Three hours ago, AMD released the long-awaited statement about the power draw issues of its Radeon RX 480 reference design card. The company says it's confident that the levels of reported power draw are not hazardous to motherboards or other PC components, but it's addressing the issue nonetheless.
Sometime over the next 48 hours, the company will release the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver. This update promises to rearrange power distribution on the Radeon RX 480, so less current is drawn from the PCI Express motherboard bus. Furthermore, AMD will also offer an option to reduce total power draw, but this will come with a "minimal performance impact".
Furthermore, the driver will contain a collection of performance enhancements that lift performance of popular game titles by up to 3 percent. Here's the statement in full:
We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon™ RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus. Although we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns. Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop a driver update to improve the power draw. We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours.
In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus.
Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the “compatibility” UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is “off” by default.
Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.
AMD is committed to delivering high quality and high performance products, and we’ll continue to provide users with more control over their product’s performance and efficiency. We appreciate all the feedback so far, and we’ll continue to bring further performance and performance/W optimizations to the Radeon RX 480.