Wednesday, December 17th 2014

AMD Working on "Dynamic Frame Rate Control" Feature

AMD is working on a new software feature for its Radeon graphics cards, which it calls "Dynamic Frame Rate Control." Revealed informally to the web, by AMD director of PR Chris Hook, who goes by the handle "AMD_Chris" on various forums, Dynamic Frame Rate Control, or DFRC, is a frame-rate limiter, which gives you power savings when you reduce frame-rates. This probably works by reducing clock speeds to achieve the desired frame-rates.

Sounds a lot like V-Sync? Well the way AMD describes it, DFRC is a frame-rate limiter with a slider. Whereas V-Sync makes the GPU spit out frame-rates to match the monitor's refresh-rate. When a game runs, say, 100 FPS, and you enable V-Sync to bring that down to 60 FPS, your GPU is still running at 3D-performance clocks, unless the 3D load is way too low, and the driver decides to change the power state altogether. DFRC probably achieves lower frame-rates by underclocking the GPU, and increasing the clocks, whenever the scene gets more demanding, and the output FPS drops below the target. Hook describes the energy savings with DFRC as "mind blowing." This peaks our curiosity.
Source: 3DCenter.org
Add your own comment

67 Comments on AMD Working on "Dynamic Frame Rate Control" Feature

#26
AsRock
TPU addict
nemesis.ie
As someone with multiple cards (3) I think this is a fantastic feature to have.

I always try to play with vsync on and if you look at the power consumption with it on vs off on many titles there is a substantial difference. If this allows clock rate adjustment to achieve the synced rate it should be even better - if it even went so far as to put "extra" cards into zero-core (power them off) when running a title that doesn't need them to get xx(x)fps that would be excellent too.

Another possible side-benefit would be if the changed clock speed also reduced/eliminated the dreaded coil whine that many cards unfortunately suffer, especially with water blocks on them.

A big thumbs up from me if this does what's claimed, the sooner we get it the better, maybe with Omega release 2? (I can dream).
Massive difference, some were around 100-180w for me, even if they could save 100w still talking about 80w which is basically my system running idle.
Posted on Reply
#27
nemesis.ie
Aquinus
Right, but a (or many) coil(s) are(is) whining because it is (they're are) not fully secured. Just because more load makes a coil whine more because of one reason or another is beside the point. It whines for one reason and one reason only, because a coil is allowed to move and it vibrates. If coils don't vibrate, there is no coil whine.
True - but if they are sealed in a little box it's often not possible to fix externally (certainly if you want to keep the warranty) so given that, if other things like changing the clock speed can help, it's better than nothing until the makers get their fingers out and fix it properly. :)
Posted on Reply
#28
NC37
So its literally just an ultra dynamic over/underclocker. Does the same thing Boost modes do, just is constantly doing it instead of being boosted the moment the game starts.

Yeah, this is going to be a buggy mess. Plus likely will be some latency as it decides if and when to clock up. Try again AMD.
Posted on Reply
#29
nemesis.ie
NC37
So its literally just an ultra dynamic over/underclocker. Does the same thing Boost modes do, just is constantly doing it instead of being boosted the moment the game starts.

Yeah, this is going to be a buggy mess. Plus likely will be some latency as it decides if and when to clock up. Try again AMD.
It's more that it tries to keep the set frame rate (e.g. 60fps) and only does as much as is needed for that, rather than with boost where it clocks up when there is more work to be done or the temperature is under control to put out as many fps as possible. So it's not the same thing.
Posted on Reply
#30
Sasqui
Aquinus
Too bad that AMD can't put that kind of effort into multi-monitor power usages at idle. :(
Or just idle consumption in general! That was my hope looking at the headline :(
Posted on Reply
#31
Mathragh
Judging by some of these comments you'd almost think people would prefer AMD to just do nothing instead of trying to improve their products.

Weird world we're living in...
Posted on Reply
#32
Sasqui
Mathragh
Judging by some of these comments you'd almost think people would prefer AMD to just do nothing instead of trying to improve their products.

