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I have an idea for a new kind of Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 21, 2011 9:27:18 AM

I consider myself an avid PC gamer. As such, I pour a lot of thought and time into PC gaming, as well as computers in general. I am currently working on a bachelors degree in software development, and I have been thinking about going after an associates degree in Computer Technology on the side. Needless to say, I love computers.

Now, over the last couple of days as I have been overclocking my 6970 - and adjusting the fan speed, and dealing with freezes, etc - I have began to think about graphics cards in general. Now, while I am sure this has been thought of and discussed many times before, I thought I would ask your opinion on my idea...

A graphics card with a "smart chip". The graphics card overclocks itself in game, but only as needed. This graphics card will run as fast as needed as the application warrants, speeding up and slowing down in real time, based on the demands of the application. The graphics card would have a built in thermometer and thermostat, in which it's cooling system (which would kick on and off accordingly) would use to maintain the required temperature.

With a card like this, you always know you are getting the most out of it (but only when needed), at all times.

What do you think?
November 21, 2011 9:40:12 AM

Something like Intel's turbo boost? Interesting actually, although they might just develop a better version of MSI afterburner that clocks the card automatically.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 9:43:28 AM

It's a nice idea, but I don't really see the greater point of it. When graphics cards are idling these days they run at very low clocks to conserve energy, and when gaming they run at high clocks and are obviously very hungry. Adding your mechanism is like putting a start-stop system on a 6.3L V10 engine.... what's the point? It's still gonna guzzle gas like a motha-*****
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a c 75 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 9:44:40 AM

iirc amd cards have something like amd powerplay for underclocking it during idle. nvidia might have something similar to this.
intel's igp uses turbo boost to oc to higher frequencies on demand.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 10:35:15 AM

Visions start in the garage. Explore new ideas before rejecting the previous.
November 21, 2011 1:44:12 PM

I do realize that a graphics card already runs at a low clock speed when idling, but it still won't go above it's set clock speed. This idea would do away with capped clock speeds altogether. The sky would be the limit because the card would just go until it couldn't go, anymore - and nobody know's the card's limit like the card itself.

Coupled with a revolutionary new cooling system, and we are talking insanely fast speeds.
a c 75 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 2:27:52 PM

PCgamer81 said:
I do realize that a graphics card already runs at a low clock speed when idling, but it still won't go above it's set clock speed. This idea would do away with capped clock speeds altogether. The sky would be the limit because the card would just go until it couldn't go, anymore - and nobody know's the card's limit like the card itself.

Coupled with a revolutionary new cooling system, and we are talking insanely fast speeds.

could you go into more details about how the card would increase it's speed?
using turbo boost like intel or turbo core like amd would work but i think both intel and amd have them patented. so the gpu designer would have to come up with a new technology for a new approach to turbo. amd is in a better position to implement turbo in their gpus.
another way is to fuse the gpu with cpu, like how intel and amd are doing, and build clock gating, turbo circuitry in them.
the general idea is, people who use discreet, more powerful cards don't care much about power consumption so minimal power saving features like underclocking or downclocking should be enough. and people who will benefit from power-saving, like laptop users or portable device users, they would have to make do with igps and their features.
both intel and amd promised that their new igps in trinity and ivy bridge will be much more powerful than current ones.
and there is always a limit for everything. if manufacturers didn't implement limits in their components users could end up frying them in a short time leading to lower lifetime of the component.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 2:32:09 PM

Interesting idea although Im not sure that you would be accomplishing anything....

Ive always oced myself and never had issue with power consumption or speed, if you know what you are doing it is not hard...

Im not gonna cry when I pay an extra dollar worth of electricity for this powerformance, I mean hell I spent over a grand on my rig at one point in time...

a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 2:40:03 PM

I think you're probably more interested in having the OC'ing done automatically (versus playing with tweaks for long hours) than you are in any minor power savings. Neither Intel's turbo boosts nor automatic OC'ing tools do a phenomenal job of OC'ing CPUs compared to a knowledgable person OC'ing. Doubt it would work well for GPUs either (unfortantely).
November 21, 2011 2:42:09 PM

The card is limited by the hardware made to build it... im not sure I'm cathcing your drift on the whole idea... but the sky can't be the limit...

it's like saying... im going to press on the gas in my car and my car will reach the speed of light... but it can't happen because the car is limited by it's engine...

good comparison? maybe im just not understanding your idea.
November 21, 2011 3:17:20 PM

so youre saying that the card if running at near 100% would increase its own voltage and clocks until it started getting a bit hot, so this chip would allow the card to function safely in low airflow cases and also clock itself higher in good cases. as an idea the user could define a maximum fan speed that the chip would use, want quiet the chip downclocks itself, dont care about the noise the clocks ramp up
November 21, 2011 4:07:15 PM

Here is one example of how it could work...

Instead of a speed cap, the card's manufacturer should implement a temperature cap. The card would cool itself, monitor itself, and overclock itself (as the application warrants), until it reaches it's maximum potential without nearing critical status. In other words, the card would overclock until the cooling system could no longer maintain it at the set safe temperature, as determined by the card itself.

Therefore, the need for manual overclocking is no longer there, as again, the smart chip knows how far it can push it, when to kick on cooling, when to let up, etc.

This is not about power saving. This is about getting more out of your graphics card than was ever possible before.
November 21, 2011 4:11:12 PM

we1shcake said:
so youre saying that the card if running at near 100% would increase its own voltage and clocks until it started getting a bit hot, so this chip would allow the card to function safely in low airflow cases and also clock itself higher in good cases. as an idea the user could define a maximum fan speed that the chip would use, want quiet the chip downclocks itself, dont care about the noise the clocks ramp up


Close, but a little more to it than that.

And this card would be exclusively liquid cooled with a built in "radiator" (of sorts), which will function at a level respective to what is required.
a c 290 U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 7:34:26 PM

Remember most of the times it's not temperature that causes unstable OC, but the drivers failing due to card not being able to cope with what it tried to take on at higher speed.
November 21, 2011 9:50:32 PM

Sunius said:
Remember most of the times it's not temperature that causes unstable OC, but the drivers failing due to card not being able to cope with what it tried to take on at higher speed.


Well, I would expect updates on a regular basis.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 9:52:19 PM

I think it is interesting, and I would most definitely purchase one if they were to come in the market.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2011 10:16:02 PM

Unless I misunderstood your post AMD/ATI cards already do all of this except overclock themselves. They already downclock when not gaming and speed back up when performance is needed, they already have on die temperature monitoring, and they automatically adjust fan speed.
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