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MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Reviewed


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#1 Bosco

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 05:51 PM

Tonight Frank takes a look at the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Video Card.

 

Frank had some great overclocking with this card, see how it did against other cards by checking out his review here:

 

http://www.overclock..._970_gaming_4g/


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#2 WarWeeny

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 11:55 PM

I wondered something for a while now with the more recent video card reviews, why no overclock benchmarks anymore?

I see the gtx 970 can oc to 1600mhz, but why push the card if you do not test it in games?

 

I always liked to see if the oc is enough to beat the higher tier cards if applied, but now i cannot see that anymore ;A;


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#3 Bosco

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:47 PM

time is the biggest issue. With review deadlines it makes it very hard to get everything done in time. Frank is going to be doing his best to bring them back on the next review.

 

As for the card, I love it when a lower card can match or beat a better card :)


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#4 WarWeeny

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 02:02 AM

time is the biggest issue. With review deadlines it makes it very hard to get everything done in time. Frank is going to be doing his best to bring them back on the next review.

 

As for the card, I love it when a lower card can match or beat a better card :)

 

Hmm, that is a shame, maybe just include the overclocked version of the card reviewed?

 

Not only can it hold a candle against the higher tier cards, it is also insanely priced.


You can get the weeny out of the war, but you cannot get the war out of the weeny

Rest in peace my good old gtx 480, you deserved it

 

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#5 El_Capitan

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 05:35 AM

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.



#6 WarWeeny

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 06:40 AM

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.


You can get the weeny out of the war, but you cannot get the war out of the weeny

Rest in peace my good old gtx 480, you deserved it

 

Thinks he has a weeny worthy of war.

 


#7 El_Capitan

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 07:03 AM

 

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.

 

It depends. I would normally say no, but since NVIDIA cards with Boost (GTX 600/700/900 series), sometimes changing the default voltage helps (if it's too low), or adjusting the boost stepping (low likeliness, but a possibility), or 
your friend's card may be drawing too little power at each boost stepping (more likely).
 
I've had a HD 7950 that was unstable at stock, much less overclock at all. I updated the BIOS for a slightly higher default voltage, and it was stable. Then at higher overclocks, it overclocked like a charm.
 
I've never had a golden card, but then again, I've never had a card that couldn't overclock.
 
Mostly, BIOS mods are to increase the max voltage and TDP where it's unable to with software tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, etc . For example, I couldn't really increase my watercooled GTX 680 voltage with software, but I could by tweaking the BIOS. It had a max boost of 1202MHz Core Clock at stock voltages (which wasn't very good), but at 1.212V's, it could get up to a respectable 1254MHz Core Clock. I may have to revisit the card to see how much more power it can handle, and see if I can increase the TDP limit for a higher overclock.

Edited by El_Capitan, 19 November 2014 - 07:14 AM.


#8 WarWeeny

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 07:49 AM

 

 

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.

 

It depends. I would normally say no, but since NVIDIA cards with Boost (GTX 600/700/900 series), sometimes changing the default voltage helps (if it's too low), or adjusting the boost stepping (low likeliness, but a possibility), or 
your friend's card may be drawing too little power at each boost stepping (more likely).
 
I've had a HD 7950 that was unstable at stock, much less overclock at all. I updated the BIOS for a slightly higher default voltage, and it was stable. Then at higher overclocks, it overclocked like a charm.
 
I've never had a golden card, but then again, I've never had a card that couldn't overclock.
 
Mostly, BIOS mods are to increase the max voltage and TDP where it's unable to with software tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, etc . For example, I couldn't really increase my watercooled GTX 680 voltage with software, but I could by tweaking the BIOS. It had a max boost of 1202MHz Core Clock at stock voltages (which wasn't very good), but at 1.212V's, it could get up to a respectable 1254MHz Core Clock. I may have to revisit the card to see how much more power it can handle, and see if I can increase the TDP limit for a higher overclock.

 

 

Well a boost in volt's is always a + when overclocking, and it is probably a hell of a lot better than that meager 12mv msi afterburner throws at it lol.

Last question about it though...is it safe? xD Don't want a bricked gtx 770, especially if it is my fault in doing so :P


You can get the weeny out of the war, but you cannot get the war out of the weeny

Rest in peace my good old gtx 480, you deserved it

 

Thinks he has a weeny worthy of war.

 


#9 El_Capitan

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 07:59 AM

 

 

 

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.