Weird world we're living in...
A lot of skepticism in general. The question is if they can execute and what the trade-offs are going to be.
Posted on Reply
#33
GhostRyder
This feature may not be something entirely new in the world of graphics, but it is nice to have it (eventually) at a driver level as part of the software packaged with the cards because that means it will work better/get better with time instead of relying on third party vendors to do it. Radeon Pro had a similar feature which I use that helps with games that have a horrible built in V-Sync (BF4 is a prime example of this for me) that cause extreme lag while its enabled which this should help alleviate. I can't wait to see what it brings!
Posted on Reply
#34
lemonadesoda
I want a faster card that is more efficient and cooler. I don't want to underclock yesterdays technology to make it "green on paper" but actually slower.
Posted on Reply
#35
Mathragh
lemonadesoda
I want a faster card that is more efficient and cooler. I don't want to underclock yesterdays technology to make it "green on paper" but actually slower.
The problem often lies, as with this comment, in the oversimplification and wrongly assumption of things.

First of all (if this tech gets implemented): Noone ever said, nor is it likely, that this tech will cause the card to become less efficient and cool compared to without this tech. There is also no reason it would be slower; It will only have a (optional) feature which allows the card to be more efficient at certain loads, while keeping the (perceived) user experience the same.

It also does not mean that when implemented to a specific card that this card will all of a sudden go from "current day technology" to "yesterdays technology". As a matter of fact, judging by how AMD's current lineup works, I recon this will only work on the R9 290(x), 285 and R7 260X, because other "current day technology" cards do not posses their new powertune capabilities.

Lastly, if this tech actually works, it won't be only "green on paper" but will actually (in the right usercase) save you measurable and significant amounts of power (and heat) in the real world.


Seriously, can we stop with the bullshit posts here? First of all: AMD didn't do a press release, its just some quote by someone picked up by someone. Also, as Nvidia already showed on their mobile line-up, this tech can actually work. There really is no downside to AMD including this option in some future driver for (some of) their cards if implemented correctly.

Sasqui
A lot of skepticism in general. The question is if they can execute and what the trade-offs are going to be.
Aye I understand people being sceptical. I'm also sceptical, especially when it comes to implementation across their full line-up. However I just don't think it should become normal for people to just spew unfounded nonsense that goes against the generally good spirited constructive atmosphere that used to set our forum apart from most other forums.
Posted on Reply
#36
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
NC37
So its literally just an ultra dynamic over/underclocker. Does the same thing Boost modes do, just is constantly doing it instead of being boosted the moment the game starts.

Yeah, this is going to be a buggy mess. Plus likely will be some latency as it decides if and when to clock up. Try again AMD.
Trying to constantly ramp up/down clock rates per frame is just like how some cards already suffer from them entering 2d clocks suddenly in a game or cards constantly jumping back n forth in browsers
Posted on Reply
#37
the54thvoid
Mathragh
...unfounded nonsense that goes against the generally good spirited constructive atmosphere that used to set our forum apart from most other forums.
The spirit is still here, you just have to look through muddy waters.

The problem here is that it's a driver based frame limiter and while a welcome step, we still want to see greater hardware efficiencies from AMD next round. FTR my last AMD cards were watercooled 7970's and rocked, mostly.
The issue of where the info came from is of great relevance. It was the AMD PR guy on a public forum.
It doesn't matter that it wasn't a corporate and dated memo. This is how the web works, PR guys don't do things by schedules and release dates - they leak snippets, normally without much technical detail and with much bravado about how good it is. AMD have done a lot of this recently and it's getting boring.

This is a tech forum and we want to hear about tech, we want tasters and physical realities to grasp. 'Stacked memory?' - awesome, tell us more and how it will work with bandwidth and gaming. What about increases in processing capacities and things we can look forward to?

I'm kinda annoyed that Maxwell isn't as good as I first thought it was. Yes, it's power efficient (clock for clock versus Kepler it's nuts) but clock for clock it's slower than Kepler. So Nvidia have a lot to do next round, though their next round might just be big Maxwell (and they're probably siting on it until AMD show up). I don't want to hear PR bullshit from either camp, whether it's a formal statement from the CEO or forum grooming by some underling.

It's unsurprising people are being negative. PR guys are paid to tell you what 'they' want you to hear, not what is 'fact' or not.
Posted on Reply
#38
awesomesauce
steam game already doing this long time ago (tf2,cs,dota..)

u can lock fps via the ingame console..

dont know if driver job or game job.
Posted on Reply
#39
Sasqui
Mathragh
Aye I understand people being sceptical. I'm also sceptical, especially when it comes to implementation across their full line-up. However I just don't think it should become normal for people to just spew unfounded nonsense that goes against the generally good spirited constructive atmosphere that used to set our forum apart from most other forums.
We just have to beat those bad spirited folks to the point they become good spirited :p
Posted on Reply
#40
nemesis.ie
Beatings will continue until morale improves! ;)
Posted on Reply
#41
Blue-Knight
btarunr
Dynamic Frame Rate Control, or DFRC, is a frame-rate limiter, which gives you power savings when you reduce frame-rates.
I do not believe AMD users are concerned about power saving. But any attempt of AMD to minimize this undesirable effect can help many NVIDIA users buying their cards.

