Print 17 comment(s) - last by dug777.. on Apr 4 at 9:35 PM

ATI wants you to overclock. Really, it's OK

Several weeks ago, ATI sent out a few product advisories claiming that AIB partners were free to overclock any GPU in the ATI X1000 series.  Last year, ATI made a similar statement about the X1800 cards, but this is officially the first time ATI has openly sanctioned overclocking any current generation board.

ATI's memo claims manufacturers who "creatively brand" hardware to reflect overclocked values may risk getting cut off from ASIC allocation -- so we shouldn't have to worry about X1650XT Super-Extreme-Edition cards flooding the market anytime soon.  However, like with NVIDIA cards, we may see more batch-by-batch overclocks on specific cards.  NVIDIA has an open policy on manufacturer overclocks, claiming that the manufacturers are responsible for RMAs. On the other hand, they are also are allowed to push clocks as far as they want.

ATI will still impose partner specific "Shipping Clocks" on all of its cards.  For example, your PowerColor card may have a higher Shipping Clock than a GeCube card from the same ASIC.  The end user may still use tools like Catalyst Control Center to overclock to a maximum clock specified by ATI.  Of course, using a third party tool like ATITool is not sanctioned by the company yet, but there is nothing that would prevent you (the end user) from using that either -- yet.

Interestingly enough, the documentation claims that ATI partners are not allowed to underclock ASICs -- those attempting to get creative with passive cooling will still have to underclock on their own.

ATI claims thermal damage is strictly not covered by RMA and that blown internal fuses in the GPU will notify RMA teams if the GPU has been stressed too hard. 

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To little to late
By Live on 3/30/2006 1:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
While its good they finally allow this sort of thing it still amazes me that ATI partners need permission to do this. As long as they have to handle RMA no company would release cars with clocks that didn’t work right. I see no way ATI can be hurt by this.

I understand Underclocking probably isn’t the best option since many people will probably complain when they find out there cards are slower then stock. ATI really need to fix there power and heat issues tough. Despite being and ATI fan and ATI having the best performance, image quality and video quality. I ended up buying an Nvida card. Sound matters!

Now if they will come out with the same quality heatsink as 7900GTX I would go ATI in a heart beat. Here is hoping R580+ is cool, silent and deadly fast.

RE: To little to late
By Phynaz on 3/30/2006 1:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
Now if they will come out with the same quality heatsink as 7900GTX I would go ATI in a heart beat.

It's up to partners to decide what heatsink goes on their cards. ATI is a chip supplier, not a heatsink supplier.

RE: To little to late
By Eris23007 on 3/30/2006 5:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Are you suggesting ATI does not manufacture any of their own cards?

RE: To little to late
By butane317 on 3/30/2006 6:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
To my knowledge, Saphire manufactures all of ATIs cards.

RE: To little to late
By The Cheeba on 3/30/2006 7:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Sapphire manufacturers all the tier 2 PCB and reference cards (and obviously all built by ATI cards). I think a few other manufacturers like Gigabyte and ASUS also make PCB but its for their own designs.

RE: To little to late
By Jep4444 on 3/31/2006 12:32:26 AM , Rating: 2
PowerColor makes alot of the ATI cards too, i remember when the X800XL came out, the Sapphire was clearly of different design from the ATI which was identical to the PowerColor one

RE: To little to late
By Live on 3/30/2006 8:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
It is ATI that decides on the reference cooler, just like Nvidia does. Why else do you think all cards have the same cooler for the first few months?

RE: To little to late
By OrSin on 3/30/2006 3:53:34 PM , Rating: 3
I can see why a company is against OC. Say Power color OC all thier cards and they alot returns. ATI no looks bad. Sure it was pwoer colors fault for OC the cards too much be ATI name is still on all the cards.

RE: To little to late
By Live on 3/30/2006 8:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well any company would go bankrupt if they had to replace every card they sold. So the risk of that happening is slime to none.

By fbrdphreak on 3/30/2006 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 3
ATI claims thermal damage is strictly not covered by RMA and that blown internal fuses in the GPU will notify RMA teams if the GPU has been stressed too hard.
BS or real? Do the fuses blow when the GPU has been abused to the point of damage or just when its abused at all?

RE: Interesting
By Clauzii on 3/30/2006 10:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
Point of damage, I think.

And the subject for ATI, I think, is Quality Assurance :) It seems they are confident in their chips :)

RE: Interesting
By Griswold on 3/31/2006 4:21:13 AM , Rating: 2
You dont really need indicators for overclocking if the part is already dead. You can "guess" what caused the death by checking which part of the GPU died. Thus, I would say that these fuses blow on overclocking before the part is destroyed - if you RMA with blown fuses they wont replace it, no matter what the cause is. Thats the best thing a company can do to protect "their" money.

Nah this screws everyover.
By Topweasel on 3/31/2006 9:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you read this carefully all it is saying is that ATI will shipped parts that have been qualified for a faster speed on request (so they can charge more) and that the manufacturers that try to advertise that the clock speed are increased will be screwed over.

So what that means is A.) the incentive for purchasing OC chps because the margin is going to ATI not to them. B.) I don't think ATI manufacturers have ever been allowed to put clock and memory speeds on the packaging so if you don't know better you won't know what speed is what. C.) So this means you will have XTXs that are different but you won't know how different till you pop the card into you computer and run ATI tool.

Eventually we will get it figured out on here. But how many times is someone going to the store and ending up purchasing a slower clocked card that a retailer or manufacturer priced the same as another faster card just because they know that the customer who comes in and buys it will never know the difference.

RE: Nah this screws everyover.
By Trisped on 4/4/2006 12:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
No, although the news post doesn't stay on topic, it is really about CCC allowing users to overclock their cards with out having to buy a more expensive already overclocked card.

Personally I would like to know how they set the limit on how high you can over clock. Is it just factory specs, or does the CCC check each over clock for stability and temp.

Does anyone know if they started adding thermometers to the GPU Die? I don't think my 9800 Pro has one, but not sure.

Good for competition
By Rock Hydra on 3/30/2006 1:06:58 PM , Rating: 1
With numerous nVIDIA "OC" branded cards, I think it's good for ATI to get into it. the XT(older gens)/XTX as the "OC" versions of ther cards.

RE: Good for competition
By Rock Hydra on 3/30/2006 1:07:46 PM , Rating: 2 edit. what I meant was:
I've always considered the XT(older gens)/XTX as the "OC" versions of their cards.

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