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RX 480 compatibility with 970 Pro3 R2.0

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PetrolHead View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jul 2016 at 2:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PetrolHead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2016 at 9:18am
AMD has announced that it will release a new version of the driver before the weekend:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10469/amds-tuesday-radeon-rx-480-update-new-driver-by-late-thursday

The new driver will apparently redistribute the power draw to some extent (putting the 6-pin connector more outside the specificaton than what it is now) as well as offer a compatibility mode, which will lower the power draw so that both PCIe slot and the power connector stay within the specs. In addition, there should be some small performance increase through optimizations, which will aid in offsetting any possible throttling that the other two changes may bring.

It may be worth mentioning that The Stilt had also found a way to alter the power balance:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1604798/guru3d-amd-gives-statement-on-the-pci-express-overcurrent-problems/10#post_25315251
http://www.overclock.net/t/1604798/guru3d-amd-gives-statement-on-the-pci-express-overcurrent-problems/10#post_25315280
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/amd-radeon-rx-480-8-gb.223586/page-14#post-3484259
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PetrolHead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 2:37pm
You could, but I need to stress that:

a) It will not help keep the RX 480 within the PCIe specification since the current draw will remain the same.

b) Depending on the silicon lottery you might not even be able to undervolt the GPU.

c) Even if you can undervolt the GPU, the gains are not very significant.

Overall I see very little reason for anyone to get the reference card. Custom cards will in all likelihood be superior.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowmeph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 12:16pm
ok so then I could  use the AMD wattman and try and turn down P-state . I will give that a try I grab the card
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PetrolHead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 9:39am
According to Tom's Hardware, the actual problem is the current draw. According to their measurements, their RX 480 drew an average of 6.74 A at the PCIe slot, while the allowed maximum according to the PCI-SIG is 5.5 A.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx-480-power-measurements,4622.html

So, undervolting anything will not solve the issue. However, undervolting the GPU - if the GPU tolerates it - may have other advantages:

http://www.legitreviews.com/amd-radeon-rx-480-undervolting-performance_183699


Edited by PetrolHead - 06 Jul 2016 at 9:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 1:52am
No, it wouldn't. If anything it could make it worse. The issue is that the card tries to draw more power from the slot than the slot is rated to provide. When this happens extra heat is generated which can cause failures in the capacitors and power circuits for the slot. 

Edited by Xaltar - 06 Jul 2016 at 1:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowmeph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 12:08am
I am wondering if ( I haven't looked at my z77 extreme 3 Motherboards Bios settings in a while) there is a way to under volt the PCIe slot just a little would that help?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2016 at 11:50pm
So it has been established that the new RX 480 can draw (or attempt to) more power from the PCIe slot than the maximum power specification of a PCIe x16 slot.

The PC Perspective article that PetrolHead gave us links to, is the best one I've seen about this topic, so thanks for that! Thumbs Up

Their power usage testing methodology is the best I've seen so far, and in general they seem to know what they are doing, which really matters in a situation like this. Reviews or testing that are less technical and less detailed than this don't provide us with the reality of the situation. Yes it is more complex, but this is not a simple question.

Which is why simply asking "will my board be damaged" will not have a simple yes or no answer. Frankly, if someone wants to keep it simple and ignore the important details, to be safe, the simple answer is, it is possible.

The amount of power drawn beyond the PCIe specification varies depending upon multiple things, including the game being played. Not a surprise IMO, but an example of a non-hardware factor that matters.

Reading through different discussion forum threads on this topic, the opinions range from it is not an issue, to certain death for a board. I would NOT suggest looking to a forum post for a simple answer to this question. If the post has data to back it up, as PetrolHead's does, then it is worth using to make your own decision.

Some of you may know that ASRock includes an extra power connector on some of their boards, that is used to provide extra power to the PCIe x16 slots. That was no doubt added to compensate for the (only) two +12V pins on every ATX 24 pin connector, that must provide +12V power to the entire board, except for the CPU that has its own +12V source from the PSU.

Yet another detail that matters, and usually we can do nothing to compensate for this limitation. If your ASRock board has the extra power connector for the PCIe x16 slots, I would urge you to use it if you are using a RX 480. Better safe than sorry. Geek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PetrolHead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2016 at 8:40pm
Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

Basically, steer clear till a fix is released or better yet, wait for non reference cards to hit that add an extra power connector and balance the power draw better. IMO AMD pushed it too far, these cards were already great value even at 20% lower clocks and performance, especially at the $200 price point. On the up side tho, they will likely be fantastic once partner versions begin to show up.


