AMD addresses RX 480 PCIe power draw concerns

Upcoming hotfix expected to roll out by tomorrow!

A couple of tech websites have done a detailed analysis of the RX 480’s power consumption in the past week. It was found that the card was drawing more power than its actual limit via the PCIe 3.0 slot’s 12v rail. To recap, PCPerspective found that the AMD Radeon card was putting 7Amps from the slot, and which increased to 8.3Amps. PCIe specification points that it should draw a maximum of 5.5 amps from the 12v rail.As a possible situation, it may damage the motherboard’s connectors and certain components. It also depends on the motherboard’s quality, overclocking, usage and other factors. Low-cost motherboards will possibly get a hit because of this.

Recently, AMD gave the following statement, indicating that AMD is providing a fix for the issue:

As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8Gbps for GDDR5. Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. 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).

My opinion:

This issue was highlighted by Tom’s Hardware and PC Perspective. GURU3D tried to replicate the issue by performing stress tests. As it turns out, there were not able to bring out any significant issues. It’s possible that this issue exists on certain reference editions or just media units. On the other hand, there’s a post in AMD community where one is blaming the RX 480 for destroying the motherboard. As it with any community, one side doubts the person’s claims. Another is ready to bash. You decide!

Controversies at the time of launch aren’t something new for graphic cards in general. Nvidia GTX 970 was ridiculed for 2.5GB+0.5GB (nicknamed “RAMGATE”???). But only a few users were able to see the issues with it. It turned out to be a great mid-end card that still keeps most of its users happy enough for today. Regardless, it needs a fix to remove the “possible” worse case scenario. Universal specification exists for a reason. If the newer Radeon hotfix takes care of that problem, we can all go back home!


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