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The AMD Adrenalin Edition 22.12.2 Driver Reduces the Power Consumption of the RX 7900 XT(X)

When using the GPU to decode videos, the advantages should be readily apparent.

The second driver for the new Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX graphics cards has been released by AMD. Adrenalin Edition 22.12.2 WHQL is a GPU driver exclusive to the RDNA 3 GPU series, and its most notable feature is the ability to significantly reduce power consumption when the GPU is used to accelerate video decoding. There are a few systems and gaming fixes elsewhere in the driver, but no new features appear to have been added.

Several tech sites and enthusiasts have observed that the new RX 7900 family GPUs consume an unexpected amount of power when decoding video, when multi-monitor setups are idle, and when desktop windows are being moved. Germany’s ComputerBase was among those to shed light on these peculiar power issues, noting that the RDNA 3 GPUs were significantly more power-hungry than the RX 6000 series graphics cards during these tasks (with RDNA 2 GPU architecture).

Two graphs from ComputerBase illustrate how the RX 7900 XT(X) is truly exceptional in terms of video playback efficiency. These new Radeons could consume 70 or 80W when playing 4K 60 fps YouTube videos. Taking predecessors and rivals into account, this is more than twice the power consumption that could be expected. The power consumption figures for 4K 60fps HDR video playback on the new RDNA 3 graphics cards were still high, but much closer to those of their predecessors and competitors. According to the source, software driver modifications will have been made to AMD’s Video Codec Engine (VCE) to resolve this issue with video playback power consumption.

AMD is not done optimizing the RX 7900 XT(X) power consumption. In the release notes for driver 22.12.2, it is stated that “occasionally high idle power has been observed when using select high resolution and high refresh rate displays,” and this remains a known issue. AMD claims that future driver updates will include additional power-efficiency enhancements.

Additionally, the new driver for Radeon RX 7900 XT(X) graphics cards addresses the following issues:

  • When using Virtual Super Resolution with multiple display configurations, corruption may occur.
  • With four display configurations, a system crash may occur when switching between display modes.
  • After enabling ray tracing settings, an application crash or driver timeout may occur while loading Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
  • Stay tuned for additional Radeon RX 7900 XT(X) graphics card testing and the Graphics Editor’s impressions of the most recent driver.

The most recent Adrenalin driver version for Radeon graphics cards other than the RX 7900 XT(X) is 22.11.2 at the time of writing.

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