Question Asus GTX 970 running at ~500 mhz on full load

Jan 30, 2021
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Recently built a pc, ran some benchmarks/tests to check everything was working ok. The GTX 970 doesn't seem to be performing great - I get about 44 fps in Unigine Valley with Ultra + DX11, it seems like something in the 60fps range is more common. Geekbench and userbenchmark have also given poor results. The gpu is second-hand but was apparently only used for 2-3 years, I don't know what the previous owner did with it.

It seems like the gpu is running at ~500 mhz under load and yet (after muddling with some power settings) it runs at about 1100 mhz on idle. I have seen it dip up to these frequencies while running Valley but this is rare.

I've set my power plan to performance and selected "Prefer maximum performance" in the Nvidia control panel. My drivers are up-to-date. I'm getting this issue on both Windows and Linux. I don't know if it could be a thermal issue - temps are always near the 60 degree range, even when both idle and under load, for some reason. I've tried adjusting the gpu fan curves to be more aggressive and removing the side panel to let some air in but this hasn't affected temps or performance much. My PSU is a SilverStone ET-550W, gold rated.

I have taken some HWINFO64 screenshots:
Idle:


Running Unigine Valley:


Is there anything I could try now? I've been considering dusting it off as it is dusty, however I don't have a can of compressed air so I'd need to figure out another way of cleaning it. I'm not sure how much it would help.

Any advice appreciated.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Can you state the rest of your system's specs? What BIOS version are you on for your motherboard? What OS version are you working with, assuming you're on Windows 10? Even if you don't have a can of compressed air, you can use a soft bristled painters brush to dust off the debris on the card, you can also tear down the card to get to the cooling assembly and subsequently change the thermal paste to improve your thermals.

I've got a feeling that the card was used for mining.
 
Jan 30, 2021
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Ryzen 5 1400
Silverstone Essential ET550-G
Gigabyte B450M S2H V2
Asus GTX 970
Samsung 860 Evo 500gb
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16gb
Thermaltake Armour+ MX

BIOS is the latest - version F60h. I'm getting this on both Windows 10.0.19042 and Xubuntu 20.04.

I actually realized it's performing a lot worse than I thought - I had Valley on a custom preset but when I set it to Extreme HD I get a grand 22 fps.

I did run this on Windows 10, I have no clue why it says Windows 8 here.

The gpu was sold as a part of an older gaming PC, it looked more like someone was trying to get rid of their old stuff rather than it being a miner. But of course it's a possibility I can't disprove. I'll probably try dusting it and reapplying the thermal paste. Cooling in this case is a wee bit crap with the fans I have unfortunately.
 
Jan 30, 2021
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I changed the thermal paste today. Pretty old stuff, temps are better now. I've gotten something of a performance improvement - about 30fps in Valley with Extreme HD now. Average clockspeed has gone from ~500mhz to ~600mhz under load. Still far from what it should be performing at but it's something I guess. I've tried uninstalling my drivers with ddu and reinstalling but that hasn't fixed anything.
 

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