I've been mining for a quite some time, sometime for profit, other - just to heat the room :D. Let me tell you how you could improve your efficiency when mining with GPU. I want to point out from now that this article is not meant for Veteran miners, they are well aware of all I will be mentioning here.
First of all let's clear what overclocking is. Overclocking is increasing default memory and core clocks of the GPU with the goal that they run on higher velocities than they were intended to run by the manufacturer. While overclocking, you could also raise the power limit and additionally voltage, however remember that this will increase your electric bill. This can be moderately sheltered to explore different avenues regarding, yet note that outrageous tickers and temperatures may harm your equipment quicker than they ordinarily would. With proficient overclocking, you can accomplish higher mining benefits and lower power use!
On the contrary - Underclocking is exactly doing the opposite -> lowering memory and core clocks which will reduce the performance. It would also reduce the power usage.
When it comes to mining, the important thing to remember is that there are no universal values for all video cards, or even for each model or even for each specific card. The reason for that is because, not all devices are created equal. And I know this sounds like a cliche, but it's a fact. There are multiple factors to account of how much certain card can be overclocked. Here are some of them:
1) type of microchips used for the manufacture
2) video memory speed and brand used
3) power supply used
4) motherboard specifics - the same card on two different motherboards can have different possible settings
5) overall temperature in the system
6) RAM memory clock of the system
And I'm sure there are others which I am not aware of right now, but just keep in mind about this and do not try to reach some suggested settings you found somewhere on the internet where someone was able to achieve. Do not get upset if you can't. You should find your sweet spot by testing yourself on your system.
So for mining - there are two things you should remember ->
1) increasing Video Memory/Core clocks will increase the mining speed/rewards.
2) decreasing the power limits will decrease your electricity bill.
There is a sweet spot usually for each card that you could find where you can increase the Core/Memory clock and decrease the power consumption at the same time.
For this, you guys need a specific software that can help with changing those settings. I usually prefer MSI Afterburner. I know this developed by MSI company, but I guarantee it is compatible with all video cards - both Including MSI and AMD. It is often new software releases so you should update it often when it asks you. The new releases are optimized to work with the new graphic drivers/video cards released.
Another overclocking software I know of is EVGA Precision X1. It has all the same capabilities as MSI Afterburner, BUT It does not support AMD cards, due to the fact that EVGA GPU manufacturer is only producing Nvidia GPUs.
This is why I will focus here on MSI Afterburner.
MSI Afterburner allows you to set overclocks, fan speed, temperature limit, fan curve, etc. It also allows you to monitor your hardware temperatures, usage and much more. It is important to note that NVIDIA and AMD GPU overclock in slightly different way. When changing the setting for NVIDIA cards you add or subtract value from the default value, while in AMD you set the absolute value. Ultimately there are only 3 settings you need to change in order to overclock:
- Power Limit
- Core Clock
- Memory Clock
Follow these steps to overclock your GPUs with MSI Afterburner. Start the software and:
1. Unlink Power Limit and Temperature Limit. This will allow you to change the Power Limit without changing the Temperature Limit. When increasing the following parameters you have to gradually increase each one and always test the stability with a benchmark or a stress test (running a game or some benchmark tool). If the system is stable - does not crash, does not show blue screen of death or restarts then you can try with higher settings.
2. Set Power Limit.
3. Set Core Clock.
4. Set Memory Clock.
5. Click the checkmark to apply the settings.
6. Change the GPU and repeat the steps 3,4,5 and 6. This is only required if you have multiple GPUs.
7. Click on Save icon and select profile number.
8. Save the profile.
9. Make sure that Startup is enabled. This will make MSI Afterburner start on Windows startup and apply all settings on start-up.
Increasing Memory/Core settings is okay until the machine is stable while mining or GAMING, depending of why you doing it for. Keep in mind overclocking can have positive effect on your gaming experience -> you will be able to squeeze few more frames per second in gaming overclocking the GPU. What you should keep in mind of is the temperature of the GPU:
You can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit while having the card under load. Reason for this is that it is never good idea to overheat any kind of computer hardware. I know this depends largely on multiple factors, but you should know that around 75 degree Celsius is the max temperature which you should have your GPU work on for longer periods of time. Keep the following factors for this in mind:
1) Room temperature.
2) Overall fan setup in the case - if the air can leave the case fast enough.
3) The GPU Fan speed ->
It can be manually modified, when you disable the "Auto" on the right and move the lever to specific percentage. This is useful for mining, when the card will remain at the same temperature for a long time. Also remember that most video cards over 80% fan speed can be little loud.
4) PC case -> if it is Open or Closed. This matters hugely. Back in time, when I was mining, opening the case was reducing the GPU temperature from about 80 degree to 65, which is very big difference.
And remember this, the higher Core/Memory/Power Limit are - the higher temperature is. Sometimes it can be beneficial if you add additional fans to ether bring cold air in the case or one that is bringing out the hot air from the chassis, when it is closed.
Lets talk a little bit about the specific AMD and NVidia GPU settings.
For the green teams cards you should remember this:
- 75% Power Limit
- +100 Core Clock
- +200 Memory Clock
This will work on most Nvidia GPUs. If you experience issues with these settings, you can try lowering Core or Memory clocks. If the settings are stable, you can increase the clocks by 50. Repeat this until mining/Gaming is not stable. Again, always increase the parameters gradually and stress test the system before the next increase.
For Tead Red's cards, you should slowly increase your base Core and Memory clocks by 50 MHz, and keep repeating that until mining/Gaming is not stable anymore. Always increase the parameters gradually and stress test the system before the next increase.
Ok, guys, I really hope that some of you find this article interesting. If you do - do not hesitate to comment, like, subscribe and tip :) It is always highly appreciated. There is more interesting topics to be covered in near future.