I, too, would advise against getting the reference card. The new driver may be able to fix power consumption so that the card will not draw the extra juice it needs via the PCIe slot, but instead the 6-pin power connector. It will still be outside the specs, but the power connectors are capable of handling a lot more than the specs dictate. Getting a new PSU will not help your motherboard in dealing with the extra wattage drawn through the PCIe slot, since it's the components on the motherboard that may not be able to handle the extra current passing through them. While some motherboards are probably able to deal with the extra demands even the stock card currently places on the componentry, I wouldn't risk it unless I had a top-of-the-line motherboard that's directed at enthusiasts and overclockers.

PC Perspective has had some good articles on this:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Power-Consumption-Concerns-Radeon-RX-480
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Radeon-RX-480-Review-Polaris-Promise/PC-Perspective-Advanced-Power-Testin

I'm also planning on getting the RX 480, but I've decided to wait a week or two, maybe even a month or two, for these reasons:

-The power issue. Even with the driver update it will still be outside the specification, unless they decide to tone down the performance.
-The cooling is poor. The VRM section and GPU hit temperatures around 95 C and 80 C, respectively, in demanding (yet normal) gaming. This leaves very little room for overclocking, as does the power issue. The blower fan also needs to spin at decent rpm to keep the card from overheating, which translates into unwanted noice.
-Partner versions with better cooling and an 8-pin power connector will likely solve all of the issues stated above.
-The arrival of several partner versions as well as the GTX 1060 may help keep prices in check. I'm not optimistic enough to say they'll drop, but at least we should be spared from price hikes.
-The drivers aren't very mature yet and the RX 480 isn't giving it's best quite yet.
-The manufacturing process also seems to have some minor issues, which are reflected in the power consumption and some chips running hotter than others. I wouldn't call this a major issue, but it's possibly one of the reasons the RX 480 isn't hitting the promised 150 W spec.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2016 at 12:38am
I'm glad (in a way) that this issue was identified by one or more PC hardware review websites.

AMD has acknowledged the situation, and according to this statement from AMD, they will release a driver update to fix it:

"As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8 Gbps for GDDR5. Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. Fortunately, we can adjust the GPU's tuning via software in order to resolve this issue. We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016)."

https://www.techpowerup.com/223833/official-statement-from-amd-on-the-pci-express-overcurrent-issue

I still wonder if this has been completely sorted out yet. Seems to be a bit early to say so IMO.

That is, is every 480 from every manufacture identical in its GPU voltage settings? I read that some 480's were set to a 1.3V GPU voltage, when it "should be" 1.15V.

Does the excessive power draw from the PCIe slot happen with stock, out of the box settings, or does this happen only if the 480 is over clocked?

How can any manufacture insure that every owner of a 480 will use the updated driver, once it is available? Will the first driver update be all that is needed, or will another be released with an additional fix?

Now I've jumped on the FUD train! Embarrassed  Or is it just reality? Wink

jerbeck, I should have been more sympathetic to your question, even if it is difficult to try to answer.

In general, do we think that ANY mother board manufacture would (want to) tell us, "Yes, the PCIe slot on this board was designed to just meet the specification, but anything beyond it will release the blue smoke". Wink Shocked

Your question is if a board will not meet the PCIe power specification. While it would be the right thing to do, I can't imagine any manufacture would want to admit to that, or would do so, particularly before any of their boards were damaged.

I don't know either way about your board. I've looked at it as much as I can in pictures, and all I can tell you is this:



The first PCIe x16 slot (PCIE2) has two solid capacitors right next to it, right by the area where the power connections are in the PCIe slot. All the power connections in a PCIe slot are only in that small area above the notch in the connector on a video card, etc. There are five +12V connections in that area, that is the standard and all that is available. We can see this is not a high power delivery design, which is why many video cards will have the extra six and eight pin power connectors.

In case you don't know, those capacitors are used to filter the power, and provide an extra burst of power if it is needed. That is a standard power supply design, and the more capacitors used in a power circuit, the better it is for supplying power.

IMO, to see those capacitors in that area is a good sign that the PCIe x16 slot will meet the PCIe specification. There are quite a few similar capacitors on the board farther away from that PCIe x16 slot, so IMO the two capacitors right next to that slot must be for the power supply to that slot.

We won't always find capacitors like that right at the location where power will be drawn from the board. Those capacitors are not being used to create the +12V supply to the PCIe x16 slot, they are extra capacitors to improve the +12V supply to that slot. The more power supply capacitors being used, the better.
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