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Dual-display and downclocking question-experts come in

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
When two displays are connected to a graphics card, the card will not downclock when idling. Nvidia gives this explanation:-

Quote:
GPU Runs at a High Performance Level (full clock speeds) in
Multi-display Modes


This is a hardware limitation and not a software bug. Even when no 3D programs are
running, the driver will operate the GPU at a high performance level in order to
efficiently drive multiple displays.

When multiple displays are connected and active, the GPU will always operate with full
clock speeds in order to efficiently drive multiple displays. Today, all hardware from all
GPU vendors have this limitation.
Can anyone further elaborate?
What does 'efficiently drive' mean?
How does this differ from driving a single display?


I am asking this because there are ways to bypass this 'non-downclocking'. Nvidia obviously has the resources and knows how to adjust their driver if they really want to stop this non-downclocking. But they choose not to in order to achieve 'efficiency'.

So, if an end user works around to force downclocking (eg see link below), the end user is essentially trading 'efficiency' for the benefit of a lower idling temperature. And, oddly enough, the lowering of temp is, IMHO, another kind of efficiency, in the sense of energy saving.

So, I am trying to understand the pros and cons of each. At this moment, I tend to err on the side of Nvidia, trusting their decision is a better/wiser one.

So, what do you think?

http://www.overclock.net/nvidia/9643...cking-fix.html
post #2 of 3
Personally I would much prefer my GPUs to downclock. I use 2 BenQ XL2410Ts on my GTX 590, so it's constantly at 630MHz (currently stock clocks due to the latest BF3 drivers). My idle temp on Core #1 is ~56c, while Core #2 is ~40c. My understanding is that if you use 3 monitors, rather than 2, then the cards will effectively downclock?

Either way, I'd rather they ran idle when I'm not gaming. I don't need, nor care, about 'efficiency' when I'm not playing a game, as lets be honest - for most of us, when we don't game we use the machines to watch movies, browse the web or listen to music, which I'm sure doesn't require 580MHz of GPU power.

I tried using NVIDIA Inspector to force the pstate of my 590 to idle but it didn't work, so I had to leave it.
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My System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[i7 2600k - 5.XGHz @ X.XXv] [ASUS P8P67 Pro B3] [2x MSI 7970s in Crossfire @ 1125/1650] [8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2x4GB] 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
[2TB Hitachi] [Crucial M4 SSD 64GB] [Antec Kuhler H20 920] [Lian-Li BZ BZ-502B] 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
[G.Skill Turbulence II RAM Cooler] [Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit] [2x BenQ XL2410T @ 120Hz] [Razer Lycosa] 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
[Corsair AX1200] [Silverstone Raven RV02-EW] [Razer DeathAdder] [Razer Goliathus] 
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post #3 of 3
I'm saving 55W by downclocking, and after setting up the Multi Display Power Saver, I haven't had any video lagg in anything.
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