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AMD Catalyst Control Center Overdrive Power setting

Tags:
  • Power
  • AMD
  • Overdrive
  • Systems
  • Graphics
  • Catalyst
Last response: in Graphics Cards
July 30, 2013 3:32:27 AM

Hi I am new to AMD/ATI cards and notice there is a power control slider under the Overdrive section of Catalyst Control Center. From reading other websites and forums, I understand that this limits the TDP of the card hence "power".

What I would like to ask is if it possible to set the power at -20% and leave the core and memory clock at stock speed (or even OC them)? What impact will this have on the physical card itself? I understand that overvoltage can destroy a card over time so I am wondering if I decrease to power supplied to the card, how does the card compensate this drop in power and still deliver stock or OC clocks?

Will the card automatically sense a lack of power and throttle the speeds or do I have to tell it to throttle the speed (underclock)?

Lastly is the relationship linear? 15% drop in clock speed must have a corresponding 15% drop in memory and 15% drop in power?

More about : amd catalyst control center overdrive power setting

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July 30, 2013 4:28:40 AM

As I understand it CCC Overdrive Power Settings are mainly to save battery life in laptops. Lower the limit and your card won't be able to use the amount of wattage it was designed for. You will of course have a performance loss but your battery will last longer.

Theoretically I guess you should up the Power Setting if overclocking by voltage since 1W = 1V x 1A. This would allow higher voltage but I do not think this is necessary since nobody increases the voltage so much that maximum power consumption of the card is exceeded. Extreme overclocker with lots of cooling may be an exemption though.

If you choose to down your Power Setting by -20% that could theoretically mean 20% performance loss when your card is at maximum performance and need all the power it can get. Just remember that a graphic card's power consumption is always dynamic depending on how much the card is performing. You would probably be able to overclock your card with Power Setting to -20% but the card would never benefit from it since it's not allowed to use the power necessary to gain the overclocked clock speed.

I guess a casual overclocker should probably set the Power consumption to +5% but you can't really know without doing proper readings of the card's power consumtion while you're doing the overclocking.... But as long as you don't overclock by increasing voltage there should be no need for any adjusting in this area at all.

Hope it helped a little... and don't take my word for the things I've said since this is kind of my own theory :D 
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July 30, 2013 6:07:34 AM

Mahisse said:
As I understand it CCC Overdrive Power Settings are mainly to save battery life in laptops. Lower the limit and your card won't be able to use the amount of wattage it was designed for. You will of course have a performance loss but your battery will last longer.

Theoretically I guess you should up the Power Setting if overclocking by voltage since 1W = 1V x 1A. This would allow higher voltage but I do not think this is necessary since nobody increases the voltage so much that maximum power consumption of the card is exceeded. Extreme overclocker with lots of cooling may be an exemption though.

If you choose to down your Power Setting by -20% that could theoretically mean 20% performance loss when your card is at maximum performance and need all the power it can get. Just remember that a graphic card's power consumption is always dynamic depending on how much the card is performing. You would probably be able to overclock your card with Power Setting to -20% but the card would never benefit from it since it's not allowed to use the power necessary to gain the overclocked clock speed.

I guess a casual overclocker should probably set the Power consumption to +5% but you can't really know without doing proper readings of the card's power consumtion while you're doing the overclocking.... But as long as you don't overclock by increasing voltage there should be no need for any adjusting in this area at all.

Hope it helped a little... and don't take my word for the things I've said since this is kind of my own theory :D 


the cooling of my casing is terrible so i have to underclock to cool my entire case. I currently have it set to 20% reduction in power,core clock and memory clock.

i guess my question is since 1W = 1V x 1A, if i limit the wattage to say 150W and dont limit the clocks, will the GPU using Catalyst Overdrive find a way to push out the performance by turning up the voltage or amperage? That would be disastrous
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July 30, 2013 6:50:52 AM

sobamonster42 said:
Mahisse said:
As I understand it CCC Overdrive Power Settings are mainly to save battery life in laptops. Lower the limit and your card won't be able to use the amount of wattage it was designed for. You will of course have a performance loss but your battery will last longer.

