I have a Zotac GTX 980, with latest drivers and a new build. A fresh windows install with nothing running in the background.
For reasons I don't understand, the card is simply dropping its load - according to GPU-Z, for utility reasons - while running games as simple as Kerbal Space Program, sitting idly with no simulations going on, at 10-15 FPS.
Here's a screenshot of GPU-Z:
One interesting part is the "reason" orange/blue bands indicate "limited by reliability/operating voltage", but it's only peaking at ~50% utility at that point. Also note that sometimes the clock just dials down to near-zero while it's in use.
- Sometimes it does go to 99% utilization for a while (from 5 minutes to an hour) until it starts getting bottlenecked by temperature - games run at 80-90 FPS during this time. Then something happens and it drops to low load again. This is most common after restarts.
- This happens across many different games, so it doesn't seem to be specifically related to anything specific - I've tried games of multiple genres: KSP, Cities: Skylines, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV. Even youtube jitters.
- Lowering settings on any game doesn't improve FPS at all - the load simply drops further.
- Power settings are set to max performance, both in Windows and in NVidia Control Panel.
- All temperatures are under 70C - generally 50-60C due to the extremely low load. I've also cleaned fans and replaced thermal paste to be sure. The whole build is 2 months old.
- CPU is a i7 4790k. It's not passing 50% use on any of my tests.
- PSU is at 860W.
- No VSync is set up.
- I've also tried removing NVidia Experience (or something named like that), as searches told me to exclude it. I've also tried 5 different WHQL drivers.
- Motherboard BIOS is also newest.
Any clue what I'm doing wrong? All signs point to the card throttling itself for some reason, but I can't find any indicators why.