RX 6950 XT: AMD drivers and profiles for silencing, overclocking or undervolting


In addition to the default driver settings, you can find a bunch of other profiles for graphics cards in the AMD control panel. Some are prepared in advance and adjust the behavior of the regulation so that the card is quieter or, on the contrary, more powerful, some are supposed to automatically overclock the chip or memory or reduce its voltage. What makes sense to try and what doesn’t?

Recently, we took a look at the top model from AMD’s range in the test – the Radeon RX 6950 XT in the non-reference Gaming OC design from Gigabyte.

In reviews, we normally test the card in its default settings, but AMD allows you to set a number of other performance profiles in the drivers, which make the card quieter or increase performance.

Because it is Radeon RX 6950 XT the pinnacle of the current generation of Radeons, we’ll take a closer look at its performance characteristics and how the card’s behavior changes when you choose settings other than the default. We will go deeper and beyond the usual reviews into the operational characteristics. In the next chapter, I try to explain what you will find in the following graphs so that even less experienced PC tinkerers can understand them.

It’s nothing complicated, we’ll deal with the AMD control panel and one-click tuning of the card using buttons for automatic overclocking or selecting ready-made performance profiles. We’ll see what this does to the card’s behavior, operating characteristics, and performance.

The article is not exclusively for RX 6950 XT owners, the buttons in the control panel work similarly for all current Radeons, but some may be missing from cheaper models (for example, Rage mode, a profile rather repulsively translated into Czech as “loud”).

In general, the RX 6950 XTs are less attractive in terms of price/performance at higher prices than the discounted RX 6900 XTs. However, the RX 6950 XT is much more interesting for overclockers – it allows you to set values ​​that you cannot reach with the RX 6900 XT without modifications. This goes double for memory, the RX 6900 XT has slower chips with 16 Gb/s, while the RX 6950 XT already runs at 18 Gb/s.

Z BIOS collection on TechPowerUp we will find out how the reference RX 6950 XT directly from AMD differs from the original RX 6900 XT.

The changes of interest for timing are:

  • increasing the maximum GPU frequency (Adjustment range>GPU) from 3000 to 5000 MHz (significant under liquid nitrogen)
  • increasing the maximum clock speed of the memory from 2150 MHz (17.2 Gb/s) to up to 3000 MHz (i.e. even with the maximum memory OC, the RX 6900 XT will not be faster than the base RX 6950 XT)
  • increasing the upper limit of the power limit (Adjustment Range>Power) from +15% to +20%
  • Power limit increase (Power limit > Total) from 255 to 284 W
  • changing GPU voltage range (Voltage>GPU Voltage) from 825-1175 mV to 900-1200 mV
  • SOC voltage range change from 825-1150 mV to 850-1162 mV
  • changing the VDDCI range for memories from 675-850 to 675-900 mV (higher clocked memories probably also contribute to the higher consumption of the RX 6950 XT).

Data from the BIOS reference RX 6900 XT (top) and from the BIOS reference RX 6950 XT (bottom):

GPU Device Id: 0x1002 0x73BF
113-D4120100-100
NAVI21 Gaming XTX D412
(C) 1988-2020, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
ATOMBIOSBK-AMD VER020.001.000.043.015929
D4120100.100
Adjustment Range
  GPU: 500 MHz to 3000 MHz
  Memory: 1348 MHz to 2150 MHz
  Power: -10% to +15%
Power Limit
  Total: 255 W
  GPU: 320 A
  SOC: 55 A
Thermal Limit
  Edge: 100°C
  Hotspot: 110°C
  Memory: 100°C
  VR Gfx: 115°C
  VR Mem 1: 115°C
  VR Mem 2: 115°C
  VR SOC: 115°C
  Shutdown Temp.: 118°C
  Fan Stop supported: Yes
  Fan Start: 55°C
  Fan Stop: 70°C
Voltage
  GPU Voltage: 825 mV to 1175 mV
  SOC Voltage: 825 mV to 1150 mV
  Memory MVDD: 1250 mV to 1350 mV
  Memory VDDCI: 675 mV to 850 mV
Memory Support