 

It depends. I would normally say no, but since NVIDIA cards with Boost (GTX 600/700/900 series), sometimes changing the default voltage helps (if it's too low), or adjusting the boost stepping (low likeliness, but a possibility), or 
your friend's card may be drawing too little power at each boost stepping (more likely).
 
I've had a HD 7950 that was unstable at stock, much less overclock at all. I updated the BIOS for a slightly higher default voltage, and it was stable. Then at higher overclocks, it overclocked like a charm.
 
I've never had a golden card, but then again, I've never had a card that couldn't overclock.
 
Mostly, BIOS mods are to increase the max voltage and TDP where it's unable to with software tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, etc . For example, I couldn't really increase my watercooled GTX 680 voltage with software, but I could by tweaking the BIOS. It had a max boost of 1202MHz Core Clock at stock voltages (which wasn't very good), but at 1.212V's, it could get up to a respectable 1254MHz Core Clock. I may have to revisit the card to see how much more power it can handle, and see if I can increase the TDP limit for a higher overclock.

 

 

Well a boost in volt's is always a + when overclocking, and it is probably a hell of a lot better than that meager 12mv msi afterburner throws at it lol.

Last question about it though...is it safe? xD Don't want a bricked gtx 770, especially if it is my fault in doing so :P

 

It's pretty safe, if you know what you're doing. I've RMA'd a card once a long time ago, and it was the same card I sent back, and all they did was modify the BIOS to increase the default voltage. I was like, really? I could have just done that.

 

I've since modded and flashed probably over 30 graphics cards without permanently bricking a card. I did once temporarily bricked a card with a BIOS mod it couldn't handle (messing with the default overclocks, so it's at the max overclock at the supplied max voltage, the problem was that the overclock wasn't 100% stable), but I was able to flash it back to the previous BIOS in good working order.


Edited by El_Capitan, 19 November 2014 - 08:00 AM.


#10 WarWeeny

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

 

 

 

 

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.

 

It depends. I would normally say no, but since NVIDIA cards with Boost (GTX 600/700/900 series), sometimes changing the default voltage helps (if it's too low), or adjusting the boost stepping (low likeliness, but a possibility), or 
your friend's card may be drawing too little power at each boost stepping (more likely).
 
I've had a HD 7950 that was unstable at stock, much less overclock at all. I updated the BIOS for a slightly higher default voltage, and it was stable. Then at higher overclocks, it overclocked like a charm.
 
I've never had a golden card, but then again, I've never had a card that couldn't overclock.
 
Mostly, BIOS mods are to increase the max voltage and TDP where it's unable to with software tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, etc . For example, I couldn't really increase my watercooled GTX 680 voltage with software, but I could by tweaking the BIOS. It had a max boost of 1202MHz Core Clock at stock voltages (which wasn't very good), but at 1.212V's, it could get up to a respectable 1254MHz Core Clock. I may have to revisit the card to see how much more power it can handle, and see if I can increase the TDP limit for a higher overclock.

 

 

Well a boost in volt's is always a + when overclocking, and it is probably a hell of a lot better than that meager 12mv msi afterburner throws at it lol.

Last question about it though...is it safe? xD Don't want a bricked gtx 770, especially if it is my fault in doing so :P

 

It's pretty safe, if you know what you're doing. I've RMA'd a card once a long time ago, and it was the same card I sent back, and all they did was modify the BIOS to increase the default voltage. I was like, really? I could have just done that.

 

I've since modded and flashed probably over 30 graphics cards without permanently bricking a card. I did once temporarily bricked a card with a BIOS mod it couldn't handle (messing with the default overclocks, so it's at the max overclock at the supplied max voltage, the problem was that the overclock wasn't 100% stable), but I was able to flash it back to the previous BIOS in good working order.

 

 

That guide you wrote in your signature is still up-to-date?

Ever flashed a gtx 770, if so, how were the results and what bios version did you use?

 

Can drivers interfere with the bios used or doesn't it matter at all?

 

Sorry for the bombardment of questions and sorry Bosco for going off-topic like this ;A;, i just need to know lol


You can get the weeny out of the war, but you cannot get the war out of the weeny

Rest in peace my good old gtx 480, you deserved it

 

Thinks he has a weeny worthy of war.

 


#11 El_Capitan

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 08:25 AM

 

 

 

 

 

If you want some overclocked benchmarks, and in SLI, just let me know. ;)

 

Only problem is through 4 of these cards, I don't get as high an overclock. 1586MHz I think was the highest. Also, not all games may reach the highest boost clock speed (not reaching full TDP of 100%). Might need to set maximum performance or always keep boost enabled (or disabled). Plus, GTX 900 series in SLI have frame drops, it's noticeable, and feels like micro-stutter. Not good.

