Re-Pasting the R9 290X and Overclocking/Tuning for better khashes

I originally wanted to do 2 separate posts but due to my work schedule I ended up missing yesterdays post on the re-pasting the R9 290X. Lets get started.

Re-Pasting the R9 290X

After getting this beast of a card I came to the conclusion that all R9 290(x) owners come to, its loud and hot. Seeing as the stock thermalpaste that OEMs use is usually not the best I decided to pick up some Gelid GC-Extreme Thermal paste and take apart the card to replace the paste. This is also the same process for R9 290 owners as the PCB is very similar, if not identical.

Disassembly & Reassembly of the R9 290X

The process was relatively simple. Unscrew the 2 screws on the backplate by the DisplayPort connector. Then remove all the misc screws on the back of the card followed by removing the GPU plate (silver X thing with 4 small screws). Carefully wiggle the PCB slightly to loosen the paste, BE PATIENT! Once this is off clean the GPU with 90+% isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip. Make sure it is 100% dry and apply a small amount of the paste and re-assemble. Make sure all the thermal pads and still in place (16 ram pads, 1 large VRM strip, 1 small VRM strip. Put the card back in and power up. There are pictures at the end of this post that I took during the process.

Before and After

Before I re-pasted the GPU core it would sit at about 90C with a 75% fan speed and being fully loaded. After the re-paste at the same fan speed and load it was sitting around 78-80C. This allowed me to run the fan speed lower (less noise) for the same target temp of 90C. I would recommend that anyone who is fairly technical to do this to get better temps. Also my wattage dropped by about 15-20 watts. Be aware that this may void your warranty. However I have never had issues RMA’ing cards that I have changed cooling on, but your mileage may vary.

Tuning for better khashes

If you do not mine coins then this part can be ignored. The settings here may not give the best gaming results but for mining they yield about 930-970/khashes/s for me. I use the latest beta of the MSI Afterburner program. This works for 24/7 on my card. However when re-starting the miner it does sometimes crash, rebooting before restarting the miner fixes this.

GPU Settings

  • Fan Speed – 80%
  • GPU Core – 1000mhz
  • GPU Memory – 1500mhz
  • Power Limit – 35%+
  • ULPS Disabled
  • AMD PowerTune Disabled (keeps GPU at full speed all the time, may not be stable without this)

CGMiner Settings

  • Intensity – 20
  • Worksize – 256
  • Thread Concurrency – 32765
  • Vectors – 1
  • GPU Threads – 1

My Journey with Crypto Currency – Getting Started and Thensome

As promised I am writing the next post on my Crypto Currency adventure. When I last wrote I mentioned some sites for trading and to setup accounts on there. I wanted to preface this post by saying that I have since changed what USD to BTC exchange I am using as well as the coin exchange that I am using.

Exchanges

coinbase_logo_whiteFor my exchange to purchase and sell BitCoins I am using CoinBase. Their verification process and speed of the transactions is top notch. Their site is easy to use and the fees are low. They are also based in California. Everything I have found on them checks out and I can say with confidence that they are very legitimate and there is a very low risk of shady things happening with them.Continue reading

My Journey with Crypto Currency – A Short Intro

As most of you have heard BitCoin has taken off and ended up being a stable investment for a lot of people. If you are like me and did not really pay any mind to BitCoins and just kept up on the news you probably are regretting not getting into it sooner.

Unfortunately there is a little bit to learn and now BitCoins are no longer worth mining due to the power that is required and the hardware that is required to actually mine the coins. However there are plenty of other crypto currencies that are taking off. After reading up on the others that are taking off and gaining popularity I have started mining LiteCoins and FeatherCoins.

bitcoin image

There are a few things that you will need to get in order so that you can not only mine but also buy and sell your coins. Once you get started and all the framework in place to buy and sell coins then you will be able to start getting into this new market and hopefully make some money off it. At the least you’ll have some fun in the process.

  1. You will need a fairly powerful computer. This means a decent CPU and preferrably a dedicated graphics card (I am only going to cover ATI as that is what I have)
  2. You will need to join a mining pool (you can go solo but its not profitable)
  3. You will need to setup an account with MtGox – https://www.mtgox.com/
  4. You will need to setup an account with BTC-e – https://btc-e.com/
  5. Patience. Lots of patience.

Those are the basics. Stay tuned for more posts as I progress on this journey.