You can’t have a competition amongst friends without some teasing and taunting. Troman this down to an art, about half his posts in his worklog are hint towards the others to prepare for a defeat in the contest. Time to put his money where is mouth is we said.
He started of slowly by posting his first score with an Athlon 64 system, running at default speeds and few driver/setting tweaks he reached 139.5FPS in 3DMark2001SE’s nature test at 1280x1024:
Of to a slow start with the video card running at stock speeds, but that did not last long, the first overclock with stock cooling pushed the core to 648Mhz and memory to 840Mhz which gave a nice boost to 176.2FPS:
When he figured out the voltage mods for the GPU he increased them to unhealthy levels and was faced with an overheating GPU. So on to the cooling modifications. He first used an older Athlon 64 aluminum heatsink, but with the GPU reaching ~69°C when under load, GPU stability became an issue, he topped out at 820Mhz core, which landed him at 217.7FPS, a very high score indeed:
Without leaving the air cooling category he searched his hardware collection for an appropriate heatsink, a large copper heatsink was his next cooling installed on the card. For this to work he actually moved some of the capacitors which are normally at the front of the 7300 GT card, to the back, so the copper heatsink could be mounted:
Coupled with some high output fans the cooling power definitely increased
At 1.88v GPU voltage the GPU temperature was only ~49°C, quite a nice drop, and it enabled him to push the GPU core to 883Mhz, in the meantime he also did the memory volt mod allowing another boost there to 1010Mhz. The end result is close to a 100FPS boost from stock speed, 235.9FPS
A few more tweaks and higher clock speeds allow Pardons/Troman to grab first place (for now) in the air cooled ranking, with an impressive 236.3FPS
score at 884/1024 speeds.
As was the case with Gamer, subzero cooling can be quite effective when pushing beyond the normal speed limits of hardware; Troman decided to modify the cooling on the 7300 GT for Dry Ice (a guide on how to work with dry ice you can find here
). The 7300 GT card is dwarfed by the cooling tube:
Gamer’s phase-change cooling allowed him to push the GPU to 950Mhz, after a successful Dry Ice session Troman got the GPU core up to 960Mhz using 1.85v on the GPU and 2.45v on the mem, good for 1054Mhz. In order to get this high he did mentioned he had to increase the PCI Express speed to at least 125Mhz. Sadly enough when he tried to upload his results for this Dry Ice run after swapping out the 7300GT with a more modest, passive cooled, 6200LE NVIDIA card, the Windows OS gave up, spilling out I/O errors and forcing him to do a reinstall. While Troman at this point in time has no official subzero score published, he showed us what’s possible, maybe enough to beat Gamer’s top score.
Stay tuned for our next worklog update, this time by Geoffrey who delved into the GPU speed scaling side of things!