Theoretically I guess you should up the Power Setting if overclocking by voltage since 1W = 1V x 1A. This would allow higher voltage but I do not think this is necessary since nobody increases the voltage so much that maximum power consumption of the card is exceeded. Extreme overclocker with lots of cooling may be an exemption though.

If you choose to down your Power Setting by -20% that could theoretically mean 20% performance loss when your card is at maximum performance and need all the power it can get. Just remember that a graphic card's power consumption is always dynamic depending on how much the card is performing. You would probably be able to overclock your card with Power Setting to -20% but the card would never benefit from it since it's not allowed to use the power necessary to gain the overclocked clock speed.

I guess a casual overclocker should probably set the Power consumption to +5% but you can't really know without doing proper readings of the card's power consumtion while you're doing the overclocking.... But as long as you don't overclock by increasing voltage there should be no need for any adjusting in this area at all.

Hope it helped a little... and don't take my word for the things I've said since this is kind of my own theory :D 


the cooling of my casing is terrible so i have to underclock to cool my entire case. I currently have it set to 20% reduction in power,core clock and memory clock.

i guess my question is since 1W = 1V x 1A, if i limit the wattage to say 150W and dont limit the clocks, will the GPU using Catalyst Overdrive find a way to push out the performance by turning up the voltage or amperage? That would be disastrous


Well using Power Setting to reduce the heat output this way should work but again you are losing performance when your card has to perform to the fullest.

The equation 1W = 1V x 1A would make it impossible for the card to up the voltage or amperage since an increase of any of those two parameters would increase the wattage, which would be locked to 150W... So no the card will not increase the V or A instead (if I understand you question correctly). It wouldn't be allowed by the system anyway.
The card does not compensate for the reduced wattage. It simply just can't get enough power to provide maximum performance.

It is an interesting question though. I guess by overclocking the card and limitting the wattage you would get a higher performance at 80% wattage use than a stock card on 80% wattage use but I guess it also depends on the technology of the card. A card with boost technology may very well never go into 'boost mode' with only 80% wattage capacity available. Interesting thought but I'm unable to provide a concrete answer. Maybe a person with better insight will come along an provide an input.

Best way to find out really is to benchmark your card at -20% and 0% and see if there would be any difference. You could youse MSI Afterburner to monitor V and A as well.

May I ask what card you have and what temperatures you are getting at -20% and 0%?
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July 31, 2013 5:27:56 AM

Mahisse said:
sobamonster42 said:
Mahisse said:
As I understand it CCC Overdrive Power Settings are mainly to save battery life in laptops. Lower the limit and your card won't be able to use the amount of wattage it was designed for. You will of course have a performance loss but your battery will last longer.

Theoretically I guess you should up the Power Setting if overclocking by voltage since 1W = 1V x 1A. This would allow higher voltage but I do not think this is necessary since nobody increases the voltage so much that maximum power consumption of the card is exceeded. Extreme overclocker with lots of cooling may be an exemption though.

If you choose to down your Power Setting by -20% that could theoretically mean 20% performance loss when your card is at maximum performance and need all the power it can get. Just remember that a graphic card's power consumption is always dynamic depending on how much the card is performing. You would probably be able to overclock your card with Power Setting to -20% but the card would never benefit from it since it's not allowed to use the power necessary to gain the overclocked clock speed.

I guess a casual overclocker should probably set the Power consumption to +5% but you can't really know without doing proper readings of the card's power consumtion while you're doing the overclocking.... But as long as you don't overclock by increasing voltage there should be no need for any adjusting in this area at all.

Hope it helped a little... and don't take my word for the things I've said since this is kind of my own theory :D 


the cooling of my casing is terrible so i have to underclock to cool my entire case. I currently have it set to 20% reduction in power,core clock and memory clock.

i guess my question is since 1W = 1V x 1A, if i limit the wattage to say 150W and dont limit the clocks, will the GPU using Catalyst Overdrive find a way to push out the performance by turning up the voltage or amperage? That would be disastrous


Well using Power Setting to reduce the heat output this way should work but again you are losing performance when your card has to perform to the fullest.

