Hello, and thanks for reading. If you're someone who cares little for reading longer posts, feel free to skip to the bolded main question below.
I recently purchased an Nvidia 760 GTX (MSI 760 OC Twin Frozr, to be specific), and so far I love the card (strong performance, great temps, silent). However, when monitoring with MSI's Afterburner, I've noticed that the card's clocks fluctuate. This usually happened when going from a graphics-intensive "3D" application (i.e., game) to "2D" (desktop, internet, etc.), so I figured it was just a handy power saving feature that would "know" when I need max clock and boost. (By the way, using the card in official "OC mode" of 1085 core, 1502 mem, 1150 boost, though the actual boost (max clock) seems to run at 1215 per GPU-Z).
And while I was playing the particularly GPU-thirsty Far Cry 3, GPU utilization was always near max and the card was constantly at the 1215 max (so far, so good). However, I recently switched to the older and less intensive Assassin's Creed II, and the card is rarely maxed. In fact, it's running well below the 1085 core (typically maxing at 1019, but running at less, like in the 700s or below). For the most part this is fine, since even at those clocks, I'm staying right at 60 FPS, which seems to be a kind of limit in Assassin's Creed II. (Is this due to my having the V-sync on?). But there was a brief moment, when I was looking out into the distance in game when frames dropped below 30, and the GPU didn't seem to respond by kicking the core upward.
Is this an issue of some kind or just the minor shortcomings of a power saver mode (if that is, in fact, what is driving the fluctuation)? If I wanted to run at the boost level (again, 1215 MHz) constantly whether the application needs it or not — force it, in effect — can I, and how?
And, just to clear up one potential question, temps are definitely not driving the downclocking/fluctuations. Even at max GPU load in full boost for hours the card runs at 60C or below, and that's not close to 100% fan. In short, cooling is not a concern with this card.
Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate any input/insight you can offer.