AMD Publishes AMDGPU PowerPlay Support For Re-Clocking / Power Management

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 12 November 2015 at 09:16 AM EST. 34 Comments
AMD has finally published patches for providing preliminary PowerPlay support for the AMDGPU DRM driver, which will eventually replace the current DPM (Dynamic Power Management) support for Volcanic Islands hardware. This PowerPlay support comes with compatibility for Tonga, Fiji, and the rest of the VI line-up!

My main gripe with the AMDGPU DRM driver is that it hasn't supported re-clocking / power management for the discrete graphics cards like the Radeon R9 285 and R9 Fury. Without it, the performance is terribly slow. Fortunately, these PowerPlay patches are finally providing the support albeit it will be a few months before seeing the code in a released Linux kernel.

What the Linux desktop looked like when PowerPlay support first came to ATI Catalyst on Linux.

Implementing PowerPlay support for the AMDGPU driver took 51 patches from multiple AMD developers. This power management code amounts to about 45 thousand lines of new code.

The patch series in its current form can be found via the DRI-devel mailing list. The patches can also be tried via this Git branch.

Due to the timing, this AMDGPU PowerPlay support won't be landing until the Linux 4.5 kernel. However, as soon as time allows I intend to carry out some AMDGPU benchmarks vs. Catalyst with this code on Tonga and Fiji.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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