Which Is The Better Method?
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut choice. Each of the methods I will be detailing in this guide has its advantages and disadvantages.
The resistor mod is enticing because you can adjust the voltage easily. However, it's not easy to perform since it requires soldering of components on the graphics card. There is a real risk of damaging the card, especially if you have very little experience at soldering surface-mounted components.
There is a risk that you may accidentally adjust the variable resistor, reducing its resistance; while installing new hardware or messing around in the computer case. This may result in a very high GPU voltage that can kill the card when you start up the computer.
How about the pencil trick? It is favoured by many because it is easy to do and relatively safer than the resistor mod.
However, it is a very tedious process when it comes to getting the desired voltage. You will need to spend a lot of time drawing lines and testing them to get to the voltage you desire. It may not sound like much now but it will involve a lot of plugging and unplugging of your graphics card.
It is entirely up to you to choose which is most suitable for you and your card. If you follow our instructions and attempt them with caution, volt modding your card should not be a problem.
However, there are a few things you need to take note before you even consider those mods.
Please note that some of these mods not only applies to the Radeon 9800XT, they also work on the newer version of Radeon 9800 Pro, which uses the R360 core and the Radeon 9800XT PCB. The GPU volt mods won't work on the older 9800 Pro cards which use the R350 core and original 9800 Pro PCB. This is because the 9800 Pro PCB uses a different voltage controller for the GPU.
However, ATI used the same voltage controller chip for the Radeon 9800 Pro's memory chips. So, it is possible to perform the same memory volt mods on the older Radeon 9800 Pro. But you may still run into problems since the memory voltage check points are different. Therefore, I recommend you read and follow our Complete ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Voltage Modding Guide instead.
In addition, you should never attempt this mod with stock cooling. Please upgrade your card's cooler and add ramsinks to the memory chips if you are modding the memory voltage as well.
Needless to say, take your time when you are modding. You must attempt this mod carefully or you may end up with a dead card!
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