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# [Reddit] RX 480 fails PCI-E specification - Page 87

Here is an interesting discussion from reddit.
Quote:
I'll try to dispel some myths generated by the RX 480 power draw controversy. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I am an electrical engineer and read spec sheets and design components on a day to day basis. Here is the product page of a PCIe connector manufacturer. There we can find a qualification report. Within are diagrams concerning ampacity (the current carrying capability of electrical conductors).

Connector Setup

Temperature Rise

3.3V Curve

12V Curve

Those test show what the max. ampacity of one contact over a ambient temperature curve. So another thing we need to look at is what kind of temperature those contacts are exposed to. Intel requires that cases are designed so that ambient inlet temperatures do not exceed 45°C. I can't really imagine a scenario where one has such an awful setup with such bad airflow that the case temp is above 50°C. But Lets do some calculations. Here is a table so you know what kind of temps we are talking about.

Safe max continuous power draw from a PCIe connector at not realistic scenario with 65°C ambient temperature

3.3V*4contacts*6.1A= 80W

12V*5contacts*4.5A = 270W
Total 350W

Safe max continuous power draw PCIe connector at a realistic worst case scenario with 50°C ambient temperature

3.3V*4contacts*7A= 92W

12V*5contacts*6.4A = 384W
Total 476W

Of note is that these values are with a derated 20% safety margin. Plus the way they tested it was at a stupid high temperature with 6 contacts adjacent i.e. worst case and not how the PCIe connectors are actually setup. (max of 3 contacts adjacent) If we disregard the safety margin, temp and the unrealistic setup of adjacent pins we could probably pull almost 800W - 900W from a PCIe connector without burning out any contact.

I don't have access to the PCIe 3.0 electrical specs so I can't say anything on that side except those are probably whit a ton of safety margins. My personal opinions as someone who does this professionally on a day to day basis is that interfaces are designed for a reason and should be adhered to. But the amount of overdraw worries me not one bit because we go over spec all the time to make things work. If we would design things with such a small safety margin basically everything would break down immediately all the time. As a matter of fact I wonder why it is brought up at all?! IMHO this whole situation is laughable and I would not be surprised if AMD engineers would have been completely been caught of guard as this is not even remotely an issue to them. What they are doing with the driver is satisfying politics not physical necessities. (As we so often do *sigh...)

I also don't like the test done by laymen such as pcper for example. They have an air of seriousness to them but for somebody in the know it's kind of like watching an Adam Sandler movie (that Malventano guy... dear lord). Also you can't just draw a line, on a sampled current measurement, guesstimate where the median is and announce that this is the average power draw. What you'd need is a program that must obtain the average by integration. Placing some random cables and connectors between them and using an oscilloscope for power measurement has it's own issues. All in all very unprofessional. Pure cringe material. They should have asked an electrical engineer specialized in equipment testing and another one in in circuit/component design to come on to the show.

TL;DR: There is now way to break a PCIe connector with an RX 480.

EDIT: Highlighting some stuff.

Edit:
Added spoiler - not to take the whole page
Edited by C2H5OH - 7/5/16 at 7:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stilt

The fix I have been talking about was tested by w1zzard (TPU). It lowered the power draw from the bus by 10W, on a card which consumed around 162W of power in total. I have no exact details how AMD themselves were thinking to address the issue, however I'm pretty sure that we were working on two completely different fixes. If the fix by AMD manages to reduce the power draw of the card, these two fixes combined together might end up being quite effective indeed. Anyway with the fix I came up with, the power draw from the PCI-E slot will drop below the specifications on stock cards.

+rep for aiding community as always .

I was hoping your fix would be more than 10W drop . At the moment I'm thinking even with AMD fix plus yours it will not mean the card on average pulls as low a draw when under load as past AMD cards like Hawaii/Fiji on PCI-E slot. I would assume this 10W would soon be used up if OC'ing card?

Truly gutted, originally was looking forward to a ref PCB RX 480 purchase for tinkering and now not.

Do you reckon AMD will revise ref PCB in future?
Edited by gupsterg - 7/5/16 at 8:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gupsterg

+rep for aiding community as always .

