How to Undervolt GPU – Why and When to Do It

Undervolting is a technique that can decrease the voltage that a processor or graphics card requires while maintaining the same level of performance. This can lead to reduced power consumption, lower temperatures, and increased stability. As a result, undervolting is becoming increasingly popular to improve the performance and efficiency of computers, especially for gamers and other users who require high-performance machines.

In this post, we will discuss how to undervolt a GPU and also know why and when to do it.

What Is Undervolting?

Undervolting in GPU terms reduces the voltage supplied to a computer system’s graphics processing unit (GPU). This helps reduce the amount of power consumed by the GPU, which can lower the temperatures generated by the GPU.

Undervolting a GPU is often done to improve system stability, reduce power consumption, and improve overall performance. High temperatures can cause GPUs to throttle their clock speeds or even shut down, resulting in reduced performance or system crashes. By undervolting the GPU, the amount of heat generated by the GPU can be reduced, which can help deter these issues.

How to Undervolt GPU

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Why to Undervolt GPU?

There are several grounds why someone might want to undervolt their GPU:

  1. Reduce power consumption: Reducing the voltage supplied to the GPU consumes less power and generates less heat, resulting in lower electricity bills and less strain on your system’s cooling solution.
  2. Lower temperatures: GPUs can get quite hot under heavy loads, leading to performance issues such as throttling, reduced lifespan of the GPU, and even system instability. Undervolting can help keep temperatures under control by reducing the heat generated.
  3. Increase performance: In some cases, undervolting can increase performance. High temperatures can cause the GPU to throttle its clock speed to avoid overheating. The GPU can maintain its maximum clock speed for extended periods by controlling temperatures, resulting in better performance.
  4. Reduce fan noise: By reducing the heat generated by the GPU, the fans may not need to spin up as much or as frequently, resulting in a quieter system.

When to Undervolt GPU

Undervolting your GPU can be a good idea in a few different scenarios:

  1. High temperatures: If your GPU is running hotter than you’d like, undervolting can help to reduce the heat generated and bring temperatures down to a more reasonable level. This can be useful if you are experiencing thermal throttling, which can cause performance issues.
  2. Loud fans: If your GPU fans are running loudly, undervolting can help to reduce the amount of heat generated and reduce the need for the fans to spin up as much or as frequently, resulting in a quieter system.
  3. Power consumption: If you want to reduce your system’s power consumption, undervolting can effectively reduce the amount of energy your GPU consumes.
  4. Overclocking: If you plan to overclock your GPU, undervolting can help keep temperatures under control and reduce the risk of instability or damage caused by excessive heat.
  5. Compatibility issues: Some GPUs may have compatibility issues with certain motherboards or power supplies that can cause stability issues. Undervolting can reduce the power consumption of the GPU, which can help to alleviate these compatibility issues and improve system stability.
  6. Reduced lifespan: Over time, high temperatures can cause wear and tear on your GPU, potentially reducing its lifespan. By undervolting your GPU and reducing the heat generated, you can help extend your graphics card’s life.
  7. Laptop cooling: Laptops often struggle with cooling due to their compact size, and undervolting can help to reduce the amount of heat generated by the GPU and improve cooling performance. This can help to prevent thermal throttling and improve the overall performance and lifespan of the laptop.

Undervolting an AMD Graphics Card

To optimize your AMD graphics card performance, follow these steps:

  1. Visit and download the AMD Radeon software compatible with your graphics card. If you already have it installed, ensure it’s updated to the latest version (Adrenalin Edition).
  2. Open the AMD Radeon Software
  3. Navigate to the Performance tab and go to the Tuning section.Peformance - Tuning - GPU
  4. Expand the “GPU” section and select the Manual Tuning option under the “Tuning Control section”. This will set the option to Custom.GPU - Manual Tuning
  5. Turn on the GPU Tuning button using the GPU Tuning toggle.GPU tuning enabled
  6. To view actual numbers for GPU core clock speed (or Frequency) and corresponding voltage in MHz and mV, turn on the Advanced Control button.Advanced Control toggle on
  7. You will now see sliders for Max Frequency (MHz) and Voltage (mV) and number boxes to set the values.Max Frequency and Voltage
  8. Find your sweet spot by setting the GPU maximum frequency and voltage levels. For example, if the maximum Frequency is 2400 MHz, set the voltage to 1000 mV. Decrease the voltage level by a small amount, such as 10 mV or 15 mV, but don’t decrease it too much.
  9. Once you’ve set your values, press the Apply Changes button to save the settings.

Perform a stress test on your GPU by running a GPU-intensive game or using a benchmarking tool such as Unigine Heaven Benchmark. The new voltage level is optimal if the game or application runs smoothly without any crashes. However, if you experience any issues, follow the earlier steps and increase the voltage level accordingly.

Once you’ve found the optimal voltage level, you can repeat the above steps and decrease the voltage level by another 10 mV to find the best possible balance between voltage and GPU maximum frequency.

Undervolting an NVIDIA Graphics Card

AMD offers its users the AMD Radeon app, which allows for easy undervolting of their graphics cards. On the other hand, NVIDIA users need to use third-party applications such as MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision, or ASUS GPU Tweak to undervolt their graphics cards. This is because NVIDIA does not offer a built-in undervolting tool for their graphics cards. This makes undervolting an NVIDIA graphic card more tedious.

