AMD Overdrive 6, a Real Dynamic Overclocking Tech for GPUs

The tech will function in a way similar to NVIDIA's GPU Boost

Advanced Micro Devices probably didn't mean for this to come out just yet, but there seems to be a new dynamic overclocking technology in the making, one for graphics processing units.

And by graphic processing units, we really mean all GPUs, not just the ones integrated into A-Series or other accelerated processing units (APUs).

The folks at TechPowerUp were leafing through the latest version of the AMD Display Library (ADL) and found signs of something called Overdrive 6.

Right now, AMD graphics cards use Overdrive 5, but while the technology does allow users to tweak system parameters, it isn't an actual, dynamic feature.

That is to say, the GPU and memory won't change their frequencies depending on application demands.

NVIDIA has the GPU Boost tech though, which does act much like Intel Turbo Boost does on CPUs.

And since AMD already has Turbo Core on central and accelerated processing units, it only needs a dynamic OC feature for GPUs to have the whole set.

The Overdrive 6 might be it. TechPowerUp has found three new definitions listed under the name.

One of them, ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_SCLK_CUSTOMIZATION, indicates that a GPU's core/engine clock can be changed within a range.

Another, called ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_MCLK_CUSTOMIZATION, says that memory clocks can be changed within a range.

Then, there is the ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_GPU_ACTIVITY_MONITOR, which checks activity/load for the GPU.

Without the third, one might be tempted to assume OD6 is just another program that lets users set up app profiles. The load checking clause, however, changes things fundamentally.

It would definitely be better than the PowerTune with Boost of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7950 v2, which grants all applications maximum GPU clock while scaling down to normal clocks during overload.

Rather than setting the boost lock too low (power draw could hold it back), OD6 could define ranges rather than speeds, and use a boost clock algorithm to alter speeds because of temperature, load and power draw.

As for the dynamic boosting technology for memory, even NVIDIA doesn't have something like that yet. Screen flickering will be a thing of the past.


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