Your graphics card can be much more efficient without losing FPS. The trick is in the “undervolting”

Dedicated graphics cards are essential to enjoy video games at good resolutions and frame rates per second, but we can still use them better. This is what some users suggest, revealing how it is possible to reduce its consumption without losing performance. For this, the so-called ‘undervolting’ is applied, a reverse process to the much better known ‘overclocking’. Pay attention, because the idea makes sense and also offers other interesting surprises.

What is undervolting. This process consists of finding the ideal clock frequency for our graphics card and reducing the applied voltage as much as possible. All graphics cards that are manufactured have a performance profile that is stored in the BIOS of the graphics card. That curve specifies how all clock rates are assigned a certain specific voltage. The problem is that these values ​​are not adjusted for each GPU, and it is possible to “calibrate” them for ourselves so that the performance profile is optimal.

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what we achieved. The direct consequence of undervolting is to reduce the consumption of graphics cards. Taking into account that these components are especially gluttonous for watts – an RTX 3080 can consume about 350 W – the savings can be significant, and that will end up being noticed even in our electricity bill. There are several tools that allow this process to be carried out on both AMD and NVIDIA graphics, and basically the process consists of trial and error: you change the parameters, test performance and fine-tune until you find your ideal configuration.

The red line shows FPS without undervolting in the Final Fantasy XV benchmark. The green line shows the performance with undervolting: as can be seen, there is no apparent loss, and we are saving consumption. Source: Gamerstar.

you will play just as well. That we reduce consumption does not have to mean that we lose performance. This poor factory calibration makes it possible to adjust the clock frequency and voltage so that we do not lose FPS when playing and we can continue to enjoy the same level of detail and resolution without compromising fluidity.

Less heating and above all less noise. By reducing consumption and fine-tuning the behavior of our GPU we gain two other important advantages. The first, that the graphics card heats up less and therefore the cooling of the equipment will not have as much work. And directly related to this, those cooling systems will no longer generate as much noise, so we will have quieter equipment during our gaming sessions.

Overclocking (probably) doesn’t pay off. The undervolting technique is essentially the opposite of overclocking, which is used so much in both processors and graphics cards. Forcing the components is interesting for some users, but the gains are usually limited and the cost – in consumption, noise or investment in cooling – compensates the true enthusiasts in this area. For many, the performance improvement —normally 1 or 2%— is debatable, although it can certainly be interesting for gamers who want to get the most out of their equipment.

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