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Underclocking Nvidia 680 or AMD 7970 worth it?

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
January 9, 2013 10:51:09 AM

I am considering a high-end GPU for my new computer, and play only occasionally. Most of the time the computer just idles or is used to websurfing or watching videos.

If I get say Asus GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP or ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II TOP, will they underclock and will they save any electricity and *run any cooler*?

More about : underclocking nvidia 680 amd 7970 worth

a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 10:53:55 AM

when not gaming and in 2d mode either graphics will run at slower than advertised clocks to save energy, once you open the game up clocks for memory and core will increase to the advertised settings so yes they will underclock themselves when not in gaming
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 10:55:15 AM

Why are you going for a GTX 680 or HD 7970? Do you have multiple monitors? If not, why don't you step back to a GTX 660 or HD 7850 2GB? Expecially after underclocking, you'd definitely lose performance there. You'll save power and still be able to perform well as they both have 2GB of VRAM so you'll be able to crank the AA/AF up.
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January 9, 2013 11:02:47 AM

nbelote said:
Why are you going for a GTX 680 or HD 7970?

I got three monitors, of which I use 2 almost constantly. Third is seldom used TV. I want a high-end GPU so I wont have to buy a new one for a while. It might even be my last big separate gpu card :) 
January 9, 2013 11:05:34 AM

BigMack70 said:
But do you game on 3 monitors or just one?

Just one @1920x1200.
January 9, 2013 11:16:12 AM

BigMack70 said:
Yeah... you don't technically need a 7970/680 for single screen gaming. Of course, it's your choice and a 7970/680 will absolutely max everything out at that resolution and keep you from needing an upgrade for a while, though :) 

Yeah, exactly what I desire, and the "one gaming monitor" is a variable too :) 

According to idle power consumption is 49 watts. Is it impossible to go lower?