GTX580 Matrix Extreme OC: first session at Assembly
Thanks to the boys at ASUS Benelux, Rogier and Milan, I was able to pick up a Matrix GTX580 from the ASUS office the day before I left for Assembly. Upon SF3D's request, I brought the card with me to test under liquid nitrogen. Oh, before I continue I would also like to thank the boys from Jimm's for making the event possible as well as Marcus from ASUS Nordic for providing plenty of hardwares allowing us to do our thing!
After a first session, I must say that I've got mixed feelings about this card. For sure, this card has great potential and some of the features of the card are very, very handy and should be adopted by other vendors, but the lack of software support can make it quite difficult for people who are not connected to get the card running at high speeds. After seeing Stummerwinter's 1625MHz result, I found new hope that it will be able to match the Lightning (although there are much more higher clocking Lightnings).
SF3D tried to convince me over MSN that the Matrix card is one of the easiest cards to bench under LN2. Of course, I'm so stubborn that I didn't want to believe him. But, after my first session I was quite amazed that he was indeed correct! You just need the right tools and software to get it to run so easily. So, here's what you do:
1. Solder on the back of the PCB to disable OCP and enable higher PWM frequency
The picture is pretty much self-explanatory. You can do the soldering without removing the backplate of the card!
2. Flash the card to the 580 coldslow BIOS
Next, you have to flash the card with the coldslow bios for the GTX580 Matrix, which can be found in the coldslow/coldbug bios thread here at hwbot
3. Prepare the card for extreme overclocking
This is quite important. Before you flash the firmware of the card, you must prepare the card for extreme overclocking and make sure you have LN2 available. The firmware updates so it will give you 1.5V Vgpu and for sure you don't want that to be pushed through your air cooled card.
If you update the firmware on your air-cooled card, you are just stupid and absolutely don't deserve to get any replacement card. So, if it happens to you, I hope you get a refusal and head-smack when applying for RMA ... if you catch my drift.
As for insulation, this card is again quite well designed. You can use the backplate as pressure tool to push the insulation to the back of the PCB. At Assembly, I just used 3 double layers of paper towel in between PCB and backplate. It worked perfectly. Just remember to remove the paper towel when you're done, as the condensation water will enter the paper after you're done.
4. Update the firmware of the card to 1.5V/1.3V/1.8V Vgpu/Vpex_vdd/Vmem
This fourth step is what I perhaps hate the most about this card. To have a really easy bench session, you need to update the firmware to one that has elevated/unlocked voltage, but the firmware seems to be distributed only to those-who-know where to get it. It took me a long time to find the right file (and someone who was okay for this to be updated), but in the spirit of Hipro5-open-sharing, here it is.
As I mentioned in the previous section (but doing it again because it's so important): "If you update the firmware on your air-cooled card, you are just stupid and absolutely don't deserve to get any replacement card. So, if it happens to you, I hope you get a refusal and head-smack when applying for RMA."
- run soft.bat to update your gputweakit software to allow higher voltage
- run stock.bat to return the firmware to original setting
- run fwup1.bat to update firmware to higher voltage settings
Once you run the fwup1.bat, on the next reboot the voltages will be fixed to:
- vgpu = 1.5V
- pex_vdd = 1.3V
- vmem = 1.8V
There are other firmware files floating around, but those come with higher Vmem (1.9V or 2.0V). Unfortunately, I only had the 2.0V for the event and it gave me quite a lot of problems to push the memory beyond 1250 MHz. I was told the 1.8V version would allow for better clocks ... I'll try later this week.
With this firmware update, though, overclocking the Matrix is pretty much reduced to temperature and frequency control. Easy benching for sure !
5. Use Nvidia Inspector to finetune voltage and frequency.
The last step is start to overclock. ASUS have their own GPUTweakIT software to push this vga, but I would recommend to use Nvidia Inspector. First of all, because it's a lot less Taiwan-ish (colors, colors, colors!), secondly because I'm used to Inspector and I'm conservative so I like to use what I know. Thirdly, because I don't understand 5200MHz memory (you will understand when opening the software) and fourthly because it's a lot easier (in my humble opinion) to finetune the Vgpu in Inspector.
Basically, I update the firmware and then set the voltage in Inspector to 0.963V. This way, I still had finetuning possibilities to 1.15V if necessary, which would yield me 1.6V+ on the core. For me it worked quite well, but I can believe others would prefer other software.
6. Break records (or die trying) like a pro
My result: http://hwbot.org/submission/2196816_...80_11049_marks
Stummerwinter's result: http://hwbot.org/submission/2196941_...80_12488_marks
Clearly I have some work to do. I will order some new pro-skills online; hopefuly I have enough funds so I can update my pro-level to something like Stummer's level. I think it will be difficult :D
More coming soon!
Don't brake it :)
I always go full throttle
Nice. Very well explained. Will keep it in mind when I buy one second hand next year |D
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