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Hot!Ampere Undervolting Mania

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kevinc313
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2020/10/16 08:43:20 (permalink)
I've been seeing a bunch of posts from new members saying they have "undervolted" a 3080, locking voltage and frequency target at low voltage typically below 1.000v vcore.  
 
Can anyone provide a technical explanation or proof explaining why there is any benefit to this, aside from the obvious of having a stable locked core clock and voltage while staying off the power limit?
 
If you are looking to control temps or have limited cooling, the most effective way is to set your power limit to the level that you can dissipate at your preferred temps/fan speed, max out voltage limit, then increase clocks until instability is encountered - and let the card do what it wants.  
 
Operating your chip at lower voltage only decreases stability and increases heat due to a higher current required to hit a certain power level. (edit: While low voltages will obviously severely limit what clocks you can run, this statement regarding heat and current is wrong/incomplete/irrelevant, see https://forums.evga.com/FindPost/3120658)
 
Any perceived lower temps by an undervolt are from keeping the card below the power limit, which is more easily accomplished by simply lowering the power limit.
post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/16 15:50:01
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    glocked89
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 09:22:38 (permalink)
    Hey Kevin! I read one of your replies explaining power = voltage x current or something. I did try my hand at undervolting my 3090 a bit, but it may not seem like such a good idea anymore with the increased amperage. I've read numerous posts about how undervolting extends the life of your GPU. Is this not true because of the increased amps?
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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 09:54:26 (permalink)
    glocked89
    Hey Kevin! I read one of your replies explaining power = voltage x current or something. I did try my hand at undervolting my 3090 a bit, but it may not seem like such a good idea anymore with the increased amperage. I've read numerous posts about how undervolting extends the life of your GPU. Is this not true because of the increased amps?




    I think the general consensus on this board is that as long as you're not whacking your GPU with 1.093v all day at max power limit at 80C+, any normal operating parameters are going to be fine.  Letting the core down clock at idle is good, as is capping power use when your frames are WAY over refresh rate.  Any "undervolt" configuration is below the normal operating configuration, it should have no effect on longevity either way.  Maybe if you are mining or folding 24/7 you would want to cut power and cap volts, in 5 years of 24/7 you might see a bit less degradation.
     
    There is very little discussion of current and core voltage, but basic electronics says more current -> more heat, at a fixed power level.  P = V x I.  
     
     
     
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/16 11:42:26
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    jankerson
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 09:54:58 (permalink)
    glocked89
    Hey Kevin! I read one of your replies explaining power = voltage x current or something. I did try my hand at undervolting my 3090 a bit, but it may not seem like such a good idea anymore with the increased amperage. I've read numerous posts about how undervolting extends the life of your GPU. Is this not true because of the increased amps?




    It actually doesn't extend the life of the GPU.
     
    Running it at stock is what it was designed to do and they will last longer than MOST people would keep or use them anyway.
     

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    glocked89
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:00:24 (permalink)
    kevinc313
    glocked89
    Hey Kevin! I read one of your replies explaining power = voltage x current or something. I did try my hand at undervolting my 3090 a bit, but it may not seem like such a good idea anymore with the increased amperage. I've read numerous posts about how undervolting extends the life of your GPU. Is this not true because of the increased amps?




    I thing the general consensus on this board is that as long as you're not whacking your GPU with 1.093v all day at max power limit at 80C+, any normal operating parameters are going to be fine.  Letting the core down clock at idle is good, as is capping power use when your frames are WAY over refresh rate.  Any "undervolt" configuration is below the normal operating configuration, it should have no effect on longevity either way.  Maybe if you are mining or folding 24/7 you would want to cut power and cap volts, in 5 years of 24/7 you might see a bit less degradation.
     
    There is very little discussion of current and core voltage, but basic electronics says more current -> more heat, at a fixed power level.
     
     
     


    Appreciate the explanation. Yes I let the card downclock and have a fps cap. I was playing around with voltage/frequency curve with the intent of longevity and I thought with your comment that "undervolting" could actually harm your card rather than prolong it. In the end, I've decided I'm just going to let my card do its thing and only adjust the power limit.
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    Celeras
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:09:46 (permalink)
    It's pretty simple, Kevin. Boost sucks. The end. 
     
