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GTX 1070 Ti Overclocking Guide

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Category: Video Cards, Overclocking, OCC News
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Overclocking GTX 1070 Ti Guide: Introduction

It is time for another overclocking guide, this time focused on the latest NVIDIA Pascal card, the GTX 1070 Ti. In this article, I will talk about how to achieve a stable overclock, along with NVIDIA Boost 3.0 technology. While this guide is dedicated towards the GTX 1070 Ti, the concepts and basic overclocking principles can be applied to the whole Pascal series, including the GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 series and the Titan X/XP.

As always I suggest reading the whole guide before skipping around to fully grasp overclocking a Pascal GPU. Skipping core concepts such as Boost 3.0 can sometimes lead to strange results and a frustrating overclocking experience. NVIDIA has decided to lock all add-in-board (AIB) partners to the same clock speed, which puts them all on equal footing to start out. Before we get to the overclocking, here is the generic overclocking disclaimer!

 

DISCLAIMER!

WARNING! Overclock at your own risk. Overclocking a video card can void your warranty and cause other problems down the road like permanent video artifacts and premature failure! OverclockersClub cannot be held responsible for the misuse of some or all the information provided in this guide. Please, if you have any questions, jump onto the forums and ask away! Overclock at your own risk!

 

Suggested Software:

GPU-Z

MSI Afterburner

HWMonitor

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 

 

Brand Specific Utilities:

EVGA: EVGA Precision XOC

Zotac: FireStorm Utilty

MSI: MSI Afterburner

Gigabyte: Xtreme Engine Gaming

ASUS: GPU Tweak II

 

Video Tutorial Guide:

For this guide, a pair of complimentary videos were created. In the first video, I discuss NVIDIA Boost 3.0, which is fully covered in written form right below this section. It covers how it changes the playing field as far as overclocking goes since Boost 3.0 is a hands-off feature built into every Pascal card. The second video focuses on overclocking the 1070 Ti and a short how-to with overclocking with MSI Afterburner software that is used for this guide. If you find these videos helpful, make sure to leave some feedback and let us know how we are doing! Your feedback will help us to create better articles and content in the future and could lead to updates to old videos.

 

 

 

 

Understanding NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0:

Let's start with an explanation of the third iteration of NVIDIA's Boost Technology, Boost 3.0. It is a feature designed to provide the best performance out of the box without any tweaking necessary. It is very effective in practice for the average gamer who does not know how to overclock or may not even care. NVIDIA Boost 3.0 allows the card to achieve what would be considered an auto overclock without the ill side-effects of damaging the card. Past generations of NVIDIA cards had what was known as Idle, 2D, and 3D modes, in which the card would jump to a certain frequency and voltage based on the required task. From there you could simply offset the voltage and core clock above the default stock settings and that was a basic and easy overclock. With Boost 3.0, the generic X and Y voltage and frequency are gone. The card is now able to change the clock speed to match the current task without sacrificing performance or power.

With Boost 3.0 this auto offset in clock speed and voltage is driven by Power Draw, Thermal Limit, and Voltage Limits. Keep those written down because you will hear it quite often throughout the guide. These terms generally stand for exactly what they say. Power Draw deals with how much wattage the card is allowed to draw based on design specification. Thermal Limits takes on the task of keeping the GPU within a set temperature range to prevent card damage caused by excessive heat. Voltage Limits deal with how much voltage the GPU die is allowed. These are all safety features set in place by NVIDIA like you would have on your processor or any modern appliance. Boost 3.0 takes all that into account and allows for the maximum performance without the end user having to deal with traditional overclocking problems and it avoids damaging the video card.

 

 

Pictures courtesy of Nvidia

 

With NVIDIA Boost 3.0 comes extremely heavy restrictions from NVIDIA which all Authorized Board Partners (ABP) must comply with.The flip side of this is while NVIDIA does control the final specs and gives decent out of the box performance without any tweaks, these restrictions do not help to overclock at all. The three parameters that Boost operates on have their own drawbacks. NVIDIA has locked all Pascal GPU voltage to not exceed 1.093V. Besides physical modifications or owning a select few GTX 1080 Ti cards that have a Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) BIOS, this is a hard limit.

