Testing shows Nvidia’s new video cards still go nuts with multiple high-refresh monitors

nvidia drivers monitors gtx 1080 kv 1462594232 900x600
Nvidia
There may be something fishy going on with Nvidia’s drivers that is causing the company’s new GeForce GTX 1000 Series “Pascal” graphics chips to run at a higher idle clock speed than what the Windows desktop requires. While this issue won’t trigger the apocalypse, this “bug” means a hotter desktop and more overall larger power draw.

The problem, it seems, only happens when multiple displays set to a refresh rate of over 60Hz are connected to the DisplayPort output jacks on the GeForce cards. This problem actually reared its head at the beginning of the year, and was confirmed to exist in a test using Nvidia’s 364.47 driver set, a GeForce GTX 980 Ti card, and two monitors set above 60Hz. The result was that once the second monitor was added, the idle clock speed rose from 135Mhz to 925MHz, and then fell again when the second monitor was disconnected.

In a second test conducted this week by The Tech Report, the weird monitor bug still seems to exist. For this latest test, a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming card was inserted into a test bed and its associated Xtreme Gaming Engine software installed. The test also included the Eizo Foris FS2735 FreeSync display with a 144Hz refresh rate, and the Asus ROG Swift PG2790 G-Sync display with a 165Hz refresh rate. Both were connected to the card’s DisplayPort output jacks.

At first, only the Asus monitor was connected in order to make sure the GTX 1080 card’s idle speed remained at 291MHz when the monitor was switched between 60Hz and 165Hz. The overall power draw from the system was even 65 watts to 75 watts.

However, once the monitor was set at 165Hz and the second Eizo monitor running at 60Hz was connected, the card’s idle clock speed jumped up to 1,304MHz. The system power consumption jumped up to an average of 107 watts as well.

The test also showed that changing the refresh rate of the second monitor had no effect on the card’s idle clock speed. The Eizo panel was cranked up to 144Hz and then back to 60Hz, but the change did not increase or decrease the clock speed or the power consumption of the GTX 1080 graphics card. Instead, the Asus monitor, still connected, was changed from 165Hz down to 60Hz, and suddenly the graphics card eased back down to an idle speed of 291MHz. Disabling the G-Sync feature on the Asus monitor had no effect on the idle clock speed.

Unfortunately, customers with two displays attached and running at high refresh rates may have to pay a higher electric bill until the issue is addressed in Nvidia’s drivers. That said, customers might want to keep them running at 60Hz each until Nvidia fixes the weird issue.

Gaming

Playing ‘Battlefield V’ on an $800 Nvidia card is stunning. And disappointing

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though, our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Product Review

Flexible and fast, HP's Spectre x360 is the 2-in-1 for every occasion

HP’s late-2017 refresh of the Spectre x360 13 convertible 2-in-1 leverages Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs for significantly improved performance and battery life. The thin and light frame is also tweaked, and looks better than ever.
Computing

Multi-monitor issues? Here's how to resolve them

If you're running into multi-monitor problems, you're not alone. Two screens are very useful, but they can present some difficulties. Here are some common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Computing

HP takes $100 off of leather-clad Spectre Folio 13 bundle for Black Friday

HP is offering a discount to Black Friday shoppers for a bundle that includes its leather-wrapped answer to Apple's MacBook Air. HP is offering a $100 discount on the Spectre Folio 13 when bundled with a mouse and leather sleeve.
Computing

Save a heap with these Black Friday 2018 graphics card deals

The Black Friday 2018 sales period is finally here and it's brought with it a tonne of great component deals. We've been scouring websites and catalogs for days to find you the best graphics cards deals for Black Friday 2018.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

Ditch the passwords and buy Xbox games with just your face

Passwords are the past. The latest version of Windows 10 allows you to sign in with your Microsoft account on the web through Microsoft Edge using Windows Hello or a FIDO 2 Yubikey. 
Web

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.
Computing

Editing a PDF is easy when you have the right tools in hand

Editing PDF files can be a real pain, but there are a few tricks to make the process a bit easier. This guide will give you three easy methods for how to edit a PDF, two of which work without needing Adobe Acrobat.