The equation 1W = 1V x 1A would make it impossible for the card to up the voltage or amperage since an increase of any of those two parameters would increase the wattage, which would be locked to 150W... So no the card will not increase the V or A instead (if I understand you question correctly). It wouldn't be allowed by the system anyway.
The card does not compensate for the reduced wattage. It simply just can't get enough power to provide maximum performance.

It is an interesting question though. I guess by overclocking the card and limitting the wattage you would get a higher performance at 80% wattage use than a stock card on 80% wattage use but I guess it also depends on the technology of the card. A card with boost technology may very well never go into 'boost mode' with only 80% wattage capacity available. Interesting thought but I'm unable to provide a concrete answer. Maybe a person with better insight will come along an provide an input.

Best way to find out really is to benchmark your card at -20% and 0% and see if there would be any difference. You could youse MSI Afterburner to monitor V and A as well.

May I ask what card you have and what temperatures you are getting at -20% and 0%?


oh ic... -20% i get 75deg while 0% i get 85+deg. maximum was 90. so it does look like a drop in wattage has a corresponding drop in temp.

im nt sure what AMD has in mind but they seem to like to leave the card running hot. the fan is at 25% at 40deg idle and only increases to 38% under 75deg load.

the only time i see it hit 50% and above was when i had the power set to 0% and ran battlefield 3 on ultra. it seems like amd designed the card to work at a 90deg limit as the card only aggressively increased fan speeds to maintain 90deg. this is not good for me as the card is very near my harddisks and im worried the thermal transfer in the long run would cause my hdds to fail faster. is it possible to set the fan to maintain a max temp of 75deg like the cpu smart fan in bios?
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July 31, 2013 5:39:32 AM

Well you can easily make a custom fan profile with a program like MSI afterburner. I think that would be a good solution for you. Just remember that a faster fan is also a louder fan.. But yeah, go make a personal fan profile and up the speed of the fan when it hits 70c for example.
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December 26, 2013 12:12:02 PM

Mahisse said:
Well you can easily make a custom fan profile with a program like MSI afterburner. I think that would be a good solution for you. Just remember that a faster fan is also a louder fan.. But yeah, go make a personal fan profile and up the speed of the fan when it hits 70c for example.


you can use amd catalyst control center to make profiles. go to presets add preset, all u do is change the sliders then add preset it, if i can remember right. i used it a little, not long ago
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December 28, 2013 8:31:23 PM

MigM16 said:
Mahisse said:
Well you can easily make a custom fan profile with a program like MSI afterburner. I think that would be a good solution for you. Just remember that a faster fan is also a louder fan.. But yeah, go make a personal fan profile and up the speed of the fan when it hits 70c for example.


you can use amd catalyst control center to make profiles. go to presets add preset, all u do is change the sliders then add preset it, if i can remember right. i used it a little, not long ago


I am looking for a solution like AMD's new powertune which allows me to set the temp limit and have the graphic card try to work within that limit. but I cant do that with catalyst overdrive. any idea how?
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January 2, 2014 12:58:12 AM

Not sure you can do that easily without Powertune. As mentioned before you can set the fan profile to go faster when reaching certain temperatures but Powertune is a bit more advanced technology than a simple fan profile. It dynamically changes the power usage of your GPU depending on the performance you need. It means that you will probably limit your card severely if you set a temperature limit for your GPU to work with since the card won't be allowed to use the power it needs to provide maximum performance.
In theory you can do this by yourself with overdrive by simply doing alot of testing:

1/ Run a benchmark program like 3dMark
2/ Read the maximum temperature from the GPU reached under maximum workload
3/ Adjust the power usage in overdrive to limit the maximum workload, thus reducing the maximum temperature
4/ Repeat until the GPU no longer exceeds your maximum allowed temperature

Just keep in mind that temperatures always will be factor that will change with time unless you clean your PC every week ;) ...


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September 7, 2015 7:31:21 PM

My main question, which I can never find an answer for going on over a year now, is what are the correct settings in CCC when using using Afterburner. In otherwords, under the AMD Overdrive tab it gives you three sliders (AMD Overdrive, CPU Overdrive, and Graphics Overdrive). If I am going to abandon CCC and only use Afterburner, what should those three sliders be set to?
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