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  1. #1
    Formerly BGTemp // TERA Fan
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    Getting the most out of a gfx card

    Greetings,

    So I am not really a huge frames-per-seconds person. I just want my games to be smooth when I play them. However lately I've really been thinking that I am not getting what I should be out of my rig. Is there someone here who is really good at tinkering and/or knowledgeable about gpu and gfx setups that I could sort of open a dialogue with about my setup and settings etc.? Maybe I am missing something or my expectations have been fostered by false information. Thanks.

  2. #2
    preachy and pretentious
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    Well, the first thing you definitely want to do is make sure you have no bottlenecks.

  3. #3
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    What video card are you running? Also, look up how to undervolt your graphics card via MSI Afterburner. You'll end up tweaking your max clock speed down via this, but your card will also generate much less heat, allowing it to sit at an overall higher average clock speed.

    I did this with my EVGA 3080TI and sitting at a voltage cap of .850mv and 1860mhz clock speed did wonders for my system.

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    Ok, I didn't want to just spew info out here but thank you for initial assistance.

    There could be a bottleneck someplace but I don't know how I would go about finding where and why.

    Off the cuff specs of my machine (laptop)

    Intel® Core™ i7-12700H Processor (6X P-core + 8X E-core, up to 4.7GHz/24MB L3 Cache)
    32GB [16GB x 2] 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti - 8GB GDDR6 [NB]
    1TB WD Blue SN570 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD -- Read: 3500MB/s; Write: 3000MB/s

    I am running from my laptop monitor (165hz) to a Viewsonic (144hz) via hdmi. There is sadly no displayport output option.

    Now if i was going to start tweaking specs from what came standard, how should I go about this? I downloaded Egva Percision x1 but there is no sort of user manual or guide. Last thing I want to do is make changes that melts or blows something up.
    As a simple example, lets say the game I am using is MH:W. Its an older game and my default my hardware should have no issues with it. Even with settings dialed back and turned off my pc struggles maintaining 60fps. I could also experiment with say Deep Rock Galactic, Dying Light 2 or Remnant 2 if newer games are more useful.

  5. #5
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    Ok, so on a laptop, so a bit different. Your video card is most likely your bottle neck, but even bigger is going to be heat. Anything that lowers the heat of your laptop is going to be a huge boost to it's performance. So undervolting the GPU from MSI Afterburner will go a long way on that.

    There's some good videos on making it as simple as possible, and beauty of Afterburner is if the system crashes, when it reboots, you can revert the change before testing again. Krandor has some experience in undervolting both GPU and CPU on previous laptops, so he may have some more advice for you.

  6. #6
    Member since 2006 and still can't think of a title.
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    Pretty sure this was the tutorial I used when I first did my GPU


  7. #7
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    MHW kind of runs like shit. Make sure you have DLSS enabled and if you want to improve the visual quality of it a bit Google how to upgrade the DLSS .dll to an updated version. That should close to double your frame rate on its own. Otherwise explore undervolting curves as Melena suggested; while it may seem counterintuitive to reduce the power of your GPU it actually does help improve performance in some cases and will just overall give you better stability due to the fact that

    A) 3000 series and 4000 series GPUs were designed with a massive overhead on power budget, they don't need all the wattage that they're given by default to run at peak efficiency

    B) laptop thermals are really bad compared to desktop, so limiting the amount of current going through your GPU will let your laptop's cooling solution cope much easier with the thermal load and reduce throttling and potentially improve your overall framerate stability due to less fluctuation in core clocks


    I have 5 power profiles for my 3080 laptop but you can have just 1 if you don't want to bother with all that.

    +200 mem clock for all

    1) Desktop mode undervolt. Basically minimum voltage minimum clock for just browsing and desktop usage to save battery.

    2) Heavy undervolt. Locked at 800mV 1650MHz

    3) Moderate undervolt. Locked at 850mV 1800MHz

    4) Mild undervolt. Locked at 875mV 1850MHz

    5) No undervolt. Unlocked current, +125 core clock. I only use this because I have a little more thermal headroom on my laptop due to having liquid metal on the GPU. Might not get away with it with standard TIM.

    Yours will need to be tuned according to the quality of your silicon but that's the general idea. I switch between them depending on demand. You'd be fine with just the Mild or moderate UV for general use. Ultimately you want to push the voltage as low as possible and clocks as high as possible without degradation on performance or system instability which ultimately will take a little trial and error. Much faster and easier process than cpu undervolting at least (which I also recommend doing with a program called ThrottleStop. There's great guides online for this too). Programs like 3DMark and Heaven Benchmark are great for validating performance and stability.

    Tip for when you're making a curve: reset all options to default first, then set the core clock to +50, +75, +100 etc whatever you want to test stability for. Then go into the curve editor, hold down Shift, left click and drag from directly right of your target voltage point (850mV or less) and select every other point to the right of it by dragging. Pull them all down once selected to below the target voltage point and then hit apply. Itll automatically level the entire curve to meet your target frequency and voltage. Saves a lot of time.

  8. #8
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    Awesome, thank so much. I will look into this and see what I can do!

  9. #9
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    Hooooookay, so I have no idea what is going on. I watched the video about undervolting and started testing. But I am not getting any data that supports undervolting. And this is my data (using Deep Rock Galactic, Nvidia optimized settings) ALSO: when i just sit in an active part of the ship, the FPS starts at 115 but after 5 minutes it dips to 50 FPS. :/


  10. #10
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    Looking at HWINFO it appears it's still capping out at full power and full clock speed.

