Every gamer's worst nightmare is thermal throttling since it degrades performance while jeopardising your gear. The problem has grown more evident than ever because current-generation GPUs are consuming an increasing amount of power.
However, it's not as difficult as it would seem to avoid thermal throttling. Your GPU might just have enough headroom with a few minor software adjustments and some further dusting to stop throttling and operate at maximum efficiency.
What Is GPU Thermal Throttling?
The clock speeds of modern GPUs' core and memory are extraordinary. The performance of your card will improve as your core and memory clock speeds increase. However, the power usage suffers as a result.
Although the RTX 40-Series cards from Nvidia are rated for anything from 200W to 450W TGP (Total Graphics Power determines how much power a GPU consumes), your GPU will produce a lot of heat in addition to having amazing performance. Your GPU will therefore experience performance limitations once it reaches a certain temperature until it cools off to a tolerable level. In essence, thermal throttling is your GPU's defence mechanism against melting under heavy stress.
As your card levels out at a specific temperature, which varies from GPU to GPU but is normally about 195 Fahrenheit, your GPU clock speeds will eventually decrease.
The general idea behind how GPU thermal throttling affects gaming is that when your card thermal throttles, you run the danger of significantly reduced performance as well as possible GPU damage. It's crucial to remember that thermal throttling isn't always a bad thing. It is essentially the only thing preventing your GPU from igniting.
However, it does affect performance. As you might have guessed, this isn't great for your GPU and in-game framerates. But resolving the problem is also not that difficult.
1. Reduce GPU Load
Reduced GPU load is the easiest solution to GPU thermal throttling. Lower temperatures are the result of your GPU using less power when it isn't working as hard.
There are numerous methods for doing this. The apparent first option is to lower the in-game graphics settings, however depending on how CPU-bound rather than GPU-bound your game is, its efficacy may differ.
Additionally, it makes sense to set an FPS cap. To avoid pushing your GPU to its maximum capacity and producing frames you won't see, you should aim for an FPS that is in line with the refresh rate of your monitor. When it comes to latency, rendering more frames than your monitor can display can be helpful, but you shouldn't overtax your GPU to the point where it could crash.
2. System Maintenance
Your computer's number one foe is dust. If your fan vents are blocked with dust, it doesn't matter if you have a high-end gaming rig or a laptop; your system's thermal system won't be able to draw in as much cool air as it needed to cool down your GPU (or other components), which will result in thermal throttling.
Even if your computer is water-cooled, you probably still have fans operating to move the air around. Cleaning out those fan vents and removing any dust you can is important for maintaining proper airflow throughout your computer, which is important for cooling.
3. Undervolt Your GPU
Undervolting can also be an option if decreasing GPU load and your thermal solution are unsuccessful in preventing your GPU from wanting to melt down. By trying to lower your GPU's power usage while maintaining constant core and memory clock speeds, you are doing the opposite of overclocking.
Fortunately, undervolting is also considerably safer than overclocking, so you're less likely to risk damaging your hardware. Despite this, it will still require some investigation, manual adjusting, and numerous restarts.
Get the Most Out of Your GPU
In order to get the maximum performance out of their graphics cards, gamers must balance power consumption and GPU load as well as make sure their cooling solutions are up to par. It's a necessary procedure, but with a little effort, the performance and longevity advantages are well worth it.