GameMode Sees Patches To Allow For GPU Overclocking When Running Linux Games
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 6 February 2019 at 12:40 PM EST. 8 Comments
LINUX GAMING --
Marc Di Luzio continues working on interesting features for GameMode as the daemon to optimize Linux systems for gaming... The latest is integrating AMD and NVIDIA overclocking support within GameMode, which is now under review.

The AMDGPU kernel driver and NVIDIA binary Linux driver have long offered overclocking support on Linux via their respective interfaces. With this GameMode integration, it allows the automatic setting of the overclocking state when a game is run (and triggers GameMode) and then the ability to easily return to your default clocks / power state when you aren't gaming, in order to reduce heat output and lower power consumption.

This GameMode GPU overclocking works with both the NVIDIA and AMDGPU drivers, though in the case of the NVIDIA driver you must have already enabled the CoolBits extension that is needed to expose their clock controls.

Additionally, before trying out the GameMode overclocking controls, you will have needed to overclocked your GPU manually to find out the power/cooling/clock capability of your particular graphics card to know the extents to which your GPU can be pushed before having stability or cooling issues.

The patches are out for review though it could be a while before GameMode integrates this support due to open design questions about whether GameMode configurations in a user's home directory should honor GPU clock settings, what to do in the event the system crashes/hangs due to a bad re-clock and the stored parameters, etc. Nevertheless, this is another interesting potential use-case for GameMode in order to automatically handle overclocking your GPU on Linux just when gaming.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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