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7950 PowerPlay downclocking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just used an OSD to monitor my gpu clocks during gaming. My MSI 7950 TF3 will downclock in random areas to 880/1250 from my 1200/1500 oc and then go back up at random times as well. This doesn't happen during benchmarks and it's most assuredly not from heat as my core/vrm temps even with those clocks stay below 54c during games and below 58c during benchmarks. Interestingly enough, it only happens with PowerPlay support on in Afterburner and disabling it does away with the downclocking.

The OSD did display a 0% gpu usage at certain times with PowerPlay off, but I didn't have any issues so it might just be a false read on that. Should I keep PowerPlay off? That would however force the card to run at 1.3v even when it's just idling around on Windows, though with temps being great I'm not entirely sure if it matters or not.

Just tried reverting to 13.4 drivers and that didn't change anything. I tested the clocks in Skyrim and there are certain areas where the gpu will revert to 880/1250 with around 25-28% gpu usage and then jump back up to 1200/1500 when I look at other areas.

I have the power slider in Afterburner set to 20% as well so it can't be that. Another thing to note is that my gpu's default clocks came at 960/1250 and not even 880/1250.
Edited by marmx - 8/20/13 at 5:24pm
post #2 of 9
+20% on the power slider is not enough to support high OCs. I'd recommend disabling PowerTune completely.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

+20% on the power slider is not enough to support high OCs. I'd recommend disabling PowerTune completely.

By PowerTune you mean PowerPlay right? If PowerPlay then wouldn't letting the gpu run at full voltage even when doing nothing such as idling at desktop rapidly degrade it?
Edited by marmx - 8/21/13 at 3:08am
post #4 of 9
Does it actually affect your performance? Because if not, it's working fine, as it should downclock when it's not being pushed enough to utilise the 100%. This will happen with Vsync or framerate caps, but is a good thing (less power usage, no wasted performance)
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmx View Post

By PowerTune you mean PowerPlay right? If PowerPlay then wouldn't letting the gpu run at full voltage even when doing nothing such as idling at desktop rapidly degrade it?

Turn it off and create a 2d profile and a 3d profile in AB. I had to do that to keep them from running at full all the time.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
The only two games I've tested my fps on lately are Skyrim and FF14ARR. With Skyrim being very CPU bound it's hard to say whether the fps drops are due to the gpu downclocking or not. In FF14 I did however get very random frame drops in areas where my friend with a GTX 760 got none, and his processor isn't on par with mine, not to mention my 7950 when overclocked should technically perform better than the 760 (or at least 3dmark11 and other benchmarks think so).

Quick update: It turns out that games that can't utilize even a fraction of my gpu's power are the cause... namely Skyrim where the load stays below 30% and even gets to around 21% at times. I just tested out Witcher 2 and the clocks stayed 100% stable without downclocking at all. Thanks for the help guys.
Edited by marmx - 8/21/13 at 10:30pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmx View Post

By PowerTune you mean PowerPlay right? If PowerPlay then wouldn't letting the gpu run at full voltage even when doing nothing such as idling at desktop rapidly degrade it?

No, I mean PowerTune. PowerPlay is related, but not the same. PowerTune controls the TDP limiter. PowerPlay controls 2D/3D power states.

Personally, I disable all of it. All of my GPUs always run at full clock speed, full voltage, and never throttle from a TDP or thermal limiter. If temperatures are properly managed and overclocking/overvolting are conservative, most GPUs will handle being run like this 24/7 for several years.

Anyway, if you are overclocking/overvolting to an appreciable degree, heavy loads will exceed TDP +20% and throttling will occur as long as PowerTune is enabled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmx View Post

The only two games I've tested my fps on lately are Skyrim and FF14ARR. With Skyrim being very CPU bound it's hard to say whether the fps drops are due to the gpu downclocking or not.

So log your GPU clock speeds while you play. If it ever dips below whatever 3D performance clock you have set, you are being throttled.
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Disabling PowerTune would be simply putting it back to 0% then or is it something else to disable PowerTune?
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmx View Post

Disabling PowerTune would be simply putting it back to 0% then or is it something else to disable PowerTune?

Normally it cannot be disabled without 3rd party utilities and/or modified drivers.

Setting the unofficial OCing mode in MSI AB to 2 should do the trick.
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