At Computex earlier this year AMD announced that the Radeon RX 480 would offer a viable VR experience at a low-price and a lower power draw.
Naturally, Team Red fans went beserk at the time, but reports have emerged that suggests the celebration may have been premature.
The new card from the AMD stable is rated on paper as having a power draw of 150W. Quoting Tom’s Hardware, the card appears to draw an average of 164W. The real problem however, is in how power is fed to the GPU through the PCI-e lanes.
The report goes on to show that the card draws 86W through the PCIe lane which is over the recommended 75W across multiple lanes. Once users start stressing the GPU this number ramps up to 90W. For those keeping score thats 20% over the recommended draw.
Most modern motherboards are capable of dealing with this power requirement but over time and after sustained use, particularly if you plan to overclock the card, the pins in the PCIe rail may become damaged.
There’s also the matter of the increased wear of the 24-pin ATX connector powering the motherboard. There is also the potential that power surges can damage components around the PCIe rail.
Put a pin (or two) in it
Many are suggesting that had AMD opted for an 8-pin PCIe connector the problem may have never existed. The problem seems to be that the amount of power being through the 6-pin PCIe connector simply isn’t doing a good enough job.
Despite this, AMD has said that it is investigating the claims made by Tom’s Hardware and PC Perspective. The firm goes on to say that it is currently testing a driver that will rectify the problem and will share more information with users on Tuesday 5th July.
Anybody considering buying a RX 480 (which starts retailing at around R6 000 locally) may want to hold off until this power issue is solved by AMD. For those that are still skeptical we suggest waiting for OEMs such as MSI, Gigabyte and others to produce versions of the card configure power use a bit better.[Via – Tom’s Hardware] [Image – AMD]