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pastrychef's Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (WI-FI AC) build w/ i9-9900K + AMD 6600 XT

pastrychef

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If you guys really want to experiment with VegaTab to try and extract the most performance out of your Vega, one very common method is to employ undervolting because, apparently, AMD just supplied too much voltage to the Vegas. Of course, your mileage may vary...

Here's a really good guide:


Here's my Vega 56 at completely stock settings:
Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 4.32.27 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 4.36.44 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 1.03.44 AM.png


Here's my Vega 56 pushed to the limit with 1622MHz core @ 1100mV, 900MHz memory, and 150 power limit:Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 8.44.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 8.38.35 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 8.49.55 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 8.47.26 PM.png



Did a little more experimenting... 1590MHz core @ 1010mV, 920MHz HBM, and 150 power limit:
Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 7.38.42 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 7.43.02 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 7.30.22 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 7.27.29 PM.png



I've settled on 1590MHz core @ 1010mV, 920MHz HBM, 50 power limit, and 55 target temperature. This keeps the card at around 76C under load:
Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 9.15.59 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 9.26.53 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 9.32.23 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 9.58.28 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.16.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-09-09 at 10.15.16 PM.png



Mojave results. 1590MHz core @ 1010mV, 920MHz HBM, 50 power limit, and 55 target temperature.
Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.07.17 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.11.19 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.00.10 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.27.23 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.21.42 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 7.19.23 AM.png

What I learned:
  • It's important to try and keep the Vega under 80C. That prevents it from throttling itself.
  • Inceasing the HBM clock improves performance dramatically. I think that a large part of Vega 64's improved performance is due to its 900MHz HBM vs 800MHz on Vega 56. By clocking Vega 56 HBM to 900MHz or beyond, we significantly narrow the difference between it and the Vega 64.
  • Core clock doesn't matter as much as I expected.
  • Power consumption of the Vega cards are ridiculously high. When running these benchmarks, my system was pulling approx 450W at the wall.
  • When configuring VGTab, around 50-55 target temperature is ideal.
  • With VGTab, the power limit setting doesn't appear to do anything (at least on my Vega 56).

What I figured out regarding fan settings:
  • Idle Speed = RPM of the fan when there is low load on the GPU. I have mine set to 800.
  • Target Speed = RPM of the fan when the GPU is under load. I have mine set to 4900.
  • Minimum Speed = Not sure what this does. I left it at default setting.
  • Maximum Speed = Not sure what this does. I left it at default setting.
  • Sensitivity = I don't know what this is and left it at the default setting.
  • Target Temp = Define what the highest temp the GPU should be before the fan starts to ramp up. I have mine set to 55.
 
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pastrychef

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Well that question came along for me too. Pastrychef warned me that the Nitro+ didn't had the reference design cooler and is using a custom cooler controlled by the BIOS of the GPU and can't be controlled by macOS or VGATab or modded AMD10000Controller.kext. I received last Monday my Vega 64 Nitro+ and want to share my experiences.

Although the Nitro's are mentioned as GPUs which don't suffer the fan issue the bad news is that my card had this issue. It happens when the iGPU is present but also when its disabled. It maxes without 3D load to 100% fan speed after a while. Removing the iGPU and use the Nitro+ only (disable in BIOS of mainboard) caused another issue. Without 3D load its fine but after 3D load the fans also spins to 100% fan speed. However playing / pausing or looping a videoclip in Quicktime started to slow down the spins to idle. Strange isn't it?

I was sure that I read the nitro+ was clean from this issue and also the reason for me to buying one. So I found this on MacRumors. There is a primary bios and a secondary bios for the Vega 64+ So I switched the Bios switch on the Nitro to its 2nd position (towards the side of the video connectors HDMI DP etc). Rebooted my Hack in windows and made a dump of the original bios with GPU-Z. Kept it safe for future use. Now I flashed the secondary bios downloaded from techpowerup to the Nitro+ and the 100% spin up issue was gone. After 3D load the fans didn't make a travel to a higher speed but it went to the opposite direction. Slowly to idle but it could take a few mins. Although GPUZ reported version 016.001.001.000.000000 and the secondary bios at Techpowerup showed the same number they acted different!