    But seriously, I'll give you an example. When I play Baldur's Gate 3, my clocks start out (at all stock settings) at around 1950mhz. After about 2 minutes of load, I am at around 1800-1850mhz just letting the card do it's thing with the boost algorithm. It will remain at these speeds for the rest of the game. After testing my card as any true overclocker would, I figured out that I can run 1950mhz stable at 0.862v. This is significantly lower voltage than the boost algorithm uses to run 1950mhz.. you can't just "reduce the powerlimit" to get those settings because it won't work. So I undervolted my card to run 1950mhz at 0.862v, which looks like this:
     

     
    What happens when I run Baldur's Gate 3 using these settings? My clocks start at 1950mhz and never leave. The boost algorithm never feels the need to reduce the clocks because it is no longer hitting the power limit or concerned with thermals. The result is increased performance in every metric. 
     
    The same thing applies when you are "maxing out" your clocks for benchmarks and such. Sure, maybe you can reach 2200mhz by moving the sliders all the way up... but what good is it if the boost algorithm reduces everything 30 seconds into the benchmark? You'd get better performance undervolting and stabilizing the clocks at say... 2150mhz instead. That is why people undervolt.
    post edited by Celeras - 2020/10/16 10:18:16


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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:16:22 (permalink)
    Celeras
    It's pretty simple, Kevin. Boost sucks. The end. 
     
    But seriously, I'll give you an example. When I play Baldur's Gate 3, my clocks start out (at all stock settings) at around 1950mhz. After about 2 minutes of load, I am at around 1800-1850mhz just letting the card do it's thing with the boost algorithm. It will remain at these speeds for the rest of the game. After testing my card as any true overclocker would, I figured out that I can run 1950mhz stable at 0.862v. This is significantly lower than the boost algorithm uses to run 1950mhz. So I undervolted my card to run 1950mhz at 0.862v, which looks like this:
     

     
    What happens when I run Baldur's Gate 3 using these settings? My clocks start at 1950mhz and never leave. The boost algorithm never feels the need to reduce the clocks because it is no longer hitting the power limit or concerned with thermals. The result is increased performance in every metric. 
     
    The same thing applies when you are "maxing out" your clocks for benchmarks and such. Sure, maybe you can reach 2200mhz by moving the sliders all the way up... but what good is it if the boost algorithm reduces everything 30 seconds into the benchmark? You'd get better performance undervolting and stabilizing the clocks at say... 2150mhz instead. That is why people undervolt.




    That's not undervolting for the express purpose of lower voltage, that's locking frequency and voltage at a specific arbitrary point below power limit, as I addressed in my original post. 
     
    There is always considerable handwaving regarding stable clocks, lower temps and increased performance when doing this, which I find dubious at best.
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/16 10:21:13
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    Celeras
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:20:49 (permalink)
    Where exactly are these fictional people who are "undervolting for the sake of undervolting"? They do it for the reasons and benefits outlined in my post, not just for giggles.


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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:25:35 (permalink)
    Celeras
    Where exactly are these fictional people who are "undervolting for the sake of undervolting"? They do it for the reasons and benefits outlined in my post, not just for giggles.




    Reddit mainly.  Also people in the new 450w bios thread who are undervolting and wondering why the new bios makes no difference.  
     
    Edit:  Here's one maybe.  https://forums.evga.com/h...tra-3080-m3120701.aspx
     
     
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/16 16:19:51
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    glocked89
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:36:34 (permalink)
    Celeras
    It's pretty simple, Kevin. Boost sucks. The end. 
     
    But seriously, I'll give you an example. When I play Baldur's Gate 3, my clocks start out (at all stock settings) at around 1950mhz. After about 2 minutes of load, I am at around 1800-1850mhz just letting the card do it's thing with the boost algorithm. It will remain at these speeds for the rest of the game. After testing my card as any true overclocker would, I figured out that I can run 1950mhz stable at 0.862v. This is significantly lower voltage than the boost algorithm uses to run 1950mhz.. you can't just "reduce the powerlimit" to get those settings because it won't work. So I undervolted my card to run 1950mhz at 0.862v, which looks like this:
     

     
    What happens when I run Baldur's Gate 3 using these settings? My clocks start at 1950mhz and never leave. The boost algorithm never feels the need to reduce the clocks because it is no longer hitting the power limit or concerned with thermals. The result is increased performance in every metric. 
     
    The same thing applies when you are "maxing out" your clocks for benchmarks and such. Sure, maybe you can reach 2200mhz by moving the sliders all the way up... but what good is it if the boost algorithm reduces everything 30 seconds into the benchmark? You'd get better performance undervolting and stabilizing the clocks at say... 2150mhz instead. That is why people undervolt.


    I had a curve like that too as well, but the minor issue I had was that the curve kept resetting to something similar and not exact after a reboot. Afterburner starts with windows and I have the little "Windows" box checked as well. I have to manually click Profile 1 each time.


