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 Post subject: Unintended downclocking on a GTX 260
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:11 pm 
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I posted in the folding forums about an issue that has been plaguing my productivity lately.

http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10668

Anybody having similar issues? It doesn't seem to affect either my 9800 GT or the 9600 GT, both of which I have folding in similar computers.

Any thoughts appreciated.
--KK

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:05 am 
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I reinstalled windows, we'll see what happens.

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 Post subject: good idea
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:46 am 
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I've seen a dropoff on my 285 lately, although I figured it was because I started running virtual machines on the cpu. Might be the same problem you're having, though. Let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:00 pm 
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My daily PPD is also down, but FAH Mon says my cards are producing the same amount. I don't get it.

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 Post subject: ppd up!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Hey, I noticed your jump in daily production, did you get this problem sorted out? Something seems to have juiced your setup!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:49 pm 
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yeah, I used RivaTuner to force the card to always run at maximum 3D clocks, and that box is turning in a steady ~9000 ppd (Q8200 and GTX 260). I also got the 9600 GT running on an old P4M900 chipset Asrock board, so it's folding away merrily at the moment as well. I should reach the #1 spot for the team today or tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Nice work.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Downclocking is back, but only seems to occur when I've been using the computer all day browsing the net and the like. Maybe the newest drivers can help.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Hey K,

How to you know it's downclocking? As opposed to some WU which is processor hungry and gives few points.

I just turned on EVGA tools, my settings are the same. FAHMon says my current WU would yield about 5200PPD (if it ran that long).

My quad lost power a couple of days ago. My PPD promptly dropped to about 10K, even though FAHMon routine tells me the 2 PCs still on usually earn about 7000 PPD. Frankly the numbers just don't add up. And it pisses me off.

A

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:45 pm 
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I'm sure it's downclocking because the same WU will take 4-6 times as long to complete. EVGA's Precision shows the "resting" clocks, and the temp is near that of idle. It still moves forward though. I can confirm the clocks with GPUZ and RivaTuner. I can't figure out if it's an overheating thing, a driver thing, a WU thing, or what. It's driving me nuts, quite frankly.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:41 pm 
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The card is running a little hotter now, so maybe I should take the time to blow it off with a can of TFE or whatever. I keep meaning to pull the shroud off this one and slap a 92 mm fan on it with zip ties, but I always geet bogged down at work and don't have the time to do it. Maybe in the next two weeks.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:42 am 
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Hi, I noticed same thing the other day on my GTX260, was folding at idle clock speeds.
Running Windows 7 and (I think) 190 series driver, fiddle about stopping and starting folding had no effect. Rebooted PC and was then OK, think been OK since then...
Regards, Seb

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:53 pm 
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it's weird that it does that. I still haven't come up with a reasonable explanation for it yet. how are your temps?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:54 am 
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Temps vary depending what fanspeeds etc.
Gard is Gainward GS with non-referance cooler, has 4 heatpipes and 2x 80mm PWM fans. Bought this model as was going cheap on ebay not cause thought was "better" in any way, although the higher RAM clock probably good for games/3D benchmarks. Clocks are 625, 1349, 1100MHs GPU/shaders/Mem so it's factory overclocked. Only checked for highest shader clock so far, 1500MHz is uncertain if quite "folding" stable so running 1490MHz. It's in Mini-P180 case.
The quietest setting for the fans is 22%, higher and air noise goes up, lower and get growl/rumble, not bad at that level but not properly SPCR quiet. At 22% temps will go over 80°C even with case side off. The default for the card was 40% which will keep temps in 70-80°C range.
With the case side off temps go down, I think around 10°C, compared to case fans on low. With GPU fans at 50% its noisey but with case side off GPU temps will be 60~65°C even with shaders at 1490MHz.
With E6600 CPU @ 3GHz running SMP and GPU folding gets up to ~240w from the wall. I reccon ~£1 / watt / year for 24/7 running so this folding game isn't cheap!

I haven't noticed the GPU speed drop again, keeping an eye on it through FAHMon, the ppd droped a lot when was running at idle clock speeds.

This machine is running on Seasonic S12II 330, perhapse should go in the "how much will 300w PSU run" thread! Bet most "hard-core" gamer threads would have a fit if you suggested 330w PSU with GTX260, yet it's pulling ~200w DC under load so still plenty headroom!

Regards, Seb

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:58 pm 
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sebrad, what kind of 12 v rails does that psu have?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Hi KK, the PC under SMP and GPU folding is pulling 240w from the wall. The S12-II 380 review hit peek 84% at 198w DC, I'm on 240V AC so worth more % guessing 85% efficiency would give 204w DC load. The Seasonic S12-II 330w PSU has 2x 12V rails rated for 17A each and max 288w (24A) total across both.
The PC isn't really quiet but not aware of the PSUs noise contribution, is in Mini-P180 do not dealing with any heat but its own.

The NeoHE 430 (running Q9400 + GTS250) in main rig is rated 16A on 3x 12V rails and 384w (32A) max combined. The GTX260 works fine in it too.

Hope this helps, Seb (Edit for efficiency numbers)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:11 am 
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I now have a 2nd GTX260, XFX "XT" version (625,1349,1000) clocks.
It's running under Vista x64 and seams to want to drop to idle clocks when folding quite often, well few times a week anyway. The Gainward GS (612,1349,1100) under Windows 7 x64 has only dropped clocks once, that I noticed/remember. A reboot seams to be the only way to get the clocks back up to speed. Not sure if it's a Windows or a card thing..
The XFX has a "stock" cooler that I think is better, i.e. quieter for given temp, also the XFX will run the shaders up to ~1600MHz where the Gainward tops out at ~1500MHz. The XFX RAM will also overclock to 1100 like the Gainward is set to, although I haven't yet explored the limits on core/RAM speeds for either card.
The XFX has bad coil whine where the Gainward, which has non-reference board design as well as cooler, doesn't. I think I may have all but fixed the XFX GTX260 coil whine with a load of super-glue! Now just need to tackle the NeoHE PSU that also has coil whine and then I'll know for sure.
I also have an Akasa cooler I'm going to try out when I get time.
Will of course report back on how it goes, in the video card forum.
Regards, Seb

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:07 am 
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superglue, seb? really?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:39 am 
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Yes really super glue. After removing the stock cooler there are several capacitors and other "black cubes", all of which I understand could be culprits for noise. I used a fair bit of cheap runny superglue in and around the bottom of any/all of them that looked like they where not tight on the board. The glue was thin enough to spread right under the bottom and generally all around, now a white glaze on the PCB in places. The idea is to lock the components tight to the board so they can't move/vibrate and make noise. Seams to have worked :!: :)
I'm aware this voided the warranty, card 2nd hand anyway so no certainty there was any anyway. Also possibility the glue might have killed the card straight away or shorten the life of the card. Copy me at your own risk!
I have still to do the same to the PSU before I can say for sure this is a proper solution, but pretty sure it's helped so far :)
I will get round to a full write up, soon I hope...
Seb

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:55 am 
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i can't wait to see it -- pics please!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:31 am 
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OK, just for KansaKilla here is a quick preview.
We start with the victim, urmm make that subject, an XFX GTX260 “XTâ€

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Sebrad, I must ask, did you spend more money on the gpu cooler or all those copper heat sinks for everything else?

KK, are all your PCs in "performance" mode, ie no sleeping of anything at any time?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:07 am 
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Hi aristide1, yes umm this project has gotten rather out of hand in terms of cost and time consumed :oops:
The VRM heatsinks come in packs of 10, fortunately I had 2 left from previously putting 8 on motherboard so only needed one more pack to make the 12 needed. Add two packs of low profile RAM sinks and Northbridge and yes the cost ended up more than the Akasa cooler, which itself isn’t cheap :!:
(Akasa = £35, Northbridge CNB-S1 = £11.99, RAM BMR-C1L = 2x£10.75, VRM MOS-C1 = £8.99 – total = 9800GT :!: :oops: :!: )
I sure I could have found much cheaper way with Zalman or other heatsinks and RAM sinks, but they wouldn’t have been pretty copper :)
Then add quite a few hours cutting them all down to size, if you look at the last pic you can see all 14 RAM sinks have had one or more rows of fins cut down to make them fit under the heat-pipes and fins. I do wonder if it’s ever worth it :roll: :lol:
Regards, Seb

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:17 pm 
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This 260 would be the Linux/Ubuntu 260. The shader default speed is 1400. I could live with that.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125291

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Hey, aris.

The pc is on "always on" power state. Only the monitor turns off after 10 minutes, nothing else.

I thought this stuff was behind me, dropped the clocks on the shaders down to about 1500, core down to 555, memory down around 900.

Then, I walk in to my office today and I have a "SHAKE" violation and the client's paused for 24 hours. WTF is a shake error? Shake and bake? Crushed corn flakes for chicken? Shaken baby syndrome? A martini? Whiteout? A lightstick? Gah!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:08 am 
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Ow! OW! OW!

I caught my 260 in the downclocked state AND it wasn't doing anything. It was idle for 16 hours! I rebooted and it started up again OK.

:?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:20 am 
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I've never had that happen on either the 9800 GT or 9600 GT. I wonder if it is specific to the 260.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:14 am 
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Hi, I think I only get the 300/400MHz clock speeds on my GTX260 if the card crashes and the drivers recover it. Even at idle they don't seam to drop the clocks to that level (or at all.) Once the clocks have dropped the only fix is a reboot and then OK again. Not being to agressive with over-clocking seams to help them not crash, although been good recently.
If it is a crash/recover thing I guess it could happen on other cards but maybe they recover the clocks to "normal" speeds so don't notice?
Regards, Seb

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:17 am 
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Seb, I'm inclined to agree with your assessment. I have moved the shaders back down to 1500 on the 260 without downclocking since (over ten weeks ago). Overheating, lockups, whatever. I'm at the point where I just want the damn thing to work so I don't care if it isn't the fastest anymore.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:48 am 
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Well, I've done some tinkering and observing since I last posted.

I think the problem lay in the GTX 260 going into low-power 3D mode when either the screen saver kicks in or the monitor kicks off. This is reproducible in multiple systems, even after a clean install of WinXP and new drivers.

What is the best way around it? I now use RivaTuner and enable the "power user" settings to force high-performance 3D settings all the time. Now I can use the screen saver (really need it to lock out the computer from others just in case) and not have any impact on my folding speed. It stinks, though, that the drivers aren't capable of being self-aware on their own and a third party solution is called for.

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