I started to boot a few benches and a few games and it was better now but not good enough (due the slow slowdown to idle) so I downloaded VGATab-EN. Although prastychef was clear that it didn't work with customer coolers I started to do some research. I made a custom VGATab.kext with very low settings (GPU frequency= 900Mhz for all P states) and fired an unreal bench again. Much difference. From 75fps it went down to 52fps. For me it was clear that putting the VGATAB_64.kext in the Clover/kexts/other mad a huge difference. So now I tuned my VGATab settings to a more desirable setup with a better fan profile lowering voltages etc. The card is much quieter and almost perfect.

KGP also created an impressive guide how to build a iMacPro1,1 (which I use too b2w) and is using the Nitro+ also. He created a custom SSDT specific for the VEGA 64 included the desired settings. See E.9.2.2

"The above default Vega PCI device implementation performs an OC of an air-flow Nitro+ Vega 64 GPU of up to 1630 Mhz while considering an IDLE fan speed of 1500 Mhz. This seems sufficient to remain with GPU temps of about 80 deg C under GPU load conditions (e.g. Valley Benchmark), while not exceeding any comfortable noise level"

I will definitely read the whole guide of KGP because it has tons of important mackintosh info!

Hope it helps to make a decision what to buy or not but I think the nitro+ is a valid and workable solution.


How do you feel the Vega performs in macOS as compared to your Nvidia card. Smoother UI? Better performance?
 
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How do you feel the Vega performs in macOS as compared to your Nvidia card. Smoother UI? Better performance?

Its definitely a far better experience when it comes to GUI operations. No lags no hicks exting safari everything is much smoother. The only thing is the heat. As soon as the card has to do work it will fire up the fans and heat exhaust is much more compared to nVidia. But hey this is nothing new. This is already for decades true ;-) There is indeed an option to undervolt but I start with this next weekend see how it goes. A few quick attempts showed difference so I convinced I will settle to an optimum setting. I need some rest because I Vega-ed for 3 nights until the birds starting to sing in the morning ;-)
 
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Stork

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I've noted that we have to update the Buyer's Guide, AMD Graphics card section. We'll add the MSI Vegas reference designs and remove the XFX cards. (The XFX cards have unusual VBIOS that are not compatible with macOS.)
 
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I've noted that we have to update the Buyer's Guide, AMD Graphics card section. We'll add the MSI Vegas reference designs and remove the XFX cards. (The XFX cards have unusual VBIOS that are not compatible with macOS.)
Good to know.
Forget it Sapphire Vega 56. too much strange noises..
 
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I've noted that we have to update the Buyer's Guide, AMD Graphics card section. We'll add the MSI Vegas reference designs and remove the XFX cards. (The XFX cards have unusual VBIOS that are not compatible with macOS.)

Yes and the XFX are protected to rewrite the bios although its using a AMD reference cooler. (Info from MacRumors)
 
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Good to know.
Forget it Sapphire Vega 56. too much strange noises..

I don't think so. Is it equipped witha a reference cooler? Saphire can be rewritten with almost every bios of another card.
Its even official supported ... but the XFX too ... huh?

There is also another finding I found out reflash my secondary bios with different biosses from techpowerup. The MSI VEGA 64 AirBoost was the only card supporting the highres clover bootscreen (4K). All others failed back to 1280x720 in the clover bootscreen (CSM on or off didn't make a difference).
 
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I've noted that we have to update the Buyer's Guide, AMD Graphics card section. We'll add the MSI Vegas reference designs and remove the XFX cards. (The XFX cards have unusual VBIOS that are not compatible with macOS.)
So they do not work even though they are on apples list for Egpu? I know I have had issues when ever I tried to use one and found it odd that Apple wold recommend one.
 
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I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on the reference Sapphire Vega 64 (non nitro). It seems like the safest bet considering the issues stated above with the Nitro+ and XFX cards. There are some good deals on ebay for used cards, but I assume they've all had crypto mined on them... I wonder if crypto miners edit the GPU bios and that could lead to problems?

81vyTmh-PoL._SL1500_.jpg
 

pastrychef

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So they do not work even though they are on apples list for Egpu? I know I have had issues when ever I tried to use one and found it odd that Apple wold recommend one.

I think they "work". They just have fans that run higher than normal.
 
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