AMD RDNA3 drivers with improvements for power consumption
The updated GPU drivers for Radeon GPUs shows power related fixes.
AMD RX 7900 series suffer from power efficiency issues in idle mode and while playing video. Energy efficiency of Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX were disappointing from the start, notes the reviewer from ComputerBase, but AMD is tirelessly working to address those issues as soon as possible.
Last month AMD released a driver that implements power optimizations for certain workloads. Although not mentioned, they also improve power consumption in games, but only in specific scenario. A comprehensive test by ComputerBase shows that the December GPU driver increases energy efficiency for Radeon RX 7900 cards in video playback and partially when cards are idle.
The video playback on YouTube has shown 71W consumption on RX 7900 XT and 81W with RX 7900 XTX GPUs before the driver was released. The December driver update has massively improved power consumption for both cards, dropping to 46W and 54W respectively. Although that is a good improvement, it is still nowhere near as good as last-gen Radeon RX 6900 XT GPU which only requires 34W or RTX 4080’s 30W power.
The video playback power optimization were mentioned by the driver update, but AMD did not say anything about gaming power efficiency also being better. As discovered by ComputerBase, RX 7900 GPUs consumer less power but only when the framerate is capped. This can be seen in titles such as Doom Eternal at 1440p resolution with RX 7900 XTX seeing a massive 57% efficiency improvement and RX 7900 at 34%. The consumption has decreased by 57W up to 90W.
AMD is yet to release a unified driver for its RDNA2/RDNA3 GPU later this month. The newest driver (23.1.1) still working exclusively with RDNA3 GPUs does not show any improvements over the 22.12.2 driver that was tested by the German media.