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ASUS EAH5850 Overclocking Print E-mail
Written by Michael Schuette   
Oct 26, 2009 at 01:00 PM

Toys are for playing! Like nothing else, computer hardware has become one of the favorites for playing and we are not talking computer games here. Rather, it is pushing things to the limit, until they break or, hopefully, recover with the next reboot. For all practice-oriented matters, the hunt for extreme performance also known as insane overclocking has no real bearing, it requires extreme cooling and voltages that would melt down any IC in stock configuration. As soon as everything is in place, the PC turns into a hissing monster that can be substituted for a space heater but mama … that’s where the fun is.

In our last article we were looking at ASUS implementation of AMD’s RADEON HD 5850 including some cautious forays into Smart Doctor and overclocking but at 1.15V, the highest setting that was stable was around 850 MHz core and 4400 Mbps for the memory. Well, we didn’t want to fry the card on the first week. However, we got curious and started playing around some more with the utility just to see how far we could go on air, that is, without changing any of the physical cooling attributes and relying entirely on the configuration utility, in this case, Smart Doctor.

For everyday usage, quiet operation has become an absolute doctrine. That is, where we had wind-tunnels only a few years ago, nobody nowadays can afford to have anything louder than whisper mode. Needless to say that for the task at hand, we really didn't care too much about noise, we are not going to run these settings for every day usage anyway. As a consequence, we entered the fan-control panel of Smart Doctor and enabled "Smart Cooling", that is, the fan speed varies as a factor of core temperature.

As shown above, the utility assigns several incremental fan speeds to increasing core temperature zones, with 75 degrees triggering the max fan speed. As we already alluded to above, there is nothing quiet about this anymore, the cooling generates a rather annoying hiss somewhere north of 65 dBa, definitely enough to quench any CPU cooler. On the bright side of things, the cooling only kicks in under load but even at the lowest setting, it is substantially louder than the auto-fan control which is the default setting and which is, for the most part, inaudible.

Armed with enough airflow to blow Mattell's mind flex into the stratosphere, we gradually increased the voltage, engine frequency and memory data rate, using 3DMark Vantage as the litmus test for pass or fail.

To make a long story short, the particular card we had in our hands maxed out at around 1025 MHz core speed and 4.6 Gbps memory data rate.

It is somewhat self-understood that increasing the core and memory speed will result in higher benchmark scores, as long as they are not limited by the CPU performance. To be on the save side, we stuck with 3DMark Vantage, also, the FutureMark data base does allow a good comparison with our data in case anyone is interested in record-breaking performance.

Last Updated ( Nov 03, 2009 at 02:47 PM )
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