Undervolting 980m methods?

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by Trance003, May 31, 2020.

  1. Trance003

    Trance003 Notebook Guru

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    Hi everyone.

    So I've been doing lots of research on this topic but I fail to formulate any conclusive actions to do the undervolt. So far I know that there are a couple of methods for that:
    1. Prema vBIOS flash + Maxwell II BIOS Tweaker. (The least I understand especially the part on flashing)
    2. MSI Afterburner. (Seems to not work for me since the options are greyed out even with "Unlock voltage control" box checked.
    3. ASUS GPU Tweak II. (Is this even reliable?)
    4. NvidiaInspector. (A bit more complicated with the command lines)

    So my question goes, being a complete nubcake, how do I safely undervolt the GPU by 50mV-ish to lower its temperature? I'm more risk-averse so I would avoid tempering with the BIOS if possible. If not, I would be more than happy to learn from the Old Guards in this forum to guide me (or hand-held) in this journey to lower voltage + temperature. :p

    Laptop specs:
    -Gigabyte P35x v5 (Hardware specs in signature)
    -GPU BIOS version: 84.04.87.00.01
    -Currently GPU running stock clock, memory and voltages.

    --Background on what I've done to manage temperatures--
    I've already done repaste and it managed to drop CPU temperatures while playing Gloria Victis on medium settings from 98°C to 95°C. I then manipulated the CPU multiplier via ThrottleStop to effectively use lower freq level from 3.1 Ghz to 2.8Ghz with minimal to no loss in FPS and a drop of temperature to an absolute max of 93°C CPU temp under full load while GPU temp stands at 88°C max as well.

    I'm trying to find ways to cool the laptop while in the meantime, browsing for my next gaming laptop with the best thermal solution/management. Looking at AORUS 15 or AfterShock models.
     
  2. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    Prema's 980m vBIOS fully disables the power limit and boost voltage scaling, so it'll run 1.062V all the time when gaming. Stock vBIOS will have higher power efficiency since card will downvolt as it downclocks as well. You can use Maxwell II Bios editor to offset the boost table to run higher clocks along the whole boost voltage range to bypass the 135 MHz clock limit, also effectively undervolting the card for the same frequency. Lowering the temperature limit with Maxwell II BIOS Tweaker should work too. Default on stock vBIOS is a ridiculous 102C. Raising power limit will also work with the editor.
     
  3. Trance003

    Trance003 Notebook Guru

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    @Khenglish
    You mean to tell me that the undervolt can be done even without flashing Prema's vBIOS and straight-up edits on Maxwell II Bios Editor? If so, can you walk me through the steps to undervolt via the software?
     
  4. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    You can't directly undervolt. What you can do is apply offsets to the boost clocks, and the card will run minimal clocks to reach vsync or whatever your frame rate target is. When the boost offset is higher, the card can use a lower voltage.

    Prema's vbios has the 135 MHz cap on boost clock increase removed, but his vbios also locks the card to never downvolt. To get the benefits of higher boost offset for lower voltage, you need to modify the boost table in vbios.
     
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  5. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Deity

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    If your trying to lower temps it's more effective to apply new thermal compound. I personally would not go through all this trouble to drop temperatures by 2c
     
  6. Trance003

    Trance003 Notebook Guru

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    @Khenglish
    I see. So to recap, stock vBIOS will undervolt accordingly if I downclock the Core and/or Memory frequency?

    And to effectively undervolt the card, the best way to achieve that is by the modification of boost tables? In that sense, the power limit ceiling is decreased while the card's frequencies are 'overclocked'. Am I getting this right?

    Also, do you have any definitive guide that's nub-friendly for the purpose of 'undervolting' Maxwell GPUs? I have trouble seeing that people say Prema's vBIOS only works with certain mobos from certain manufacturers ie. Clevo.
    In that sense, will Prema's impose negative effects to my Gigabyte laptop mobo? I have done similar flashing with my old GTX 580m in M18x AW in the past and it resulted in a really bad, jonky voltage jumps and slumps seeing that the BIOS is optimised for Clevo mobos. The AW mobo might even be close to frying if I'm not mistaken; idle temps close to 70°C.


    @JRE84
    I have already done applying new thermal paste as mentioned in the first post. I'm just looking for additional solutions for this issue while I'm browsing for the next gaming laptop that has great thermal solutions/management and won't give a hard time to temper with voltages, clocks etc.

    Do you have firsthand experience with Maxwell GPU undervolting? If you have, care to chip in your advice(s)?
     
  7. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    No, setting underclocks can actually make the card use more power.

    Let's say running something at 60 Hz requires the core to run at 1 GHz. Lets say by default the boost entry for 1 GHz is .9V. If you set a 150 MHz boost offset, now .9V is 1.15 GHz, and .85V is now 1 GHz. The card will now run a lower voltage for 1 GHz.

    If you are not able to meet a target frame rate, then the card runs as fast as it can under the power limit, which will be faster with an overclock set. In general a 980m without bios mods always runs at the power limit if not frame capped. In this case the card always draws the same amount of power, even if you underclock or overclock.

    The only scenario where the card will draw more power overclocked is with no frame limit, cpu limit, or power limit. This is a rare scenario unless you run Prema's vbios.
     
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  8. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Deity

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    ive never had to undervolt gpu except for a 260m and it basically did nothing// did you try liquid metal
     
  9. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOKs Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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  10. Trance003

    Trance003 Notebook Guru

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    @Khenglish
    I see. So by going with your example, if I were to downclock said GPU core clock offset by -135mV (maximum for stock bios under/overclock range), it'll still use 0.9V for 865MHz thus making it more 'expensive' voltage-wise with no added benefit (since we're effectively getting lower clock speed/freq for the same voltage)?

    In this light, it would be better to set it to stock clock for unmodded vBIOS? Sounds like I'm stuck with just my current setup if this were to be the case. Modding vBIOS is a bit too risky for me as I still need my laptop functioning for work.

    I've also tried raising/"overclock" P8, P5 and P1 core and memory clocks to very loosely mimic all the tutorials out there about undervolting GPUs with MSI AB. What I did is to increase core in the range of 100-300MHz and memory clocks in the range of 100-200MHz thereby "flattening the curve" for higher power states (read: voltages) as how it's done in MSI AB tutorials in YouTube.
    So far it has helped to reduce 1°C (now max GPU temp is 87°C) but that's also too little for me since it's still close to the thermal limit of 88°C for my GPU. Maybe that's just a coincidence and placebo?

    That said, do you know any way at all to force p-state for GTX 980m? I'm more than happy to slightly gimp the GPU for this. Anyhow, know anywhere I can download Nvidia Powermizer Tool? Google didn't return any reliable results.


    @JRE84
    I haven't, no. I just used Arctic Ceramique 2 for pastes. I think it does the job but not good enough. Aftermarket pastes usually lasts waay shorter than a factory paste at least that's in my experience. Which is why I'm looking to reduce temperatures through softwares/firmwares until I get myself a new gaming laptop.
     
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