Following up on this week's Radeon RX 480 launch, there has been some questions raised about the power consumption of the card. This is after some sites whom directly tap the power rails feeding the card discovered that at least some of their samples were pulling more than the standard-allowed 75W over the PCIe slot and/or 6-pin PCIe external power connector.

To that end, it would appear that AMD's staff is working weekend duty, and they have just sent over the following statement.

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).

If some of the data is to be believed, these cards are exceeding 150W total at times, which would mean there is either something causing them to run in the wrong power state, or they are just outright exeeding their power limit and need to be throttled back. As we don't do per-rail testing I don't have anything meaningful to add at this second, but it will be very interesting to see how AMD responds next week.

Update 07/06: AMD has since released their status update, which you can find here.

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  • Yojimbo - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    That's somewhat true, but not to the same extent. It's true in terms of maintaining strict integrity of the data collected but it's not true in such a direct causal relationship as in this case. It's an important consideration that this is an unscheduled update that is being made less than a week after the launch of the card as a direct result of a problem with the card, and that there is reason to believe said problem would inflate the benchmarks of the card. A key word there is inflate. Because the performance change isn't the result of an optimization but rather a mis-optimization. AMD is making a change in the optimization for safety/compliance reasons. Benchmarks taken under unsafe/noncompliant conditions should be invalid.

    Another more sinister way of looking at it providing another reason to re-benchmark: I'm not accusing AMD of purposefully pushing the card beyond specs for the purpose of benchmarking, but it's easy to see how a company could do exactly that and then later bring the card back to safe performance after the benchmarking period is over. Then, for the reason that it's an unusual situation and it could be used in such a way, benchmarks should really be re-run as a matter of good journalism.
  • Weyoun0 - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    AMD's death throes. AMD will be purchased by another company within the next few years. They may not even produce new drivers anymore after that. Be careful before buying AMD.
  • vladx - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Apple+AMD would make the perfect match. Imagine a healthy AMD with Apple's marketing.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Apple already seems to be exclusively AMD for the Mac. Which is a crying shame because the I really don't like AMD graphic chips. ALL of the Macs at work that be bought in the 2011-2012 time frame that had AMD chips in them have died. All the Macs with Intel-Only or nvidia graphics are still going strong. Waiting on Apple to update the MacBook Pro..but son-of-a-bitch they are taking their sweet time. I'm convinced now that Tim Cook is as bad for Mac Hardware as John Scully was. The Mac went from being the tech-darling of mobile computing to a laggard. How on Earth did this happen ... Apple?
  • kurahk7 - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    I'm sure Apple would be using nvidia if they weren't I'm a contract to use amd gpus. Apple, at least in the handheld mobile side has always targeted great performance as well as high efficiency simultaneously.
  • zanon - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Yeah, it's pretty depressing. Particularly since in an extra dose of irony Nvidia has actually been pretty damn good about keeping up with Mac support, even though it's basically exclusively for the very, very tiny and dwindling niche of folks still using tower Mac Pros. But if you've got a 2009-2012 Mac Pro, you can install the latest Nvidia web drivers and then a 980 or Titan or whatever (I don't think they've added 1070/1080 yet, though it works under Windows) and actually have a more powerful graphics system then anything Apple has shipped in the following 6 years. What a shame.

    I agree with you that Tim Cook has been really mediocre for the Mac. I'm not mad about them spending a lot of time and effort on iOS, but it shouldn't be a zero sum game with their resources. It's particularly frustrating when they've gone to extra effort to make something worse, like with the trashcan Mac Pro. If they'd literally taken the laziest, most highly profitable approach and just stuck with the same ancient case and merely bumped the internals it would have been a ton better and still made them more money too.

    More then irritating it's just plain confusing. We're all used to companies sometimes needing (or at least choosing) to make hard business decisions for the sake of money that we don't like, and that's just part of the markets. It's not fun, but the logic is clear. But it's a lot more frustrating when companies seem to go for own-goals and choose to make moves that are both bad *and* make no business sense. Rather then "argh" is becomes "!?!?!?!!??!?".
  • Makaveli - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Unless you have any proof of this post like this are FUD and borderline trolling.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Borderline? AMD vs. Nvidia is the most tiresome troll bait in the tech world, having replaced Apple bashing now that Apple is powerful, rich, and ubiquitous.

    The forum has a lot of doom and gloom "sky is falling" crud constantly posted about AMD and in the comments here it's usually more of the same.

    The religious devotion to corporations is lame. Corporate staff changes frequently and people act like a corporation is an immutable deity to be worshiped or sided against.

    I realize some of this is investors and employee astroturf but it's really boring. If only we could see the same level of passion go toward getting better-quality games, films, and other entertainment. I have a difficult time getting worked up about graphics cards since I don't even think most of the games are worth playing.
  • MapRef41N93W - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    People are sick and tired of AMD doing criminally stupid things and constantly under delivering on their astronomical hype. It's thanks to AMDs incompetence that the PC market is what it is right now, with Intel actually RAISING the price of their second tier extreme edition CPU compared to the previous generation first tier as well as dropping a $1,700 consumer CPU, and NVIDIA easily being able to move $1,000 consumer GPUs and make a killing on a $700 mid-range chip that they could sell at $400 and make a large profit.

    People enjoy watching AMD fail because they want them to die and go away so a company that isn't incompetent can take over and challenge these psuedo monopolies. On top of that, AMD's hilariously delusional fanboys make hating them even easier.
  • D. Lister - Saturday, July 2, 2016 - link

    Exactly. Someone needs to put a leash on Intel/Nvidia, and unfortunately AMD isn't quite up to the challenge. :(

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