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Radeon DPM Is Fantastic For Power Use, Thermal Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 July 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 8 of 8 - 56 Comments

Now here's some overall power consumption and GPU core temperature graphs generated by the Phoronix Test Suite for the previously shown individual tests plus several other OpenGL tests (more GpuTest cases, etc).

For the averages throughout all of the OpenGL stress tests, plus idling in between tests, the Radeon HD 6870 on the open-source Linux graphics driver with R600 Gallium3D driver had an average core temperature of 59.7 degrees. When enabling Radeon Dynamic Power Management, the average core temperature for this high-end graphics card during the same workloads and idling periods was 54.5 degrees -- a drop of over five degrees Celsius. The Radeon HD 6770 temperature went from 46.1 to 44.0 degrees and the Radeon HD 4890 went from 70.1 degrees to 69.0 degrees on average.

The average system power consumption was also shown overall by the Phoronix Test Suite. During all of this testing, the Radeon HD 6870 by default had an average power consumption of 169 Watts but it dropped to 130.6 by simply setting radeon.dpm=1. The Radeon HD 6770 graphics card went from consuming 117.5 Watts on average to now at 107.0 Watts. The Radeon HD 4890 graphics card went from 179.6 to 166.5 Watts.

Overall, the Radeon Dynamic Power Management support found within the Linux 3.11 kernel is very promising. Being mid-way through the Linux 3.11 development cycle, AMD believes most major bugs with this DPM code should be worked out. The support will still be disabled by default for Linux 3.11 and not turned on "out of the box" until a later Linux kernel release, but comfortable Linux enthusiasts can easily setup Radeon DPM. For modern Radeon graphics cards, the benefits of Radeon Dynamic Power Management are very noticeable with decreased power consumption and lower temperatures, as clearly shown by today's benchmarks. For other hardware, DPM means dramatic performance improvements.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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