Navi Users: Are you using MSI AfterBurner to OC?

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon Drivers Section' started by Eastcoasthandle, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    I've been reading posts saying don't use it and I have no idea what's going on.
    Anyone here using MSI Afterburner? As far as I know it's compatible with Navi.
     
  2. pakoo

    pakoo Member Guru

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    Nope, Im using Wattman. Only use AB to monitoring (I dont Like Hwinfo). Sorry my english
     
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  3. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  4. pakoo

    pakoo Member Guru

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  5. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
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    Carefully monitoring and testing and ensuring multiple programs aren't trying to adjust the GPU and it should be fine, acknowledging and understanding the differences with how Navi works, OverDrive 8.0 and also the drivers used and their limitations and current problems would also be very useful.

    In addition to Afterburner knowledge itself and what you are changing like are you setting a boost clock or are you working with absolute values, setting a boost clock of 2.0 Ghz and the GPU calculating and working towards what it can whereas forcing a clock of 2.0 Ghz is significantly different though I'd imagine Overdrive and the GPU won't let it work just like that as it'd be very prone to errors. :)

    Going in with power play modifications and what not to forcibly override the current limits can also be tricky, hardware understanding is well it's above my knowledge but it's important as well.

    For example the memory might error out and show a performance when overclocked around 900 all the way up to 950 Mhz even if it might not immediately artifact or crash. Push it higher and it might actually show a gain and be stable due to as I've been reading up on various "holes" and problematic ranges which can simply be increased past via unofficial clock speed increases.

    You'd also need care for how the GPU can if required boost or spike past regular operating ranges in the range of 2.2 to 2.3 Ghz and voltages around 1.3 to 1.35v instead of Wattman's limits if even for a short time, GPU does that while you're already pushing it hard and it'll crash or just outright shut down. Problems with idle operating speeds it's freely adjustable range and that the minimum voltage and clock speed is not entirely functional all complicate matters since it could at worst make the GPU unstable during what might look like idle desktop workloads so careful testing is needed not just extreme benchmarking and stress tests with the GPU load around the 100% utilization range or that's been my understanding though I am still learning and am mostly just trading a 2 - 4% performance loss for a nice little undervolt from ~200w to around ~100 - 150w GPU power draw.

    Power slider is quite important here, restrict it boosting and spiking but don't completely reduce boost clocks but a positive 10% or a negative 20% can both be very useful and not just 50% increase and set and forget due to the freely floating boost speeds and the way the card works, done well sustainable 1900 - 2000 Mhz operating speeds on the GPU core is also doable without spikes though it's just a small performance gain unless the memory speed can be brought up as well.
    (Not very easy or easy to ensure stability for, takes a few days of regular usage, testing and benchmarking and I did a fairly small reduction in voltage though it seems large but then the GPU's come quite highly volted as is hah.)

    What more...Oh yeah the voltage might also auto adjust so pushing higher speeds on GPU core and also memory and it might not just stick around the 1.2v and 1.35v defaults but increase a bit, forgot the exact math here but it's something to keep in mind especially with the way the [beep] drivers can't be 100% yet so sensory misreadings and other issues which is why keeping stock speeds and doing small decreases or increases of clocks and voltage over a period of time and testing various situations and GPU workloads including idle can be very important to ensure stability. Week soon on 19.7.5 and not a single issue at all though that also varies from system to system but again the driver and software situation complicates overclocking and what's stable on one driver is unstable on another.


    That last bit isn't new though, AMD overhauled overclocking for Vega multiple times since the 17.x launch drivers at least four or five to my knowledge plus the major one for Adrenaline 2019 but then at least once after if not twice so it's not just Navi and driver stability if you're balancing right on the edge with the current overclock/undervolt or both. :D

    Sigh well that's a bit lengthy and I still only understand a bit of the basics, Navi's a tough one to keep doing what it should and it doesn't even cover the driver quirks with D3D9, boosting or re-adjusting immediately for who knows what reasons and why some titles are so much more adversely affected outside of API or supposed hardware limitations. :)



    EDIT: So in short Afterburner itself should be fine but make sure it's a completely clean test and profile and doesn't carry over any other settings and what you are really changing just in case we're working with something like a value offset instead of a absolute and that it's changing the boost clocks and not something else which I'm sure the release notes, documentation and the MSI Afterburner forum has more details on for Navi.

    Overdrive 8 itself is probably just part of it and then how the driver interprets and uses this and all the [beep x2] bugs that could be hindering things as well.
     
