Published in Graphics

AMD issues statement on R9 290X press sample performance

by on06 December 2013

New PowerTune mechanism implemented

AMD got a lot of flak last month, after it emerged that some Radeon R9 290X press samples were routinely outperforming retail cards. The issue was traced back to the PowerTune mechanism, which delivered different results on different cards.

“We have implemented an all new PowerTune mechanism in the AMD Radeon R9 290 series that exploits the full capability of the individual GPUs rather than clamping performance to a least-common-denominator type of capability level. This has the advantage of improving overall performance but does result in some degree of performance variability. These changes will also result in some degree of run-to-run test variability based on environmental and operational conditions in un-controlled test environment,” said AMD.

AMD pointed out that the performance differential is not expected to change the user experience, but admitted that the degree of variability was higher than expected.

“Reasonably we would expect the variability to occur both above and below the performance of the press samples, however it appears that most reported performances are biased towards the low side. We are actively investigating these reports and we will update when we have completed our investigation,” said AMD.

AMD stressed that the more the thermally limited the setting is, the more variation can occur. As a result, AMD implemented comprehensive PowerTune controls within the OverDrive panel of the Catalyst Control Centre, allowing users to tweak PowerTune settings and balance acoustics and performance according to their own desires. 

It’s not much of an explanation, but there you have it.

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