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AMD multi monitor idle power question

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#1
I want to get a new GPU and AMD has the best price/performance from where I am.

Because my system with 2 monitors idles most of the time, it concerns me that AMD cards use more than double power while idle in multi monitor scenario. Has this been addressed?

Since I own gtx 460 now, I have gotten used to no crashes, blue screens and other problems. Is this something I can expect to continue with a new AMD GPU (as opposed to 4850 driver era)?

I'm considering 270x, 7950 and 280x. So far I'm liking 7950 most for its price/performance, but I am open to suggestions. I particularly like 3gb vram as besides gaming I GPU render in 3ds Max (quicksilver).
 

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#2
I want to get a new GPU and AMD has the best price/performance from where I am.

Because my system with 2 monitors idles most of the time, it concerns me that AMD cards use more than double power while idle in multi monitor scenario. Has this been addressed?

Since I own gtx 460 now, I have gotten used to no crashes, blue screens and other problems. Is this something I can expect to continue with a new AMD GPU (as opposed to 4850 driver era)?

I'm considering 270x, 7950 and 280x. So far I'm liking 7950 most for its price/performance, but I am open to suggestions. I particularly like 3gb vram as besides gaming I GPU render in 3ds Max (quicksilver).
So far it doesn't seem to be the case that they've fixed it. It's a big reason why I'm considering a GTX 770 because multi-monitor idle usage is super low.
 
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#3
I'm hoping for an actual, proper AMD user or someone who knows the latest news from the red side to chime in. I read somewhere that this issue has been addressed, but I couldn't verify it based on the recent GPU reviews here on TPU or anywhere else for that matter. Sad how multi monitor idle temps are not mentioned in most reviews online... Because they are here, I love this site :)
 

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#4
i've got a 7970, idle consumption in multi monitor raises, but not a huge amount.

i'll find my power meter and test for you

94W single monitor idle (minimum)
134W duplicated/extend, 2x1080p (VGA+HDMI)


edit: eh, i guess thats a decent amount higher, but anyone running 2x monitors is already upping their power consumption as it is...
 
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#5
I thought that same res displays don't increase the usage so much, but apparently they do too...

This is on win8.1 and what cc?

Also how did you measure the consumption? Software or you have a gadget for that? I was expecting something like temps to check the power. My gtx 460 goes into 50c+ when I'm not using nvidia inspector to force 2d clocks. It dips below 40c with forced 2d clocks. I wouldn't mind running an app like that to spare me the heat output. Its summer here and hot too much as is.
 

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#6
I thought that same res displays don't increase the usage so much, but apparently they do too...

This is on win8.1 and what cc?

Also how did you measure the consumption? Software or you have a gadget for that? I was expecting something like temps to check the power. My gtx 460 goes into 50c+ when I'm not using nvidia inspector to force 2d clocks. It dips below 40c with forced 2d clocks. I wouldn't mind running an app like that to spare me the heat output. Its summer here and hot too much as is.

measured at the wall, power consumption of my PC (but not monitor, etc) win 8.1 + cat 14.7 beta

probably could find a way to force the clocks.
 

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#7
measured at the wall, power consumption of my PC (but not monitor, etc) win 8.1 + cat 14.7 beta

probably could find a way to force the clocks.
this simply use msi afterburner
 
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#8
It's definitely not as low but the difference is not to much more (I think mussels already described it). I run 3 on my machine and it's not like it is draining tons of electricity sitting around.

As far as crashing goes I have not had any problems and I do not see people having issues so I can safely say it's fine drivers wise as most people now say there is no difference between the 2 sides in the case of drivers.
 
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#9
AMD has higher power consumption with multimonitor due to keeping the memory clock higher and preventing second screen flickering, Nvidia keeps their clocks lower and have the issues occasionally but no one seems to care.
 
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#10
Thank you all for answering. I'm not as concerned about the electricity used, as I am about needlessly high idle temps. If my gtx 460 had its way, it would idle at 50+c, which is its default behavior.

Using nvidia inspector I can force 460 to 2d clocks and sub 40c while idle. My 460 has 4 modes- 2d, video, low 3d and high 3d. Nvidia made it jump to low 3d state with 2nd monitor. I fear the same is true for ATI now, but it cannot be fixed as easy due to lack of nvinspector. I have flickering and slowness only in new apps that I haven't manually added to video/3d slots of the app. It's minor hassle albeit a present one. Otherwise 460 has 0 problems running everything at true 2d idle - 50.6Mhz core clock and 67.5Mhz RAM clock.

I'd prefer to skip either having to disconnect my 2nd monitor or having 60+c idle as many users reported with their cards.

Did I undestand correctly that I can use "msi afterburner" to manually set idle clocks and force my AMD card to behave properly?
 
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#11
Yes MSI afterburner can force the clocks and voltage.
 

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#12
Yes MSI afterburner can force the clocks and voltage.
I think you need to clarify this. You can underclock using MSI afterburner, but as I know it, you'll have to set the clocks higher if actually do 3D if you take this route. I don't think you can set just 2D clocks.
 