  6. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire 5700XT P.
    What else? Oh yeah so basically user experience, knowledge and we have here a new hardware and how it works compared to previous GPU models and newer less mature drivers for it.
    The P states from before allowed for using and changing only the few very last ones for when the GPU was under load or how the card could try and reach the full clock states (Like with P7 for Vega often being a bit mid P6 and P7 clock speeds.) whereas Navi here has it's idle, game ("boost") and boost ("max") speeds plus the way the various sensors and the drivers relay information and how it works allows it to switch dynamically or even exceed these base settings even if it's just for a short period of time or even greatly exceed them even if just for a few moments.

    When web browsing or media watching can cause it to freely fluctuate in clock speeds or any other parameters and conditions it does make it more complicated to ensure everything is 100% stable and functional.

    Hmm what more yeah the bioses, third party GPU models and also the specific quirks for some models like Sapphire. :)
    So say the stock reference model, 50 AE version, third parties and then bios for quiet and default or even some OC bios variant.

    Often accomplished by very different settings for fan curvature and voltage and power draw which all need to be considered if overriding any of these via overclocking or undervolting and more so if third party tools allows for exceeding the often very conservative Wattman defaults. :)

    And then stuff like Sapphire though it's more for how the fan controller and settings work and it also differs a bit between the third party dual fan Pulse and triple fan Nitro and I still have yet more to learn but in essence a very aggressive ramp up and fan curvature which isn't wholly compatible with Wattman and stuff like it's overrides and settings so it can do a few things of it's own particularly really not liking a higher than 60 degree Celsius junction temp and above that just try and reign in the fan speed percentage and RPM as it will increase quickly beyond this threshold though more so for the Pulse model. (Need more info on the Nitro so don't know exactly how that behaves here.)

    Also with the freely adjustable and completely dynamic curve stuff like locking fan speed into a singular percentage can be really problematic (Well it could already be for earlier GPU models.) and trying to lock the clock speed might not be very beneficial either though if overriding the max and min works better than Wattman unless it's just a core driver issue (One of several, yeah yeah it's been brought up a few times now.) then that's just how it is until later drivers can fix it up a bit.



    EDIT: Probably still a lot more to this, essentially it's new hardware, untested drivers and all sorts of changes and who knows what might go wrong and need even more careful testing and ensuring it's taking the new settings and as seen in other releases of MSI Afterburner that the drivers aren't doing something that needs yet another workaround or other method to avoid problems with or breaking something.
    (Media playback seems like a real fun situation going by Madvr and a few reports for how DXVA and other stuff is quite messy on Navi now that I'm looking into other details and how the situation is for these things too, AMD has some work to do on the software side so that's complicating stuff all over for these cards.)


    Still only know a very small part and not really much of the overall picture and more in-depth for how Navi here differs and the driver situation, software and so on. Lots more to learn and this is all a very lengthy post for "Be careful and keep testing." but yeah that's not to say there couldn't be additional issues or other things too but care and knowing that there are limits and possible driver issues, system variables and what not all affecting how this will work. :)

    Plus having multiple programs poking around ADL and the OverDrive API and deeper for what the GPU is doing, sending or showing all having the possibility of maybe not being quite so stable anymore if anything happens.
    (Including Wattman itself really and extensions like AMD's overlay and readouts for values reported by the hardware.)



    EDIT: Sigh so yeah another lengthty post but it can probably work just fine and all stable and custom settings but there's probably a lot that can go wrong and break made a bit more problematic due to hardware differences and the software situation. :D
    (Congratulations JB you just summed up overclocking in general, well sorta. Ha ha.)

    EDIT: Oh and for Afterburner don't just load the overclock profile on boot make sure it's all tested up first and keep in mind also more possible driver bugs (And again with these!) such as how the profile might not apply 100% if you don't manually load the saved profile settings when using Wattman and the ways the software might misread a driver crash and again reset to stock values including hibernation or fast start if enabled which I am fairly certain is still a limitation in current AMD drivers. :)
    (That way it won't just load MSI AB and then the profile and ... driver crash because it wasn't entirely stable and this might not show immediately.)



    EDIT: Although I haven't actually used MSI Afterburner now for quite some time since the Vega GPU in early 2018 I think because every couple of driver releases something changed and some of the settings an values were more unknown and never really explained or clarified how some of these worked and were all related to other parameters.