    When I get home, I'll pull up Afterburner and show some screenshots of how the voltage curve should look, as well as HWinfo when I'm under load.

  11. #11
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    Uh oh, plots on BG.

    Weird square wave aside, it looks like GPU thermal throttling to avoid going over 100C.

  12. #12
    Mr. Bananagrabber
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    Pretty sure your issue isn't the GPU, but your CPU getting hot as shit.

    Since it's a laptop they'll be sharing heat pipes, and laptops have what's known as bi-directional PROCHOT, where the CPU and GPU will throttle themselves when the other starts getting too hot.

    It's a 12th gen i7, which means you can't control the voltage or core limits. So your only option to tame the heat coming from the CPU is either limit it's wattage which should be possible with the control software that came with your laptop, or by replacing the thermal material/cleaning the fans

    I would put money on your thermal material needing replacement or your fans needing to be cleaned. The CPU averaging 90c while pulling only an average of 25 watts is uh, not great.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krandor View Post
    Pretty sure your issue isn't the GPU, but your CPU getting hot as shit.

    Since it's a laptop they'll be sharing heat pipes, and laptops have what's known as bi-directional PROCHOT, where the CPU and GPU will throttle themselves when the other starts getting too hot.

    It's a 12th gen i7, which means you can't control the voltage or core limits. So your only option to tame the heat coming from the CPU is either limit it's wattage which should be possible with the control software that came with your laptop, or by replacing the thermal material/cleaning the fans

    I would put money on your thermal material needing replacement or your fans needing to be cleaned. The CPU averaging 90c while pulling only an average of 25 watts is uh, not great.

    I won't rule this out and will investigate. I do however keep a clean work station etc but I have that laptop for a year or two now. Maybe enough for cat hair to sneak in there but I dunno about the thermal paste going bad unless the people who assembled it are clowns.

  14. #14
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    Going to spoiler as the screenshots are probably huge, but this is how your voltage curve should look, as well as what your gpu voltage should show in hwinfo when under load. Ignore the max voltage on my screen shot as I made a slight change and forgot to apply it before I started running speedway in 3dmark.

    Also since a laptop, if there's any way to keep the laptop tilted like with a laptop stand so the heat has somewhere else to vent out of may help as well.

    Spoiler: show



  15. #15
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    Should also note that in afterburner I have an intense fan curve and a GPU Temp limit of 83C. Also running a +725mhz overclock on video memory.

  16. #16
    Mr. Bananagrabber
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    It's the heat from the CPU. It's barely holding on to its base clock and your average numbers are 90c and 25w. Your PL1 is 45w, and any decent gaming laptop should be able to hold that limit while providing full power to the GPU. The vast majority of mobile Nvidia GPUs will also thermal throttle themselves at 87c, which is what yours is sitting at constantly while under load.

    Thermal material, dirty fans, bent radiator fins, whatever. Something related to the thermal management on the laptop is not working properly and it's dragging down the entire system.

  17. #17
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    Ok gents, I have a progress report!

    @Krandor: So I took apart the laptop and did find some fuzz/hair etc to clean out. It wasn't a disaster but indeed stuff may have been hampering air flow. Also, I have been using the laptop while closed (since i have a 2 monitor set up) perhaps having the lid closed is also hampering air flow. Today I've kept it open) I have been playing MH:W for about 2 hours now and core CPU temp sits at 85/86 degrees. This sounds pretty normal for a laptop under stress, yes? I can still pursue new thermal paste and get some really good stuff if this looks bad.

    @Melena: thanks for your stats! I am not sure I can get mine to look like that. My Core voltage never gets above .7, HWinfo detects it (usu sits at .68) but the MSI afterburner doesn't even register anything that low. The curve editor starts at .7 on aferburner. The gpu clock sits between 1155-1320.

    The overall results of the cleaning etc were that after a night of the laptop being off, I started at 144 fps for a good 15-20 minutes, eventually dipping to the 100-115 range when the machine got going and its been there ever since. I feel this is pretty good (waaaaay better than what I saw) I am unsure if I can maintain any higher FPS given what I at my immediate disposal.

    Any parting thoughts?

    Spoiler: show

  18. #18
    Member since 2006 and still can't think of a title.
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    So basically with Afterburner, you want to start at like say 850mv. Then you want to shift drag from 850 to 1250 and force them so all those boxes are in a straight line. What that does is ensure that once you hit 850mv (again, using as just an example) as well as the clock speed you set, you'll be locked in.

    But yeah, that cleaning and changes you made keeping the cpu at about 85c is great. It doesn't take much fuzz in the vents to muck everything up. Doing repair at Fry's, I've had some god awful dirty cases brought in, where you were pulling thick clumps out of the fans and heatsinks.

  19. #19
    Mr. Bananagrabber
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    Assuming nothing else changed like ambient temps and whatnot, you can see that both the GPU and average CPU clocks are like 300MHz higher than they were before.

    It's still running a bit hot and getting throttled (your GPU is still under the boost clock of 1410), but that's a noticeable improvement just from a quick dusting

    On the topic of undervolting, mobile NVIDIA GPUs run at lower core voltages than their desktop counterparts (generally around 100-150mv less than the equivalent desktop model). I have a 4090 in my laptop and it tops out at I think around 890mv (desktop model runs at 1.05V), and I run it at 835mv



    Based on the spike at the start of your graph, it looks like yours has a maximum core voltage of around 850mv

  20. #20
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    Depending how confident you are in your thermal pasting and how badly you want that 144hz performance, this might be the spot to stop. Otherwise, it is repasting time probably?

    You could also just get one of those laptop cooler pads with a fan in it, maybe?

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