AMD’s Reveals New GPU Power Scaling technology: DFRC (Dynamic Frame Rate Control)

AMD’s Reveals New GPU Power Scaling technology: DFRC (Dynamic Frame Rate Control)

Contrary to popular belief, less demanding games don’t make the GPU sip proportionally
less electricity than higher demanding games. Even though the modern
GPU does dynamically underclock or overclock itself as needed, reducing
power consumption abit, this is rarely perfect and usually has very
little effect on the sippage which depends mostly on the vCore.

DFRC (Dynamic Frame Rate Control) Power Scaling technology promises to bring energy savings to Radeon users

Lets start with the actual reveal. Chris Hook, AMD’s lead PR
commented about this Dynamic Frame Rate Control feature at 3DCentre
Forums, and stated the following:

Earlier this week I got to play with our new dynamic
frame rate control feature in a (coming soon) version of Catalyst and it
was AWESOME. Being able to limit your FPS to 60fps on a game where it
doesn’t matter too much if you are able to get 150FPS. The power savings
were mind blowing. – AMD_Chris (3DCentre.org Forums)

Usually, you can limit fps to 30 or 60 by using VSync, but that
technique has the afore mentioned problem of the GPU not scaling
efficiently and some side effects which I wont go into here. The power
consumption will scale a little of course (because TDP of the die
decreases), but it won’t be quite as efficient. I am kind of surprised
that there was no mention of this feature in the Omega Slide Deck, which
would have seemed the platform of choice for something like this. The
thing closest to this was the DRR (Dynamic Refresh Rate) feature,
although this one seems like the superset DRR will belong to. Basically,
what AMD is claiming with DFRC is setting the refresh rate to your preferred amount.

They do not mention how exactly it will work but if I were to hazard a guess,
it probably involves undervolting/overvolting the GPU, while
correspondingly increasing or decreasing clocks, till it achieves the
input-ed frame rate. Manually inputting the desired frame rates is a
feature never seen before ( to my knowledge) and could have very
interesting implication leaving aside power saving. You would be able to
match odd refresh rates and eliminate tearing without using V-Sync
among other things. AMD has hinted that DFRC will be appearing in the
next update of Catalyst so we will know the full story about this sooner
or later.

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