What is Undervolting? – A Complete Guide

For those that own a desktop or a PC, you must have gotten familiar with the term CPU and for power users of graphics, the GPU is the mom. 

Here in this article, we are going to look at what Undervolting is and how to go about it. 

If you’re tech-savvy, you must have heard at least in the passing of the word “overclocking”

When you overclock your CPU, you can get a better performance out of your computer without having to spend so much. Some of these computer processors have some extra Ghz Headroom’s and applying the overclocking to your computer can help you break its set boundaries and increase the speed and help for say better workflow when in use.

So basically overclocking increases the speed of your PC. However, as much as it is good to increase stuff to help our workflow better, we should also think about the cons of increasing or pushing the limits of your PC. Sometimes overclocking your CPU or GPU can be overdone and your PC might become too powerful for itself and cause some major problems.

Well, here we would be talking about Undervolting or Underclocking your GPU and CPU. 

What is Undervolting?

Undervolting is a power supply feature that is categorized under the scaling of dynamic voltages. When you want to decrease voltage, you can apply the technique of Undervolting, and this functions to provide you the ability to conserve power that your PC runs on as a result of the energy provided by the battery. Undervolting also helps to regulate the voltage limits and maintain mild temperatures. 

High voltages can cause a rapid rise in temperature on your PC and can cause it to develop problems eventually leading to a breakdown. Undervolting helps decrease these high voltages and keeps the voltages at its limits, hindering higher voltage use all the while prolonging the lifespan of your PC and still keeping up optimum results. 

Undervolting and Underclocking

Having explained how overclocking works, underclocking does the reverse and it is a technique that can be applied to modify your computer or other EC’s periodic setups in such a way that the clock rate at which they run is limited. Undervolting just does the job of decreasing voltages but these two techniques’ endpoint goals are to conserve power and energy and also prolong the lifespan of your system.

However, underclocking has its downsides as it can hamper the general performance of your computer when it reduces the clock speed while Undervolting on the other hand simply decreases voltage and doesn’t pose any problems and yet still allows the computer to run fine.

If you ever want to apply a technique to conserve power and prolong battery life, Undervolting is more preferred as it has fewer hurdles to jump and doesn’t leave you with more problems than you started with. 

Pros Of Undervolting

  • It generates less heat
  • Eliminates disturbing noises
  • It prolongs the battery life
  • Prevents excessive power consumption
  • Puts a stop to thermal throttling
  • Increases the lifespan of your systems hardware components
  • Keeps optimum performance

Is Undervolting Safe?

Is Undervolting your computer’s Central Processing Units & Graphical Processing Units safe or dangerous?

Undervolting is aimed at raising the performance of your computer’s battery life and not taking away from it. This technique is both safe in its process and its execution and the aftermath of its application is aimed at improving your computer. It must however be done correctly so as not to cause hardware problems. On successfully carrying out this technique you would have been able to improve the shelf life of both CPU and GPU effectively as a result of the lower voltage and resulting decrease in temperature that the action if this technique provides. 

If you’re a CPU and GPU power user and you use gaming, graphical, video, and animation editing software and applications that require rendering it’ll be wise to undervolt your PC so you can get the maximum performance out of your computer and also increase your workflow. 

Undervolting Your CPU

Popularly, the use of the undervolting technique is its application to the computer’s CPU. If the CPU gets heated way too much and far too quickly, undervolting can help keep all of that in check and improve your CPU’s performance. 

Undervolting your computer systems GPU works optimally when it suffers from terrible heating throttle problems like with the Central Processing Unit. It will not give rise to a boosted FPS when you’re actively gaming but on observation, you’ll notice that your GPU will run at a much more delayed time period.

Undervolting Your GPU

Made for the undervolting of your systems GPU and CPU, the Intel and the Throttle Stop come recommended to carry out this activity safely and efficiently.

The Intel XTU and the Throttlestop do the job cleanly and it’s only a matter of preference which of the two you’d prefer to carry out this task. Although in my personal opinion, if you’re new to all of this, it is advised that you use the Intel XTU because of its user-friendly interface as opposed to the Throttlestop that will almost definitely throw a noob off his feet.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to undervolting your CPU using Throttlestop.

  • Download the Throttlestop software
  • Under settings tick the speed shift box
  • Next, get the base temperature values for your system by pressing the TS Bench to get started
  • Next click in Fivr. This opens up a menu from which you can start undervolting your CPU
  • Next, click OK
  • Hover your mouse over on the part that says: Unlock Adjustable Voltage and by making use of the offset voltage slider, undervolt your CPU and GPU by -100 millivolts. Once done, click the apply button. If your laptop crashes, don’t fret just keep increasing the mV value by 20mV till it becomes stable. 
  • Once you’ve attained stability, click Apply and then OK.
  • You can also choose to still run a benchmark bass temperature test and if Undervolting was successful you would notice that the new values are now less than the original values you took note of earlier when you ran the TS Bench.

What Are the Advantages of Undervolting Your Computer’s System?

  • Your PC system will be able to run fine and way cooler without the use of a high-end fan or some additional cooling system in your laptop
  • It helps in the improvement of the general performance of your system 
  • It prolongs battery life by a long stretch and allows your PC to run for longer periods.
  • There’s an increase in the life span of your PC and it provides the components of your system with better shelf life.

What are the Disadvantages of Undervolting your Computer?

  • Undervolting your PC without having a well-grounded knowledge about how to go about it can cause your computer to crash on loading. It just needs to be done carefully, following each step to avoid hardware problems. 
  • Don’t do too much as over-decreasing the voltage values may lead to irreparable damages to your GPU or the systems chipset.

Does Undervolting Cancel Out Warranty?

The Undervolting, Overvolting, Underclocking, and Overclocking are not covered by your computer’s manufacturers as these techniques are not factory settings.

Still, don’t worry much as undervolting will not cause damage to your computer’s system hardware and it can also be reversed if you are not comfortable with the changes. 

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