In this world of hardware, we are almost always looking for maximum performance, but unfortunately higher performance is usually synonymous with higher operating temperatures and higher energy consumption. However, not everyone needs to always get the most out of their processor, and for whatever reason, you may prefer it to run at a lower temperature and consume less.
For all these users there is the undervolt, a technique by which the voltage and speed of the processor are reduced, but in addition to being relatively dangerous (it does not usually damage anything unlike overclocking, but it can cause instability in the system) it is not easy to perform. However, with programs like Throttlestop you will see below that you will be able to do it on your processor in the blink of an eye, and also in a fairly safe way.
Throttlestop, the free tool to undervolt your CPU
Throttlestop is a tool that you can download and install for free on your PC. Its purpose is multiple (that is, it is designed for several purposes), and although its name suggests that it is precisely designed to eliminate the throttling protection in the processor to obtain better performance at the expense of temperature, in this article we are going to teach you to do just the opposite.
In the main screen that appears after opening it (after accepting a warning message telling us that our processor is at risk if we are not careful) we already find multiple options with which to “play”:
- Disable Turbo: with this option, what we will do is precisely disable the Turbo mode of the processor, that is, it ensures that none of the cores will work above its base speed. For example, the Core i7-8700K in our example has a base clock of 3.7 GHz but goes up to 4.7 GHz in Turbo mode; Enabling this option will make it never exceed 3.7 GHz.
- BD Prochot: this is a safety feature applied by thermal throttling, that is when it detects that the temperature is too high, it reduces the speed of the cores so that it drops. It is enabled by default, as you can see in the screenshot.
- Speedshift– In recent CPUs (from 2016 onwards) Intel released this feature to make the CPU respond faster to changes required by the software in terms of operating speed.
- SpeedStep: If your processor is older than an Intel Skylake (2015), this feature does the same as Speed Shift.
- C1E– Enabling this feature will cause the processor to reduce its power when your battery is low. Obviously, it is intended to be used in laptop computers.
How to undervolt your processor
At the top, you can see that there are four selections under the heading “Performance”, and this is where you can choose between different profiles, each with its own undervolt setting: performance (default), Game, Internet, and Battery. You can select any of them to modify it, and in this case, we are going to use the second profile, Game.
Once you have the profile you want to modify selected, click on the FIVR button that appears in the lower central area. A new window will open, in which you will have to activate the “Unlock Adjustable Voltage” feature.
Now you can modify the slider bar titled «Voltage Offset», which is the one that interests us to do undervolting. To begin with, we recommend putting -100mV (or a close value) to check the stability of the system.
Now comes an important part, and that is to select at the top (titled FIVR Control) CPU Cache and do the same operation: we must put the same voltage that we have put here.
Once these modifications have been made, click on the Apply button located at the bottom right of the window, and from there you can proceed to monitor the temperatures of your processor (you can do it from Throttlestop in the previous window, for example).
If your system remains stable (without BSOD or errors) then you can repeat the operation reducing this Offset Voltage even more, but from here we recommend doing it in smaller jumps (we recommend -10 mV in -10 mV) and, remember, both in CPU Core and CPU Cache. If the system is not stable after these changes, increase the voltage a little, also in steps of +10 mV each time.
Every CPU is a world when it comes to overclocking and undervolting, and not all processors support the same levels of undervolt. In our case, with a Core i7-8700K, we managed to reduce the voltage by -150 mV with everything 100% stable, but it doesn’t have to be your case.
Once you have finished making the changes you consider appropriate, simply click OK in the Turbo FIVR Control window and then click on the “Turn On” button in ThrottleStop.
The bad part about Throttlestop is that these changes will only apply when you have the application open. If you want them to be applied automatically every time you turn on your computer, you can add it to Windows autostart or to scheduled system tasks to start every time you start Windows.