Importance of GPU Power Limit: Understanding the Graphics Processing Unit

what is the gpu power limit

The GPU power limit is a very important part of GPU architecture. It is also known as the GPU clock speed limit or GPU voltage limit, and it sets an upper bound on the amount of power that can be drawn from the graphics processing unit (GPU) by overclocking. This article will explain how to set your GPU’s power limit and its significance. It will help educate us on what GPU Power Limit is and how you can optimize it so it can prevent GPU overheating and other problems.

What is the GPU Power Limit?

What is the GPU Power Limit

GPU power limit is the GPU’s maximum amount of continuous power draw. It can be set by overclocking and setting GPU voltage/power limits, or it can also be restricted in software such as with geforce experience utility settings so that you don’t exceed your GPU’s safe operating temperature (Tjunction).

Many developers & gaming enthusiasts work on setting the GPU power limit from geForce experience settings because many present GPU models are unable to deliver the required performance. Modern day games are quite GPU intensive and the normal GPU power limits aren’t able to sustain the required performance. Therefore, GPU power limit overclocking becomes necessary.

How to check your GPU power limit with GeForce Experience?

To check your GPU’s power limit, you can either:

  • Use geforce experience to check the GPU’s power limit.
  • Check your GPU voltage in a program such as precision x or afterburner and find out what limits are set at default. If you want to change settings, then simply go into programs like geforce experience and adjust accordingly.

In our case, we will educate you on how you can check your GPU’s power unit using the GeForce experience utility.

check your GPU's power unit

Step One: Open Geforce Experience.

  • Click “settings” in the top left corner and then click on GPU power settings under overclocking section.
  • Make sure you are using a desktop GPU, not laptop GPU or mobile GPU, as it will provide different values than an integrated graphics card (igp).

Step Two: Find GPU Power Limit.

  • Select the GPU you want to check and click on “Max GPU clock” in geforce experience’s settings submenu under overclocking section. This will show your current max GPU speed or your GPU Power Limit. The default is 120% for most GPUs.

Now that you know the GPU power limit, let’s talk about what GPU voltage is and how it affects our GPU.

What is GPU Voltage & How It Affects Our GPU?

What is GPU Voltage & How It Affects Our GPU

GPU Voltage (or VDD) sets an upper bound on the amount of current drawn from the graphics processing unit. Traditionally, this value was set at a fixed level with no way to adjust it. In recent GPU generations geforce experience allows us to set GPU power limit in increments of 25mv or 50mv for GPU voltage.

In the past, GPU Power Limit was always limited by its own clock speed and there was no way around it. However now with geforce experience we can adjust our GPU power limit by GPU voltage. But how does it work?

GPU Voltage can be thought of as the GPU’s fuel gauge and is analogous to a car engine’s RPM (revolutions per minute). Just like every car needs gasoline in order for the engine to run, our GPU also requires GPU voltage that fuels its clock speed.

GPU Voltage sets an upper bound on the amount of GPU power you can draw from the GPU. If there is too much GPU voltage, then it will cause GPU overheating and other issues which could lead to a GPU meltdown (when your computer shuts down). Therefore, overclocking with GPU Power Limit isn’t something recommended.

Tips to Lower GPU Power Limit Without Affecting Performance

Lower GPU Power Limit

Since, we now know that it’s not safe to tweak around the GPU power limit to increase/decrease your GPU’s performance, here are some ways you can still optimize your GPU for performance without risking its internal mechanisms.

  • Adjust GPU voltage to a lower value. The default GPU voltage is 120% for most GPUs, but you can change this by using geforce experience settings under overclocking section or programs such as precision x and afterburner (another program used for GPU tweaking).
  • Reduce your GPU’s core clock speed limit. This can also be done by geforce experience or with precision x and afterburner.
  • Change your monitor’s resolution to a lower one such as 1920×1080 instead of 2560×1440
  • Limit GPU usage to one GPU instead of two. This can be done by disabling crossfire or SLI in geForce experience settings under GPU power management section as well as programs such as precision x and afterburner.
  • Tuning some of the global settings will not only help your GPU to last longer, but it will also have a better performance.

Concluding Thoughts

Knowing the gpu power limit and gpu voltage is very important for gamers. Understanding these values allows us to have better control over our gpu’s performance without risking anything in the process.

If you are interested in learning more about GPU and overclocking, checkout more of our blogs and learn how to optimize your GPU for performance.

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