Nvidia GTX 470 Power drain when 2nd display is active

I made a weird observation about my 470's power drain and would appreciate any pointers/help on that.

With 2 displays active the card idles at 85°C and my PC consumes 190-200 Watt, as soon as I disable the 2nd display the temp drops to 65°C and power drain goes down to 130 Watts. The 2nd screen isn't even on during this, just the deskstop being rendered).

This behaviour is persistent and reproducible every time. I find it hard to believe that just the simple rendering of an empty desktop requires an additional 60-70 Watts for idling but that is what is obviously happening here.

System: win7 64bit with current drivers, p5k ws mainboard, q8400 cpu, thermaltake 600W power supply
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  1. sure, here you go. btw the cpu and drives are stable way below 50° all the while this is going on

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/84/84661890.jpg/
  2. hm don't think so, there are good fans on the front and back but not the sides afaik
  3. those settings are set like that currently already
  4. the 470's fan is currently idling at 1400, bottoms intermittenly to 650 and tops at 2500
  5. no, never even heard of it :) everything in my system is factory set, no overclocking or customizing. that is why i am a bit irritated by this power spike
  6. d8me said:
    no, never even heard of it :) everything in my system is factory set, no overclocking or customizing. that is why i am a bit irritated by this power spike

    Running two monitors from a single card requires the card to remain in 3D mode and clockspeed, this has been the case for quite a while now and is not exclusive to the 400 series. No point in being irritated by something that has been known for quite some time now.
  7. I see, I did not know this. So there is no way to save these 60 Watt anyway when 2 displays are connected, huh.
  8. Well I only rarely use the cards power for video editing (rendering). 95% of the time I work with texts and just want the work space of two screens. I never use any 3d-stuff or such and don't care much for fan speeds and temperatures to be honest :) So if there is really no way to disable that when using 2 screens I should probably shop around for a more efficient card. any suggestions?
  9. I never noticed this with 2 monitors and a gtx470. My 2 reference MSI gtx470s will drop to an idle and go to 40 degrees when just on the desktop no matter the screen configuration I am using.

    I will have to check the gpu clocks, with 4 screens, or 3 screen surround, or with only 2 screens and SLI. The cards seem to clock down and idle.

    I am using an old antec case with 2 80mm intakes and 2 80mm exhausts so its not like I have the best case layout. My mother board also has no space between the 2 pci-e slots so the 2 470s are ontop of each other.
  10. I just checked and my gts470s throttle down to 51mhz when on the desktop no matter what screen configuration I have enabled. In this example I have 2 screens plugged into gpu1 and 1 screen in gpu2. with SLI off.

    As you can see in this picture at the desktop both cards are at idle speeds 51 mhz and temps are low.

    In this example I started MW3 and as you can see GPU1 went to full power 607mhz.
    I tried this 10 times in all different configurations, it works the way it should.

    In this example I am running a movie on screen 3 which is plugged into gpu2. As you can see gpu1 is at idle and gpu2 is at 405mhz

    In this example i am plyaing mw3 on gpu1 with the desktop and the movie on gpu2. gpu1 is at 605mhz while gpu2 stays at 405.


    Could this be a function of a newer driver?
  11. so buck and recon, you have 2 cards for 2 displays if I understand correctly. I just have one single card which seems to activate all that stuff when the 2nd monitor is activated regardless of whether it is needed or not.
  12. Quote:
    I am on 301.24 drivers.
    I use 480SLi with custom coolers and 2 screens.
    I idle at 40c in dual monitor or 29c single with 51mhz core clocks.

    Interesting, I wonder if it has anything to do with the power management setting in the Nv control panel?
  13. Quote:
    I posted how to do it earlier in this thread, however the OP said it is already done.

    Yes but in your case it seems to be doing something whereas the OP is having no joy.
  14. d8me said:
    so buck and recon, you have 2 cards for 2 displays if I understand correctly. I just have one single card which seems to activate all that stuff when the 2nd monitor is activated regardless of whether it is needed or not.

    My normal config is 3 screens and 2 470s. but sometimes i will use 4 screens and 2 470s. like i said the video card thottle down in standard mode, sli, and surround.
  15. i am still using the most recent standard driver. its from march, i think its 296.10
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