Install MSI Afterburner

Download the MSI Afterburner ZIP file from, install it, and open the interface. The interface will display options such as GPU frequency (MHz), core voltage section, core clock (MHz) section, curve editor, and others that may be useful later on.

Perform Graphics Card Test

  1. Run a GPU-intensive game or program.
  2. Allow the game or program to run in windowed mode for 10-15 minutes to find the maximum frequency (core clock speed) under stress.
  3. Alternatively, use free benchmark software like FurMark that includes a GPU stress test and windowed mode for an even more accurate assessment.

Check GPU Frequency on MSI Afterburner Interface

  1. Return to the MSI Afterburner tool interface after performing the graphics card test.
  2. Ensure that the GPU stress test is run in windowed mode so that you can easily access the utility.
  3. Look for the GPU frequency (MHz) on the interface’s top section and note it.GPU frequency

Open Voltage/Frequency Curve Editor Graph

  1. On the main interface of MSI Afterburner, either press the Ctrl+F hotkey or click on the Curve Editor option located in the bottom left section. Open Curve Editor
  2. This will open a separate box displaying the Voltage/Frequency curve editor graph.
  3. Position the Voltage/Frequency curve editor graph box next to the main interface of MSI Afterburner so that both are easily accessible side by side.
  4. The graph shows a curve with small square boxes for voltage (mV) usage on the X-axis and GPU core clock speed or frequency (MHz) usage on the Y-axis.
  5. Look for the frequency that matches the GPU frequency obtained from the GPU test.
  6. Check the corresponding voltage for that frequency on the curve editor graph. For example, if the frequency is 1850 MHz, check for the voltage shown on the curve, which may be 975 mV. Raising Frequency
  7. Note that the voltage-frequency relationship may vary depending on the stress test and graphics card used. Therefore, carefully review your statistics on the graph.

Undervolt Your GPU

  1. Open MSI Afterburner and go to the main interface.
  2. Enter a stress test to find the maximum frequency (core clock speed) under stress.
  3. Lower the graph by underclocking in the Voltage/Frequency curve editor graph.
  4. Enter a value like -250 in the Core Clock (MHz) option in the main interface of MSI Afterburner. Core Clock -250
  5. Click the Enter key and see the graph change and lower.
  6. In the Voltage/Frequency curve editor graph, click on the small square box pointing to 950 mV and drag it upwards to match the GPU frequency (in this case, 1850 MHz).
  7. The figures in your case might differ from the example, but the process remains the same.

Maintain Maximum GPU Frequency and Voltage Level

  1. You need to flatten the curve to the right side after the chosen voltage and frequency points to max out the GPU voltage you decided to prevent instability.
  2. Place your mouse cursor above the small square box that you set for the new voltage (950 mV) and GPU maximum frequency.
  3. Hold the Shift key, press and hold the left mouse button, and drag the cursor to the right till the end.
  4. Hit the Enter key to flatten the curve. Shift Enter to flatten the curve
  5. After flattening the curve, all the squares next to the pointing voltage are in a line.
  6. You can also do this manually, but it would be time-consuming.

Save the Changes

To finalize the undervolting process, save the changes you’ve made. Then, click the tickmark or Save icon on the MSI Afterburner interface. Once done, your GPU should now be undervolted.Hitting the Save button

Stress Test GPU

  1. Play a GPU-intensive game or use a GPU benchmarking tool to stress test your graphics card and system. Make sure that everything runs smoothly and that you don’t experience any crashes or other issues with the GPU or other programs that use the GPU.
  2. Use the MSI Afterburner utility to check the Voltage/Frequency curve editor graph and ensure that the GPU frequency hits the same point you set earlier within the set voltage level. If not, try increasing the frequency while keeping the same voltage and test the stability again.
  3. If everything seems stable, save the settings in MSI Afterburner by clicking the tickmark or save icon.

Repeat the Process

  1. Undervolting requires a trial-and-error approach to find the optimal voltage and GPU frequency combination.
  2. It is important to avoid increasing or decreasing the voltage level too much during the process.
  3. The exact frequency and voltage level can be maintained if the expected output is achieved.
  4. Further voltage reduction by 25 mV can also be tested, but proceeding slowly and checking the results is essential.
  5. The steps for undervolting an AMD GPU will be explained next.

Final Words

In conclusion, undervolting your GPU can have many benefits, such as reducing power consumption, decreasing heat output, and improving overall system stability. While the process may seem daunting initially, following the steps outlined in this guide can help you safely and effectively undervolt your graphics card. Always proceed cautiously and carefully monitor your system for any changes or issues. You can achieve optimal GPU performance with patience and experimentation while saving energy and controlling temperatures.

Do I need to undervolt my GPU if I’m not experiencing any issues? 

Undervolting is unnecessary if you are not experiencing any issues with your GPU. However, it can still be beneficial in reducing power consumption and heat generation.

Is undervolting the same as underclocking?

No, undervolting and underclocking are not the same. Undervolting refers to lowering the voltage of the GPU, while underclocking refers to reducing the clock speed of the GPU.

Can undervolting cause performance issues?

Undervolting can cause performance issues if you lower the voltage too much. However, if done correctly and within safe limits, undervolting should not impact performance.

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