Hooligan

Is binning real?

5 posts in this topic

I am curious if anyone has any real data or at least knowledge or experiences that transcend the anecdotal .  If so, is each level of factory overclocked GPU binned corrallarily to its price point?

The example I am thinking of is that of the MSI Aero gtx 1080, (which is a reference style cooler without the $100 markup) and the Aero OC, which is the same GPU, but with a factory overclock. Would one be able to get more out of the OC version than the base version with afterburner. I mean Afterburner is freeware from MSI, right? So if it is exactly the same silicon in the same cooler... um.. why? Look they advertise themselves as overclocked, soo we can assume people buying these products are at least somewhat familiar with overclocking... 

Also I don't think I have ever seen a custom GPU advertise itself as binned. They could and it would be a real selling point. A factory overclock seems to be saying that they guarantee a certain amount of headroom over stock, so that process is at least to some degree a binning process. That said there is a certain amount of ubiquitous potential.. which is probably left on the table to give this room for market segmentation to the custom  card makers.

As a related topic, many products seem to be reference PCBs with custom coolers. Are all those reference boards manufactured respectively by either AMD or Nvidia? If so is it safe to assume only custom PCBs carry a possibility of having a binned chip? Or perhaps we are also talking about binned PCBs.. are we?

I suspect this has been covered elsewhere.. but I couldn't find it. Figuring this out should be as simple as noting the base voltage needed to reach a certain clockspeed.. 10 gpus from each price segment would probably be enough to make a pretty accurate guess. Has any reviewer or tech journalist attempted this? I am not criticizing, just curious.

 

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Quick answer.... if there's binning involved the manufacture is super-clear about this (ie EVGA ASICs) and/or states potential clocks. Any reviewer that would verify such claims along with a compulsory overclock although usually better off checking out forums since not many reviewers have time for fitting blocks and TTM is longer. Even if the chip was binned it doesn't mean it's ideal for air versus H20 and XOC where gains are ultimately dependant upon the architecture, for WR OC's it matters and they personally bin cards (not GPUs) that typically features beefer PCB with added volt modding. Even if you buy say a Galax HOF you need a damn good custom loop to dissipate the heat and good ampage rails from the PSU.

If you're paying more it's usually for the warranty and local support, custom pcb, custom cooling, and brand of card.

P.S. Not being funny but reading a wall of text without paragraphs is hard therefore my answer is more consise.

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Point taken, it was late and I was tired. Thank you, for responding despite the poor format.

 What is XOC and WR OC?.. maybe extreme overclock..  and maybe World Religion :). It is difficult to understand when it is worth paying more, and when it is not.

I am trying to understand the differences that really matters. It seems there are only 3 important metrics; Temperature, Potential Clockspeed, and Loudness.  I think as second tier factors we have Aesthetics and and for me the quality of the noise generated by the card. A gentle whooshing doesn't bother me, but coil whine or a hoover roar can put me on edge.

From what I understand you saying, they do NOT actually bin the individual silicon chips. It is clear that there are real differences between the clock potential of otherwise identical GPUs. But they do bin other aspects of the PCB.. or at least create tiers of quality based on other components and design. To do one without the other seems strange, particularly when their are identical cards, whose only difference is advertised clock speed.

hehe oh well. Thanks man.

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XOC is simply extreme overclocking with subzero temperatures for breaking world records (WR).

Temperature is dependant on the cooler or methods of cooling, a stabilised clockspeed depends on the local environment, open/closed bench, types of coolant including H20, oils, liquid metal, or LN2. Clockspeed also varies per application, some offer better stability than others which comes down to you testing the limits of the clockspeed of the GPU/VRAM separately and using different tools (ie software/hardware/custom BIOS) or to achieve goals. You can attain a very high memory clockspeed but at the expense of core clock and vice versa, noting the potential you can work towards finding the optimal sweetspots. After all this about potential and covers most forms of overclocking.

For loudness this assumes air cooling where it really depends on the cooler and timings in the BIOS along with stepping which in Pascal as per previous arc increases in steps of 13MHz which is the actual boost clock stepping multiplier and far more flexible on GPU Boost 3.0 at the cost of heat as voltage also increases. As for noise it's subjective and then you have coil whine, I had no issues with my MSI 980 Ti 6G featuring Twin Frozr V cooler and better blades that turns off completely when under low or zero load. So for typical custom cooling solutions look for this.

Normal cards are not binned, they'd buy a tray of GPUs and test each GPU where within a SKU they'll divide the models according to pricing. Services offered by Overclockers UK that are built by 8 Pack feature binned components but are super expensive but best you'll get besides buying several of everything and testing yourself from different batches. Ie my old QX6700 was from a bad batch whereas friends bought from a known good batch and achieved much better results on air. Even if you pay several hundreds for a good gaming card as I did (note: not benchmarking card) the ASIC will be the same as any other on the market. Even then ASIC is debatable as higher volts with a block isn't all that bad. Ie my 780 Ti Classified had higher ASIC yet temperatures were higher despite similar voltages mildly overclocked core.

Differences between those cards though was GM200 has full block and GK110 was half block. Often you are talking margins of error with temps depending on ASIC, biggest gains that bring a smile are seeing 31C on the GPU with a full block and load increases to only 39C tops benching. Others do manage better temps but I'm not running a preferred dual loop. Partners does use mostly the same parts; ie same conductors/capacitors/mosfets (voltages) but custom pcbs feature more VRM phases for core/memory stability (some touted to reduce coil whine will use custom conductors but rare), additional layered pcbs, previous to Pascal they'd also feature faster Samsung memory but with GDDR5X that's Micron and for other cards/series GDDR5 features both SK Hynix and Samsung.

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The newer the card, eg stock AMD or Nvidia cards, less chance of being binned. The older the card, eg lots of AIB variants, higher chance of binning.

For example, AMD 5870, 7970 AND 290X on launch, you could buy a 5850, 7950, 290 respectively and unlock a large % to be a full highest end card.

It is your best chance to get a card that will be a great overclocker, provided you watercool as stock cooling generally sucks.

Longer you leave it, even with stock cards, more chance you will get a binned, locked, lower clocking card, as they will be split into more and more segments by AIBs who will charge a premium for the extra overhead. (and will come with better coolers)

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