Nvidia GPUs of the Ampere architecture has a significant power draw. For reference, the RTX 3080’s power consumption starts at 320 watts and the RTX 3090 starts at 350 watts, and depending on the manufacturer, the power consumption can go even higher than that (up to 480 Watts on one model).
While this has a direct correlation to the high performance of the GPUs, having the card consistently working on maximum voltage can lead to overheating, especially if the cooling solution is not efficient enough. This in turn would cause thermal throttling, reducing performance massively. There is also Nvidia’s GPU boost technology that does not function with bad thermals.
In short, GPU boost allows the card to use a higher frequency as long as the power limit and thermals allow it to. So the cooler the card runs, the higher it boosts frequencies which results in better performance.
In addition to this, on thermal throttling, the card automatically downclocks itself to prevent damage due to higher temperatures.
Note: For reference, thermal throttling happens around 81°C for RTX 3080 and RTX 3090.
This is why the Ampere series GPUs can greatly benefit from manual undervolting when it comes to compute-intensive operations such as rendering. A very important benefit is that the GPU is still able to boost the frequency while it has been undervolted, even with the potential to boost higher than usual.
Chaos does not take any responsibility for any instability of the hardware, operating system, or applications that occur due to it. We recommend that this method is only taken into consideration if you have advanced knowledge in computing.