I was hoping your fix would be more than 10W drop . At the moment I'm thinking even with AMD fix plus yours it will not mean the card on average pulls as low a draw when under load as past AMD cards like Hawaii/Fiji. Truly gutted, originally was looking forward to a ref PCB RX 480 purchase for tinkering and now not.

Do you reckon AMD will revise ref PCB in future?

They could have designed the reference card in a way that more of the power would have been drawn from the PCI-E power connector. Now they've gone with 50/50 distribution which means that at 150W TBP the PCI-E specifications will be maxed out at stock. When exceeding 150W (like most RX 480s do) you will violate either of the specifications regardless. The only question is if it is smarter to violate the specifications of the PCI-E power connector, which in reality can even in the worst case (2/3 connected, 8A low grade contacts) deliver 192W safely or the specifications of the PCI-E slot which actually might not withstand anything higher than it's rated power (either due using multiple cards or just due extremely poor design).

If AMD would have included a 8-pin connector, they could have drawn all of the GPU power from the PCI-E power connector and still stay within the spec. With 6-pin power connector they've could done exactly the same thing, however not without violating the spec. Violating the spec in case of the PCI-E power connector is perfectly safe in this case thou.

If using 6-pin power connector (for marketing reasons, which was most likely the case) was absolutely mandatory, personally I would have designed the card so that 4/6 of the GPU phases and the other power planes (VDDCI, VDDM) would been fed from the PCI-E power connector and the remaining two from the PCI-E slot.
+rep .

a) you are truly a remarkable person in my books .
b) why the heck don't AMD use a person like yourself for input?
c) are there other people as such as yourself which they don't use to their and our benefit?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C2H5OH

Here is an interesting discussion from reddit.
[/SPOILER]

Edit:
Added spoiler - not to take the whole page

This is a good read from someone who is actually an electrical engineer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waitng4realGPU

What does someone purchasing a 480 have to do with the profitability of the company?

Umm... I am sorry that public education failed you?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slomo4shO

Umm... I am sorry that public education failed you?

Quit embarrassing yourself dude, you were way off topic and I called you out...............
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stilt

They could have designed the reference card in a way that more of the power would have been drawn from the PCI-E power connector. Now they've gone with 50/50 distribution which means that at 150W TBP the PCI-E specifications will be maxed out at stock. When exceeding 150W (like most RX 480s do) you will violate either of the specifications regardless. The only question is if it is smarter to violate the specifications of the PCI-E power connector, which in reality can even in the worst case (2/3 connected, 8A low grade contacts) deliver 192W safely or the specifications of the PCI-E slot which actually might not withstand anything higher than it's rated power (either due using multiple cards or just due extremely poor design).

If AMD would have included a 8-pin connector, they could have drawn all of the GPU power from the PCI-E power connector and still stay within the spec. With 6-pin power connector they've could done exactly the same thing, however not without violating the spec. Violating the spec in case of the PCI-E power connector is perfectly safe in this case thou.

If using 6-pin power connector (for marketing reasons, which was most likely the case) was absolutely mandatory, personally I would have designed the card so that 4/6 of the GPU phases and the other power planes (VDDCI, VDDM) would been fed from the PCI-E power connector and the remaining two from the PCI-E slot.

Hm, could the board have been made with RX 470 in mind and not RX 480? Just a random thought...

Edit:
By that I mean, the board should not violate PCIe with the slower GDDR and should provide enough even for overclocking the RX 470 chip.
As such, RX 480 could have been meant for custom boards only etc..
Edited by C2H5OH - 7/5/16 at 9:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waitng4realGPU

Quit embarrassing yourself dude

That is quite presumptuous of you
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waitng4realGPU

you were way off topic and I called you out...............

While we are off topic in this debunked thread, did you not take a basic economics class in high school? The relationship between revenue and profit shouldn't be the difficult to comprehend if one was exposed to the topics...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C2H5OH

Hm, could the board have been made with RX 470 in mind and not RX 480? Just a random thought...

Edit:
By that I mean, the board should not violate PCIe with the slower GDDR and should provide enough even for overclocking the RX 470 chip.
As such, RX 480 could have been meant for custom boards only etc..

I rather expect that the issue exist only because the power consumption and especially the variation of Polaris 10 silicon was greater than AMD originally expected it to be. Based on how large variations we've already seen in the leakage of the different RX 480 specimens, I would say it is the process yields to blame mostly.
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