 

I might get back into messing with the BIOS to get the overclock higher into the 1700MHz area, but that's been fruitless so far. The easiest BIOS mod is to get TDP increased to 125% or 150%, but most games and/or benchmarks have trouble reaching there.

 

Sorry for going off-topic for a bit, but i was meaning to ask you.

 

If a card doesnt oc well, despite having proper cooling and temps, does changing the bios of the said card change that much in terms of overclocking performance?

Reason asking is, my friend has a gtx 770msi and it doesn't budge on the core clock at all, 20MHz is the max oc he can do before getting artifacts or even lock-downs/driver shutdown.

I found it odd as the OCC review could push the card to well over the 1200MHz range. I know, not all cards are supposed to clock well and it depends on luck, but i cannot believe 20MHz is the best that card could do.

Temps didn't go over 70 degrees, so I am certain that isn't the problem.

 

It depends. I would normally say no, but since NVIDIA cards with Boost (GTX 600/700/900 series), sometimes changing the default voltage helps (if it's too low), or adjusting the boost stepping (low likeliness, but a possibility), or 
your friend's card may be drawing too little power at each boost stepping (more likely).
 
I've had a HD 7950 that was unstable at stock, much less overclock at all. I updated the BIOS for a slightly higher default voltage, and it was stable. Then at higher overclocks, it overclocked like a charm.
 
I've never had a golden card, but then again, I've never had a card that couldn't overclock.
 
Mostly, BIOS mods are to increase the max voltage and TDP where it's unable to with software tools like MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, etc . For example, I couldn't really increase my watercooled GTX 680 voltage with software, but I could by tweaking the BIOS. It had a max boost of 1202MHz Core Clock at stock voltages (which wasn't very good), but at 1.212V's, it could get up to a respectable 1254MHz Core Clock. I may have to revisit the card to see how much more power it can handle, and see if I can increase the TDP limit for a higher overclock.

 

 

Well a boost in volt's is always a + when overclocking, and it is probably a hell of a lot better than that meager 12mv msi afterburner throws at it lol.

Last question about it though...is it safe? xD Don't want a bricked gtx 770, especially if it is my fault in doing so :P

 

It's pretty safe, if you know what you're doing. I've RMA'd a card once a long time ago, and it was the same card I sent back, and all they did was modify the BIOS to increase the default voltage. I was like, really? I could have just done that.

 

I've since modded and flashed probably over 30 graphics cards without permanently bricking a card. I did once temporarily bricked a card with a BIOS mod it couldn't handle (messing with the default overclocks, so it's at the max overclock at the supplied max voltage, the problem was that the overclock wasn't 100% stable), but I was able to flash it back to the previous BIOS in good working order.

 

 

That guide you wrote in your signature is still up-to-date?

Ever flashed a gtx 770, if so, how were the results and what bios version did you use?

 

Can drivers interfere with the bios used or doesn't it matter at all?

 

Sorry for the bombardment of questions and sorry Bosco for going off-topic like this ;A;, i just need to know lol

 

The guide for flashing is up-to-date with Kepler cards. Maxwell cards will be slightly different. I should probably update the guide.

 

I didn't flash a GTX 770, but flashed multiple GTX 780's. You use the same BIOS of your current card (which you can get from GPU-Z, or using nvflash). You then mod your BIOS (making sure you keep a copy of your stock BIOS settings), using Kepler BIOS Tweaker (or Maxwell BIOS Tweaker for Maxwell cards).

 

Drivers usually don't interfere with the BIOS update.

 

I sold Waco an unlocked GTX 780. I usually just run my cards at stock overclocks, but unlock the voltages with a BIOS mod to allow higher voltages in case I ever want to try some benchmarks.

 

For example:

Stock voltage (1.162V max)
+150 Core Clock (Boost to 1137MHz Core Clock)
 
Using the KeplerBiosTweaker, unlocked it to 1.300V's, but kept it at 1.212V's.
+180 Core Clock (Boost to 1202MHz Core Clock)
 
I kept TDP at 100%.
 
Waco said he set TDP to 150% (not sure what voltage) and was able to get to +225 Core Clock (Boost up to 1400MHz Core Clock), stable.

Edited by El_Capitan, 19 November 2014 - 08:26 AM.


#12 RedFury77

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 10:21 AM

I'm interested in this as well, so if you update the guide for maxwell that would be awesome.  I can't seem to adjust the voltages on this strix 970 at all, so maybe a flash to unlock it is in order?


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