Windows Advice Needed | What Is The Max Temperature A dGPU Can Be “Safely” Used At?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by MRxROBOT, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    #1
    What Is The Max Temperature A dGPU Can Be “Safely” Used At?

    I have the 2015 15" with AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2GB GDDR5

    I understand that the GPU throttles itself when it "needs" to but I find that it is a bit overzealous in it's application.

    Inevitably I'll get some responses telling me to build a dedicated gaming rig or build an eGPU and I agree that that's the best way to get the best gaming experience. I'm not looking for that. I just want to my MacBook to perform at it's best, as paltry as that may be.

    Thanks a lot guys! :)
     
  2. steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

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    #2
    Well there isn't anything you can do to directly control it yourself it so it's not worth spending the time worrying about it.
     
  3. MRxROBOT thread starter macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    #3
    Of course there is, the clock speed directly relates to the dGPU temperature. While gaming, locking it at:

    800 MHz gets me ~80°

    850 MHz gets me ~85°

    950 MHz gets me ~92°

    The R9 M370X is rated to run up to 102°. When I had a desktop I would aim to keep the dGPU about 15° below maximum operating temperature. Just looking for the consensus on what a safe operating temperature is for a mobile GPU.
     
  4. steve23094, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

    steve23094 macrumors 68020

    steve23094

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    #4
    Well you have answered your own question then. 102°. The manufacturer's rating is going to be more accurate than some guesses from a bunch of people on a message forum who have never designed GPUs.

    There still isn't any way you can directly control it. The dGPU will throttle when it hits specific temps. The only indirect thing you can do is try to keep it cooler by using a fan control program or putting your laptop in a bucket of iced water (joke, DON'T do this). In reality those fan control programs will typically only get you a minute or so at a higher clock by ramping up the fans earlier, under heavy load the dGPU will still end up reaching max temp.
     
  5. MRxROBOT thread starter macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    #5
    No, but I appreciate you trying to help.
     
  6. throAU, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #6
    Most GPUs seem to be able to handle up to 90 degrees or so.

    I believe they're rated for up to 95 as per most CPUs.

    Bear in mind that throttling can be looked at in two ways. One way: "my cooling sucks, my GPU is throttling". The other way is how NVidia call the desktop GPU throttling. "GPU boost". Basically most modern chips run as fast as they can until they get too hot doing it.

    If your GPU gets too hot it will throttle. If it isn't throttling, don't worry about it.

    That said, whatever you can do to reduce temps will help. One thing that i did find in Windows with my 2011 machine that helped heat was to set the power profile to "balanced" rather than "max performance". It seems to keep things a little cooler which reduced noise at least and didn't really seem to impact performance as far as i could tell running Borderlands 2 on it.

    I'm not sure what it did exactly but i suspect it limited CPU clock speed (which isn't an issue at all for most games which are in no way cpu bound), which reduced total system heat generation that maybe even left more heat dissipation capacity in the cooling system for the GPU. Worth a shot for you in any case - "high performance" power profile isn't always worth it.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 10, 2017 ---
    Also - not sure if you're running the newer GPU drivers for the radeon, but i have a desktop RX480 in my gaming rig at the moment and there's a new feature in the driver called "chill". They've made it work with the 290/390 series (and onwards) of desktop GPUs, maybe it will work with the mobile variants too. Basically it is adaptive frame rate in games to basically do less frames when you're not moving in game. AMD reckon it can save 30% power/heat.

    Will be in the latest AMD driver. So maybe worth using that rather than bootcamp drivers, if you're still using them for your AMD powered macbook.

    Even without chill the recent AMD drivers have improved performance by 10% or so since July. So worth trying to run them anyway.
     
  7. MRxROBOT thread starter macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    #7
    Yeah 90° fits nearly right in line with what i've been attempting to keep it at. I guess I was just looking for confirmation about recommended max temps, giving me a bit of peace of mind. Thanks :)

    I had the opposite experience, running it in balance brought my fps down to nearly ~half! :eek:
     
  8. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #8
    Bummer. Maybe the more recent machines clock the GPU down as well (to save more power) with the power profile setting. Didn't seem like my 2011 did. Could also be newer driver related, i stopped gaming on mine in 2013 (at the time with the 2011/2012 bootcamp drivers on Win7).

    Definitely check out the newer drivers if you haven't already though. AMD have been making great strides recently and if CHILL works for you (supported GPU + Supported games) it should really help keep the GPU cooler when not needed as much so it can clock higher when it IS needed.

    From memory it can adjust the FPS fast enough to not have any bearing on input latency. Definitely check out the demos/info on youtube, just look for radeon chill.

    (i don't work for AMD, YMMV, etc.)
     
  9. MRxROBOT thread starter macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    #9
    Yeah I keep the drivers updated and it has helped substantially. Luckily mhd2100 keeps pumping out drivers at bootcampdrivers.com because the official drivers from AMD are really dated for the R9 M370X.
     

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