AMD promises code fix for power-hungry Radeon RX 480 GPU

Intel's punching bag says it's working on a patch

AMD says it will soon release a software update for its Radeon RX 480 graphics card to stop it slurping unexpectedly large amounts of power.

The world's "other" purveyor of x86 and GPU chips says it will distribute the update later this week, but in the meantime it does not believe any motherboards are at risk for damage from the power-hungry graphics cards.

This after a review of the cards found that the RX 480 was consuming more power than AMD's own specs had called for, in some cases exceeding the 75W allocation typically used for PCIe cards.

"We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus," AMD said in a statement posted through its Facebook page late Tuesday.

"Although 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.

"Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop a driver update to improve the power draw. 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."

That would mean the update is due to arrive by the end of the week, Thursday or early Friday. AMD noted that, in the meantime, it does not believe anyone's PCs are at risk from the power-slurping GPUs.

AMD released the RX 480 to great fanfare last month, labeling the card as the start of the "Radeon Rebellion." The card is aimed at the high-end gaming PC market with a nod to VR gaming rigs. AMD says that the RX 480 is capable of performing up to 5.8 trillion calculations per second.

The cards include a $199 model with 4GB of memory and a $239 card equipped with 8GB of memory. The RX 480 has, ironically, been pitched in large part on its power efficiency and per-watt performance. ®

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