A New Open-Source AMD OverDrive Utility For Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 27 December 2010 at 12:35 PM EST. 8 Comments
AMD has allowed their Radeon GPUs to be overclocked on Linux since 2008 when using their Catalyst driver with OverDrive support. Previous to that there was Rovclock for overclocking select ATI Radeon ASICs using an open-source program along with support for tuning the video memory timings and other options, which was a program written via reverse engineering. The Catalyst Linux driver supports OverDrive manipulation of the core and memory clocks, which is enough for most enthusiasts, but if you've been looking for more extensive features there is a new option.

AMDOverdriveCtrl is this new open-source utility for OverDrive overclocking of Radeon hardware under Linux. It's not an official program from AMD but was written by a Linux user against AMD's Display Library API, which they released for Linux in 2009. The program was announced this morning in our forums.

The open-source AMDOverdriveCtrl program allows controlling the GPU and memory frequencies like the AMDCCCLE/aticonfig programs do as the official ways of overclockng, but it also allows for manual voltage adjustments, manually setting the graphics card's fan-speed, other fan control modes, application profiles, and long-term thermal/fan-speed monitoring. With the Catalyst driver and AMD's official utilities it's possible as well to read the GPU core temperature and fan speed on supported ASICs, but this application looks to take it a step further. The program provides a graphical user-interface via wxWidgets.

As this program is written against the AMD Display Library API, it should work out and be a cleaner / more stable solution (albeit it's not officially supported by AMD) way of overclocking your Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000/6000 series GPUs compared to a program that's developed via community reverse-engineering. Though with the program's dependence on the ADL library, it will only work with the Catalyst driver. The open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics drivers do not support the AMD Display Library so don't expect to magically overclock your graphics processor if using anything but the Catalyst binary blob.

This program can be discussed in our forums and downloaded from SourceForge.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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