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    Celeras
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:46:53 (permalink)
    I don't want to hijack his thread with your tech support but are you sure? The curve looks a little bit different when you click the "Profile 1" and when you click "Apply".


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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:49:16 (permalink)
    Celeras
    I don't want to hijack his thread with your tech support but are you sure? The curve looks a little bit different when you click the "Profile 1" and when you click "Apply".




    Hijack away, any and all undervolting / voltage locking, tips / insights are welcome.
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    glocked89
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:51:52 (permalink)
    Celeras
    I don't want to hijack his thread with your tech support but are you sure? The curve looks a little bit different when you click the "Profile 1" and when you click "Apply".


    Oh I just wanted to know if your curve stayed the same after a reboot. Mine will change slightly and I have to manually apply it each time.


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    Celeras
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 10:56:22 (permalink)
    glocked89
    Celeras
    I don't want to hijack his thread with your tech support but are you sure? The curve looks a little bit different when you click the "Profile 1" and when you click "Apply".


    Oh I just wanted to know if your curve stayed the same after a reboot. Mine will change slightly and I have to manually apply it each time.




    Yeah it stays the same, I'm just saying that it LOOKS different when you press "Profile 1" compared to when you press "Apply"... so maybe you thought it was changing when it really wasn't. 




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    Cool GTX
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 11:00:58 (permalink)
    regardless of how one does it .. a colder GPU is a faster GPU ... to a point that it hits a PerfCap .. cause Nvidia Boost says so
     
    I noticed undervolting being a big thing with the "Coin miners" ... Max performance / $ of electric consumed
     
     
    If V becomes the PerfCap - then Watts are not going to climb ...
     
    leakage current is one of the biggest reasons that thermals increase quickly with more voltage
     
    I like OC for the the sake of testing different combos to see how results are impacted - it is a fun puzzle
     
    Stable MHz can benchmark faster than those that have higher peaks followed by lower numbers ...
     
     

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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 15:03:17 (permalink)
    Celeras
    It's pretty simple, Kevin. Boost sucks. The end. 
     
    But seriously, I'll give you an example. When I play Baldur's Gate 3, my clocks start out (at all stock settings) at around 1950mhz. After about 2 minutes of load, I am at around 1800-1850mhz just letting the card do it's thing with the boost algorithm. It will remain at these speeds for the rest of the game. After testing my card as any true overclocker would, I figured out that I can run 1950mhz stable at 0.862v. This is significantly lower voltage than the boost algorithm uses to run 1950mhz.. you can't just "reduce the powerlimit" to get those settings because it won't work. So I undervolted my card to run 1950mhz at 0.862v, which looks like this:
     

     
    What happens when I run Baldur's Gate 3 using these settings? My clocks start at 1950mhz and never leave. The boost algorithm never feels the need to reduce the clocks because it is no longer hitting the power limit or concerned with thermals. The result is increased performance in every metric. 
     
    The same thing applies when you are "maxing out" your clocks for benchmarks and such. Sure, maybe you can reach 2200mhz by moving the sliders all the way up... but what good is it if the boost algorithm reduces everything 30 seconds into the benchmark? You'd get better performance undervolting and stabilizing the clocks at say... 2150mhz instead. That is why people undervolt.




    I went ahead and tested undervolt using a somewhat heavy load (for Heaven) static scene in Unigine Heaven on my 2080 Ti Hybrid.
     
    - Please disregard my statements regarding current and voltage vs. power, they are too much of an oversimplification for how a GPU loads up and have little practical bearing.  With 1875mhz @ 0.875v I'd get 220w draw, with 1875 @ 1.050v I'd get about 300w. The power scales somewhat in accordance with the ohms law P = V^2 / R, or the square of the percent increase in voltage, with a static scene as a gross oversimplification the gpu can be taken as a resistive load, thus with a higher voltage across it has to draw (much) more power and current.
     
    - I can apply my normal gaming overclock of +120 and restrict power limit to 221w (average GPU-Z), card will sit right around 0.887 to 0.906v and 1890 to 1920 mhz.  Going back to locked voltage, I can dial in .875v at 1905mhz at 221w average.  Both very stable at 45-46C and FPS around 205 fps or so. 
     
    This is far from an exhaustive test, but I'm seeing no performance or thermal difference between capping power with the power limit slider vs. locking, with a static scene. 
     
    Now when you let Heaven run, that's a different story.  When power limited, the card will clock up and volt up with a light load, with the 221w limit I went as high as 2100mhz a few times.  When locked at the comparable 1905mhz at 0.875v, the card could draw up to about 230w, but averaged 210w since power draw was dropping under light load, instead of the clocks spiking and it continuing to ride the power limit.
     
