The latest GPU-Z 0.5.8 includes a new feature that displays the quality of the GPU (ASIC quality) of recent graphics cards (GeForce GTX 400, GTX 500 and Radeon HD 7800, HD 7900 series). Not all GPUs on a silicon wafer have the same quality, some dies are finer than other. The finest dies are reserved for ultra-high end cards (like MSI’s Lightning series, ASUS Matrix, EVGA Classified for example) while pieces of silicon with large amount of electrical leaks are found in entry level cards… The ASIC quality should allow to quickly know if a GPU is overclockable or not.
Here are the ASIC qualities for some GeForce cards:
MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning – ASIC quality: 96.3%
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 – ASIC quality: 88.6%
MSI GeForce GTX 470 – ASIC quality: 85.4%
MSI GeForce GTX 460 Cyclone (sample number one) – ASIC quality: 75.4%
MSI GeForce GTX 460 Cyclone (sample number two) – ASIC quality: 62.0%
EVGA GeForce GTX 580 SC – ASIC quality: 60.0%
ASUS GeForce GT 520 Silent – ASIC quality: 56.3%
As you can see with MSI’s GTX 460 Cyclone samples, you can’t rely too much on ASIC quality to choose a graphics card because even on the same model of graphics card (here MSI GeForce GTX 460 Cyclone 768D5 OC), ASIC quality values can be quite different. As I said, finest GPUs are found in high-end graphics card (MSI’s Lightning: > 96%) while worst ones are found in entry level card (ASUS GT 520: 56%).
This test with two identical cards (MSI Cyclone) is interesting because it shows us that ASIC quality detection is not based on a database. Then the question: how ASIC quality detection is done and, above all, is it reliable?
And you, what is the ASIC quality of your GPU?
Update (2012.01.23): the ASIC quality detection is probably based on the GPU voltage. Here what AMD’s Dave Baumann says:
Actually, it does the opposite! We scale the voltage based on leakage, so the higher leakage parts use lower voltage and the lower leakage parts use a higher voltage – what this is does narrow the entire TDP range of the product.
Everything is qualified at worst case anyway; all the TDP calcs and the fan settings are completed on the wors case for the product range.
Update (2012.01.23): According to Geeks3D’s readers screenshots, the ASIC detection seems to have some problems: values can be greater than 100%. So wait for the next versions of GPU-Z to see if values above 100% come from a simple bug or not…
GeForce GTX 465 – ASIC quality: 101.4% – (user: Voodootool)
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti – ASIC quality: 102.3% – (user: Woodz)
MSI GeForce GTX 570 – ASIC quality: 136.0% – (user: R.I.P)