  16384 MB, GDDR6, Samsung K4ZAF325BM
GPU Device Id: 0x1002 0x73A5
113-D4124100-102
NAVI21 Gaming KXTX D4124100
(C) 1988-2020, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
ATOMBIOSBK-AMD VER020.001.000.071.018202
D4124100.102
Adjustment Range
  GPU: 500 MHz to 5000 MHz
  Memory: 1348 MHz to 3000 MHz
  Power: -10% to +20%
Power Limit
  Total: 284 W
  GPU: 320 A
  SOC: 55 A
Thermal Limit
  Edge: 100°C
  Hotspot: 110°C
  Memory: 100°C
  VR Gfx: 115°C
  VR Mem 1: 115°C
  VR Mem 2: 115°C
  VR SOC: 115°C
  Shutdown Temp.: 118°C
  Fan Stop supported: Yes
  Fan Start: 55°C
  Fan Stop: 70°C
Voltage
  GPU Voltage: 900 mV to 1200 mV
  SOC Voltage: 850 mV to 1162 mV
  Memory MVDD: 1250 mV to 1350 mV
  Memory VDDCI: 675 mV to 900 mV
Memory Support
  16384 MB, GDDR6, Autodetect 
  16384 MB, GDDR6, Samsung K4ZAF325BM
  16384 MB, GDDR6, Hynix H56G42AS8DX014_HALFHOLD

In GPU-Z, in the advanced tab, there is (or is not) another difference in the given clocks. According to specifications on the AMD website supposed to have reference RX 6950 XT:

  • base clock 1890 MHz
  • game clock 2100 MHz
  • clock with boost up to 2310 MHz.

Just with these Gigabyte values compares its Gaming OC in specifications which has:

  • base clock 1958 MHz
  • with a game clock of 2116 MHz
  • takt s boost 2324 MHz.

The whole thing is more complicated with clocks and power consumption limits for the RX 6950 XT. The consequence is that even the non-reference RX 6950 XT, which according to the specifications should have more or less reference clocks and a power consumption of around 335 W, have higher clocks and a power consumption of around 390 W and more, but we will not deal with that now.

Today we’re going to focus on the profiles you’ll find in controllers and what each item actually does to clocks, power, power, temperatures, and noise.

You can find the debugging panel in the control panel on the last tab Performance and the middle card Tuning.

For the RX 6950 XT, there are four automatic modes, three presets and a manual mode to choose from in the current drivers:

  • Automatic tuning
    • Default
    • GPU undervoltage
    • Overclock the GPU
    • Overclock the VRAM
  • Tuning preference
    • Silent
    • Balanced
    • Loud
  • Manual tuning

After resetting the drivers to factory settings, the card will be in mode Default. It does not differ from the settings of the tested card Balanced except for one “little thing” – it does not turn off the fans even at low temperatures of the chip. The fans therefore run continuously and the card does not go into passive cooling mode (and the same applies to Quiet and Balanced mode).

Each of the preselected profiles will be tested in three games, in which the benchmark can be run for more than one minute in order to properly warm up the card. It’s not ideal in Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, because it’s loops with a short delay, but in the other two it’s already a continuous load – in the F1 2021 benchmark, the formula runs five circuits in a row, and in World of Tanks I have a record of a battle with a length of just over thirteen minutes.

There’s a lot of data and measurements, so I’ll break them up into individual chapters so you can switch between them. In each chapter you will always find graphs comparing the tested settings against the default and at the end a shortened summary.

The card has two BIOSes. They have the same cycle times and power limit, but the setting of the speed curve for the fans is different:

On the left is BIOS Quiet, on the right is BIOS OC. We will test with a quieter BIOS.


Source: Pctuning – Všechen obsah by pctuning.cz.

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