GTX 980 not boosting in low usage scenarios or causes stuttering from downclocking

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Section' started by MrBonk, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    I am having an issue trying to get just my card stock figured out.

    In low usage scenarios the card won't stay boosted or boost AT ALL, the voltage drops or whatever and I am getting stuttering where there shouldn't be!

    For example> Valkyria Chronicles, 1080p+8xSGSSAA@30FPS cap+ 1/2 Refresh lock will boost some of the time with GPU usage averaging between 40-50% with ~1.8GB VRAM usage. However during pre-battle scenarios where characters chat via boxes with 3D rendering when moving characters around or switching between characters it causes MASSIVE frametime spikes with visible stuttering and full on stops for about a quarter second or so.

    Remove the Anti Aliasing, and the card doesn't boost. PERIOD. Stays at 1177 @ 1.062v, no stuttering.

    At 1280x720 with the same Vsync+AA settings, the card again doesn't boost AT ALL and has the same stuttering problems and uses about 30% GPU


    In the Dragon Quest X benchmark for example, at both 720p & 1080p 0 boosting at 720p, very little if any at 1080p with ridiculously LOW GPU usage. Resulting in low framerates and stuttering.


    I have the same issue with the Resident Evil 6 Benchmark.

    Also Monster Hunter Online Benchmark

    This is obviously with the card set to "Prefer max performance"
    and obscenely low temps by my standards (Less than 50c max)

    What do I have to do to get it to stay boosted in low usage scenarios?:bang::bang:

    What's the point having a more powerful card that can beast any AA in DX9 games with low GPU usage but can't stay boosted or causes stuttering?


    Even my old GTX 570 at 1280x720 with the above Valkyria Chronicles AA settings (&HBAO+) ran 100% stable with no stuttering problems.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  2. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    It is a problem with 970s and 980s, maybe 960s also.

    I see you found the thread at Nvidia's forum about this.

    Its basically as you described, DX9 games where the GPU usage swings around massively, both clock speeds and voltage and with it obvious stutter.

    For me I flashed Zoson modified BIOS and it pretty much fixed it, although it makes me a happy camper some may not want to fool around with their cards BIOS.

    The higher you overclock the card the more apparent it becomes, but others have noticed it happens to factory overclocked cards also and some even stock cards.

    Grim Dawn was the game that I saw it at its worst.
     
  3. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    The cards aren't designed to run at their "boost" clocks just for the sake of doing so.
     
  4. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    It has nothing to do with the cards running at their boost clocks, if they actually did run at their boost clocks all the time this problem wouldn't even exist.

    It is from DX9 games where GPU utilization goes from being very low to very high and everything in between. Where voltage swings between 0.85v to 1.265v (GTX970 has lower top voltage) and everything in between and clocks swing around with it. The higher you overclock the more apparent it becomes.

    It doesn't happen in all DX9 games, but games where GPU usage goes from light to heavy.

    I wish I had taken pics with AB showing this on stock BIOS, I have pics of it with Zoson BIOS, although it shows it still happening it is no where near as bad as on stock BIOS and barely perceptible in game with the modded BIOS.
     

  5. alexrose1uk

    alexrose1uk Active Member

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    Sounds to me like Nvidia playing the 'power draw' game. We've all seen the feedback that these cards have a lot of voltage draw spikes, and when fully pressed, they really don't maintain much of a draw reduction compared to AMDs cards.

    By reducing voltage and clocks as much as possible, they can make it appear their cards are much more energy efficient, which isn't perhaps entirely true, even if its to the detriment of the users :(

    The fact they spike so high at times wasnt even noticed until people looked at the power draw at very high granularity, because it didn't show up on the averages. Sneaky.If they stopped this behaviour, I bet the average power draw figures wouldn't look so rosey, but the end user would have a better experience. One more reason why users of these cards are sometimes noticing more stutters and issues than thier avg framerate would belie, beyond the massive fall out of the VRAM issue!

    Sad times :(
    I like like Nvidia cards and have owned them before, but this sort of stuff doesn't make me feel amazingly inclined to revert...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  6. GeniusPr0

    GeniusPr0 Maha Guru

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    Pretty much

    Would you like a GK110 at 1.4v in the 1400Mhz region? All it will take is 500W on the 12v line (JUST FOR THE CARD)!

    Would you like two overclocked 980M cards with a desktop processor?

    ~700W there too.

    nVIDIA misleads about power consumption.
     
  7. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Please guys keep this about the topic at hand.

    I get the power savings thing, for me personally I could care less, but I get it.
     
  8. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    I still don't get the fascination with power draw that some people have developed. It was a non-issue when NVidia's cards were king of excessive power consumption....but now that things have gone the other way, it's getting passed off as such a huge deal. So, why does power consumption only matter when AMD's products are the ones drawing more?


    The "boost" feature was supposed to be an "as needed" thing. Where the card would "boost" when TDP overhead existed and additional processing power was needed. It's not supposed to happen with low GPU usage because the "boost" won't provide a noticeable benefit in low utilization scenarios.
     
  9. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Ancient Guru

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    This is nothing new 6xx and 7xx series did it too, they just weren't as fast unless you had 78x + models .

