Thermal throttling is the automated process of reducing voltage and clock speed of a computer part, in order to avoid overheating to the point of damaging the component. As your CPU or GPU gets hotter while doing something intensive, if they reach a certain temperature, based on what the manufacturer considers to be unsafe, they start to lower their frequencies in order to protect the electronic components from damage. That’s pretty cool protection-wise, but it means you’ll lose performance.
Therefore, thermal throttling is something we want to avoid.
How to prevent thermal throttling?
- Clean the pc/laptop.
- Reapply a better thermal compound where you can.
- Rethink your case’s airflow by adding or changing the position of your fans.
- Undervolt, if you can.
- Adjust the GPU fan curve using MSI Afterburner.
- If on a laptop, use a cooling pad.
- On desktop PC’s you can upgrade your CPU cooler with a better cooling solution.
- Ultimately, try to look for a case with good airflow.
- If you have a fast notebook, you might try limiting the FPS so it does not work as hard as it can. Tested this on a notebook that would reach much over 60 FPS in League of Legends but thermal throttle. The annoying thing was even the keyboard was getting hot. After limiting FPS to 60, temps dropped A LOT. And as the screen was 60Hz, it didn’t bother me. (you can use Vsync if other methods of limiting FPS are not available)