Originally Posted by ledoc
This issue has been notorious for many, many years.
There is no official way to do this, probably because it involves thermal design and therefore the card/laptop manufacturer.
Noone asks nvidia to violate thermal design requirements. If card must
be slowed down due to overheat — no problem, driver can/should ignore those "better control" user constraints.
But when card is not
overheated, driver should follow user request.
After all, there are already user-switchable "maximum performance" mode (GPUPowerMizerMode=1), this feature request is about "intermediate" mode.
People have had various success with tricks like the xorg magic or calling nvidia-settings -q all every 10 seconds or playing a silent sound file permanently in the background or things like that.
The only real way to do this is to flash a modded bios where the frequencies for each level are adapted. Of course such a procedure has it's own risks.
Obviously, both cannot be qualified as solution.