Question What Nvidia power mode should I use when setting a fixed clock speed/voltage using MSI Afterburner?

Dec 22, 2020
My laptop's GTX 1070 died in September of last year...or so I thought. For the past year I tried everything I could find online to make it work but it would still BSOD on every game. I thought my laptop was truly done for. Finally, a few days ago, I found a thread that talked about using the MSI Afterburner Voltage/Frequency curve editor to lock the core clock to its base frequency in order to fix random crashes. I followed the instructions and amazingly my GPU now runs fine! I can even run it at the default boost clock (but not the factory overclock, which seems to cause the crashing).

Anyway, my question: since my GPU is now running at a constant core frequency (and constant voltage, I assume), what power mode should I set in the Nvidia Control Panel? It's currently set to Optimal, which seems to work just fine, but I wonder if I should set it to Maximum Performance instead. It's something I've been wondering about because I'm worried that the GPU won't be getting enough power if I use the wrong power mode. Or maybe since the GPU is running at a constant voltage it's ignoring the power mode setting?

Sorry if my question is poorly written, but I'm not too knowledgeable in this type of stuff. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.


Leave it at optimal, in that mode it will consume less power when just on the internet or watching Netflix for example and then ramp up core and memory clocks when gaming. The most important thing in a "Gaming laptop" is your fan curve as heat is always the biggest issue. An OC will cause more voltage, more heat and therefore eventually causing it to throttle and crash if it gets to hot. OC on a laptop never ends well long term, they are a play a game on the go, have some fun for an hour solution but cannot replace a Desktop PC for real gaming sessions as the heat build-up in the enclosed space of a laptop will in the end cause the hardware to degrade.

The Nvidia powermodes do not limit the power to the GPU as such, just dictate if you want it running full blast ALL the time or let it adapt to whatever it is doing , I have had a few Nvidia cards over the year's :) The amount of power the GPU CAN pull is dictated by the bios and software like MSI afterburner, GPU Tweak etc but not by the powermode in the Nvidia panel.