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Gigabyte GV-R797TO-3GD 7970 Ghz Edition, a Strange Duck (Scrypt Mining)

Gigabyte Technology has officially run out of their Windforce 7950 series cards. If you RMA one of these, you'll likely end up with an “upgrade” replacement, the GV-R797TO-3GD. This is the Windforce 7970 Ghz Edition.

Unfortunately, in stock configuration, it's also a voltage-locked under-performer, not at all comparable to the card it is supposedly an “upgrade” from.

www.gigabyte.com_fileupload_product_3_4290_6401_m.jpg

Stock clocks

First test configuration, stock clocks: –thread-concurrency 8192 -g 2 -w 256 -I 13 –gpu-engine 1100 –gpu-memclock 1500

Result: 590 kh/s.

Not good, not good at all… other configurations were tried, all with even poorer results.

Modified BIOS

After being pointed to this thread and digging around, there is in fact an optimized F62 BIOS available for this card.

After flashing the card with the above BIOS, the results were… completely unchanged. Hmm.

Getting a little funky

Following these tables on litecoin.info, it appeared that someone had tried a single-thread, high-intensity and high-thread-concurrency configuration with success. Back to tweaking…

New configuration: –thread-concurrency 24000 -g 1 -w 256 -I 19 –gpu-engine 1080 –gpu-memclock 1500 –gpu-vddc 1.09

Result: 730 kh/s.

For whatever reason, it didn't like an intensity of 20, that squelches the hashrate significantly. The voltage setting may or may not actually be taking effect- the numbers aren't changing in cgminer in any case, and I have yet to measure at the wall.

Note that this result is attained using an optimized scrypt kernel originally for use with the GB WF3 7950. Without it, expect a drop of around 20 kh/s.

Conclusion

There's room for additional improvement, but this quick trial-and-error tweaking session resulted in a hashrate increase of 140 kh/s over stock, a respectable margin. It seems stable, runs cool enough, and has yet to throw a hardware error. What at first seemed like a complete dog turns out to be a passably good card, albeit with higher electricity consumption that the 7950 it replaces.

Additional remarks will be posted after a long enough testing period has passed.

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