AMD has released the second driver with support for the new Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX graphics cards. Adrenalin Edition 22.12.2 WHQL is an RDNA 3 GPU series-exclusive driver, and its headlining quality is that it can significantly reduce power usage when the GPU is used to accelerate video decoding. Elsewhere in the driver, there are a handful of system and gaming fixes, but no new features seem to have been added.
A number of tech sites and enthusiasts have noticed that the new RX 7900 family GPUs consume a surprising amount of power when decoding video, when multi-monitor setups are idling, or while desktop windows are being moved around. Germany’s ComputerBase was among those that shined a light on these quirky power issues, and it comments that the RDNA 3 GPUs were much more power thirsty during those tasks than the RX 6000 series graphics cards (with RDNA 2 GPU architecture).
Above are a pair of charts from ComputerBase that highlight how the RX 7900 XT(X) are truly outliers in the video playback efficiency stakes. Playing 4K, 60 fps videos on YouTube, these new Radeons could consume 70 or 80W. This is more than double the power consumption one might reasonably expect if you look at predecessors and competitors. The 4K 60fps HDR video playback power consumption figures for the new RDNA 3 graphics cards were still high, but much more similar to predecessors and rivals. According to the source, the software driver tweaks will have been targeted at AMD's Video Codec Engine (VCE) to fix this video playback power consumption issue.
AMD isn’t finished with the RX 7900 XT(X) power consumption tweaks. In driver 22.12.2 release notes it says that “high idle power has situationally been observed when using select high resolution and high refresh rate displays,” and this remains a known issue. Further power efficiency improvements will come in subsequent driver updates, says AMD.
The new driver for Radeon RX 7900 XT(X) graphics cards also fixes the following:
- Corruption may be encountered when using Virtual Super Resolution with multi-display configurations.
- A system crash may be observed when changing display modes with 4 display configurations.
- While loading Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales an app crash or driver timeout may occur after enabling ray tracing settings.
We shall be doing more Radeon RX 7900 XT(X) graphics cards testing soon, so please stay tuned for the Graphics Editor’s observations with the latest driver.
If you own any Radeon graphics card other than the RX 7900 XT(X) your newest Adrenalin driver version is 22.11.2, at the time of writing.