Question Games not using increased TDP room on 3090 overclock?

Nov 29, 2020
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Hi Guys,

So I have a Gigabyte 3090 Gaming OC that I've been tweaking for the past few days using MSI afterburner. Stock, the performance wasn't very good, but I've been able to get around an 8-10% improvement on benchmarks by increasing the power limit from 370W to 390W (105%) and tweaking the frequency/voltage curve using the latest version of MSI Afterburner (4.6.3). All the benchmarks and stress tests I've run (Port Royal/Fire Strike/Time Spy/Superposition) have been stable. However, I recently went to run Microsoft Flight Sim, and I started getting pretty frequent crashes to desktop, even after I dialed back the overclock massively. After some analysis using GPU-Z, it seems as if the game isn't taking advantage of the increased TDP limits; rather it maxes out around 360-370W, but still seems to want to run the clocks up and so, predictably, crashes. I then ran DCS (another flight sim) and saw the same behavior in that the board power draw never gets above 370W or so. In both cases, when the power approaches the 370W mark, the performance cap reason reported in GPU-Z is PWR, i.e. the TDP limit. So obviously the demand for extra power is there; the card just isn't taking advantage of it. Anyone have any ideas on why this is the case? I find it superweird that the frequency/voltage curve sticks, but not the expanded TDP limit. In the benchmarks I run, the board draw is definitely pegged at around 390W all the way through, so somehow this quirk is only happening in the games...

Thanks for your time,

-bbsmitz
 
Nov 29, 2020
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Full specs here.

Cliffs notes, Corsair RMx 850W PSU, Aorus Master x570 MB, Ryzen 5600x OC'd +200Mhz using PBO with PPT boosted to 110 Watts, the b-die ram is OC'd to 3600MHz with okay timings (I think 15-15-15-34, will check when I get home). It's a new build; a few weeks old. The HDDs at the link above aren't currently installed.

Edit: Gpu temps don't go above 70; usually around 67 while playing MSFS.
 
Last edited:
Nov 29, 2020
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So I've done a bit more fiddling. So two interesting things.

  1. So it turns out I was incorrect. Increasing the TDP from 100% to 105% in after burner does change the behavior. MSFS goes from using around 75-80% of the TDP (as measured by GPU-Z) to around 95%+. So the program itself for some reason is using less than the power allocated.
  2. Weirdly enough, if I increase the TDP from 100 to 105%, and change nothing else (i.e. no overclock), MSFS becomes unstable. So giving it more power headroom, without changing the default curve, results in crashes. Anyone have any ideas on why? I wanted to say that the higher frequencies that the increased power would let me hit are unstable on my chip, but according to the logs, I'm boosting to the max clock allowed by the default curve even at the regular TDP setting. Very strange.
 

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