How to Overclock the RX 480 & Polaris GPUs
Overclocking the RX 480 is only possible through AMD's WattMan software right now. Keep in mind that this testing was conducted pre-launch, but it is likely that the usual crew of AIB partner utilities will update as the RX 480 rolls out to market. For now, Afterburner is not compatible, leaving us to rely on AMD's software.
This time, though, that's an OK thing to rely on. WattMan is a massive improvement over OverDrive (now dead, thankfully), and allows enthusiast-level fine-tuning over most normal OC functions. Something like Afterburner may remove a few restrictions, but there don't seem to be many in place with the Radeon Settings utility.
WattMan allows dynamic or fixed clock speed modulation, controlled through a toggle and then through sliders (or manually input numbers). We switched to manual control and then configured the numbers to be equal across all 7 DPM states, since we don't much care for power savings when running OC testing. vCore can be tuned per state or left to automated control. Manually tuning vCore allows movement up to 1150mV. Power percent target increases to +50%, which grants us an additional 50% of base power to increase the clock and voltage. Memory overclocking is done with memory MHz offsets and memory voltage control (can be left to 'auto'). Thermal targets and fan RPM targets are relatively self-explanatory.
AMD RX 480 Max Overclocking Results
Here's our stepping table that shows the RX 480's overclock progression.
|Core Clock (MHz)||Mem CLK (MHz)||Mem Offset (MHz)||Power Target (%)||Voltage||vCore Offset||5m Test||60m Endurance||Fan target|
Voltage ended up around 1.125V, power target at 150%, and we configured the frequency (manually, across all states) to 1340MHz (~+74MHz offset from Boost). This effectively disables Boost. Memory was configured to 2200MHz (+200MHz offset) and left to a single state. Memory voltage control was left to WattMan to handle on auto, while vCore was manually tuned to its maximum setting of 1150mV.
Following this, we performed a two-hour burn-in of the overclock and created the below chart:
This shows Metro: Last Light at 1440p (Very High with High tessellation) hammering the GPU for about two hours. The clock-rate, represented by the blue line, was almost perfectly stable at 1340MHz. There was only one anomalous instance where the clock dipped below 1340MHz, and that dip was inconsequential.
Temperature fluctuates pursuant to our fan speed configuration, which was a range of 3800~4300RPM, depending on test. This was loud and largely unbearable, but fine for burn-in. We would advise that any “real” user stay away from RPMs approaching and exceeding 4000.
GTX 1080 Founders Edition Overclocking Results
Here's our 1080 FE stepping, for reference. Note: Specific OC settings cannot be compared cross-architecture!
|Core Clock (MHz)||Core Offset (MHz)||Mem CLK (MHz)||Mem Offset (MHz)||Power Target (%)||5m Test||60m Burn-in|
GTX 1070 Founders Edition Overclocking Results
Here's our 1070 FE stepping, for reference. Note: Specific OC settings cannot be compared cross-architecture!
|Core Clock (MHz)||Core Offset (MHz)||Mem CLK (MHz)||Mem Offset (MHz)||Voltage||Voltage Offset||Power Target (%)||5m test||Endurance|
AMD RX 480 – Overclocked FPS vs. Stock
Here's the output:
We're looking at a range of ~5% to 10% change, depending on the game. Not massive, but enough to help push past 60FPS in some instances.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst shows some reasonable gains:
Continue to the final page for the conclusion.