Question GTX 970 Not using full power

tomandsarahome

Prominent
Jan 28, 2018
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I have been messing around in my 970 bios for a year now, trying to get the most out of the card.

I've been able to get the card to run games at 1440p ultra easily with the settings I've been tuning with, but I always had this pesky TDP issue where the card will suddenly only use 40% or 50% of its TDP, dropping 15 -20fps while the card is running at max clocks and 100% usage.

This became much, much more noticeable now that I got a 4k monitor. The card is now making use of its 289watt tdp I set, it now runs at 70-74c full load vs 60 - 65 before I had the new screen.

Most games will run at 4k 30-40fps medium/high settings, but the card is only using 60-70% of its tdp... I could easily gain another 5-10fps if the GPU was using all of its power, but it isn't.

Here's a metro exodus video, it's running at 4k medium settings, fps will jump from 40, and will drop to 25 or 30, but again, the card isn't using full power, only 60-75% of its tdp. Another 5-10fps loss.

Could it be my PSU? I have a Corsair Vs Series Vs600, I dont know how good it is, I had it for awhile now.

Under load it'll drop to 11.7v on the 12v rail. At idle, it'll hover around 12.1 12.2v (Hwinfo)

Metro exodus clip.
View: https://youtu.be/sxF7BOkRn7Y
At my first death, you can see the GPU power jump up to 84(230-240watts), and the fps jump up to 41. That's a 10 - 15 fps jump. I'm loosing 10 to 15fps if it isn't using all of its power.

(I have the MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G and a i7 2600, 8gbs of ram in single channel mode as 2 ram slots are fried.)
 
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The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
if the fps drop when under full 100% usage then picks up later, I would clean fan of GPU and reapply a fresh layer of thermal compound on the GPU itself resassemble it and test again. likely overheating up, you can check easily if your run HWINFO in sensor mode and look at GPU temp and see what MAX it hits when your encountering this issue. if over 85'c likely the issue.
 

tomandsarahome

Prominent
Jan 28, 2018
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if the fps drop when under full 100% usage then picks up later, I would clean fan of GPU and reapply a fresh layer of thermal compound on the GPU itself resassemble it and test again. likely overheating up, you can check easily if your run HWINFO in sensor mode and look at GPU temp and see what MAX it hits when your encountering this issue. if over 85'c likely the issue.
Hasn't gone above 71-74c. I dont know what the vrm temps are, but it still doesn't make sense on why it won't use all of its power.
 

tomandsarahome

Prominent
Jan 28, 2018
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Tried doom, it was actually using most of the gpu power. I got 50-60fps at 4k high settings. It had the issue before, but after a system reboot it seemed to have fixed its self.

Windows and nvidia screenshoting bugged out on me, too frustrated dealing with this power issue I just took the photos with my phone... lol

 

TJ Hooker

Illustrious
Herald
  1. Software power measurements generally aren't very accurate.
  2. I don't think 900 series cards will boost beyond the max clock speed you've set (I could be wrong). In which case increasing power limit without increasing frequency isn't going to do anything.
  3. There's no way that card is going to draw 289W no matter what other options you tweak.
If you're having frame rate drops I'd guess it's a result of only having 8GB of RAM and running it in single channel. I'd also look at CPU usage. Look at max usage on any individual core, not overall.
 
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tomandsarahome

Prominent
Jan 28, 2018
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  1. Software power measurements generally aren't very accurate.
  2. I don't think 900 series cards will boost beyond the max clock speed you've set (I could be wrong). In which case increasing power limit without increasing frequency isn't going to do anything.
  3. There's no way that card is going to draw 289W no matter what other options you tweak.
If you're having frame rate drops I'd guess it's a result of only having 8GB of RAM and running it in single channel. I'd also look at CPU usage. Look at max usage on any individual core, not overall.
There's no way? Then how am I able to play Doom maxed out at 4k, and still get above 45fps at all times? I don't think that is anywhere near possible for a bone stock GTX 970, hell even an overclocked one, and if something like my PSU isn't giving enough power to the card, then that can easily be the problem I'm having.

And I couldn't care less if the software isn't 100% accurate. I'm providing this information as I know it's needed to find the problem.

Heres an HWINFO screenshot, and my GPU vbios screenshot to further PROVE my fact that the card DOES indeed draw 280+watts at full load. I bios modded my card, I changed its maximum voltage to 1.3v. I raised its max TDP to 289 watts, it doesn't mean it'll always pull 289 watts, it just means it CAN pull 289 watts at 100% TDP.

View: https://imgur.com/a/0rV9UTs
(HWINFO)
View: https://imgur.com/a/6QhctIZ
(My modified GPU Bios)
View: https://imgur.com/a/I8eHYe2
(GPUZ Screenshot, ASIC, NVIDIA BIOS, Stats)

Take a look at this DOOM video I've done. Look at the GPU temp and GPU Power. The MSI GTX 970, with the stock BIOS will never hit 65c, at least in my case it never hit 65c. (And also, the game IS running at 4k and is maxed out. Check out the second video if you do not believe me.)


This card, with its raised power numbers, will hit 75C or higher because the air cooler isn't able to handle this much power properly. The GPU isn't causing this power issue, it's my PSU. At least I THINK its the PSU.

It's amazing how this forum loves to contradict what you say about your system. And I love the knowledge of the people too, the GTX 970 has been around for years and I am certainly NOT the only one to bios mod them, yet no one knows about it.

If you want my full systems specs, here.
___
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 @ 4.1Ghz
GPU: MSI GAMING GTX 970 @1570mhz 4105mem +Modded 280 Watt 1.3v bios
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Blackline 2x4 DDR3 1600mhz
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3
OS: Windows 10 Pro
SSD: Kingston Digital 256GB KC400
HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 7200 1TB
HDD: Hitachi Deskstar 7200 1TB
PSU: CORSAIR VS Series VS600 600W 80 PLUS White Certified
Case: Corsair Carbide 275R
___
Monitor: BENQ 28" 4k HDR10 FreeSync Gaming Monitor
Keyboard: Redragen Andromeda K558R
Mouse: Razer DeathAdder 2013
Speakers: Genius SP-HF1800a 2.0
 
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