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I thought my GTX 970 was a dud

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Sep 15, 2004
So, I've had this card for a year now, it started off on my Z77 with me to replace my GTX 580 Matrix Platinum. It was fan effing tastic lol. A few weeks later I spotted a 980 Classified for pretty much the same price that I paid for my 970 FTW. The 970 was delegated to my X58. So I could not do anything to that card, it would drop its clocks all over the place as soon as you tried to oc it. The other day I noticed it dropping clocks at stock speed. I thought it had a bad bios. Turns out it was the PSU. They rails on that thing would drop as soon as it had any kind of load on it. For example, 12.1v would drop to 11.6v, 3.23v would drop to 3.16v, 4.97v would drop to 4.8v. I had a ToughPower 650 from before I built my first X58, I think I quit using it when I got a GTX 295, needed something with 8 pin pcie power. I'm pretty sure I only used the 650 for a year before it hit the shelf, almost threw it away a few times over the years thinking I could never use it again. The 970 has 2x 6 min connectors, perfect! That PSU is not the greatest, but the rails are strong, and its pretty much new other than age, not sure how old it is exactly, I want to say 2007 or so..

Long story short, my 970 isn't the best clocker out there, it seems to adhere to some rigid power specs, and the most it will pull is like 173w, instead of the 145 its rated for I guess. I can overclock the CPU, and GPU at the same time now lol. Its fantastic. So glad I didn't throw it away. Apologies for the early morning ramble.

TO be honest, I thought the problem was the main 12v plug into the mobo, I thought it was worn right out, because I had to fiddle with the old psu cable to get a good connection. This TP 650 is literally brand new, no slop. My TX850 and my TT SPM850 showed the exact same terrible regulation. I think I hurt them when I used to fold.

Anywhoo, if you can string all of this together, you are awesome.
Not entirely sure what you are trying to say here, but that's........not expected behavior when there isn't enough power. Things do not 'brown out' and lower clocks. Either it works or doesn't.

Most Nvidia GPUs adhere to rigid power limits. There is the TDP of the card, plus whatever the slider allows and that typically isn't much, 10-15% give or take depending on model. So... 173W makes sense.