GPUsNews

AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 Series GPUs Come with Locked Power Tables, Limiting Overclocking Potential

The Radeon RX 7900 series cards offer decent raster performance but fall short when it comes to power efficiency. The RX 7900 XT, for example, draws more power than the NVIDIA RTX 4080 despite being notably slower. As noted in our review, it also falls flat in the overclocking department. On average, the GPU is only 5-7% faster when overclocked using conventional methods.

Enthusiasts can get around the limits set by vendors using various tricks. Apart from flashing modded BIOSes and shunt-modding the PCB, modifying power play tables is a commonly used method. Since you’re editing the Windows registry rather than firmware or hardware, you don’t run the risk of voiding the warranty or bricking your card.

Unfortunately, AMD has locked the power tables on the Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX, reports @Buildzoid1. Seeing as the RDNA 3 architecture isn’t particularly power efficient, this could have helped. In addition to increasing the TBP (Total Board Power), these tables can modify the power and frequency curves for better performance or efficiency.

The Radeon Adrenalin Software comes with an in-built overclocking utility, but despite many revisions, it’s still the worst in the category. You have very limited control over the various parameters. On the RX 7900 XT, power can only be increased by a measly 10%.

We can’t be sure why AMD has locked the power play tables, but one possible reason could be the de-coupled front-end and ALU clocks. The two run at different frequencies, complicating overclocking and making it hard to pinpoint the real-world clocks. We have reached out to AMD on the matter and will update the story as soon as we get a response.

Areej

Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.