[Update] Nvidia GTX 580 Downclocks Under Load to Lower Temps, Spoils the Fun? #gtx580

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Generally speaking, when you push your computer hardware to its limits, you either succeed or fail — with failure being charred silicon. There are some things we mere mortals can do of course. In regards to GPU’s, the most obvious thing is to take control of the onboard GPU fan and turn it up a few notches. Although, if heat is really an issue, quality water cooling trumps air cooling any day.

With that said, PC enthusiasts might have something slightly disappointing on their hands with the GTX 580. A video posted on YouTube by “LinuxTechTips” shows the 580 running through Furmark, a popular GPU stress test software tool. Now, Nvidia hyped up the more efficient power management and cooler-running hardware on the 580 — a good thing seeing as how the GTX 480 and even 470 run hot…really hot. However, this video shows the GTX 580 downclocking when temps and MHz get high.

That normally wouldn’t be an issue. PC hardware downclocks to save power and reduce heat all the time. But if Nvidia is claiming that this card runs quieter and cooler at max levels because of brilliant design instead of the simple downclocking to achieve such things, then it’s not really a “revolutionary design/product”, and therefor slightly misleading (not to mention slightly disappointing). Downclocking aside, the GTX 580 does have a pretty beefy cooler. Though it’s still a shame the card isn’t even letting you stretch its legs.

I’ve shot an email off to Nvidia, so we’ll see where this goes.

Update

A rep from Nvidia got back to me and stated that it is in fact power monitoring that is handling the clock throttling. However, they did mention that specific programs are flagged in their firmware as “stress apps”…

Power monitoring adjusts performance only if power specs are exceeded AND if the application is one of the stress apps we have defined in our driver to monitor such as Furmark (which is what Linus was testing) and OCCT. So far we have not seen any real world games that are affected by power monitoring or need power throttling to stay within spec

Full response after the jump…

Yes, we have implemented new power monitoring and power capping features on GTX 580 boards. Similar to our thermal protection mechanisms that protect the GPU and system from excessive heat generation, the new power monitoring and capping features help protect the graphics card and system from issues caused by excessive power draw.

This encompasses:

- Dedicated hardware circuitry on the GTX 580 graphics card that performs real-time monitoring of current and voltage on each 12V rail (6-pin, 8-pin, and PCI-Express).

- The graphics driver monitors the power levels and will dynamically adjust performance in certain stress applications such as Furmark and OCCT if power levels exceed the card’s spec.

- Power monitoring adjusts performance only if power specs are exceeded AND if the application is one of the stress apps we have defined in our driver to monitor such as Furmark (which is what Linus was testing) and OCCT. So far we have not seen any real world games that are affected by power monitoring or need power throttling to stay within spec.

-We restrict power monitoring only to stress apps, because we don’t want to limit customers who want to overclock games, and we believe the stress apps are the key apps where the graphics card can benefit from additional protection mechanisms.

-We will enable power monitoring for older Furmark versions in future drivers. The 262.99 driver released today only identifies Furmark version 1.8. If other thermal stress apps are discovered, they will be added to the protection mechanism from time to time with driver updates.

- We do not provide any end user ability to turn off power capping today.

- The power limits for GTX 580 are set close to PCI Express specs for each 12V rail.

- In this initial implementation, when power capping becomes active, clocks inside the chip are reduced by 50%. Many 3rd party tools have not yet been updated to show this fact, but we suspect updates will be coming to make the internal clock reductions more visible.

Source: LinuxTechTips (YouTube)
Via: Overclock.net

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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!