Power Limit: Is my new card b0rked?

NoxTek

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So I've been playing around with overclocking my new ASUS STRIX Edition GTX 970, and while doing so and watching the 'Power Limit' graph in MSI Afterburner, I notice that the card hits the power limit constantly regardless of clock speed, core voltage, or power limit adjustment. Even at stock speed when running Furmark or the current version of 3DMark's tests (like Fire Strike or Sky Diver), I'll see that graph bounce up and down like crazy. Now mind you, this particular 'graph' only has a value of '0' or '1' which I take it to mean the card ISN'T or IS hitting it's power limit.





You'll notice the 'Power Limit' graph in Afterburner in the screenshot above... bouncy bouncy and this is at stock clocks and voltage. The graph jives with that Furmark says too, Furmark has a 'limit' portion of the OSD and it's on '1' most of the time.

I would think at stock settings the card shouldn't be constantly hitting it's power limit like that - but then again I have to admit not FULLY understanding how Nvidia's GPU Boost and thermal / power algorithms all work.

Or maybe MSI Afterburner is just reading things wrong?
 
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Araxie

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Thats normal and its how are intended to work those cards, the card will always try to reach the power limit and will do that increasing the core clock.. the higher you increase the power limit slider the higher boost clock you will reach.. the values 0 or 1 just represent the point where the card reach the power limit, if you compare that to the clocks you will see that the card drop the clock a bit to maintain the card under power limit, so if you are at 98% TDP the value will still be 0.. when the card touch 99.9% it trigger the TDP limit and its market as 1.. all of those readings are 0 and 1, and will throw an idea of the performance limiting factor, voltage limit its also 0 and 1, perf. cap utilization its also 0 or 1. etc etc.. you are fine... thats how Turbo boost since kepler cards are intented to work, always have the card pushed near the TDP to achieve higher boost clocks even of the advertised..
 

Araxie

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If it's only reading 0 or 1 try a different tool.

nope.. that reading are correct.. those are the bottom values present in Afterburner/precision X and GPU-Z.. they are normal to be 0 and 1.
 

Araxie

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You'll notice the 'Power Limit' graph in Afterburner in the screenshot above... bouncy bouncy and this is at stock clocks and voltage. The graph jives with that Furmark says too, Furmark has a 'limit' portion of the OSD and it's on '1' most of the time.

I would think at stock settings the card shouldn't be constantly hitting it's power limit like that - but then again I have to admit not FULLY understanding how Nvidia's GPU Boost and thermal / power algorithms all work.

Or maybe MSI Afterburner is just reading things wrong?

Afterburner readings are OK.. look at the TDP of 102%. every time the TDP its above 99% it will trigger the 1 in Power limit.. if you increase the Power target limit to 120 for example.. the card will not trigger the power limit until it reach 120% TDP.. that statistic its only to tell you what are the type of limit have the card at the moment if you reach the Voltage limit that mean you can reach higher clock by increasing voltage, if you reach the temperature limit to 1. then that mean the temperature are the limiting factor in performance.. thats all.. =)
 

Ocellaris

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OP see that Power Limit slider staring at you from Afterburner? Slide it all the way to the right (120%) and you card will be faster. It will still bounce off the power limit occasionally, or one of the other limits. These cards dynamically adjust to operate within various limiters to get the best performance.
 
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The new cards are all set to throttle down for furmark as its ruined cards even at stock clocks. There is no reason to use this app anymore as it won't show proper results.
 

NoxTek

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Thanks for the explanation, folks....

I get now that the card will increase it's clock speeds on it's own (ie 'GPU Boost') in order to try and meet it's TDP. I think that's where the sticking point was in my head... which leaves me wondering why there is the option for GPU frequency offset in the first place. Why not just increase the TDP limit to maximum and let the card clock itself to meet that value?

Re-reading the initial [H] overclocking reviews of the 6xx and 7xx series to re-familiarize myself with how this is supposed to work. :D

I definitely appreciate the insight - I'm relieved knowing my card is good and I can proceed with working out the highest OC without having it knocked down by the TDP limit.
 

NoxTek

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The new cards are all set to throttle down for furmark as its ruined cards even at stock clocks. There is no reason to use this app anymore as it won't show proper results.


It was just an example, something I could easily run Windowed to take a screenshot of and have the Afterburner graph included. But yes, now that you mention it I DID notice that when running Furmark the card doesn't 'boost' the GPU clock at all. It does for just about every other 3D game/app....

I have a hard time believing that NVidia actually wrote it in the drivers to keep the GPU downclocked when running Furmark though.......
 

Starrbuck

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The new cards are all set to throttle down for furmark as its ruined cards even at stock clocks. There is no reason to use this app anymore as it won't show proper results.

Totally agree. The last several cards I've used with it will only go so high and then throttle so you definitely can't find the upper limit with Furmark any more.
 

Ocellaris

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Totally agree. The last several cards I've used with it will only go so high and then throttle so you definitely can't find the upper limit with Furmark any more.

Right, but you are finding the power limit and introducing a new way to stress your hardware which may uncover problems.
 

Starrbuck

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Right, but you are finding the power limit and introducing a new way to stress your hardware which may uncover problems.

Yes indeed. In fact, it appears to be a good test for coil whine! I wouldn't leave it running for too long even though the drivers appear to be intelligent enough to not let anything get damaged.
 
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