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How To Check GPU Power Limit (TDP) For A Laptop

Two laptops with the same graphics inside may not perform the same. Performance will vary based on the power limit of the GPU.

Unfortunately, in most cases the power limit is not specified on the spec sheet, so how can you find out? Let’s take a look at how you can easily check GPU TDP on a laptop, and what you can do to find out for a laptop you aren’t able to test.

For a laptop you have access to

What does software report?

After a recent Nvidia driver update, you can open the Nvidia control panel and select Help from the top bar, then system information. This will show you the “Maximum Graphics Power” value, in the below example this laptop is 130W.

Nvidia Control Panel GPU power Limit

The actual value can of course vary based on dynamic boost though, so I recommend actually testing and confirming. For example, the above RTX 3080 reports a maximum graphics power of 130W, but dynamic boost allows it to run at 150W when the CPU isn’t in use.

Checking power limits yourself

The process I use to determine the power limit (TDP) the GPU actually runs at is to simply run a GPU workload and monitor the results – like so:

  • Download and run HWInfo
  • Run a consistent GPU load such as a game with high settings, I use the Unigine Heaven benchmark.
  • In HWInfo, scroll down to the GPU and check “GPU Power”, as highlighted below.

Hwinfo GPU Power Limit

In this case, my RTX 2070 Super laptop GPU runs at 115W, which is considered Max-P or full performance rather than Max-Q.

You don’t need to run your test for long, the example above was a 30 minute stress test and the average in the far right column was 114W. This will dip and rise at times, however the average is close to the expected 115W limit of the machine.

Other software like GPU-Z will show the power levels the GPU is running at too, the principle is the same, run a GPU load and monitor.

Depending on the laptop, the limit may change when the CPU is also engaged. After this, try a CPU stress test like Aida64 at the same time and see how GPU power behaves.

For a laptop you do not have access to

If the power limits are not specified by the vendor, your best bet is to check reviews. Good reviewers will note the power limits they observe as this is a key factor affecting performance. Failing that, you could ask the question to the vendor directly through support channels or who ever is selling the machine.

In an ideal world, all vendors would specify the power limit for the GPU, but unfortunately this is not yet the case. There has been some change in this area recently, hopefully we start to see more companies doing it as Nvidia continues to segment their GPU lineup.

Hi, I’m Jarrod, a tech reviewer from Australia. I mainly focus on laptops, but am interested in all things tech related!

34 Comments

    • Jarrod

      Anything below 80W I assume, given that is the maximum for 1660 Ti. It can vary based on the limits set by the vendor, which is part of the problem – just saying it’s Max-Q isn’t very helpful in this regard.

  • Ultra DMX

    Are max-q GPUs just tdp limited or have different specs that their Original counterparts? If they are tdp limited, Considering you have great cooling, can you remove the tdp limit?

  • Abdul

    Hey Jarrod, Just curious, of all the laptops you’ve reviewed so far, which one has the best speakers (excluding the macbook lineup).

    • Jarrod

      I say if they’re amazing in the review, unfortunately can’t remember them all or even most of them, but recently XPS 17 and Zephyrus G14 were very good.

  • JC

    Hi Jarrod, I really want to know the power limit of the RTX 2060 inside the Acer Predator Helios 300 2020 version. I just can’t find any info about this. The new 115 watt rtx 2060 has a great performance boost compared to last year’s 80 watt variant. It might be a deal breaker to me as I want to buy that laptop. Thanks!

  • Naraku

    hello jarrod i am having some confusion regarding power limit i have asus tuf a15 1650 model and when my gpu reaches 50 watts it shows power limit throttling and clocks remain same around 1700mhz so is it normal or there is something wrong with my laptop

  • Avinash Tripathi

    Hi Jarrod,

    Hope you’re safe and sound.
    I want to buy Asus zephyrus M15 laptop, is it value for money?
    Can you please do a review of it?
    Thank you

  • David C

    Hello Jarrod
    There has been a problem recently with the Lenovo legion 7i laptops, their hinges are breaking due to poor design and many users have faced this problem.. so can you please make a video on it and check it’s durability with the design. Much appreciated.

    • Jarrod

      This is not something I can do. Not only do I not have a 7i anymore, I only get to borrow laptops for a couple of weeks so I am never able to comment on long term durability issues.

  • Abhimanyu

    Hey, my dell 7577’s gpu always power limits while gaming. What can I do to run it at a consistent clockspeed? It’s a 1060 max-q.

  • Abhimanyu

    So basically the clockspeed is always meant to throttle? Idk why but my laptop is not performing as it should. The temps are way under control. But still both the cpu and gpu power limit throttle. After uninstalling intel dynamic platform and thermal framework the cpu doesn’t power limit throttle. My Cpu & Gpu temps are between 68-78°C and 68-71°C during gaming.

    • Jarrod

      Companies set power limits to avoid temperatures getting too hot, the trade off is it can leave performance on the table depending on the workload, sometimes you can boost the power limits with software if it’s not locked.

  • Abhimanyu

    So there’s nothing I can do to have better performance? My gpu temps are way under control. It barely goes above 70°C. Since 7577 is marketed as a gaming machine I was hoping that it’ll perform better.

  • Vit

    Hi Jarrod
    For Nvidea based laptops – is it now possible to verify the GPU power limit via Nvidea control panel? Would you know how to go about doing this? Thank you

  • Stephan

    Hi Jarrod, recently purchased a new laptop with nvidia 1650 ti graphics card. However i am not aware of the tgp of my gpu variant as neither the seller nor the oem mentioned it in the specifications.

    I thankfully stumbled on your post here and was relieved to see that the nvidia control panel provides the maximum power wattage. However, to my disbelief, in system information under help, Maximum graphics power does not appear at all among the other system info like cuda cores and such. I checked if it was a driver issue like you said, but I have the latest drivers, both game ready and studio drivers installed.

    Any idea why I am unable to see the maximum graphics power and possibly other settings? Using hwinfo64, I saw that my max power exceeds 50W, while the tgp on nvidia’s site for 1650 is 50 – 80 W. It would be helpful if i was able to see the maximum power for the gpu in my system.

  • Jose

    Jarod, good day, I am wondering is there any way I can increase my power limit pf my gpu with my hp omen 15 ryzen 7 4700u with intgrated graphics and 1660ti? Seems like my laptop cant handle some of my games like rfonline

    • Jarrod

      If that model is already at 80W, then no probably not. If it’s a lower Max-Q variant you may be able to flash some other VBIOS, but it’s unsupported and you need to know what you’re doing and do research before considering that.

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