Linux 5.12 To Support Radeon RX 6000 Series OverDrive Overclocking

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 28 December 2020 at 09:37 AM EST. 13 Comments
With the Linux 5.12 kernel next spring it looks like the Radeon RX 6000 "RDNA 2" overclocking support will be in order.

One of the missing features of the RDNA 2 "Sienna Cichlid" Linux support has been OverDrive overclocking for the Radeon RX 6800/6900 series. Granted, not the highest priority especially for Linux users where overclocking is predominantly done via writing to sysfs via the command-line given the lack of any nice overclocking GUI control panel from AMD.

While it didn't make it for the feature rich Linux 5.11 kernel that just saw 5.11-rc1 released on Sunday, within the AMDGPU drm-next area where AMD stages their Radeon graphics driver feature development code is Sienna Cichlid OverDrive support.

The patch hit the AMD drm-next Git tree last week - thus should be in store for the Linux 5.12 cycle in the spring.

Notable with this RDNA 2 OverDrive overclocking on Linux is now allowing underclocking (minimum) memory clock controls for these new graphics cards where prior GPUs with this OverDrive support only allowed adjusting the maximum memory clock. The Sienna Cichlid overclocking is done using the same sysfs attributes as currently handled for AMDGPU OverDrive overclocking.

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT / RX 6900 XT graphics cards support a "Rage Mode" for performance tuning presets. At this point there doesn't appear to be any Rage Mode support patches pending for Linux to enable that sort of easy/automatic overclocking support.

With this OverDrive support narrowly missing the Linux 5.11 merge window, the Linux 5.12 kernel merge window is expected to open in February and then Linux 5.12 debut as stable in April. Unfortunately Linux 5.12 will be too late for it being found out-of-the-box in the likes of Ubuntu 21.04 but at least should hit Fedora 34 as a stable release update.
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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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