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Old 04-05-10, 07:41 AM   #1
snookerzysta
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Default Performation levels

Hello,
Is it possible to have my card run on the lowest performance level all the time?
In nvidia-settings I can chose "prefer maximum performance" preferred mode, so my card runs at highest performance level all the time, so I thought it could be possible to make the opposite.
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Old 04-05-10, 08:07 AM   #2
puntarenas
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Default Re: Performation levels

You can force perfomance levels in /etx/X11/xorg.conf:
Code:
Section "Device"
...
Option  "Coolbits" "1"
Option  "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x2222; PowerMizerLevel=0x3; PowerMizerDefault=0x3; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x3"
...
EndSection
nVidia PowerMizer powersaving/cooling in Linux

Works for me with my GTX 280.
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Old 04-05-10, 12:39 PM   #3
snookerzysta
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by puntarenas View Post
You can force perfomance levels in /etx/X11/xorg.conf:
Code:
Section "Device"
...
Option  "Coolbits" "1"
Option  "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x2222; PowerMizerLevel=0x3; PowerMizerDefault=0x3; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x3"
...
EndSection
nVidia PowerMizer powersaving/cooling in Linux

Works for me with my GTX 280.
Yeah, I've tried that. But after I add that options, performance level would stay at maximum.
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Old 04-05-10, 01:13 PM   #4
ledoc
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Default Re: Performation levels

You might be able to downclock the card in nvidia-settings. Not exactly the same thing, but better than nothing...
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Old 04-05-10, 01:25 PM   #5
puntarenas
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by snookerzysta View Post
Yeah, I've tried that. But after I add that options, performance level would stay at maximum.
I've tried it again and it does not work for me either under Fedora 11 with 190.53. Last time I tried was under Fedora 13 Alpha with 195.36.08:



Sorry
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Old 04-06-10, 09:36 PM   #6
AaronP
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Default Re: Performation levels

nvidia-settings does not provide a "prefer minimum performance level" option because there are some cases where the driver needs to increase the performance level beyond the minimum, for example if you are using multiple screens or if VDPAU is running.

We do plan to provide a "prefer minimum" option at some point in the future, but I can't make any promises as to when that might be.

Using the "RegistryDwords" option is not recommended.
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Old 04-07-10, 06:56 AM   #7
Dragoran
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Default Re: Performation levels

Besides adaptive is from a power saving POV better than "always lowest clocks".
When nothing is to do the GPU (or CPU) consumes the minimum amount of power, when there is actual work to do it is better to do it as quick as possible to get back to the low power state, when forcing the clock to minimum it will just spend more time doing this work which results into an overall power consumption increase. (HUGI - "hurry up and get idle").
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Old 04-07-10, 07:26 AM   #8
puntarenas
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoran View Post
[...] when forcing the clock to minimum it will just spend more time doing this work which results into an overall power consumption increase.
Your statement might be true if just clock rates were changed., but I fear you didn't take voltages into account and that power consumption of graphic cards doesn't reduce to zero while they idle.

Adaptive power saving might give decent results while still granting maximum performance whenever you need it and Nvidia worked on optimizing the "hurry up and get idle" thing in their drivers, but for maximum power saving it is still the best to force the card into the lowest performance level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
We do plan to provide a "prefer minimum" option at some point in the future, but I can't make any promises as to when that might be.
I'm glad to hear that, make it a "force minimum" option and I for one would be completely satisfied.
Quote:
Using the "RegistryDwords" option is not recommended.
...and therefore is not officially supported, fair enough.
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Old 04-07-10, 09:09 AM   #9
Dragoran
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by puntarenas View Post
Your statement might be true if just clock rates were changed., but I fear you didn't take voltages into account and that power consumption of graphic cards doesn't reduce to zero while they idle.
Adaptive power saving might give decent results while still granting maximum performance whenever you need it and Nvidia worked on optimizing the "hurry up and get idle" thing in their drivers, but for maximum power saving it is still the best to force the card into the lowest performance level.
First yes voltage adjustments are taken into account here and I didn't say zero I say lowest ... i.e. it is the state where it consumes the minimum amount of power. (not that it is much different from zero vs non zero though).

So no you are wrong.

I don't have numbers for GPUs here but there are measurements for the exact same situation for CPUs that do show the difference. (And yes CPUs do voltage adjustments and have an non zero power consumption when idle).
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Old 04-08-10, 11:03 PM   #10
shaundennie
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoran View Post
First yes voltage adjustments are taken into account here and I didn't say zero I say lowest ... i.e. it is the state where it consumes the minimum amount of power. (not that it is much different from zero vs non zero though).

So no you are wrong.

I don't have numbers for GPUs here but there are measurements for the exact same situation for CPUs that do show the difference. (And yes CPUs do voltage adjustments and have an non zero power consumption when idle).
I think what puntarenas is getting at is that (as far as I know), nvidia cards don't have the equivalent of CPU C-states. Race to idle functionality is only feasible if you have a very low powered idle state. If the nvidia chips did have a very low powered idle state, I would assume the threshold for upclocking the GPU to maxium power would be much lower and the transition back to lowest power would be measured in milliseconds and not tens of seconds. The behavior of the nvidia drivers seems to indicate that they only have the equivalent of P-states though (where it makes sense to be very conservative about clock frequency changes).
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Old 04-10-10, 03:55 AM   #11
puntarenas
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Default Re: Performation levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaundennie View Post
I think what puntarenas is getting at is that (as far as I know), nvidia cards don't have the equivalent of CPU C-states. Race to idle functionality is only feasible if you have a very low powered idle state.
Thank you, sometimes it's hard for me to express myself in English and I'm just missing the point.

Another difference between CPU and GPU computing (except GPGPU of course) is, that GPUs work like "render and forget". Given my display with 60Hz refresh rate, it makes absolutely no difference for me if the GPU renders 100fps at the lowest performance level or 1000fps at maximum clock rates and voltages, just 60 frames will come to my eye. It will however make a difference in power consumption.

Vsync would help here, but even if it wouldn't suck with current Compiz and video playback, as long as it takes "ages" for GPUs to to switch back to their lowest performance level - leave alone deep sleep states like CPU C-states - adaptive power management won't always be the best solution. I still believe, if I want minimal power consumtion I have to force my GPU into the lowest performance level. Of course I am aware that Nvidia isn't to blame when I might hit preformance regressions here and then.

@snookerzysta
Would you (or a friendly mod) mind renaming this thread. Google (and of course Bing...) as well as the forum search might love "Force performance level" instead of Performation!
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