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AMD's Radeon RX 480 is reportedly overdrawing power from the PCIe slot

By Shawn Knight
Jul 1, 2016
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  1. AMD’s new Radeon RX 480 delivers impressive performance given its price point. Our 8GB sample was no exception at $240 although we would have been more impressed if the card was a bit more efficient, ran cooler and had more overclocking headroom.

    Now, just days after reviews of the RX 480 went live, we’re hearing multiple complaints suggesting the card may be responsible for all sorts of hardware failures.

    This Reddit thread, which is serving as a repository for various issues, first points to the video below from TecLab. Based on their testing, the team concludes that the Radeon RX 480 violates the PCI Express standard due to power consumption that’s too high.

    The thread also highlights a post over on Overclock.net regarding the death of audio ports on an Asus Rampage IV board, a separate thread on AMD’s community forum discussing a dead PCIe port and a report from PC Perspective which essentially mirrors TecLab's findings.

    PC Perspective’s Ryan Shrout goes in pretty deep with his analysis, ultimately concluding that the Radeon RX 480 does draw more power through both the motherboard PCIe connection and the 6-pin power connection than specifications allow for, even when running at stock settings in certain game scenarios. Is that a problem?

    The site believes the overdraw on the 6-pin cable is likely a non-issue but the motherboard power draw is definitely something to keep an eye on. One motherboard vendor reportedly said spikes as high as 95 watts are tolerable but sustained power draw at that level would likely cause damage. Testing at stock settings showed 80-85 watts of power draw at over 7A on the +12V line and 4.5-5.0 watts of draw on the 3.3V line. When overclocked, they witnessed motherboard PCIe slot +12V power draw of more than 95 watts.

    It’s impossible to know at this time whether or not we’re dealing with a serious issue as there simply aren’t many cards in the hands of gamers yet. This could very well be the last we heard of the matter or it could snowball into a major issue for AMD, a company that doesn’t exactly need any additional hurdles to overcome right now.

    Either way, all of this likely could have been avoided had AMD went with an 8-pin power connector instead of a single 6-pin connector but I digress.

    What are your thoughts on the matter? If you’ve purchased an RX 480, we’d love to know how it has been treating you thus far. For those of you still contemplating a purchase, will this keep you from pulling the trigger? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

    Update: AMD sent us the following response on the matter:

    "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)."

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. liammac002

    liammac002 TS Rookie

    I think this is ridiculous. Like how did they not realize this in testing? Or if they did, what were they thinking, releasing a card that can damage people's motherboards? I was going to buy one of these as soon as I could get my hands on one, but I'm going to wait until aftermarket cards come out with more power connectors, since I have a cheap motherboard that probably couldn't withstand the extra load, plus I want to overclock, so that will probably kill it. I'm not very impressed, to put it simply.
     
    Darth Shiv, Reehahs and hahahanoobs like this.
  3. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Booster Posts: 187   +88

    Prepare folks ......... spike of newly created accounts in forums and spamming by hardyforumy
     
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,550   +2,894

    Adhmuz, amstech, Darth Shiv and 4 others like this.
  5. HardReset

    HardReset TS Addict Posts: 248   +79

    No problem as PCI Express specs have already broken many times with over 300W graphic cards. Also this is only for review cards.
     
  6. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    And THERE it is ha ha ha~
     
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,902   +528

    From what AMD said, these are isolated problems. there are also tests from others that show the card operating at normal values.
    But the number of reports do seem to be on the higher end which is enough to warrant caution when buying the RX 480 early on. I think it's best to wait for the OEM versions that should be much better than the reference design.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  8. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Booster Posts: 80   +59

    If you want to jump on the hate wagon for no other reason that you bleed Nvidia green head on over to hardforum.com. The website's editor in chief has a very unprofessional and childish grudge against AMD so go join the bandwagon!
     
  9. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Booster Posts: 187   +88

    Lol at the review thread spammed by them.
     
    amstech likes this.
  10. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    If you read carefully through my review, there was some interesting data that cropped up around the power consumption and delivery on the new RX 480. Looking at our power consumption numbers, measured directly from the card, not from the wall, it was using slightly more than the 150 watt TDP it was advertised as. This was done at 1920x1080 and tested in both Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3.

    When overclocked, the results were even higher, approaching the 200 watt mark in Rise of the Tomb Raider!
    -pcper
     
  11. HardReset

    HardReset TS Addict Posts: 248   +79

    Spammed by Nvidia fanboys.

    As shown on PC Perspective, even GTX 960 draws more power than allowed from PCI Express power connector.
     
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    Definitely not 200w when overclocked....

    UPDATE (7/1/16):
    I have added a third page to this story that looks at the power consumption and power draw of the ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix card. This card was pointed out by many readers on our site and on reddit as having the same problem as the Radeon RX 480. As it turns out...not so much.
    -pcper
     
  13. HardReset

    HardReset TS Addict Posts: 248   +79

    Overclocking = exceeding specs.
     
  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    Yet the 960 wasn't bad enough to get its own article for doing damage to the card or other hardware. ;)
     
  15. HardReset

    HardReset TS Addict Posts: 248   +79

    Because Nvidia fanboy journalists don't care.
     
  16. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    Weak damage control....
     
  17. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 398   +207

    The whole story-line is EMO brat, zero journalistic prowess.

    There is so much low hanging fruit on this it's not even funny.
     
  18. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 164   +34

    HardReset and Evernessince like this.
  19. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    From your own source...
    Overall, all of the graphics cards post reasonable power consumption numbers. At least this is the case as long as the telemetry in conjunction with the driver can keep up and is able to adjust it to the load fluctuations that occur during gaming.

    The Asus GTX 960 Strix should do a much better job smoothing these spikes out.

    I wanna see the uproar about it damaging itself and/or other hardware. Come on, you can fanboy harder than that.
     
    Adhmuz, wastedkill and Burty117 like this.
  20. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    AdoredTV just did a video on this and showed how many other cards have done it in the past. He pulled a recent example of the GTX 980 massively overdrawing the socket compared to the 5w the RX 480 pulls in very rare occasions when benchking 4k.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFuYc2FHgjw

    So yes, this is a lot of hubbub about something that has been going on in worse fashion.
     
    EndlessWaves and HardReset like this.
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,214   +1,240

    Personally I think this is all a non-issue which is why I didn't update my review to include this info.

    I just received an update directly from AMD: "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)."
     
    Phr3d, dividebyzero, Burty117 and 3 others like this.
  22. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 844   +335

    It's hard to like AMD these days and I already dislike Nvidia for their bussiness practices. I guess you fanboys have it hard.
     
  23. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 164   +34

    You're reading stuff into my comment that wasn't there. I was complaining about bad journalism, making this a card specific issue when a minimal amount of research shows plenty of cards draw more than 75W average power or the quoted acceptable spikes of 95W.

    Is it a problem in practice? I've no idea, but if so it's a problem with multiple board designs and not the RX 480 reference board alone.
     
  24. CrisisDog

    CrisisDog TS Booster Posts: 120   +17

    I'm not surprised. I've had issues with about two out of three Radeon cards I've tried in my systems over the last 7-ish years. Mostly Crossfire related, that single card users would not see, but none the less, issues. I was thinking about picking these new models up, but this apparently confirms to me that AMD still has Q/A problems.
     
  25. HardReset

    HardReset TS Addict Posts: 248   +79

    This just requires driver fix. Nothing compared to Nvidia's GTX970 fiasco that never got fixed. And Nvidia still sells GTX 970 as 4GB card, so AMD's Q/A is miles ahead Nvidia's.
     

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