AMD's Linux Driver Will Likely See A Power Change For The Radeon RX 480 Too
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 6 July 2016 at 12:46 PM EDT. 25 Comments
RADEON --
By now you may have heard that there is the potential for the Radeon RX 480 to draw more power from the PCI-E bus than it's rated to provide. In rare situations, this could potentially cause problems for the system. AMD/RTG is preparing to release a Windows driver fix while I checked in with AMD about addressing this situation under Linux.

With regards to the Windows Radeon Software for Polaris, AMD's formal statement emailed over mentioned, "...we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns...We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours. In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus. Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the 'compatibility' UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is 'off' by default."

From contacting the AMD Linux team, they are still investigating but likely will see the AMDGPU DRM driver getting a similar change to the Windows 16.7.1 driver for the RX 480 power distribution handling. But for now basically stay tuned until more information becomes available. (For what it's worth, my Radeon RX 480 reference card continues running fine with its AMDGPU Linux 4.7 polaris-test kernel.)
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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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