    Once you get below 50% usage it is designed to down-clock, as far as drivers and card , you shouldn't need boost .
    So what to do when your game doesn't need all power of boost usage, you have to play with setting so load of GPU is enough .

    Either remove caps, raise caps mess with Vsync, if used, add 4x+ AA , things like that so that usage doesn't go way down .
    I had this issue even on 660ti , just depends on game and setting .
     
  10. dreamss

    dreamss Banned

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    yeah the bios limiters are way to restricted, on my 680s i flashed it into 770 and edited the bios to remove ANY limiter including 12v power consuption, tempeture, and upped the min/max boost range

    gained better stability since the clocks dont jump up and down as much, more stable framerates and both cards match their clocks since before they autoboost ith a 20hz difference

    heh
    [​IMG]
     

  11. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Yes this is basically what Zoson BIOS does, he pretty much edited the entire voltage table in his modded BIOS'.

    On my 670 I never really noticed the drop outs while playing, on graphs they were there, the 980 is more aggressive and the hitching can be noticed.

    But ya a modded BIOS worked great.
     
  12. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Here's another poor scenario. The original Final Fantasy XIV benchmark, GPU usage tops out at 50% at highest, power usage tops out at 57%. And I only get a score of 1000 points more than what I could get with my 570

    at 1080p GPU usage improves, but only marginally and I get literally the exact same score of ~7700. Power usage tops out at 80 but only for a few seconds here and there.


    I suppose maybe i'll try OC'ing or maybe modding the bios like others have mentioned.


    Pretty disappointing coming from a 570.


    3DMark06 is pretty lame as well http://i4.minus.com/iboFk7fjS7hhda.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  13. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    ^
    FFXIV is cpu bottleneck @ low 720p reso or even @ 1080p, you will need faster cpu for that or similar benchmarks.

    Re5, Lp2, X3TC bench, Re6 a little by zombie horde towards the end of scene1, Hitman A or similar cpu bound game.



    btw mine downclocks like that too, e.g. AVP2010 @ vsync goes to base 954mhz but it doesnt stutter while doing it though.. Eg. 1.13 to 1.162v jumps with gpu freq. 954 to 1097mhz at factory OC..


    Older dx9 games mostly run @ base 954mhz, expect if I put massive amounts of MSAA and DSR or if I uncap fps.



    You could also try evga Kboost to see if it also caps @ max boost all the time.


    EDIT: or its own GPU tweak and raise powerlimit and loadline to 100%
    http://www.asus.com/us/Graphics_Cards/STRIXGTX980DC2OC4GD5/HelpDesk_Download/

    [​IMG]
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/01/19/asus_rog_gtx_980_matrix_platinum_video_card_review/3

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/12/29/asus_gtx_980_strix_dc_ii_oc_video_card_review/3
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  14. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    I've got GPUTweak but I don't have a loadline option. [​IMG]

    Unengine valley is repoting interesting results. It's detected GPU clocks are different than what Afterburner detects... http://i4.minus.com/ibmR90Bs0J7gZN.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  15. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    Right my bad, I saw later its Matrix specific..


    Yeah Vally/Heaven reports max boost clock in bios, not current boost.
     

  16. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Ah. Also, in Valley Bench, at 1080p I get the exact same framerates pretty much at low and ultra.

    Is that also normal? My 570 would always be pegged at 100% GPU usage like it should be.
     
  17. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    Prefer max performance in benchmark profile?
    btw keep global at adaptive.

    Also try 2 frames to render ahead instead of app controlled.


    Other then that idk, another cpu bound scenario, do you have HT on or off?



    What about Metro2033 & LL benchmarks or FFXIV - reborn benchmark?


    EDIT:also try higher "power target %", from 100 to at least 110%.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  18. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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    Setting my power target to 125% seems to help keep it from downclocking in some situations. (like the Resident Evil 6 benchmark)It doesn't help out some stuff like the Dragon Quest X benchmark though for example.
    http://i2.minus.com/iPR9ocpOoAc3X.png

    I had tried the FFXIV ARR benchmark and it seemingly wasn't doing so well but then I later realized I still had my 60FPS cap set. Remove that it and it seems to do better at 1080p though still has many moments of low GPU usage, at 720p it suffers low GPU usage even more so
    http://i5.minus.com/im1v9VQBQ1Edu.png
    http://i1.minus.com/iXdljRcpfHsKf.png


    I still cannot get it NOT to stutter (during conversations. I'll try taking a video or two) in Valkyria Chronicles at 1080p with 8xSGSSAA even though it is only using less than half the GPU. I tried using different pre-rendering settings all the way up to 8(Which causes boost clocks to suffer).
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  19. MrBonk

    MrBonk Ancient Guru

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  20. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    The graphs below on a modded BIOS show a couple minutes of Grim Dawn. Even with a modded BIOS the clocks and voltage swing around with noticeable stutter in game. On stock BIOS it was much more dramatic, I had pics of it can't find them.

    It seems to happen only in DX9 and only with games that go from low GPU usage to mid/high and back and forth. Frametimes are also jumpy like you noticed.

    The higher you overclock the greater the magnitude of the swings, especially on stock BIOS.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015

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