AMD’s new RX480 card has launched today, which means benchmarks and power efficiency tests galore popping up across the internet. Among the many articles, reviewers at Tom’s Hardware reported something troubling regarding power draw on the PCI Express slot.
In their testing, they found that the RX480 they had received for review drew 86W through the PCIE slot. That’s 11W above the maximum 75W specification required to meet compliance.
AMD’s Senior VP and Chief Architect Raja Koduri was fortuitously present for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ event earlier today, and addressed the issue when asked (‘gfxchiptweeter’ is Koduri).
“We have extensive testing internally on our PCIE compliance and RX480 passed our testing,” he writes. “However we have received feedback from some of the reviewers on high current observed on PCIE in some cases. We are looking into these scenarios as we speak and reproduce these scenarios internally. Our engineering team is fully engaged.”
If widespread, the non-compliant power draw would be a serious issue for AMD. However, there are other possibilities. The card received for review at Tom’s could be faulty in some way, or something went array with the testing. Reviewers were working with cards that could flash the BIOS to use either 4GB or 8GB of VRAM (to save sending a pair of cards to everyone, presumably), so that’s another difference between review and market models.
For now, it’s something for AMD’s engineers to take a good look at.