    So as Celeras put it, "Boost Sucks" if you're going to let your FPS free run and have no need for those extra frames and would rather have the GPU power down vs. boosting up against the power limit.  Maybe you'll get a couple degrees difference vs. just using an equivalent power limit, but it's really noise level stuff IMHO.  Maybe there's games with insane swings in load where this would make sense and you would see a bigger difference.  Maybe others where it prevents downclocking due to poor cooling, but using the power limit more aggressively would also help with thermal downclocking in a limited cooling scenario.  But it's applicable when locking voltage anywhere, you can do it at 1.050v or whatever and see the same behavior vs. letting the card do it's thing with a similar conventional setting.
     
    If you use a low lag vsync like I do (4k60) and are always at refresh rate, it's not going to make a difference since the gpu will power down with light loads anyway.  The only way I can sustain 2,100mhz is if I lock in at 1.093v, otherwise it's not stable.
     
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/16 22:37:33
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    macktkau
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/16 23:14:31 (permalink)
    I'm using 1920 core with 850mv and it's rock solid and the temps are well below 60c. Timespy is as good as it was in my first runs at stock (I got 15948 with this 1920/850 undervolt). I think I can get more out of it if I do a run when it's not as hot. My 9900k can do 5ghz but it's not OC'd to stay at 5ghz so it's boosts can impact the total score if it only bumps to 4.8 or 4.9 ghz.
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    Hackslash
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/17 08:44:08 (permalink)
    how can you do it in x1 precision?
    i cant get it to do that without dragging every single point?!
    #18
    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/17 09:05:42 (permalink)
    Hackslash
    how can you do it in x1 precision?
    i cant get it to do that without dragging every single point?!




    Yeah me neither. Just one crazy spike.
     
    In Afterburner you drag the point, apply, and it straightens.
     
    #19
    Frammish
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/18 07:27:49 (permalink)
    jankerson
    It actually doesn't extend the life of the GPU.
     
    Running it at stock is what it was designed to do and they will last longer than MOST people would keep or use them anyway.



    Undervolting actually does extend the life of a GPU. Anything to reduce heat does extend the life of a GPU.
     
    Especially as features get smaller, diffusion in silicon gets to be a larger factor in longevity. Diffusion is also exponentially related to temperature.
     
    The question is when the degradation becomes enough that chips fail. This was discussed by some with the debut of the 2000 series chips but didn’t seem to turn out to be an issue. The 3000 series have smaller features and appear to be being run even hotter than the 2000 series. Smaller features means diffusion will have a greater effect. Higher temperatures means more diffusion.
     
    The jury is still out on high temps with these new chips. It’s going to take time and people running these cards hot to ultimately know. Personally, I’m not worried about it but I’ll also be undervolting and went for the FTW3 to get the extra cooling. Depending on temperatures, I may even water cool.
     
    And it isn’t just the GPU and diffusion. Temperature cycles are hard on components in general. Thermal expansion and contraction flexes all sorts of things that can crack, go intermittent, or fail completely. The higher the temperatures in those cycles, the larger the expansion and contractions. It’s part of the issue between the poly and ceramic caps under the GPUs in the 30 series. The ceramic caps are better able to deal with the high frequency noise but are more likely to crack and fail due to thermal stresses.
     
    High temperatures are hard on electronics. Repeated high temperature cycling is even worse. I agree people *should* be fine but we won’t know for sure until this generation is all out of service.
    #20
    notarjy
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/18 12:04:18 (permalink)
    Those who are using afterburner to undervolt, are you not running PX1 at all or are you able to use PX1 for fan profiles while using afterburner to undervolt?

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    #21
    macktkau
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/18 20:12:06 (permalink)
    notarjy
    Those who are using afterburner to undervolt, are you not running PX1 at all or are you able to use PX1 for fan profiles while using afterburner to undervolt?


    I just use afterburner. It has a fan curve editor in the settings. I start it at 40% until the temp reaches 35% and then it goes in a straight line upwards until I get to 100% fan speed at 80c. I don't get above 65c really though in normal use.
    #22
    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/18 20:24:26 (permalink)
    macktkau
    notarjy
    Those who are using afterburner to undervolt, are you not running PX1 at all or are you able to use PX1 for fan profiles while using afterburner to undervolt?


    I just use afterburner. It has a fan curve editor in the settings. I start it at 40% until the temp reaches 35% and then it goes in a straight line upwards until I get to 100% fan speed at 80c. I don't get above 65c really though in normal use.




