Is it possible to reduce the fan speed (and power usage?) when the display is put to sleep?

Hello everyone,

When I put the screen of my desktop PC to sleep, I usually just use:

$ xset dpms force off

However, I’ve noticed through the fan graphing tool that the fans of my Nvidia 1070 still spin at full speed which means it’s also consuming lots of power. Is there a reduced power mode? Is there a way to reduce the fan speed when the display is not in use? Is there a better command to use when I want to put my sleep to sleep?

I’m using the 396.24 driver.


  1. xset dpms force standby/off doesn’t put the video card to sleep, it’s ONLY a signal to the displays. The card can be running a benchmark and consume 150W while the display is off :) It can also be in the deepest power saving mode while still driving displays.

  2. You should consult nvidia-smi instead of a “fan graphing tool” to check whether the card stays in high power modes, and if so - often it will tell you which program keeps the card busy.

  3. My GTX 980 claims to be at 27% fan speed when it’s not spinning any fan. It’s just how the firmware reports it. I know it’s stupid, but functionally irrelevant, you just check when it stops and adjust the scale accordingly :)

  4. I’d like my card to have actual sleep mode (it still consumes 30W in the deepest possible power saving state), but I don’t think Nvidia nor card makres are concerned with that on gaming/performance market product, also evidenced by years of not addressing the issue of cards hopping up to P0 whenever you open a new window etc. - they (rightly) assume if we were actually more concerned about wattage than performance, we’d use some ultra-low power CPU with built-in GPU :) We have to live with it, I guess.