Last week there were widespread reports that the AMD Radeon RX 480, the company's new Polaris-based graphics card, suffered from power draw issues. Specifically, the card would draw more power from the PCIe graphics slot than the specificiation allows, which could cause damage to motherboard components down the track.
As promised, AMD has released a driver update to address the problem. Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 is now available, and offers two solutions to the RX 480's power draw: either shift the excess power draw to the PCIe power connector, or limit the total power consumption of the card.
AMD's primary solution is to shift the power draw to the 6-pin connector, although this does cause the connector to draw more power than its specification allows. However, unlike with the graphics slot on most motherboards, power supplies tend to be very tolerant of PCIe power connectors drawing more power than typically allowed.
There is also a 'compatibility mode' toggle available within Radeon Settings that limits the RX 480's power consumption so that neither the graphics slot nor the 6-pin connector draw more power than is allowed. This does have a small effect on performance, however in AnandTech's testing they found the performance hit was low enough to be within the margin of error for their benchmarks.
The 16.7.1 drivers include small performance boosts up to 3% for some games running on Polaris cards, and there are a collection of other bug fixes that have also been implemented.
As always, you can download the latest Radeon Software Crimson Edition drivers through Radeon Settings automatically, or you can download a manual installer from our driver download section here. Owners of RX 480 cards in particular should update their drivers to this version as soon as possible.