Intel Arc A7 GPUs consume a lot of power even when they are idle
Intel’s solution to high idle power requires manual OS and BIOS changes.
Intel Arc A7 desktop reviews have shown that the GPUs will consume at least 41W of power, even when the system is idle. This is significantly higher power consumption than competing products, often requiring less than 10W in comparison.
Intel’s solution to high idle power on Arc A7 GPUs it to change Windows and motherboard BIOS power settings. The architecture is using PCIe 2.0 spec L0s and L1 power modes, which need to be forced by software setting.
These modes are part of the Active-state Power Management (ASPM) mechanism designed for PCI Express devices, explains Intel. The company claims that ASPM L1 mode and global operating system settings must be enabled for Arc A7 GPUs to utilize low-power state.
Intel provided a solution with the following steps. It looks like Intel has no way to force these settings from their driver, hence users will be required to change this manually:
For optimal power consumption, configure the BIOS as follows:
- Allow OS controlled ASPM by setting Native ASPM to Enabled.
- Enable PCI Express root port ASPM and select L1 Substates.
Consult your motherboard manual or refer to your motherboard’s manufacturer if you are not sure where to locate these settings. Different manufacturers may use different names for the same setting.
Also, configure Windows* Power settings as follows:
- Go to Start > System > Power & sleep.
- Click on Additional power settings.
- Select your preferred plan and click on Change plan settings.
- Click on Change advanced power settings.
- Look for PCI Express.
- Click on the ‘+’ sign next to PCI Express to expand the options.
- Click on the ‘+’ sign next to Link State Power Management to expand the options.
- Select Maximum power savings as the Setting using the drop-down menu.
Intel Arc A7 GPUs are on the top of the list when it comes to power consumption, as shown below.
If you have Arc A7 GPU, give this solution a try and make sure to tell us how it performs. Just be advised that your results will vary depending on a monitor refresh rate or number of monitors. The values recorded above were with hardware monitoring tools for GPUs, so software power readings will be different.