AMD's new GPU drivers reduce power usage on YouTube, but only to 4K

Amd's new gpu drivers reduce power usage on youtube, but only to 4k

AMD’s latest Adrenalin driver package (version 21.8.1) adds support for the company’s newly created Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, but its biggest advantage doesn’t appear in the release notes—The potential for significantly lower power consumption when watching YouTube videos.

Accordingly, the Radeon RX 6000 series as a whole has suffered from problems since its launch. ComputerBase, which tested power consumption levels with driver version 21.8.1. The site found that the new driver package adjusts overall power consumption to Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30 line.

The caveat is that "enhancements are only available in certain load situations". Most notably, the site saw large drops in power consumption while watching YouTube videos in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.

AMD The Radeon RX 6700 XT seems to have benefited the most. Although site tests showed that it consumes 30 W with the launch controller installed, the newer controller reduces it to 18 W. This is only 2 W higher than the newly launched 6600 XT.

Meanwhile, the Radeon RX 6900 XT went from 42W with the oldest driver to 30W with the new one. Both the Radeon RX 6800 XT and the Radeon RX 6800 consumed 40W before the controller upgrade and dropped to 32W and 33W, respectively, with the 21.8.1 controller.

According to ComputerBase, the reason for the sharp decline in power consumption is because, with older drivers in play, the memory clocks on AMD's new Radeon cards are fully functional. Apparently, the latest version of the driver is better for intelligently managing memory clocks.

However, there is still room for improvement. For example, when viewing videos with the same resolution but in HDR, power consumption is not reduced. It is actually worse when comparisons are available, even though only 1 W in general.

AMD's new 6600 XT starts in a good place at 31W. The 6700 XT, however, goes from 42W to 43W with the new controller, while the rest of the lineup ranges from 61-63W. Memory clocks run at full speed when HDR comes into play, so efficiency gains come out the window.

In any case, if you watch a lot of YouTube videos (especially in 4K) and have an RDNA 2 card, it's worth installing the latest driver. It also fixes an issue with The Medium that may have occurred while running FrameView. Otherwise, it’s a pretty sparse driver pack, with nothing else to highlight.

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