At the moment, I didn't change my mind. :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#42
Sasqui
Blue-Knight
I do not believe AMD users are concerned about power saving.
Wrong

ps - sorry if I sound mean spirited...
Posted on Reply
#43
TRWOV
lemonadesoda
I want a faster card that is more efficient and cooler. I don't want to underclock yesterdays technology to make it "green on paper" but actually slower.
If I understand it well, it's meant to maintain a certain FPS target and would adjust speed accordingly. Let's say that you're playing Age of Empires III. I can play it comfortably enough on my Athlon 5350 (I get some hiccups when I move fast around the map but that's it) so I'd think that a 280X on 2D clocks could handle it at 1080p@60fps easily so, if you have DFRC on and a 60Hz monitor, the driver would look at the GPU load and keep the 2D clocks active instead of ramp up the clocks. If you're playing BF4 at Ultra I'd guess DFRC wouldn't do much if anything. Only way for AMD to fuck this is to not make it optional and have it being always active (doubtful since that would hurt them in benchmarks).

I think this will be more useful to us guys with 60Hz screens.
Posted on Reply
#44
Casecutter
In all probability you will have the ability to use it or not, if you don't like it don't use it

It stinks if companies have employees posting snippets like this, to me it seems to lack control of the message. Social media while thought to be a place to generate "Buzz", in these cases it just end's up mudding the supposed message as it come across (even from a PR guy) as rouge. AMD needs to back-off these Social media snippets. If they want to cover something just say tomorrow... and then provide a decent overview... if it's not ready just yet then STFU until you can provide something useful.

As an overall technology 3D gaming isn't about just Fps and B-M's, but to provide responsive tactical agility while feelinf a fully "immersive" experience for the resolution you aim to use, if they provide you that while improving the energy used... it's all good.
Posted on Reply
#45
Blue-Knight
Sasqui
[quote=Blue-Knight]I do not believe AMD users are concerned about power saving.
Wrong[/quote]Considering they are... I guess they are more worried with their pockets (at the moment of purchase), otherwise it is not logical.

And I hope they're not running their cards 24/7 or for long periods /day (8+ hours)... Otherwise it is not justifiable, unless AMD is bringing them twice the performance /WATT, otherwise the difference in their electricity bill added to the amount they paid for the AMD card exceeds the NVIDIA card costs for the same performance (i.e. they ended up paying more for the same performance).
Posted on Reply
#46
MikeMurphy
The article is about more precisely reducing GPU clocks to the speed necessary to drive the specified FPS. Why should my 280x run at 1.2ghz when 600mhz would be sufficient to achieve 60fps on my application with vsync enabled?

-It has nothing to do with capping 144hz displays at 60hz
-It has nothing to do with reducing performance
-It has nothing to do with most of the comments in this thread.
Posted on Reply
#47
Fierce Guppy
Unless this power saving feature is adaptive sync with an upper limit then how does DFRC not produce more jitter?
Posted on Reply
#48
TheGuruStud
RadeonPro has had this feature forever, but i've never tested it out.
Posted on Reply
#49
Mathragh
TheGuruStud
RadeonPro has had this feature forever, but i've never tested it out.
I've never seen anything in RadeonPro that can dynamically clock your card depending on what FPS it is generating, are you sure you read the article correctly?
Posted on Reply
#50
TheGuruStud
Mathragh
I've never seen anything in RadeonPro that can dynamically clock your card depending on what FPS it is generating, are you sure you read the article correctly?
I read it and don't care. I meant dynamic framerate. The drivers already lower the clock/V when playing a less intense game. The exception would be pixel art games or something where it can stay in 2D mode.

Vsync off is unplayable. Idk who can even use this new feature without their brain hemhoragging. Either have vsync on or off. This seems like a redundancy that I don't want.

It would be cool to play with to observe framerate fluidity at diffferent rates that should work on every game unlike the apps we use.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment