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 Post subject: ~20% 750 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increase
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:18 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:11 pm
Posts: 5
Hi all,

This may not be the epitome of a "silence" post, but I've discovered something interesting/useful about the current crowd favorite video card - the GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr. I hope this can still be considered constructive and helpful to those trying to squeeze the most out of their quiet/silent PC.

Having just completed my HTPC build, I got around to playing with my 750 Ti, including some overclocking. Originally, while I found the ability to increase the core and memory clocks significantly, I did not seem to be getting any benefit from it at all, in either framerates or Furmark scores. In fact, my scores occasionally went down when increasing the core clock. I noticed that TDP in Furmark (Power % in Afterburner) often spiked above 100% and then dropped sharply - the card was clearly limiting itself based on power consumption. Unfortunately, 100% power is the maximum slider position in Afterburner.

After doing a bit of digging, I found a post on a data mining website detailing exactly what I had found - a hard limit on performance based on TDP - and more importantly, a concrete way around it. The article overviews how to copy your card's BIOS, adjust maximum power consumption values using Kepler BiosTweaker, and re-flash the modified BIOS back onto the card. This seemed like a perfect solution - and it is - but the process was much more involved than the article made it out to be, and it took me several hours to successfully flash the modified BIOS back onto my 750 Ti. If there is interest, I can try to make a how-to of the process, with the understanding that you can pretty easily brick your video card if anything gets corrupted or goes awry.

Anywho, after setting my max TDP at 60W from 38.5W, the card was a different animal. Even at stock clocks, the card no longer flirted with 100%+ TDP, and my Furmark score improved. OVerclocking went smoothly, and finally began to improve performance! Happy as a clam, I re-edited the BIOS to the article's maximum recommended 65.5W (0.5W shy of the 66W PCI-E power envelope) and re-flashed it. After a couple hours of overclocking and stability testing, I had improved my Furmark score by nearly 20% over stock. While my temps were higher, they never got close to 90*C, even with the fans manually over-ridden to maintain 900RPM. IF your case and power supply can handle the extra heat and energy, this mod is a major win-win.

System specs:
SilverStone GD09 Case
Gigabyte Z68X-UD4-B3
i5 2500K @ stock 2.4GHz
Noctua NH-C14
8GB DDR3-1866 CAS11
MSI GTX 750 Ti TF
Seasonic G550 PSU
Sandisk Ultra 128GB SSD

Stress test:
LinX 2GB x20, 3 cores used
MSI Kombustor Furry Donut v2, 1024x576, 8xMSAA

Stock BIOS (38.5W TDP), Max stable overclock, ambient 20C:
Image
Image

60W BIOS, Mild overclock, Ambient 24C
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Image

65.5W BIOS, Mild overclock, Ambient 23C
Image
Image

65.5W BIOS, Max stable overclock, Ambient 21C
Image
Image

If you look very closely, you can see how different the Power % graph is between the stock/conservative runs and the 65.5W runs. Even at the max stable overclock, the Power % varies very little, whereas it shot up and down with a lower TDP limit. Additionally, flashing the BIOS increased Furmark scores by nearly 20 percent on the exact same clocks.

And, of course, the verdict is that even when pushed to the ragged edge, the MSI GTX 750 Ti TF remains silent -it does seem to be an ideal card for an HTPC or a light gaming machine, especially with the BIOS modified.

moderator: corrected GTX 570 Ti to GTX 750 Ti


Last edited by paulharmo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ~20% 570 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1887
Location: Guatemala
Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience.

I own a MSI GTX750ti, and while its only on HTPC mainly for MADVR and filters, i would like to unlock it, not sure if im going to overclock it though, but i would like the card not to be restricted by the TDP. So since you mention in your post that you could do a step by step, i would appriciated, i have flashed cards on the past, but really old with other software that no longer works on kepler/maxwell cards, so i would be a noob in terms of what to do with this new software.

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 Post subject: Re: ~20% 570 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4607
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Thanks for the post. Odd that while the TDP is 60W the cards are set for 38.5W...

Typos: you call it GTX 570 Ti in many places and GTX 50 Ti at the conclusion...might clarify things to fix these with an edit. :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: ~20% 570 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:17 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:11 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks Steve, fixed - I accidentally the rest of the last sentence, too :roll:

I agree that it's strange that the TDP is so low on these cards. The article I linked to makes it sound like all 570 Tis are like this, not just the MSI TF.


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 Post subject: Re: ~20% 570 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4607
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Maybe there's a bit of dyslexia going on...so I'm going to edit the remaining errors for ya. We're a full service site. :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: ~20% 750 Ti Performance Boost - Maximum TDP BIOS Increas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:33 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:11 pm
Posts: 5
Aha - I didn't even notice the number swap - not even the one in the title. :o


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