New AMD Video Card Fails To Comply With PCI-E Specifications

The global semiconductor company, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is the center of some critics, the company recently launched a new wave of Video cards (GPUs) that apparently, fails to comply with the PCI-E specifications, drawing an excessive amount of current from the motherboard slots.

AMD and Nvidia are the two main companies behind the production of video cards -containing Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), the specialized hardware chips that process the images displayed on a computer’s monitor.

The companies recently released a new wave of products, NVIDIA launched the GTX 1080 its new high-end GPU with a marked price of $699. AMD, on the other hand, released the RX 480, a cheap alternative to VR (Virtual Reality) gaming. The new GPU comes with a marked priced of $200. However, AMD received negative press, as various gaming/hardware-oriented media outlets have been reporting a flaw in the RX 480.

Reports have come to light: the RX 480 draws more power from the motherboard than the maximum 75W allowed by PCI-E specifications. Reddit user alkaladur made a comprehensive summary of the situation, according to specialized hardware review website TomsHardware, the RX 480 averages 86W consumption from the PCI-E slot.

This flaw could mean that multi-GPU setups can be problematic as the motherboard will be unable to supply the excessive amount of current necessary to power the video cards. A Technical Marking representative from AMD said:

The RX 480 meets the bar for PCIe compliance testing with PCI-SIG. This is not just our internal testing. I think that should be made very clear. Obviously there are a few GPUs exhibiting anomalous behavior, and we’ve been in touch with these reviewers for a few days to better understand their test configurations to see how this could be possible.

Despite the allegations made by the AMD representative, it seems fairly unlikely that more than 5 different and independent media outlets received defective GPUs. Ethereum miners were expecting the RX 480 with enthusiasm, the GPU has a reported Hashrate of 25 MH/s (a 5 MH/s increase from its predecessor, the R9 380). user pcgeekesq said:

According to the licensing contract for the spec, if they do not fix this within 3 months, AMD will NOT be able to call the card a PCI Express card. If they do, they face not only litigation, but if my understanding is correct an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the importation of the card as counterfeit goods. You might think the PCI-SIG will give AMD a pass, but if they do, they risk loosing the trademark entirely. An unforced trademark gets invalidated. The SIG won’t let that happen.

Image via Shutterstock.

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