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AMD promises fix for Radeon RX 480's controversial, spec-exceeding power consumption

Brad Chacos | July 4, 2016
AMD's $200 Radeon RX 480 draws much more power than it should through your motherboard, which could damage low-end systems.

So I guess we’ll hear more on Tuesday. If the software fix involves reducing the power draw for the RX 480, that’ll most likely lower performance in the reference editions of the card as well, especially since Polaris’ performance is closely tied to the card’s power limit.

radeon rx 480 5 |
Brad Chacos

It's too bad that 6-pin connector on the AMD Radeon RX 480 isn't an 8-pin.

The real bummer: This all could’ve been avoided if AMD simply used an 8-pin or 2x 6-pin power connectors. I’d expect many custom RX 480s from AMD’s partners to beef up the card’s pins, both to increase the card’s overclocking potential and to completely sidestep this troubling power consumption issue.

It’s a damned shame AMD overreached with the single 6-pin connector rather than playing it safe. The Radeon RX 480 redefines what’s possible with a $200 graphics card, and indeed consumes far less power than the older R9 390/390X that it’s comparable to performance-wise. Oh well. Again, while you’re waiting to hear more from AMD on Tuesday, I’d highly recommend reading PC Perspective’s exhaustive analysis on the RX 480’s power draw issue. It’s stellar.

 

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