Just a week after the Radeon RX 480 was launched on the market, there are already reports regarding its power consumption. Apparently, it is pulling more power than the standard 75W.
In answer to the complaint, AMD promised a fix that will be rolled out on the next driver update.
“Fortunately, we can adjust the GPU’s tuning via software in order to resolve this issue. We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016)”, AMD said.
As of this writing, Radeon Software 16.7.1 update is still undergoing final testing, and will be made public in the next two days.
What are the two possible solutions that AMD offer consumers?
The default solution would be to move some of the power load off the slot connector of the PEG (PCIe Graphics). Since the company did not say anything about reducing Radeon RX 480’s power consumption, the next viable solution would be to keep power usage to the standard-allowed 75W over the 6-pin PCIe external power connector and/or PCIe slot. When this is done, the 6-pin connector would potentially move further over spec, which would have been bad news if not for the fact that a lot of PSU’s can handle going out of spec.
A more standard-compliant solution would be to use a toggle that will reduce the card’s total power consumption. By default, the compatibility UI toggle is set to off, and users would have to switch it on in Radeon Settings > Global Settings to activate it.
While this will reduce power usage, it will also hurt RX 480’s performance. Power limit is already causing the card to throttle at times, which could worsen when further reduced. AMD claims that this particular solution will have minimal impact on the card’s performance. But the fact that they are doing slight performance optimizations tells a different story.
“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.”
If you are about to buy a Radeon RX 480 to replace your old graphics card, you might want to put it off until the new driver update is rolled out. While it is affordable and VR-ready, the cost of power usage might offset this amazing feature. The last thing you want is to pay less on the graphics card and more on utility bills, which will be an ongoing thing.
Want to enhance your gaming experience? Maybe try a new mouse. Neurogadget recommends Logitech's Gaming Mouse for both its quality and gaming functionality.