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AMD Will Address RX 480 Power Consumption With Radeon Software Update This Week

Last week AMD launched first Polaris GPU, the Radeon RX 480, which it positioned to bring VR-ready performance to a wide audience. Unfortunately, during our evaluation of the RX 480, we discovered that AMD’s new graphics card was drawing well beyond the power limits of the PCIe slot. We even retested the card, just to be sure. Over the weekend, AMD issued a statement saying that it would be able to correct the issues with a driver update and that it would have more details on July 5, following the holiday weekend.

Late Tuesday evening, AMD announced that it had worked through the weekend to come up with a solution. The company said that a new driver would be out “in the next 48 hours” would lower the power draw from the PCIe slot.

“We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus. Although we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns. Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop a driver update to improve the power draw. We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours.In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus,” read the statement from AMD Gaming. Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the “compatibility” UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is “off” by default.Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.AMD is committed to delivering high quality and high performance products, and we’ll continue to provide users with more control over their product’s performance and efficiency. We appreciate all the feedback so far, and we’ll continue to bring further performance and performance/W optimizations to the Radeon RX 480.

In addition to reducing the power draw through the motherboard, the new driver will introduce “compatibility” mode that AMD said reduces “total power [draw] with minimal performance impact.”

The update isn't just to address the power consumption of the RX 480. AMD said that the upcoming driver would also include a number of performance optimizations in “popular game titles.”

Radeon Software Crimson 16.7.1 should be available before July 8. You can bet that we'll be putting the new driver through our power consumption tests again, once we have a copy in our hands.

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  • jasonkaler
    Nice feedback and response time from AMD about addressing the issue.
    Nvidia, take note!
    Reply
  • monsta
    AMD would not have had to provide you with a response and feedback if they had only not gimped their card
    Reply
  • EvilMonk
    MONSTA remember the nVidia GTX 970 / 3.5Gb episode? don't start shit it happens with both of them...
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Lord_Sunday123
    On the danger scale, 3.5/.5 Gb as a little less dangerous than drawing too much power. I'm not saying it is frying mobos, but it remains a possibility. I don't quite understand why either the 480 or the 970 were able to make it out of the factory without people figuring out that there were problems, but you'd think things like that would be easy to figure out.
    Reply
  • Vladraconis
    In the case of the RX 480, it's the old / cheap mobo's that are having issues with the extra amp draw. Maybe they just didn't think it was necessary to test the card on older / cheap mobo's. Which is a bit weird, considering this is a 200$ card, so aimed rather at those who don't have the $$ for more expensive components.
    Reply
  • nutjob2
    Apparently AMD's little bug will cause your motherboard to go up in flames, but overclocking everything from your CPU to your toilet seat is perfectly ok.
    Reply
  • Quixit
    No, overclocking is something you do knowing you could be destroying your hardware. When you buy hardware you expect that it will operate in spec by default. They're not even slightly related.
    Reply
  • nutjob2
    18233377 said:
    No, overclocking is something you do knowing you could be destroying your hardware. When you buy hardware you expect that it will operate in spec by default. They're not even slightly related.

    Give me a break, AMD's pushing a power line won't destroy or damage anything. I'm sure AMD's card will operate in spec, it's a new card with bugs, but apparently only AMD gets crucified for that, everyone else gets a pass.
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    18233434 said:
    18233377 said:
    No, overclocking is something you do knowing you could be destroying your hardware. When you buy hardware you expect that it will operate in spec by default. They're not even slightly related.

    Give me a break, AMD's pushing a power line won't destroy or damage anything. I'm sure AMD's card will operate in spec, it's a new card with bugs, but apparently only AMD gets crucified for that, everyone else gets a pass.

    AMD's card doesn't operate within spec. That's the point.
    Had we not pointed this out, the company may not have ever addressed it.

    To my knowledge, this is the first time we've discovered a graphics card that pushes the limits of PCIe so far.
    It likely won't fry components, but specs exist for a reason and should be adhered to. The public backlash is wholly waranted. No one else is "getting a pass."
    Reply