Gain power savings with AMD 300 and Fury series
Let’s face the facts shall we? AMD cards aren’t known to sip power or have relatively cool temperatures. But now it seems you will be able to make your AMD card do just that with AMD’s Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), a new option in AMD Catalyst Control Center. NVIDIA has implemented something like this in their mobile GPUs, the aptly named Battery Boost which limits the frame rates so that the GPU doesn’t have to work so hard, thus extending battery life. But who games while running on battery power anyway. So back to AMD’s solution, the concept is the same, just applied for desktop cards to lower the workload which will result in a reduction in power consumption and also temperatures.
And based on PCWorld’s contributor, Jason Evangelho’s tests, the drop in temps and power consumption are considerable, especially considering the system with the Sapphire Radeon Tri-X 390X tested is capable of pulling a whopping 450W from the wall with FRTC off in Civilization : Beyond Earth.
As you can see in the graphs, the power consumption is cut down rather drastically to 379W with FRTC set to 75 fps or a 15% saving, which is above the 60 fps most monitors are capable of displaying at 60 Hz with V Sync. If set to 55 fps a bigger drop is observed, with it dropping to 357W or a 20% drop in power consumption. The Fury X shows similar gains. A bigger gain is observed in Bioshock: Infinite, in which the 390X draws 424W with FRTC off, and a much lower 285W with FRTC set to 55 fps. That’s a 48% difference right there in just a few clicks. The Fury X shows a lesser but just as impressive 34% reduction in system power consumption with FRTC @ 55 fps.
With lower workloads also comes lower temperatures.
The already cool AMD Radeon Fury X sees but a small drop in temps, but the much hotter Sapphire Radeon Tri-X 390X is able to benefit from the bigger drop in temperatures. Not as impressive as the power consumption drop, but it’s there. And needless to say noise levels will drop as the temperatures go down as the cooling system no longer has to work as hard to dissipate the heat.
However in their testing they found FRTC to be ineffective in Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm. This may be related to a bug but it should soon be squashed in updates.
FRTC only supports AMD Radeon R9 300 and Fury series for now, but as the R9 300 line up is mainly made up of rebadged older cards, the feature may very well be supported by the older cards through future driver updates.
Pokdepinion: This is a very good move for AMD. As the Maxwell claim to glory is high efficiency while delivering great performance, and now AMD has an answer for that. NVIDIA fans may cry, “but we do not need to limit our FPS to achieve those numbers,” but do we really need anything above what our screen can display? And finally I can put my favorite hate-speech against AMD to rest. AMD is less hot and power-hungry now.