Optimizing the Power Usage of AMD Radeon RX 480 for Ethereum Mining

29 Jun


If you have checked our publication Testing the AMD Radeon RX 480 for Ethereum Mining you should already know that at the moment you are a bit limited in your capabilities of reducing the power usage of the new RX 480 GPUs. The pretty much only way to lower the power usage for mining Ethereum with Radeon RX 480 is to use the Power Target reducing it below the 100% value (150W TDP) and thus forcing the GPU to lower its operating voltage and frequency in order to still fit in the allowed TDP. Using a lower operating frequency and voltage for the GPU with the power limiter set at the right value should lower the power consumption, but not change the performance you get while mining Ethereum. Further lowering it below that optimum spot and you will start seeing a drop in mining performance, so our goal here was to find the sweet spot where the hashrate will not be affected.

We have started with the default settings of the RX 480 for both the GPU (1266 MHz) and the VRAM (8000 MHz) and started lowering the Power Target slider until we have reached the 83% – the value at which the power is getting reduced, but the hashrate remains the same. Going below 83% percent of the 150W TDP started lowering the hashrate below the regular value at 100% power. The result was 149 Watt drawn at the wall, taking in consideration the PSU power efficiency that should be about 130W actual power usage. This is down from 177W at the wall with default settings with pretty much the hashrate unaffected and the temperature also went down from 68 to about 60 degrees Celsius.


Repeating the same procedure as above, but with the video memory set at 9000 MHz and the Power Target set a bit higher at 85% we saw a very slight decrease in performance with just about 5W extra power usage at the wall (155W). The performance we got with this setting was about 27.8-27.9 MHS and the operating temperature was down from about 72 degrees to about 63 degrees Celsius, so definitely a good improvement. For the moment the only way to reduce the power usage without a drop in performance is by lowering the TDP limit under the default value of 100% and you can easily reduce the power consumption with something like 30 Watt at the wall (if using 80 Plus Gold PSU). You can experiment by further reducing the power target slider under these recommended values, however with the additional power savings you should also start noticing reduction of the hashrate you are getting. Still if you are looking for optimal efficiency you might try going lower and if you already have Radeon RX 480 and use it for Ethereum mining you are welcome to share your settings in the comments below.

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18 Responses to Optimizing the Power Usage of AMD Radeon RX 480 for Ethereum Mining


June 30th, 2016 at 04:29

Why are all your shares rejected?

John Doe

June 30th, 2016 at 06:44

Realy good review!


June 30th, 2016 at 09:01

Steve, where exactly did you see rejected shares?


June 30th, 2016 at 09:30

What about environment temperature ?


June 30th, 2016 at 09:37

About 25 degrees Celsius, this is the usual temperature we test at.


June 30th, 2016 at 09:46

Stock reduction wasnt so impressive, but the reduction with memory at 9Ghz looks very nice!

24,7@177W stock
24,7@150W TDP reduced
27,8@155W Memory OC + TDP reduced

Nice upgrade from my 380s that perform like this:
20@150W Stock
20@120W Undervolt by 100mV


June 30th, 2016 at 20:39

Received 6 of them today… (Sapphire RX 480 8GB)
wao….. compared to the R9 380x, it just look like a toy ! No metal back plate / plastic fan tunnel / ridiculous heat radiator / way too little fan !

Result: After tweaking voltage / power (in windows 10)….. with the 6x RX 480, i get 140 Mh/s / consuming 900Watts, no card less than 60 deg. celcius
On my ethOS (linux) miners with 6 x R9 380X core clocked @ 800Mhz: it produces 124MH/s consuming 800Watts cards are about 50 deg. celcius

Pricing part:
6 x R9 380X 4GB = 1200€
6 x RX 480 8GB = 1560€

IMO, even with 4GB version (about 30€ less/card), the RX 480 is a poor solution for mining purpose.
When ETHOS will release a version with RX480 linux driver, i’ll try again, who knows…


June 30th, 2016 at 22:46

My Mining Rig major components:

6 units MSI R9 390X
All with USB3 raisers
2 PSU’s (1300Watts + 1050Watts)
Core i5 / 4G RAM / SSD
Windows 10
Total Unit measured wall Power consumption: 2050Watts
Power Consumption with 6GPU connected but without mining is 290Watts.
GPU temperature ~72 Celsius (with external fan reinforce)

Speed (Ethereum with Claymore’s app):

190 MH/s stable with Powerlimit = – 20 and default clocks (1100MHz GPU, 1525MHz memory). Means 31,6MH/s stable.

Until now I see possible reduction on power consumption with the RX 480, but from the several tests I have checked online (Power vs speed vs board price in Europe), still not convinced to build my new Rig with RX 480.

Any comments appreciated!


June 30th, 2016 at 23:58

Dear. Two questions:

1. The modified versions of cards (three fan, more ports, OC, etc.) can make a significant change in the hashrate?

2. The RX480 4GB can also good yields are obtained if the same is done that 8GB?


July 1st, 2016 at 08:48

Can someone help. Got 6 AMD Sapphire RX 480 . And don’t know how to tune it. When using their Strixx tune it says 0core clock, 0 fan speed 0 0 0 temp e.t.c.
When using Asus tune up 2 – it shows correct clocks, speed and fans, but i can’t change anything except fan speen. How to tune at saphire card the Memory speed to 9ghz ?


July 1st, 2016 at 10:09

IMO, drivers updates can fix a few issues in term of Mh/s and temps but the design of the actual cards is…. like a damn prototype !
Perhaps Sapphire will release a Nitro OC version with metal backplate as on the R9 380s but later….
Manufacturers seems to have bunch of stock on this actual RX 480….

For now, i will buy more 380 and 380X due to price going down.


July 5th, 2016 at 03:53

Sorry couldn’t see your pic to well. I see now “Rejected 0”, usually I don’t see rejected unless it was rejected.


July 7th, 2016 at 21:06

New official drivers from AMD that are supposed to take care of the issue that the RX 480 reference design boards may try to use more power from the PCI-E slot than they should: http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/Radeon-Software-Crimson-Edition-16.7.1-Release-Notes.aspx


August 9th, 2016 at 12:29

What is the equivalent settings for Wattman to get at least 27Mh/s , Asus GPUTweak is not applying changed settings. I’m on Crimson 16.8.1


August 17th, 2016 at 20:59

I’m having a similar issue with charlvdb. What steps unlock the features in gputweak?


October 7th, 2016 at 21:55

6x RX 480 Red Devils hashing at 188mh/s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cae6P8SriMk


May 15th, 2017 at 22:03

Guys, are you saying that the 380 cards run at 120W consumtion while the RX 480 take 150 ? Can you tell me what mh/s do the R9 380 get ? I’m thinking of making a rig with them since they are almost half price comared to rx 480 !


July 5th, 2017 at 09:34

Very good. I have problem under Linux: RX480 8GB consume almost 200W! But one Windows 10 only 89W – what to do?

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