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Idle / multimedia GPU demand with 3 monitors on 1050 ti

Idle / multimedia GPU demand with 3 monitors on 1050 ti
« on: March 05, 2017, 01:54:43 pm »
Hi all,

I currently run three monitors on my PC:

1 x VGA monitor at 1080p, 60Hz
1 x DVI monitor at 1080p, 60Hz
1 x HDMI TV at 1080p, screen size adjusted to fit and running at whatever frequency it sees fit to use.

I have an R7 360 which manages to output to all three with no problems, I can turn the fan speed down to 15% and its temp stay below 40 deg C on idle and when playing my ripped Blu-Rays. Obv. it gets hotter when gaming, and ramps the fan up quite a lot, but I don't mind about gaming fan speed.

Now, I want to upgrade. I had ordered an RX 470 on Amazon, but then learned that when using more than one monitor, it locks the memory frequency to max. That generates heat and, therefore, spins up the fans even when not much is happening. That card will be going back unopened!

I like the way Gigabyte cards turn the fans off when the card is idling - having the card run silent or near silent with 3 monitors, one of which is displaying Full HD video, is the priority for me. All the reviews show that the 1050 ti runs very cool on idle with 2 monitors, but I can’t find anything about using 3.

I’d like advice from someone who either has a similar arrangement to mine, or who knows for a fact that power usage is low when using 3 monitors for low demand graphics processing. For reference, I have an FX-8300 CPU, and would be using an active DisplayPort to VGA adapter for the VGA monitor.




After more Googling I turned up a German website that had some comparisons for full system running three monitors on the 1060 and RX 480. Taking the same power increase for the 1050:

Power of 1050 on idle:

1 x Monitor: 5w (approx., from other reviews)
2 x Monitor: 5w (approx., from other reviews)
3 x Monitor: 23w (probably an over-estimation - the 1050 ti has a lower memory clock speed than the 1060, so if it goes to max frequency the increase in power required should be smaller).

RX 470 on idle:

1 x Monitor: 13w (approx., from other reviews)
2 x Monitor: 32w (approx., from other reviews)
3 x Monitor: 33w

To theorise, the problem with maxed memory clock that hits the RX cards at 2 monitors hits the 1xxx series cards at 3 monitors. However, the NVidia cards are more power efficient, so the additional power is being added on to a lower baseline.

Going by other reviews, multimedia playback at 1080p adds a few watts on to the 1050 power consumption, between 2w and 7w - at least on single monitors! The 1050 would run at somewhere around 25 - 30w in the scenario I envisage. No idea if this will generate enough heat to start the fans running, as review websites only seem to be interested in the two ends of power consumption.

At a guess, I'd say that the fans MAY come on if the ambient temp is high - I'd probably be best setting a fan profile that keeps the fan on v low speed at idle, slowly increasing speed at low load. That would stop the annoyance of hearing the fans kick in every so often. I imagine it'll be very nearly silent if not actually silent.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 05:47:53 pm by Curlyhead2000 »

Re: Idle / multimedia GPU demand with 3 monitors on 1050 ti
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 08:27:55 pm »
So, I decided to try the Gigabyte RX 470 G1 as Amazon have such a good returns policy -  and will be keeping it.

With three outputs running 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz, the memory clock generally stays at the lowest clock speed and so power consumption is low. The card does not run at the in-built "fan off" temp even on idle (I have a space-saving Fractal mATX case), but it will happily perform non-gaming tasks at around 45 Centigrade with a fan speed below 500 rpm. This is essentially silent.

Would I recommend the card in general? From a performance perspective, yes. UserBenchmark puts the RX 470 at 50% more powerful than the NVidia 1050 ti and the 1060 3Gb as only 12% more powerful than the 470. Current prices have the 470 as better value for 1080 gaming. I was very lucky to get the card for £145 on Amazon (last one in stock at 2am - looks like the pricing AI had a senior moment as the same card is now selling for £186), though the Asus Strix is still going for £155. However, and this is a big "however", the 470 is very loud at full speed in my mATX case. If I had paid £40 over the 1050ti I would not be keeping it, as I can't get the full value without an unbearably high volume level. The card is silent below 1000 rpm and very quiet below 1500 rpm, but at max fan speed it sounds like jet engine taking off. The 1050 ti comes in at 75w TDP compared to the 120w TDP of the 470, so I'm pretty sure I'm never going to use the 470 at a game quality above the level of the 1050 ti. Basically, I have bought a 470 at the 1050 ti price and will probably be running it at the 1050 ti speed.