Radeon software ignoring my clock speed settings

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
I want to somewhat reduce the clock speed of my graphics card. I try to do this in Radeon Software. Sometimes it accepts my speed changes. Sometimes it doesn't.

I click on the performance tab, tuning sub tab, click the box for manual tuning control, enable GPU tuning, reduce max frequency by 30% then click apply changes. After a second, the switch for GPU tuning switches off. When I switch it back on, the max frequency is back to 100%.

Why does Radeon Software sometimes refuse my speed changes? I can understand an unsafe overclock being rejected, by why an underclock?

I'm using an RX 480 graphics card and Radeon Software 20.2.2.

If it's any help, I want to run Folding@Home in the background but not make the graphics card fan too loud. That's why I want to slow it down.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
6,134
1,454
136
Sounds like a potential bug somewhere, have your tried newer/other driver versions?
 

Feld

Senior member
Aug 6, 2015
287
95
101
Try 19.5.2 drivers. I have similar problems on a Vega series card on any newer drivers than these ones. It might be the same for Polaris cards like yours. Otherwise if you need newer drivers than ones from a year ago (though for me they are super stable), try using OverdriveNTool to force the desired clock changes.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,843
1,809
136
Outside of a potential software bug, a 30% decrease is rather substantial, and the card may just not be happy with that.

Out of curiosity, why are you wanting to under clock it so heavily?
 

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
Outside of a potential software bug, a 30% decrease is rather substantial, and the card may just not be happy with that.
I've lowered it 50% in the past with no problem.

I also lowered the video memory clock speed 50% a few years ago but as of a couple years ago the drivers limited the user's ability to lower the video memory clock speed to only 12.5% below stock. Does anyone know why AMD changed that?

Out of curiosity, why are you wanting to under clock it so heavily?
I want to run Folding@Home while doing other tasks and keep the fan quieter than its stock speed.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but since the graphics card mount is lopsided I worry a bit that the fans running at full speed could cause mechanical stress that breaks something.
 
Last edited:

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,843
1,809
136
I've lowered it 50% in the past with no problem.

I also lowered the video memory clock speed 50% a few years ago but as of a couple years ago the drivers limited the user's ability to lower the video memory clock speed to only 12.5% below stock. Does anyone know why AMD changed that?



I want to run Folding@Home while doing other tasks and keep the fan quieter than its stock speed.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but since the graphics card mount is lopsided I worry a bit that the fans running at full speed could cause mechanical stress that breaks something.
I would just set the power limit down. It will adjust its own clocks and voltages then, since really power/noise is what you are interested in. You could also undervolt if you haven't already.
 

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
I would just set the power limit down. It will adjust its own clocks and voltages then, since really power/noise is what you are interested in. You could also undervolt if you haven't already.
Lowering the power limit 50% only resulted in the power dropping from 110W to 90W while Folding@Home is running, according to the app's own measurement. It also resulted in the fan slowing from 2400 RPM to 2100, which is a bit quieter, which is nice, so I'll keep this setting. Thanks!

I have no experience undervolting. Can you recommend a guide, and do the recommendations vary by GPU or by intended use (underclocking vs overclocking), and how would manual undervolting compare to the automatic setting handling it?

Edit: After running for half an hour the fan is back up to 2400 RPM. Hm...
 
Last edited:

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,843
1,809
136
Lowering the power limit 50% only resulted in the power dropping from 110W to 90W while Folding@Home is running, according to the app's own measurement. It also resulted in the fan slowing from 2400 RPM to 2100, which is a bit quieter, which is nice, so I'll keep this setting. Thanks!

I have no experience undervolting. Can you recommend a guide, and do the recommendations vary by GPU or by intended use (underclocking vs overclocking), and how would manual undervolting compare to the automatic setting handling it?

Edit: After running for half an hour the fan is back up to 2400 RPM. Hm...
Undervolting is quite easy on polaris. The amount of undervolting does vary per GPU, but I have never seen one that doesn't let you drop it by at least 50mV, mine let me go to 100mV, which made a gigantic difference in the power it was using.

Inside Radeon Settings, you can adjust the core voltage for the GPU down. This is in the same area that you are lowering the clocks. It will show the voltage for each P-State that the card has.

