RBE

And here's the entire forum: http://forums.techpowerup.com/forumdisplay.php?f=63
Quote:
(4) I see that you opted for a higher 3d voltage than previous testing indicated (.945 for your card). Instability or just being conservative?

Overclocking.

I'm overclocking the card to 850 Mhz using the CCC. As a result, I get lower voltages, higher speeds and there's no need to use additional software. The problem with Afterburner and Trixx is that monitoring and fan control cause micro-stuttering. You can make it less annoying if you increase polling period, but it's still there. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to use Afterburner in summer because fan speeds are only borderline acceptable now.


Thanks for the response. I may just flash the card. What is the speed of the fan at idle without software adjustments?

I'm aware of micro-stuttering having previously used 2 x 8800gts in SLI. I didn't think that software polling for fan speeds would induce it. Is that a 6850 phenomena? I haven't noticed it in the past with other cards and my most recent setup had 1 fan that was plugged into a motherboard header and controlled by speedfan. I'll have to look out for it with the current setup (my gaming on this card has been limited to about 3 minutes of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Lara Croft which is an isometric game (albeit polygon based) that is less prone to noticing micro-stutter). I may just mod the 6850 by replacing the current fan/cage with 2 x 100mm fans (1 hardware fan controlled; the other motherboard/software fan controlled).


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:52 am
Posts: 36
Location: East
grijzegeest wrote:
allwinner wrote:
Do you have multi-display enabled? When using multiple monitors (or perhaps even having it enabled....I haven't tested either way), the card's downclock is less (300 300, iirc). I believe the standard single monitor downclock is 100/100 or 100/150 (I'm not in front of the PC with the 6850 at the moment).


Quality control sounds unlikely to me, more likely that SPCR got a special more silent version. Maybe there are some settings in the bios we do not see with RBE.

No multidisplay, multidisplay gives me 250 1000 (also a weird setting, which I cannot find in the BIOS, so must be in the driver I guess).

I tried the 10.10e hotfix drivers (from the SPCR article), these give me 100gpu 300mem (instead of 300 300 with catalyst 1.11a), no change in fan speed, still 22% lowest. Now back to back to catalyst 1.11a, which means back to 300 300 idle. This is definitely a driver issue.

The fan speed is still a mystery to me, something is stopping the changing of the PMW below 22%, or our versions have a different fan with different fan settings for the PWM percentages (but now I'm getting paranoid).


Quick follow-up to confirm that idle on the Sapphire model and the reference designs is 100/150 (core/mem). Given the experiences posted here, it sounds like Asus may have changed the minimum fan settings after sending out review samples (or, as you suggest, the review samples were not standard).

Here is a thread dedicated to the Asus DirectCU 6850. Perhaps other owners can confirm whether they are also seeing higher idle rates. There's also a link to a review that indicates the fan will not run slower than 1500rpm (although obviously some here are experiencing higher lows than that). At bottom, the DirectCu can't be recommended for the silent aficionado given the other models available. The card also has higher native voltage despite a minimal factory oc (of 1%). See p.1, 9 of review here


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:19 pm
Posts: 16
allwinner wrote:
What is the speed of the fan at idle without software adjustments?


I'm getting the same minimum speed - 1070 RPM - but only barely, as it's at 27% now. Fortunately, the card is whisper-quiet up to 36%, so I'm not worried about idle fan speed even in summer.

Quote:
I'm aware of micro-stuttering having previously used 2 x 8800gts in SLI. I didn't think that software polling for fan speeds would induce it. Is that a 6850 phenomena?


No, it's a CPU thing, and it's explicitly acknowledged in Afterburner help tooltips ("fan speed update related CPU performance hit"). It's quite subtle with Afterburner (not so subtle with Trixx), so you probably don't notice it if the period is set to 1 second. But if you set it to 10 seconds and run an application with objects that move quickly yet smoothly (e.g. rthdribl), you'll see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:52 am
Posts: 36
Location: East
Frosty Grin wrote:
allwinner wrote:
What is the speed of the fan at idle without software adjustments?

I'm getting the same minimum speed - 1070 RPM - but only barely, as it's at 27% now. Fortunately, the card is whisper-quiet up to 36%, so I'm not worried about idle fan speed even in summer.
Quote:
I'm aware of micro-stuttering having previously used 2 x 8800gts in SLI. I didn't think that software polling for fan speeds would induce it. Is that a 6850 phenomena?

