As mentioned previously, AMD's WattMan pane sports three power profiles: the default Balanced mode, a Power Saver mode that goes easy on power consumption, and a Turbo mode that operates more aggressively. In addition, there’s a second BIOS that decreases power consumption across the board. This might sound great, but ultimately, the Power Saver mode compromises performance and Turbo mode gives up efficiency. We'll cover the different modes in a follow-up article using a custom water-cooling solution. For this piece, however, we used the stock configuration for performance and power testing. In practice, this mode should be the way to go anyway.
Idle and Productivity Power Consumption with Overview
The card consumes 19W at idle, which isn't bad, but still higher than we hoped to see. We don't care for how AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 handles multi-monitor setups, as power use varies widely depending on your configuration. With two identical displays, consumption sits around 25W, while three different monitors require 40W. This is similar to the Vega Frontier Edition.
Using Balanced mode, the power consumption during daily productivity work ranges from approximately 140 to 150W for 2D drawing and 3D wireframes to almost 285W for gaming.
It’s largely pointless to report the Turbo mode’s numbers. The results we generated are mostly theoretical in nature, since the card runs into its temperature limit very quickly. There’s just not enough time for a valid reading that spans several minutes. And then there’s the noise…
Gaming Power Consumption
Gaming power consumption naturally varies with the GPU’s temperature (and its resulting clock frequency).
If the card is cold, it draws up to almost 300W. There are brief peaks up to a massive 385W. The secondary side of any modern PSU won’t have any problem handling those spikes, though.
Once the card warms up, it draws a little less power, cresting just under 285W. Now, the peaks reach up to 350W. Smoothing these over is up to the PSU once again.
The current curve looks just as expected.
Stress Test Power Consumption
Let’s examine what Power Tune does if the predicted load gets too high.
The graph below shows the clock rate control intervals and how throttling affects power consumption. The periodical fluctuations are decreased by quite a bit.
Again, the current curve doesn’t hold any surprises.
Motherboard Slot Load
Ever since the launch of AMD's Radeon RX 480, new graphics cards are accompanied by this chart. When it comes to Radeon RX Vega 64's current draw over its PCI Express connector, there is no cause for concern. The motherboard slot’s 2.4A maximum doesn’t even amount to half of the specified ceiling.
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