For my own RX480, I set state 6 and 7 to 1050 and 1075. State 4 was at 1000, and state 4 and 5 were basically splitting the difference between 3 and 6. Adjusting these voltages down will definitely drop your power usage down further.
 

Feld

Senior member
Aug 6, 2015
287
95
101
Don't worry about hurting anything by undervolting too much. Worst case if you set it too low, you just get a crash and it automatically resets to default on reboot. Then just try again without going quite as low.
 

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
I played around more and got some amazing results! When I go into GPU tuning's advanced control, it lets me limit the GPU to one of the lower states. When I set it at state 2, 910 MHz, power stays low, the fans stay pretty quiet and Folding@Home still runs at a reasonable clip. Better still, when I lower the GPU clock to state 1 (608 MHz) or 2, games run much more efficiently than I remember! DX11 games, which this GPU is not the most efficient at, now achieve 1080p60 with high quality at state 1 or 2! They used to require the highest state and get hot and loud. Have the drivers gotten a lot better in the past year? I've left power control untouched and for fan settings I only turn on Zero RPM and lower the acoustic limit to 300 MHz. The temperature varies between 70 and 80C with the fan staying around 1200 RPM. It's like I'm using a different graphics card now! And I still haven't touched the voltage settings.

I also made sure to toggle the GPU Workload setting between graphics and compute before I switch between those apps, though I don't know what that does.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,843
1,809
136
While 80C is within the safety margin, personally I would set the fan up a bit higher.

I have not actually messed around with limiting the GPU to a certain power state. I did notice AMD added an "Undervolt GPU" button, which it will try and find the best voltage to lower down to. Although this may be a Navi thing, not at my Polaris machine right now to see if it shows up there too.
 

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
I've heard that when undervolting to run games more efficiently you can determine the right voltage by looking at the screen for graphical errors. But if you undervolt to make a GPU compute app like Folding@Home more efficient, how would you know the compute app is making mistakes and how would it deal with them? Would it complete an entire work unit that contains errors and send that? Would it recognize the error as it occurs and redo that part immediately?
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,843
1,809
136
I've heard that when undervolting to run games more efficiently you can determine the right voltage by looking at the screen for graphical errors. But if you undervolt to make a GPU compute app like Folding@Home more efficient, how would you know the compute app is making mistakes and how would it deal with them? Would it complete an entire work unit that contains errors and send that? Would it recognize the error as it occurs and redo that part immediately?
I think that is discussed in this thread: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/rx-series-undervolt-how-much-have-you-undervolted-it.2541872/
 

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
51
3
71
While 80C is within the safety margin, personally I would set the fan up a bit higher.
To clarify, at 70C it's doing around 1000 RPM and at 80C it's doing around 2000 RPM.

I have not actually messed around with limiting the GPU to a certain power state. I did notice AMD added an "Undervolt GPU" button, which it will try and find the best voltage to lower down to. Although this may be a Navi thing, not at my Polaris machine right now to see if it shows up there too.
I haven't seen an "Undervolt GPU" button yet with my RX 480, but limiting the GPU to lower states saves a lot of power, even at a given image quality level. I'm finding that a lot of games use as much power as the card is willing to spend, even if the game is already at maximum image quality.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stuka87

FaaR

Golden Member
Dec 28, 2007
1,056
412
136
I worry a bit that the fans running at full speed could cause mechanical stress that breaks something.
Not mechanical stress, but fans spinning faster would wear the bearings quicker though. Of course, fans spinning faster also lowers the video card's temperature (assuming equal power dissipation in both cases, which may not be true), and card temp definitely affect fan bearings a lot more than fan RPM in my personal experience.

I would just set the power limit down. It will adjust its own clocks and voltages then, since really power/noise is what you are interested in.
This has varying success at least on AMD GPUs when running folding. Different work units tend to load the GPU differently, and the same power limit will lead to a large variation in power usage/fan noise. It's hard to cap fan noise this way, it was much easier back when AMD offered a straight-up downclock option.

When I still used my old R9 390X GPUs, if I capped GPU clock at minimum (it was more than 40% reduction as I recall) the fans turned whisper quiet while still producing a decent amount of work in F@H - by that era's standards, that is. Today the 390X is a terribly slow GPU... :p
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY