PSA: Vega Frequency Reporting Bug in Software

By Published August 19, 2017 at 10:07 pm
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This is just a quick PSA.

We shot an off-the-cuff video about software misreporting Vega’s frequency, to the extent that a “1980MHz overclock” is possible under the misreported conditions. The entire point of the video was to bring awareness to a bug in either software or drivers – not to point blame at AMD – explicitly to ensure consumers understand that the numbers may be inaccurate. Some reviews even cited overclocks of “1980MHz,” but overlooked the fact that scaling ceases around the threshold where the reporting bugs out.

Regardless, it’s a fairly straight-forward issue: The only real way to know if an OC is successful on Vega, as of today, is to validate with performance. We’d suggest running a synthetic test (FireStrike GFX 1 & 2 are good) between each attempted overclock. Take note of the score versus the overclock, noting that scoring has some variance test-to-test, and then determine at what point the score stops increasing. It is possible that the score will decrease once crossing the threshold into broken clock territory, which is a clear sign that an OC isn’t doing anything.

GPUz, WattMan, Wattool, and Afterburner all report the same clock, and will all report what’s typed in without the number necessarily being true. Drivers will typically crash with an invalid or unsustainable clock, but we haven’t experienced many of the usual driver crashes as a result of clock tuning. That’s where it can get deceptive to the user – without a crash or hard fault, it appears as if the OC is applied and functional.

Again, just validate that performance versus a known baseline to plot improvement. If improvement ceases, the OC is no longer applying properly.

Just a PSA for anyone overclocking or reading/viewing overclocking content.

Last modified on August 19, 2017 at 10:07 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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