Question Sapphire RX580 Nitro+ SE default voltages

Nov 21, 2018
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I'm running a Sapphire RX580 Nitro+ SE (the blue one) and I'm trying to find the stock voltage/p-state mapping. I toyed around with undervolting a while ago but am pretty sure I set everything back to stock. I'm asking because it's supposed to run at 1430MHz GPU and 2100MHz memory. The memory always runs at 2100, but the GPU runs between approximately 1350-1425 while gaming. When I pull up Radeon overlay in-game, I can see the GPU clock fluctuate and it rarely gets up to 1430. When I pull up Wattman and enable voltage control, these are voltages. Temps never exceed 76-77, which I understand is the temp target in the BIOS. I also have it on the right BIOS switch, which is the 1430MHz setting. I'm assuming it's not thermal throttling because temps are well within limits. Or are the voltages below the default ones and what I'm describing is normal in-game? I'm just concerned because, thought I could be wrong, I'm almost positive the card stayed locked at 1430MHz when it was new (about 10 months ago).
 
Nov 21, 2018
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Try cleaning it. If the heat sink is full of dust, it cools less effectively and might run lower clocks to keep the temperature in check.

Are the fans running to their limits...?
I repasted it with MX4 and inspected the cooling fins in the process. They appear very clean. The fans are not running to their limits. With the stock fan curve, I can barely hear them (maybe running 30-40% around 76C). I also have tried a custom fan curve in Afterburner that runs them at 65% from 65C-80C, then jumps to 100%. This also keeps temps a little lower, around 72-74C, but is much louder. Temps never get reach 80. Even with the custom curve, the clock still fluctuates. Also, when I repasted, I was very meticulous to ensure proper thermal pad placement on the VRMs and RAM. I suppose it is a possibility that the pads still aren't making the best contact as from the factory, but I also have no way of directly monitoring VRM or RAM temps on this card.
 

NightAntilli

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I increased the power limit in Afterburner to +50, and it stayed planted at 1430MHz in games. What does that mean?
What TJ Hooker said...

If you want to optimize your power consumption, you have to find the % at which the GPU starts throttling, and stay just above it. It probably won't be much of a difference though.

Another thing you can try is putting the power limit back at stock settings , and try undervolting the GPU.
That's only if you care about power consumption though. There really is no harm in leaving it at +50% power limit.
 
Reactions: TJ Hooker
Nov 21, 2018
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What TJ Hooker said...

If you want to optimize your power consumption, you have to find the % at which the GPU starts throttling, and stay just above it. It probably won't be much of a difference though.

Another thing you can try is putting the power limit back at stock settings , and try undervolting the GPU.
That's only if you care about power consumption though. There really is no harm in leaving it at +50% power limit.
Thanks for the replies. I have a few follow up questions.
  1. Is it normal for a card not to hit the max boost clock without increasing the power limit? Like I mentioned in my OP, this seems like something new. I just want to make sure my card isn't dying.
  2. I tried undervolting, but couldn't reduce it more than 20mV on p-state 7 and have stability, so I figured it wasn't worth it.
  3. In general, how would undervolting help in this situation. I'm confused. For example, if in the top p-state with stock power limit the card cannot hit 1430MHz with 1150mV, then how would reducing the voltage help it reach that clock at the stock power limit?
  4. I know you said there's no harm in leaving the power limit at +50, but if I have the power limit higher than is needed to the hit max boost clock, will the card draw more power than is needed, or will it draw only as much as is needed? Will it generate excess heat?
Thanks for all your help!
 

NightAntilli

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Jun 12, 2014
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1) The power limit is determined by AMD's software, and it can happen that it is set lower than what the AIB intended the card to work at. It could simply be a change in newer drivers (if you updated them), where the power limit was slightly reduced to decrease power consumption without decreasing performance. Since the Nitro cards are generally more overclocked than other cards with the same GPU, so my guess is that something similar happened... It could be a degrading GPU, but I doubt it, especially if you haven't crazily increased the voltage at which the card runs.

2) Ok. Generally Nitro cards are quite well optimized I guess, so there isn't much headroom.

3) Well, heat creates more electrical resistance, and more resistance means more power required to overcome said resistance. A lower voltage should lower heat and thus electrical resistance. It was worth a shot, but it's not guaranteed to work.
Increasing the voltage will allow for the clocks to be reached at the same stock power limit also, but it will not help for the power consumption. You can do that as an alternative, if the power limit makes you uncomfortable.

4) It's a power limit, like the name says. It sets a limit as to how much the card is allowed to draw at any given time. It should draw only as much power as is needed most of the time, but you can expect higher peaks in power consumption.
 

TJ Hooker

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In general, how would undervolting help in this situation. I'm confused. For example, if in the top p-state with stock power limit the card cannot hit 1430MHz with 1150mV, then how would reducing the voltage help it reach that clock at the stock power limit?
Power consumption depends on both voltage and frequency. If you lower the voltage it could allow to operate at 1430 MHz without exceeding the power limit.
 
Nov 21, 2018
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1) The power limit is determined by AMD's software, and it can happen that it is set lower than what the AIB intended the card to work at. It could simply be a change in newer drivers (if you updated them), where the power limit was slightly reduced to decrease power consumption without decreasing performance. Since the Nitro cards are generally more overclocked than other cards with the same GPU, so my guess is that something similar happened... It could be a degrading GPU, but I doubt it, especially if you haven't crazily increased the voltage at which the card runs.

2) Ok. Generally Nitro cards are quite well optimized I guess, so there isn't much headroom.

3) Well, heat creates more electrical resistance, and more resistance means more power required to overcome said resistance. A lower voltage should lower heat and thus electrical resistance. It was worth a shot, but it's not guaranteed to work.
Increasing the voltage will allow for the clocks to be reached at the same stock power limit also, but it will not help for the power consumption. You can do that as an alternative, if the power limit makes you uncomfortable.

4) It's a power limit, like the name says. It sets a limit as to how much the card is allowed to draw at any given time. It should draw only as much power as is needed most of the time, but you can expect higher peaks in power consumption.
Got it, thanks for explaining it! Your responses make complete sense. I'm not uncomfortable with a higher power limit, I just wanted to thoroughly understand what I was messing with. And I don't think it's a degraded GPU; I briefly toyed with OCing, but never went high on the voltage beyond what would be considered a "light" OC.
 

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