GPU Clock Speed Fluctuating While Gaming [Solved] - Dadpcguide (2023)

This is very annoying that after spending a big amount on a PC’s most expensive and important components like a Graphics card, you encounter your GPU clock speed fluctuating while gaming.

GPU clock speed fluctuation or frequency drop causes many problems like display stuttering and you will get less FPS while gameplay.

There are many reasons behind GPU clock speed fluctuations or low GPU frequency such as bad thermal paste, Frame lock, CPU and Ram bottleneck, and many more.

In this GPU Guide, we are going to figure out all of these problematic causes and how to fix them to solve the GPU clock speed fluctuation or low frame issues of your graphics card.

So without further ado…

Let’s break it down…

Table of Contents

GPU Clock Speed Fluctuation, Low Frequency, Usage Drop Issues, And Their Solutions

Here, I’ve mentioned some possible issues that cause GPU clock speed fluctuation, Low frequency, and other issues and their valid fixes.

Reason 1: GPU Heatup Too Much

Overheating is the most common cause of many hardware issues in your PC or laptop. When GPU runs at high temperatures, its automatic mechanism tries to down its temperature at the predefined level. For this, it reduces the clock speed and you experience frames drop during gameplay that makes your gameplay worse.

How To Check The GPU Temperature Of My PC Or Laptop

There is a way to know at what temperature your GPU runs:

1. First you have to install any best temperature measuring software likeCore Temp, NZXT CAM, Speccy, Open Hardware Monitor, MSI afterburner, etc.

2. Now check the Tj Max rating of your GPU. Tj max is known as junction temperature max. This is a kind of sensor, when your GPU temperature is reached the highest point, it will throttle your GPU.

3. Check a game stuttering by playing a game and benchmark it. Check your GPU temperature if it touches the Tj Max of your GPU.

If it reaches the Tj Max, it means your GPU is throttling.

How To Fix GPU Throttling Issue?

You can fix the thermal throttling problem of your GPU by following these simple steps:

1. Replace thermal paste

Yes, this is. Over time the thermal paste from the surface of your GPU chip becomes dry and removed from its place due to dust, and debris.

If you can open the fan and heat sink of your GPU then you can replace the thermal paste from the GPU chip.

If the cause of the GPU clock fluctuation is thermal paste then this technique will solve the issue.

2. Monitor The Airflow Under the Cabinet

Inadequate airflow also causes this issue. Make sure your PC cabinet has enough fans that are installed in the right way to maintain a balanced airflow.

Make your PC cabinet has at least two fans for air intake and two fans for throwing the hot air outside the cabinet.

3. Keep Your Cabinet In an Open Place

Make sure the PC cabinet is not covered with any kind of cover or placed under your gaming table closet. Keep it open so that proper airflow can be maintained inside it.

Reason 2: CPU Bottleneck

If your GPU is capable of fetching high FPS from a game but your CPU is not capable to process important data and delivering this information to your GPU immediately, This is also another reason for GPU clock speed fluctuation.


A fast GPU and an old or potato CPU often cause that issue. You can solve this problem by replacing your old and outdated CPU with the latest and most powerful one.

Reason 3: Power-Restricted GPU

If your GPU runs on a restricted power mode then this will also cause frame drop, low frequency, and low clock speed during gameplay.

Check your graphics card control panel setting. If you are using an Nvidia graphics card then follow these steps to check your graphics card settings in the Windows OS:

GPU Clock Speed Fluctuating While Gaming [Solved] - Dadpcguide (1)

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop and select the “Nvidia control panel” option.

Step 2: In the Nvidia control panel window, under 3D settings, select “Manage 3D settings”.

Step 3: In 3D manage settings, select the “power management mode” in the setting section.

Step 4: If it is set to “optimal power mode”, then change it to “Prefer Maximum Performance”.

You are all done.

Reason 4: Frame Lock

Some latest gaming monitors come with FreeSync or Vsync technology that comes with a locked frame. Every time you play games they run in between your display-locked frame.

No matter what is your display refresh rate, if your display has locked frames, your game will run at a low frame rate, and GPU also reduces its frequency and clock speed to maintain those frames.

Reason 5: RAM Bottleneck

Support if you are playing a game that demands more RAM than what your system has. In that case, you will face reduced frequency and low clock speed of your GPU.

Sometimes we install two same-looking sticks with almost the same specifications, but they don’t guarantee to run on the dual channels. This is why it is advisable to always buy a kit of RAM. If you installed the RAM modules in your PC in the wrong slots, this also keeps running your RAM in a single channel.

This also affects the performance of your GPU and reduces its strength.


If your PC has very limited RAM then it is time to upgrade it. If your system has enough RAM installed, must check if they are running on a Dual channel or not.

You can check this using some software like CPUz. If you want to run RAM in dual channel mode then must install the RAM kit on the right slot of your motherboard. For example use one and third slots or second and fourth slots to install two RAM modules, if your PC Motherboard has four channels for RAM installation.

Reason 6: Check HDD or SDD speed

If your system has an old traditional HDD then you will definitely face lower clock speeds and lower frequency issues with your GPU. This is because your potato HDD is unable to deliver the required data to the processing unit fast.

Most slow SDDs also cause the same issue.


You have to upgrade your PC HDD or slow SDD with the new generation fast SSDs to solve this GPU low frequency, or low clock speed problem.

Also Read: Does Graphics Card Affect Streaming [Don’t Do This]

How To Increase GPU Clock Speed

There are many factors that affect the speed of your GPU clock speed. If you face a low GPU memory clock in your PC then your system has the following issues which need to fix as soon as possible:

  1. Poor ventilation of your Cabinet.
  2. Bad and displaced thermal paste.
  3. CPU bottleneck.
  4. RAM bottleneck.
  5. HDD or SDD bottleneck.
  6. Locked frames of your display.
  7. Power Restricted GPU.
  8. Outdated GPU and Games drivers.

These are the most common reasons why your PC GPU clock speed jumps up and down during gameplay and during performing some graphics-intensive tasks on your PC.


You can increase your GPU clock speed by upgrading your old CPU, installing enough RAM in dual channels, and installing enough cooling fans in your cabinet, with managed air intake and outtake.

You can also increase GPU clock speed by changing the old HDD and installing the latest generation SSD.


In this article, I’ve tried to cover all the possible causes that affect your GPU performance like your GPU clock speed, and GPU frequency. Figure out them and check which section is more problematic during gameplay. Fix it by following the above-mentioned methods and enjoy an immersive gaming experience.


Q.1 What Should My GPU Frequency Be?

Ans: Your system GPU frequency depends on the type of work you perform on your PC. if you are playing a game then the GPU frequency must be as high as possible. This helps to achieve high FPS and a smoother gaming experience during gameplay.
If you perform normal browsing, document editing, and other less GPU-demanding tasks then you can set your GPU frequency in default. In most cases this is an automatic process, you don’t need to think about changing the GPU frequency each time until you perform GPU overclocking.

Q.2 Does Low GPU Frequency Affects FPS On Gaming?

Ans: Yes, definitely low GPU frequency affect your gameplay. you will get low FPS, your game lag, you will face screen stuttering issues, and so on.

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