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Old January 28, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Default Physical video card mods (not cooling mods)

Ok, I've heard of it, and seen very little of it.

I'm really interested on the possibility of physically modding a video card for performance overclocking.

From my understanding the standard method of overclocking is limited by the hardware. So if you were able to break that limit what would you need to do?

If it can be done, which it probably could be... whom would be interested in taking say a HD3650 and trying to nearly blow the thing up in figuring out how far you can push the thing?
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Old January 28, 2008, 01:52 PM
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You mean volt modding a 3850? Just google it I am sure there's guides for it out there. You'll need some kind of multimeter and a conductive pen at the least. Soldering iron is a bit trickier I think. Never done a vmod, always wanted to but you know hot it is... so many projects... so little time ;)
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Old January 28, 2008, 02:23 PM
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It's not as difficult as it first sounds. The big steps are changing the voltages that go to the core and memory, simply known as volt mods. I don't hang around a lot of internet sites, but hipro on XS does some excellent work with pics and guides as do others there.
KEEP IN MIND... standard cooling is not compatible with volt mods in most cases... at the very least you should be looking at water cooling. Even the good aftermarket air coolers don't do a tremendous job at getting rid of the heat.
So before you start adding varistors or resitors to a circuit, make sure you have a way of keeping that card cool.
Just my two cents , gl and it's a rewarding endevour to break free of the software OCing
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Old January 28, 2008, 02:25 PM
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yup, Thund3rball is right. volt modding is what you are referring to i would imagine. basic mods usually involve soldering a variable resistor in-line with a resistor mounted on the PCB that will affect the voltage supplied to a component, like the core or the memory. it works just the same as your CPU and system memory, more voltage = higher clocks...to a degree. then adding cooling and so on and so forth. there sometimes are pencil mods that you can do which involves adding a trace of lead across the leads of a resistor to lower resistance and thus increase voltage but they aren't recommended because you lose the control of the variable resistor. the plus side to pencil mods is that a monkey can do them and they simply erase away.

any decent solderer can do volt mods and take them off without anyone knowing they were there. since soldering is what i do for a living (if you want to call it that), it comes quite easy to me as i do the equivalent to a volt mod about a thousand times a week on components much smaller. with a little practice on some old hardware, anything that has a PCB (i started practicing on a dead router PCB), anyone can build up the skills to volt mod with a soldering iron. some will say you need a small tip, some say you need a good iron, personally...that is all BS. just use a liquid water soluable flux and you will be set...paste works too. i do most of my volt mods at home with a pair of $10 radio shack specials for irons and the tips they came with.
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Old January 28, 2008, 03:24 PM
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Ok, well as it would seem it is possible. but I am not referring to an HD3850... I'm not ever planning on modding a $200 video card. The HD3650 and under are sub $100 so it's a better idea to screw with something a little less expensive.
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Old January 28, 2008, 06:51 PM
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pick a super cheap card to practice on... you can pick up 1900 series stuff cheap and play with those... lots of pictures and how to's for those. I just bought a Pallit 3870 and 3850 to put under the knife, they should both clock like nuts with a little "fluidic assistance".
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Old January 29, 2008, 09:32 AM
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Heh I vmod all my GPU, but I also kill more hardware than an average user. If you bench sub zero and vmod, you kill stuff sometimes, simple as that. Rule of thumb is if you cant afford to lose the particular piece of hardware, dont do it!

Maybe you want to start with a pencil mod before you go soldering stuff. There is a pencil mod for 3850, got me to 860 core on H20. Also I recommend soldering practice on a dead GPU or MB before you attempt the real thing.
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