There's been no small amount of talk in the past week or so surrounding the PCIe slot power draw from AMD's new Radeon RX 480 graphics card. Now AMD is releasing a driver specifically targeted at 480 owners who are concerned with the amount of power drawn from the PCIe slot on the motherboard. This update, update 16.7.1, was announced Tuesday, along with a number of details of the planned fix.
AMD doesn't put the power draw changes under the "Fixed Issues" section of the driver description, opting to keep the changes under "Highlights." The company does, however, explicitly call out power distribution changes on the PCIe bus for the card, and says that it is adding a "compatibility mode" option to its Radeon software options. AMD also highlights performance improvements on the RX 480 from this driver, which it says will "substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the 'compatibility' toggle."
Along with the added power options and general performance tweaks, the driver should fix a few known issues with popular games, including Grand Theft Auto V, Doom, and Hitman. Another fixed issue noted in the driver release is a nebulous statement about fixing "limited PCIe bandwidth" on the RX 480. If you are interested in downloading the new drivers or want to read the gory details in the release notes, they are available at AMD's support site.
All of these changes sound like a pretty good resolution to a rather shaky start for the 480, assuming the performance numbers really aren't changing much with compatibility mode turned on. The good folks over at PC Perspective have already released some power numbers with the fix applied, and their work suggests that things are looking much better for the new card. We're rushing to get you a few choice frame-time benchmarks and fresh power numbers with the new drivers, as well.
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