No, it's a CPU thing, and it's explicitly acknowledged in Afterburner help tooltips ("fan speed update related CPU performance hit"). It's quite subtle with Afterburner (not so subtle with Trixx), so you probably don't notice it if the period is set to 1 second. But if you set it to 10 seconds and run an application with objects that move quickly yet smoothly (e.g. rthdribl), you'll see it.


Thanks for the responses. It's greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 21
Location: California
Since other people got high idle speed with their EAH6850 too, I decided to go with Saphire 6850 as previously suggested. So now, the idle fan speed at stock settings is ~1060RPM, which is barely audible. :) Haven't tried to lower it even further yet.

Too bad EAH6850 didn't work out, really wanted to use it since it has such an awesome heatsink which could have worked in fanless mode at idle.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:56 am
Posts: 8
Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
Has anyone undervolted an Asus EAH6850 V2? Just got one, and I can't. The SmartDoctor voltage slider seems to work, but the minimum is 1.157.

Tried with Catalyst 11.2 and the older driver on the Asus download page. Both the same. Afterburner doesn't display the voltage slider at all.

BIOS version is 013.009.000.003.000000.

In the EAH6850 poll thread, nop noted the same issue as I did on his V2.

I wonder if this is a hardware or BIOS change for V2 vs. V1.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Colorado, USA
Great info in this thread. Hopefully, I'll have something to report here in a week or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:38 am
Posts: 40
Location: Cracow, Poland
I came across this thread a couple days ago, and found it really informative. I think it's worth a bump : )

My Sapphire 6850 undervolted to a stable (no OCCT GPU errors) 0.968, with 775/1050. Under load it sits on 73*C, and the fan spins @43%, which is about 1900RPMs - quiet enough for me. Memory clocks acted a bit funny - the card would crash its drivers 0.006V lower, but at these voltages i could overclock it a bit.

Still working on stock voltage overclock, will post when done!


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Colorado, USA
Is Radeon Bios Editor the only way to undervolt your 6850? I'd love to undervolt my card so it produces less heat.

ETA: I have MSI afterburner, and voltage controls are disabled for me for some reason.


Last edited by djkest on Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:38 am
Posts: 40
Location: Cracow, Poland
Nope, I use MSI Afterburner. I'm not sure about undervolting, but for overclocking you need to modify MSIAfteburner.cfg as follows:

UnofficialOverclockingEULA = I confirm that I am aware of unofficial overclocking limitations and fully understand that MSI will not provide me any support on it
UnofficialOverclockingMode = 1

These should be near the very bottom of the file.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Colorado, USA
I also have the problem that MSI afterburner has a message every time I boot up and I have to click to approve the program to Windows. I haven't been able to figure out how to keep this message from popping up all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:21 pm 
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Posts: 16
Frosty Grin wrote:
I set 3D voltage to 1.00625V. Well, actually, I initially set it to 1.006, but if you reopen the BIOS after editing, you'll see that the actual value may be a little different. MSI Afterburner reports 1.000V in actual use - which is a little lower than the safe limit I got after software-based undervolting. But so far it works fine.



...And then I installed Crysis. :D It looks like this game is much more demanding, so it kept hanging during intense scenes at 850MHz and 1.0125 V. Fortunately, Afterburner still can control the voltage (up to 1.143 V), but it looks like stock voltage setting may be more realistic than I thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:38 am
Posts: 40
Location: Cracow, Poland
djkest wrote:
I also have the problem that MSI afterburner has a message every time I boot up and I have to click to approve the program to Windows. I haven't been able to figure out how to keep this message from popping up all the time.


Fiddling around in User Account Control may help, as well as unchecking a little box of the program pop-up, saying something along the lines of 'ask every time when i run this program'.

Hope this helps!


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 Post subject: Re: Radeon 6850 Undervolting Survey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:38 am
Posts: 40
Location: Cracow, Poland
Frosty Grin wrote:
...And then I installed Crysis. :D It looks like this game is much more demanding, so it kept hanging during intense scenes at 850MHz and 1.0125 V. Fortunately, Afterburner still can control the voltage (up to 1.143 V), but it looks like stock voltage setting may be more realistic than I thought.


Same here, to be honest : ) I will still try to find an *in-game* stable lowest [email protected] clocks when I have time.

Meanwhile I oc'd the card to 1.174V and it runs 895/1085 without a hiccup, both in OCCT and Unigine Heaven benchmark (at which, when undervolted, my 6850 would fail horribly, hanging whole system...).

Any interesting finds out there? : )


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