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Downclocking, please explain?

  • CPUs
  • GPUs
  • Heating
Last response: in CPUs
May 5, 2011 8:42:48 AM

In another thread someone mentioned to me that CPU and GPU can downclock if over heating to prevent damage.

Is this a standard thing these days or is it only some models?

Or do i have his all wrong?

I've been out of the loop for quite a few years now and this was just something i hadn't heard anywhere else, can anyone explane this further for me please?

More about : downclocking explain

a c 137 à CPUs
May 5, 2011 9:20:15 AM

There are two times this can happen. First, they can downclock due to heat. Pretty sure this is all models though I'm not sure GPUs do this. Second, they can downclock while idling so they don't cost you as much money or get as hot. All CPU and GPUs do this, its nothing to worry about. You do need to worry about the first case as it can damage your CPU. The second case is nothing to worry about as it will go back to the correct clocks once you place a load on your GPU.
May 5, 2011 9:24:22 AM

cool thanks for that
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a b à CPUs
May 5, 2011 4:41:44 PM

They downclock when they are idle.

So right now while your typing on your computer, your cpu is running slower than it's rated speed, as is your graphics card. When you do something cpu/gpu intensive, they speed up to their rated speed.

It's for power saving purposes.
May 5, 2011 8:41:30 PM

so what about the downclocking when overheating?
how effective is this in protecting hardware?
is there standard thresholds they work too?
is it something that is turned off when overclocking?

question questions questions
a b à CPUs
May 5, 2011 8:49:12 PM

In cases like multimedia computers that the processor is really more than
is needed for the multimedia work (streaming video,music etc)
users will downclock the CPU to conserve electricity and reduce heat
Since modern CPUs are more than powerful enough for multimedia
use they can have some performance reduced
Primarily reducing heat in a multimedia setup is done since the least
amount of fans in case causing noise is desired

Also to get an accurate idle temp
Users will turn every fan up and open the case
then they will downclock and lower voltage to
get the lowest idle temp possible to calibrate
their temperature monitoring programs
If the idle temp with air cooling is below
ambient room temp then you know
that the monitoring program is inaccurate

May 5, 2011 9:11:05 PM

I'm more curios to know about auto downclocking.
I'm soon to build a new Sandy Bridge based PC as a Gaming and media center, running on a 42' LCD TV and home theatre amp. Hot climate, room with no air con and someone mentioned to me in another thread about the cpu and gup downclocling themselves if they over heat.
Hence my above questions about thresholds and the like?

Best solution

a b à CPUs
May 5, 2011 9:34:14 PM

when a processor either in your CPU or your video card
gets about 20c over TJMax then it will shutdown (approx 125c for cpus and 150c for GPU)

at 5c above TJMax (@100-105 generally) thermal throttling
occurs where the clock and voltage is dropped down to lower

download CoreTemp (free and safe)
in advanced options check off "show distance to TJMax"
this will take a direct reading of TJMax (max operating temp)
off of the Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS)

Intel doesnt usally publish TJmax numbers
they use Tcase in spec sheets
Tcase is max safe load temp where it can run all
day and be ok
Tjmax is max temp where it starts to get dangerous

Using Coretemp and looking at your distance to TJmax
which is a number that gets lower as your temp gets
if it nevers go lower than 15c to Tjmax then
you do not have to worry about your temps

Realize that about 125c is where the CPU can "melt"
your cpu at about 100-105 will throttle itself
a b à CPUs
May 5, 2011 9:36:14 PM

I love your venom pic.
May 5, 2011 9:53:05 PM

awesome ...thanks, thats what i wanted to know.

It's not Venom, not that he's not cool and all, it's to logo for the band Mushroomhead.
May 6, 2011 2:37:00 AM

Best answer selected by ddemon.