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Xtreme Addict's GTX 980 Matrix Platinum LN2 TIPS


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Introduction

 

The newest Asus graphic card Republic of Gamers GTX 980 Matrix Platinum is designed to be extremely overclocked. Considering the fact that Asus GTX 980 Strix is an amazing card on LN2 my expectations were pretty high!

 

Test platform

 

Intel i7 5960X @ cooled by 8ECC Fusion 3.1

Asus Rampage V Extreme

Asus GTX 980 Matrix Platinum @ cooled by EK-SF3D Critical Point EVO

4x4 GB Kingston HyperX 3333C17 Hynix single - sided MFR

120 GB Kingston HyperX 3K

2x Galax 1200W HOF PSU with removed OCP

Thermal paste used - Gelid GC Extreme for both CPU and GPU

 

Big thx to all vendors who support me in this project: Intel, Asus, Kingston HyperX, 8ECC, EK, Galax

 

Photos

 

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Box, accessories, stock cooler

 

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The front of the card

 

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Exclusive for Matrix series iROG chip

 

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Samsungs ICS

 

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12x GPU phases (with 6 drivers IOR), 2x MEM phases, 2x PLL phases

 

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ROG Matrix OC Panel

 

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I got one with Asus ROG GTX 780 TI Matrix Platinum and I decided to use it again. It works great but I encountered one issue - when OC Panel is plugged into the card, I can't set more than 1.6 VGPU even via GPUTweak it - my screen turns black. Sounds like some OVP by OC Panel. I hope Asus will fix this issue with new firmware or some hardmod. It's a pity, cause it reads voltages really nice and looks like a pro tool for extreme overclockers :)

 

LN2 Preparation

 

IMG_5229.JPG

 

I used hot glue to mount thermal probe to Samsung ICS in other to check differences of temperatures using MEM HEATER. It worked really great! When you start 3D, ICS temp. will go up around 1.5-2*C.

 

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Very useful, just solder reading points, mount your DMM into it and enjoy real time voltage monitoring!

 

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The most easy and fast way of isolation - just put vaseline, mount your pot, put some paper towels under GPU pot and armaflex on the back of the card.

 

SETUP

 

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Additional MODS (POWER LIMIT AND VR MODS ARE NOT NECESSARY)

 

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VRMods.JPG

 

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO USE GPUTWEAKIT YOU CAN JUST SOLDER 3x trimpots. It's not necessary! LN2 mode is the one we all have to do - it unlocks extreme bios with software voltage control via GPU TweakIT and high Power Limit (200%) which is totally enough. MEMORY HEATER is very useful but not essential for LN2 benching. If you don't trust bios/software you can just short resistors to disable Power Limit by hardware mod. Mostly just for old school guys.

 

LN2 behaviour

 

1. MEMORY HEATER

 

Running GPU pot @ -105*C cools down memory ICs to around 4-5*C, though pushing temperature @ -130*C occurs in negative temperatures for Samsungs (around -2*C). When you enable MEMORY HEATER temperature rises at +5*C, adding some more voltage to memories (from stock 1.6v to 1.7v) results in +7*C temperature.

 

 

2. Voltage toleration

 

My sample needs around 1.6V for 2050 MHz GPU, I tested VGPU up to 1.77V and card handles it perfectly. I haven't noticed common issues of throttling with high VGPU.

 

Memory voltage, seems like range 1.65-1.75V is the best solution. 1.8V gives me instant artefacts in IDLE.

 

VPLL - depends from GPU sample, it's PCIE related voltage and for some cards adding it around 1.2-1.3V might give some nice boost in clocks. I heard the highest scaling one was 1.5V though via GPUTweakIT we are limited to "only" 1.4V. Note that stock is 1.05V. My card seemed to like the range 1.2-1.3V when I passed 2050 MHz barrier.

 

3. Cold toleration

 

I was benching the card for straight 3 hours and after that time 2100 MHz GPU was still benchable (though in the beginning I was able to play around 2200 GPU!)

 

CBB (after POWER OFF) -> -60*C

CB in 3D -> -140*C

CB in 2D -> -170*C

 

Best temperature range:

-120*C to -138*C, depends from memory clocks and voltages. With higher memory clocks (2250 MHz) I was benching -125*C without artefacts, more resulted in freezes in 3D.

 

ASIC

 

Regarding GTX 980 GPUs, each GPU has throttling on different voltage (on most cards the limit was 1.6- 1.65 VGPU and with more voltage clocks raised and overall score grew a bit, but gain in efficiency was really poor). Sometimes same clocks (let's say 2050 MHz GPU at 1.6 VGPU was faster than 2050 MHz 1.65 VGPU, though with 1.75 VGPU card was doing 2100 MHz which was overall only slightly faster than 2050 MHz 1.6 VGPU).