NVIDIA is a bit more relaxed on the Thermal Design Power (TDP) / Power Draw Limit since the voltage is really the main barrier when talking about power draw. Reference cards do not allow increasing the power draw to more than 120% of the stock measurement. In this case, the 1070 Ti draws around 180W, similar to the GTX 1080 at 100% when under load. Since the voltage is locked above 1.093V, when overclocking I never went above 110% (198W) draw even with the MSI card I used, which has a limit of 133% TDP. This applies more towards gaming because Compute work tends to draw more power, but at a lower stable frequency. When water-cooled you are often able to achieve higher frequency due to the lower temperatures and that is when a 120% TDP limit could become a restriction. Since this guide is geared more towards gaming, it is best not to dive too deep into all the variables, but you can try all the possible combinations yourself and see what works best after understanding the basics.

Finally, a major component of any overclock is the heat generated. NVIDIA cards are designed for normal operation up to 84°C, with the ability to raise that limit to 90°C. The card is actually safe up to 92 °C, but the design parameters will automatically lower the clock before reaching this temperature. The temperature plays a large role in Boost because it will seemly down-clock for no reason. However, the way this functions is to keep the video card at the desired frequency without breaking any of the Boost set rules. Even when water-cooling a Pascal video card, you will hit a wall/restriction of some kind.

 

Stable System:

This is the part where I do a public service announcement for all those people who have had unstable systems for one reason or another. The GTX 1070 Ti under 120% TDP power draw will never exceed 216W. It is very unlikely to sustain 120% because of the GPU voltage limits. Even so, it is always a good idea to power the computer with something that can handle that amount 24/7. An easy way to calculate how much power you need is to add up each PCIe cable (6-pin or 8-pin) along with the wattage supplied by the motherboard. By specifications, the motherboard should not supply more than 75W per PCIe slot, while each 6-pin PCIe Graphics (PEG) cable supplies 75W and 8-pin PEG supplies 150W. The NVIDIA Reference GTX 1070 Ti uses a single 8-pin PEG connector and should not use more than 225W under full load.

That being said, a cheap 1000 watt power supply is worse than a 500-watt quality unit. As an example, since May 2017 and onward through 2018 (so far) I have been mining using an EVGA 1080 Ti with an EVGA 600W Bronze B PSU 24/7. It is still going strong and it only cost me $30. I set it up as an experiment to see how long it will last for. That's not to say it doesn't have its own faults being a budget unit, but when it fails, I know it has the safeties in place not to take out the whole computer. Budget power supplies have a place on the market, but cheaply built ones do not, so it is best to avoid them when pushing your system to the limits.

 

 

The Idea of Overclocking With Boost 3.0:

Even after what seems like a long explanation of a simple thing, it can still be a hassle to overclock a GTX 1070 Ti. As I explained above, Boost 3.0 is just a nice way to market an auto overclocking feature that cannot be disabled. This is great for the end consumer who just wants to play video games and not deal with any advanced settings or extra software. However, for veteran overclockers, the whole Pascal generation acts totally different as NVIDIA has removed options from the end user to create an overall more enjoyable experience. Because of the three rules set by NVIDIA / Boost, the Core clock speed stays the same, but the Boost is seemingly fluid as even your overclock is not a set number as Boost adds onto whenever offset is currently applied.

This time around NVIDIA has restricted all ABP cards to 1607 MHz Core Clock, so even the Superclocked or Ultra editions all have the same starting clocks. Rumors before the card were released to the market indicated that the 1070 Ti could not be overclocked, thus allowing it to better fit within the market, and not overshadow the GTX 1080. This proved to be false in the end. Boost still works like it is supposed to and the card I am using for this guide maxed out at 1847 MHz without changing any settings. NVIDIA Boost was able to provide a 240 MHz overclock by doing nothing more than turning on the computer.

But before you try to shoot for the moon, no retail unmodified Pascal card has surpassed 2200 MHz without LN2. Remember, NVIDIA has locked the voltage supplied to the GPU at 1.093V and other factors come into play like heat and power draw which limits the cards as I explained above. Most cards across the board from 1070, 1080 and 1080 Ti usually do not exceed 2025 MHz anyways.




  1. GTX 1070 Ti Overclocking Guide: Getting Down To Basics
  2. GTX 1070 Ti Overclocking Guide: Getting Down To Numbers
  3. GTX 1070 Ti Overclocking Guide: Custom Curve Setup
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