AMD just released the update that they had previously promised us that they’d push out. The driver, 16.7.1 is available on their website and allows you to turn on a “Compatibility Mode” that essentially undervolts the RX 480 GPU and results in power consumption well below the PCIe specification.
Power issues are fixed and the RX 480 faster with Crimson 16.7.1
Crimson 16.7.1 also has the added benefit of having a nearly 3% performance enhancement among a number of sampled games. You can get as high as 5% in some, which translates into the RX 480 meeting, and sometimes exceeding, the expectations by AMD themselves. How it does it has to do with being undervolted. The GPU is running slightly cooler and is able to maintain the boost clock, of 1266MHz, for longer periods of time. It seems they vastly overvolted the GPU upon release, and this fix improves quite a bit.
In addition to fixing the PCIe power draw issue, a few other minor fixes have been issued with this driver. GTA V previously saw a small stutter at times, but that has been fixed. Graphical corruption in DOOM and Hitman have also been summarily fixed. This new driver is actually a major step forward. There are still allegations of the PCIe 6-pin connector being out of spec, though it seems it’s simply rewired for more power of which most power-supplies can handle very easily. That means it’s not out of spec per-se, just that it’s using more from the 6-pin than we’re used to.