AMD Radeon Software: Crimson Edition First Look and Testing

Testing – Power Consumption


Throughout the media presentations and calls, we were constantly reminded of two key features of the new Radeon Software, the Performance gain and the Power Efficiency compared to CCC 15.7.1. The figures are good, but we have been given a newer version of CCC in the form of 15.11.1 Beta which was released very recently. That update didn’t promise any power efficiency compared to the previous version, but Crimson Edition does; so let’s see if there is a big difference between the two.

YouTube Video @ 4K

We were told that YouTube viewing at 4K would see a noticeable increase in efficiency (or decrease in power) and overall the figures prove that. A huge 37 Watts dropped for the R9 Fury X to just 114W. The R9 380 saw a reasonable 12W drop and the R9 390X saw just 3W dropped. There is only one test here as FRTC wouldn’t impact the frames being displayed like in games and benchmarks.

Heaven Benchmark

Moving onto Heaven Benchmark without Frame Rate Target Control and the trend see’s a drop, but the R9 Fury X saw a peculiar rise in performance of 17W. This was consistent over 3 tests, so unless I have a faulty card, this is a pretty solid increase. The R9 380 and R9 390X saw a drop of 16W and 15W respectively.

When FRTC was enabled, the two more powerful cards saw a huge drop in power consumption. The R9 Fury X dropped over half of the power needed and the R9 390X reduced by 167W. The R9 380 didn’t see as much of a drop due to already being fairly close to its maximum performance for this benchmark.

Tomb Raider

Moving onto Tomb Raider and it seems the Crimson driver isn’t optimised well for power efficiency for this particular game. Around 20W increase may not seem much, but it could be the difference between a 500W and 550W power supply being needed for the system. The R9 380 saw a reasonable drop again.

We all know Tomb Raider isn’t the most demanding game in the world and these figures show that with each card not near the recorded power consumption observed in Heaven Benchmark. The R9 380 and R9 390X see the largest drops here with an amazing boost of efficiency. The R9 Fury X doesn’t have that big of a boost but is likely due to already being pretty well optimised with that Fiji architecture.