    Situation was never really "fixed" so the community pieced together most of what this or that value actually meant and AMD is still changing around how things work via Wattman though that doesn't mean Afterburner isn't usable but every so often the OC might need to be re-adjusted just a touch or confirmed that everything is still operating within the parameters the user wants for clocks, voltage and so on. :)

    This I expect will also happen with Navi now probably more so as AMD starts working on the boost parameters and further work on deeper card functionality and features and how things work and scales from software to micro updates in the code and other revisions and changes much the same as for Vega and Polaris though my knowledge on these are limited as well.


    So this is more of a general situation from my knowledge or limited amount of it so far and common advice really, good software but probably a lot of updating and changing for whatever AMD is doing every so often with newer drivers or the hardware though it should work fine now with Navi being supported but could change in newer drivers even if it's just checking so it all applies and adjusting as needed for anything being off. :)

    Might be some more major changes with the upcoming December driver again too come to think of it, guess we'll see in a month and a half or so depending on if it'll be early, mid or late December that launches.

    Though so far I think it's mostly been tuning for VRAM clock speed adjustments trying to prop up stability a bit more going by what little is available from the release notes in newer drivers at least could be more that just isn't listed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  7. SpajdrEX

    SpajdrEX Ancient Guru

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    Same story for me. I would use AMD Overlay if it offered more customization like MSI Afterburner.
    There is a small chance that Overlay will get more options soon or later, so we will see :)
     
  8. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Every time, you apply externally clock change or any change, it causes minor flicker of screen for Navi. I had to disable this part of MSI AB. Not Unwinder's error.
    But since same option enables/disables advanced monitoring features, I wonder if he could decouple Functionality for setting clock from advanced monitoring features.

    I do not miss or need MSI AB for OC of 5700 XT, but I do miss all those numerical details which AB provided. Nothing can compare to value I got from its overlay.
     
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  9. Unwinder

    Unwinder Moderator Staff Member

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    Wrong, you don't have to disable it and it is not necessary to decouple anything. Minor flicker of screen during split second when applying new settings is a known "feature" of ADL8 API on NAVI cards on some dual monitor configs. But the settings are not constantly re-applied in realtime, with the only exception of software fan speed curve (which requires updating fan speed via ADL on each temperature change). So it is enough to disable software fan curve if you're on such affected dual monitor system, and periodic flicker will disappear. Or alternately use single monitor config, if you absolutely need AB's software fan curve functionality. If AMD decide to fix it one day in their API (which I seriously doubt) - the issue will disappear itself without any need to update AB.
     
  10. Jackalito

    Jackalito Master Guru

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    Thank you for clearing that up, @Unwinder. I have a dual monitor setup and I was seeing the screen flickering while using a custom fan curve on AfterBurner and couldn't understand the reason why.
    Any news regarding improvements between AMD drivers and AfterBurner working together for Navi?
    Thanks :)
     

  11. Unwinder

    Unwinder Moderator Staff Member

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    News in a couple hours after the post? Of course no. I'm not the side to expect the improvements from.
     
  12. Jackalito

    Jackalito Master Guru

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    Obviously, I didn't mean it like that. Just wanted to know if there was any progress aside from your previous post.
    I appreciate your taking the time to reply - the tone could have been more polite, though.
     
  13. Unwinder

    Unwinder Moderator Staff Member

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    If you reread my initial post, you’ll see that it cannot be fixed from my side so I cannot give you any progress. I do not write AMD drivers. Not a problem if you didn’t like the tone, just take it as I didn’t reply at all.
     
  14. mtrai

    mtrai Maha Guru

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    Sorry did not even read the entire thread this am...unwinder I did read what you stated.

    I use MSI AB instead of wattman and have with every driver with no issues. I do not install RTSS and I close AB as soon as I apply the clocks I want use or test.

    @Unwinder it works just fine.. at least if you have a reference or MSI gpu, some previous drivers would causing rapid flash banding while it was open but that is gone. And it just work, one question though can you remove the 1300 mv core voltage limit for those of us that have waterblocks? If not no biggie as I only run higher just for benchmarks anyway.
     
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  15. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Is anyone using MSI AB with their Navi or did I miss the post?
    I want to use it as wattman OSD is fubared at the moment and the card does seem to boost correctly.

    Not sure why it's such a secret but their bios goes in reverse order
    From far left to right: 3-2-1
    3: Software
    2: Silent
    1: Turbo or whatever they call it.
     

  16. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    @Unwinder
    Any reason why Navi doesn't response to Overclocking in games? It's as if I have it set at default clocks or something o_O

    It appears to overclock in 3Dmark but that's about it.
     

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