Overclockin the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card with the ATI Overdrive utility that is part of the CATALYST Control Center is fairly simple. When you ‘unlock’ the ATI Overdrive, you can manually set the clock and memory settings or let the ‘auto-tune’ utility set the frequencies for you. This gives you a modest boost in performance, but is usually limited by the utility itself as AMD always plays it safe. Let’s see what we can get with ATI Overdrive before we try out the ASUS software.
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Video Card Stock 850MHz/1200MHz:
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Video Card Overclocked 890MHz/1290MHz:
Running 3DMark Vantage with the Extreme preset we got a score of X8238. The score went up X8683 3DMarks when overclocked with Overdrive, which was an improvement of 5.4%. Not bad, but let’s see what we can do with the software ASUS provides with the EAH5870.
To overclock the ASUS EAH5870 graphics card to the max, we used the ASUS SmartDoctor utility that came with the ASUS software bundle. When you fire up this utility you will find an easy to use GUI that allows you a greater frequency range than ATI Overdrive for the memory and core clocks. It also lets you adjust the fan speed and even the voltage on the GPU itself, hence the reason this is a Voltage Tweak edition card! With the voltage bumped up to 1.375V we were able to reach 1069MHz on the GPU and 1265MHz on the memory. Keep in mind that with stock settings the 5870 running 3DMark Vantage with the Extreme preset got a score of X8238. We are now hitting X9862, which is an improvement of nearly 20%. That is a very nice overclock and is something available only on the ASUS versions of the Radeon HD 5870. Just for fun we tried to run the ASUS SmartDoctor utility on other companies’ Radeon HD 5870 video cards and it would not work.