    IIRC you can't properly control FTW3 fans in Afterburner, but the XC3 should be fine.
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    macktkau
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/18 23:13:21 (permalink)
    kevinc313
    macktkau
    notarjy
    Those who are using afterburner to undervolt, are you not running PX1 at all or are you able to use PX1 for fan profiles while using afterburner to undervolt?


    I just use afterburner. It has a fan curve editor in the settings. I start it at 40% until the temp reaches 35% and then it goes in a straight line upwards until I get to 100% fan speed at 80c. I don't get above 65c really though in normal use.




    IIRC you can't properly control FTW3 fans in Afterburner, but the XC3 should be fine.


    I've heard that, but I found in my testing that when using the MSI Afterburner fan control settings:
     
    The GPU fans never drop below 50% of the fan speed (as shown in the afterburner monitor). This is equal to about 30% in the afterburner settings fan curve area. It is 900 RPM.
     
    30% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 50% in the monitoring, and 900 RPM.
    40% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 58% in the monitoring, and 1200 RPM.
    50% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 65% in the monitoring, and 1500 RPM.
    60% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 72% in the monitoring, and 1850 RPM.
    70% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 79% in the monitoring, and 2100 RPM.
    80% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 86% in the monitoring, and 2400 RPM.
    I assume 90% and 100% are 2700 RPM and 3000 RPM but I didn't test it.
     
    I have the settings at 40% fan speed until the temps reach above 40c, at then it goes up until it reaches 80% fan speed at 70c (this is the practical limit for my fan speed because my card hasn't gone over 65c since undervolting).
     
    So at the very least two of the fans are working in afterburner, although the settings & report monitoring look to have difference definitions of percentages, and there's possibly a minimum fan speed set still.
    #24
    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/19 05:34:27 (permalink)
    macktkau
    kevinc313
    macktkau
    notarjy
    Those who are using afterburner to undervolt, are you not running PX1 at all or are you able to use PX1 for fan profiles while using afterburner to undervolt?


    I just use afterburner. It has a fan curve editor in the settings. I start it at 40% until the temp reaches 35% and then it goes in a straight line upwards until I get to 100% fan speed at 80c. I don't get above 65c really though in normal use.




    IIRC you can't properly control FTW3 fans in Afterburner, but the XC3 should be fine.


    I've heard that, but I found in my testing that when using the MSI Afterburner fan control settings:
     
    The GPU fans never drop below 50% of the fan speed (as shown in the afterburner monitor). This is equal to about 30% in the afterburner settings fan curve area. It is 900 RPM.
     
    30% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 50% in the monitoring, and 900 RPM.
    40% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 58% in the monitoring, and 1200 RPM.
    50% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 65% in the monitoring, and 1500 RPM.
    60% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 72% in the monitoring, and 1850 RPM.
    70% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 79% in the monitoring, and 2100 RPM.
    80% in the afterburner fan settings area is equal to 86% in the monitoring, and 2400 RPM.
    I assume 90% and 100% are 2700 RPM and 3000 RPM but I didn't test it.
     
    I have the settings at 40% fan speed until the temps reach above 40c, at then it goes up until it reaches 80% fan speed at 70c (this is the practical limit for my fan speed because my card hasn't gone over 65c since undervolting).
     
    So at the very least two of the fans are working in afterburner, although the settings & report monitoring look to have difference definitions of percentages, and there's possibly a minimum fan speed set still.




    Very nice, are those from HWiNFO64 or equivalent and reading all three fans rpms individually?  So you're controlling two fans and the 3rd does what it wants per the bios? Thanks!
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/19 05:47:38
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    macktkau
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/19 05:53:56 (permalink)
    Afterburner, although I checked with Open Hardware Monitor and it seems to match up, but that only reports a single fan RPM & percentage
     
    I don't know about the 3rd fan at all. For all I know, it might not be going at all.
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    kevinc313
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    Re: Ampere Undervolting Mania 2020/10/19 05:58:52 (permalink)
    macktkau
    Afterburner, although I checked with Open Hardware Monitor and it seems to match up, but that only reports a single fan RPM & percentage
     
    I don't know about the 3rd fan at all. For all I know, it might not be going at all.




    I see, might be worth trying HWiNFO64 and HWMonitor as on some cards they report speeds for each fan individually.  I think on GPU-Z it just reports one fan speed and percent. I've not worked with Open Hardware Monitor.  I think you can also run X1 and Afterburner simultaneously, adjusting the speed in Afterburner and applying, while reading the speed for each fan in X1.
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2020/10/19 06:48:09
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