 

On my Matrix sample I haven't noticed any throttling even with 1.77 VGPU, but it can be related just to be a perfect sample. I have so far only 1 card, so I can't test it. What can I say is that Strix cards struggled with throttling, Galax HOF too (though contest samples were a bit improved but still throttling occurred but later with 1.75-1.8 VGPU on some cards).

 

My Matrix sample is 80,2% ASIC. I tested overall many GTX 980 cards and from my experience best cards are 80%+ or 67% and lower. I was really unlucky with all 7x% ranges. Comparing different models of GPUs, 80%+ ASIC cards clocked high at relatively low VGPU (around 1.6-1.65 VGPU) and later had throttling issues and 67-66% ASIC cards needed lots of VGPU (1.75V - 1.8V) but throttling wasn't kicking the efficiency. Just for statistics: my best Asus GTX 980 Strix was 84,8% ASIC, my best Galax HOF GTX 980 (contest sample) is 67% ASIC. I noticed that high ASIC cards clock memories higher, but it could be just my luck.

 

 

LN2 SOFTWARE

 

 

3D BIOS 7400~9000

https://www.mediafire.com/?jbqwtjjctv19aq7

 

GPUTweak

https://www.mediafire.com/?a9o0ybdvtlxdtty

 

TO MAX OUT THE CARD YOU NEED ONLY GPUTWEAKIT AND ENABLED LN2 MODE & HEATER!!!

 

 

LN2 TIPS:

 

1. Use FIXED MEM MHz 3D bioses (link above). With stock LN2 bios I couldn't reach 2200 MHz stable, with FIXED bios I was benching 2250 MHz and 2200 MHz was very stable!

 

2. Try to set clocks and voltages (especially VMEM) at around -90 to -100*C. Trying push high memory voltage with high frequency at around -120*C occurs in freeze in idle.

 

3. Don't plug in Matrix OC Panel if you want to use more than 1.6 VGPU.

 

4. MEMORY HEATER always ON, it won't fry your memories, don't worry. It turns off if ICS temperature is +10*C and turns on again below +10*C.

 

5. Clock step by step, 2000 GPU, 2050 GPU, 2100 GPU.

 

6. Best clocks you can achieve when card is fresh.

 

7. GPUTweakIT works flawlessly, don't be afraid to use it anymore.

 

Scores:

 

matrix.jpg

 

And it's still not maxed out!

 

 

Conclusion

 

Asus GTX 980 Matrix Platinum is the best retail available card which I played so far (I am not counting special limited samples which have different PCB). My Matrix card is a really nice one and I hope to get some great scores with it.

Edited by Xtreme Addict
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  • Crew

Awesome info!! glad they kept memory heater, it works great on 980.

 

I still wish we could figure out what is causing loss in clocks overtime?

 

i have experienced all of that you mention so it is great info for anyone who hasnt played 980 yet.

 

just for asic reference, my 2 x hof 980 are both 67% asic and one does 2200/2100 - other does 2200/2200. But the samples from the competition are definitely better than retail on air atleast. according to my countrymen

 

show us some 2200 runs michal!

 

PS: now i want to try 1.75v :D

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That's great, thanks! Very useful for those of us who can't get unlimited LN2 or different 980's.

 

Can you tell something about VGA connectors?

I've tried mine just once, but was not able to bench at lower than -80 or so without blinking, artifacts or lockups. Low mem freq didn't change anything.

Maybe memory temp was getting too low, maybe something else, but I had no HDMI cable to try or DVI -> DSUB convertor.

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thanks a lot for the guide and info. This makes me want to sell my strix so bad. Want to try 1.75v now. haha. I tried 1.7v on my strix but anything above around 1.65v wasn't doing much.

 

I love my 780 ti matrix. Once I removed the resistor to stop the memory from frying itself it works amazing.

Edited by Strong Island
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  • Crew

Great job . Lot of info that could save time for others too :)

Interesting the oc panel kivks out at 1.6v... buy if gputweakit does it by itself to raise the card to sky its nice !

You experience throttle at the same temperature but only different voltage right ?

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tried your bios/software and have some strange issues.

 

flashed to the fixed 8400 bios, now I don't have vgpu adjustment anymore in GPUTweak, only PEX and VMem, max for Vmem is now 1.65V which also seems low.

Edited by Gunslinger
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