Underclocking GPUs

Flumble

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I read in a very old topic, someone stated underclocking by too much may harm your graphics card as much as overclocking it.
As you may have figured out, my question is: does this imply to modern GPUs as well? If so, what ammount of underclocking is safe?

Currently, I have underclocked my Geforce 9600GT (stock 740/1850/1000MHz core, shader and memory clocks*) to 150/375/200MHz (unless the voltages change automaticly, those have remained the same).
Apparently the PC is running stable (it hasn't crashed or whatsoever :p), though, I have no idea whether I'm blowing the card to smithereens by accident.

Thanks in advance,
Frank


*Yup, it's the Alpha Dog edition
 

Flumble

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....and the point is?
As you may have figured out, my question is: does this imply to modern GPUs as well? If so, what ammount of underclocking is safe?
So, whether this underclocking hurts my GPU or not. (And if it does, what clock speeds are safe?)

 

Flumble

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Good with what? A stressing tool only figures out if the hardware survives running, not if it's slowly dying a painful death. (although, with OC'ing it can tell you if your hardware is stumbling along its path) Though, yes, it survives the torturing of 3DMark ('06, as I'm using winXP).


It's almost one third of my life :p. (that, and considering about 30 topics arise every day)
Anyways, I thought a lot of architecture modifications have happened in the last years, so I thought maybe the problem doesn't apply to the G94 chip (and newer chips).
 

uncfan_2563

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lol it IS a third of my life!

on topic: I think you should just handle it like overclocking if you're worried about it. Just lower ur clock speeds slowly and see if there are any artifacts. I don't think you need to be worried about it, and i also don't understand why you want to underclock anyways? I don't think it'll save THAT much power.
 

Flumble

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It's not really the power consumption that bothers me, it's more the heat coming from my card (resulting in fan noise): like when playing a game that doesn't have a frame limiter, the GPU doesn't want to sit ducks and processes far more frames than nessecary (e.g. 100fps instead of 50fps). With underclocking I can 'manage' the fps, so to speak. The resulting temperature drop then allows the GPU fan (sounds like a jet engine at full speed) to slow down, so I can hear more than only a fan. :p


I'm not worried about my PC crashing (150/375/200MHz is slow enough already :sarcastic:); I'm worried about my GPU's lifetime.

[edit]
I've also been checking for artifacts (with ATITool) and, yup, it's stable. :) (That is, the execution of code is successful - it doesn't immediately mean it's good for the card (Like OC'ing can be stable, but still shortening the lifetime))
 

uncfan_2563

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hmm i dont think it will matter if you're somewhat interested in gpu's. By the time it dies it'll be old tech and you probably would have a new card if you care about ur hardware. If you don't think you'll upgrade for a while, you might want to research how much it shortens the cards life.
 

Flumble

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And that's why I ended up here ;), because a few people on this forum tend to have knowledge of this (Vapor for certain, be it he last posted on 07/07/'07).
 
The long term effects of underclocking a video card are unproven by anyone. And with the rate that GPU technology changes I doubt it would even be practical to do a study. So with that said running a 3dmark loop is the only option you have. If the GPU survives the loop while remaining fully functional then "theoretically" it should have no reason to fail. Which is the same theory that's worked well for OC'ed video cards.
 

Flumble

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Fair enough. Then I'll just be one of the few testing it. :p
 

505090

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under-clocking your video card will not do any damage. just as it won't hurt your speakers if you don't play them at max volume. Just leave the voltage alone.