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your gpu thanks you ¨undervolting¨

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Avatar for pandoru1997
Written by   18
6 months ago

Your graphics card can be much more efficient without losing FPS. The trick is undervolting.

Dedicated graphics cards are essential for enjoying video games at good resolutions and frame rates per second, but we can still use them better. This is suggested by some users, who reveal how it is possible to reduce their consumption without losing performance. To do so, they apply the so-called 'undervolting', a process inverse to the much better known 'overcThe red line shows FPS without undervolting in the Final Fantasy XV benchmark. The green line shows performance with undervolting: as you can see, there is no apparent loss, and we are saving power consumption. Source: Gamerstar.The red line shows FPS without undervolting in the Final Fantasy XV benchmark. The green line shows performance with undervolting: as you can see, there is no apparent loss, and we are saving power consumption. Source: Gamerstar.locking'. Pay attention, because the idea makes sense and also offers other interesting surprises.

What is undervolting?

This process consists of finding the ideal clock frequency for our graphics card and reducing the applied voltage as much as possible. All graphics cards that are manufactured have a performance profile that is stored in the graphics card's BIOS. That curve specifies how all clock rates are assigned a certain specific voltage. The problem is that these values are not adjusted for each GPU, and it is possible to "calibrate" them by ourselves so that this performance profile is optimal.

What we achieve

The direct consequence of undervolting is to reduce the power consumption of graphics cards. Considering that these components are especially gluttonous of watts -an RTX 3080 can consume about 350 W- the savings can be significant, and this will be noticed even in our electricity bill. There are several tools that allow you to do this process on both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, and basically the process consists of trial and error: you change parameters, test performance and fine-tune until you find your ideal configuration.

The red line shows FPS without undervolting in the Final Fantasy XV benchmark. The green line shows performance with undervolting: as you can see, there is no apparent loss, and we are saving power consumption. Source: Gamerstar.

Will you play as well?

Reducing power consumption does not necessarily mean that we lose performance. That factory miscalibration makes it possible to adjust the clock frequency and voltage so that we do not lose FPS when playing and we can still enjoy the same level of detail and resolution without compromising fluidity.

Less heating and, above all, less noise

By reducing power consumption and tuning the behavior of our GPU we gain two other important advantages. First, the graphics card heats up less and therefore the cooling of the equipment will not have so much work to do. And directly related to this, those cooling systems will no longer generate so much noise, so we will have quieter equipment during our gaming sessions.

Overclocking (probably) doesn't pay off

The undervolting technique is essentially the opposite of overclocking, which is so popular for both processors and graphics cards. Forcing components is interesting for some users, but the gains are usually limited and the cost - in power consumption, noise or cooling investment - offsets the real enthusiasts in this area. For many, the performance improvement - usually 1 or 2% - is debatable, although it can certainly be interesting for gamers who want to squeeze the most out of their equipment.

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