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#13
AMD has higher power consumption with multimonitor due to keeping the memory clock higher and preventing second screen flickering, Nvidia keeps their clocks lower and have the issues occasionally but no one seems to care.

My R9-290 memory is clocked at 150MHz when idle (2D) on 3 monitors. How low is Nvidia mem clock?

Core is at 300MHz.

My rig doesn't seem to use anymore power than when I had a GTC680 with 1 monitor.
 
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#14
Thank you all for answering. I'm not as concerned about the electricity used, as I am about needlessly high idle temps. If my gtx 460 had its way, it would idle at 50+c, which is its default behavior.
R9-290 idles at 35C (20C ambient) on 3 monitors
 

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#15
I'm hoping for an actual, proper AMD user or someone who knows the latest news from the red side to chime in. I read somewhere that this issue has been addressed, but I couldn't verify it based on the recent GPU reviews here on TPU or anywhere else for that matter. Sad how multi monitor idle temps are not mentioned in most reviews online... Because they are here, I love this site :)
Power usage jumps up about 25w when using multi monitor for me was about the same for my 6970 too..

EDIT:
I use a fan controller from Zalman that temps me the power usage.
 
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#16
My R9-290 memory is clocked at 150MHz when idle (2D) on 3 monitors. How low is Nvidia mem clock?

Core is at 300MHz.

My rig doesn't seem to use anymore power than when I had a GTC680 with 1 monitor.
First, OP isn't asking about a 290, he is asking about 7950, which in its various forms is the same chip as the 270/280 uses.

A 680 is 15W in multi or single monitor, a 290 is 51W, it is significantly higher.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/R9_290/30.html

300 core 1250 memory, unless W1zzard is a complete idiot and doesn't know how to use the software he wrote to do tests for companies he works for I am guessing its accurate, perhaps your card has a newer BIOS that doesn't cause the memory clocks to ramp up in multi-monitor.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/R9_280X_Gaming/30.html

Almost every new GPU from AMD does this to prevent the screen flickering issues from clock state changes, and or bandwidth starvation when driving more pixels and using the hardware for fancy stuff like acceleration, sharpening, noise reduction, deblocking, smoothing, motion detect, and other post processing effects. Its why AMD has better picture quality.
 
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#17
First, OP isn't asking about a 290, he is asking about 7950, which in its various forms is the same chip as the 270/280 uses.

A 680 is 15W in multi or single monitor, a 290 is 51W, it is significantly higher.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/R9_290/30.html

300 core 1250 memory, unless W1zzard is a complete idiot and doesn't know how to use the software he wrote to do tests for companies he works for I am guessing its accurate, perhaps your card has a newer BIOS that doesn't cause the memory clocks to ramp up in multi-monitor.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/R9_280X_Gaming/30.html

Almost every new GPU from AMD does this to prevent the screen flickering issues from clock state changes, and or bandwidth starvation when driving more pixels and using the hardware for fancy stuff like acceleration, sharpening, noise reduction, deblocking, smoothing, motion detect, and other post processing effects. Its why AMD has better picture quality.
So i try to help and you try to prove me wrong then accuse me of lying (you were wrong on both accounts, but I'm not going to waste my time explaining to someone whose incapable of understanding). No wonder I usually stick to Tom's, first post here for a while and last one with people like you around! Good luck.
 

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#18
So i try to help and you try to prove me wrong then accuse me of lying (you were wrong on both accounts, but I'm not going to waste my time explaining to someone whose incapable of understanding). No wonder I usually stick to Tom's, first post here for a while and last one with people like you around! Good luck.

can you tell me what parts of his assesment are incorrect, i used a wallmeter and provided very similar results on my 7970 to his numbers above. (approx 40W higher idle)
 
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#19
I think you need to clarify this. You can underclock using MSI afterburner, but as I know it, you'll have to set the clocks higher if actually do 3D if you take this route. I don't think you can set just 2D clocks.
Agreed, you cannot force the clocks down to 2D state, such as 300/150. But you can force the memory clock down so that it doesn't ramp up to full with the second monitor in.
 
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#20
Umm, yeah you can. And you can turn the voltage down and lock it there.

You have to enable unofficialoverclocking and voltage control, this disabled power play when in use and Afterburner then interrupts the driver API that normally controls the clock states and voltage control, one that is done lower the clocks, apply, close the program, and reopen, lower the clocks again, as each time it is opened only 50% of the current clock value is available for adjustment unless you tweak the configuration of afterburner.
 
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#21
I got the xfx 7950 and I was unable to set the proper 2d clocks. I could only use amd overdrive to set the low 150/300mhz clocks in dual monitor scenario. Problem with this is that I manually need to set 3d clocks any time I want to game and back to 2d when I dont. Also, playing a simple video on YT would ramp the clocks up to the ridiculously high multi monitor scenario. Interestingly, AMD chose to recognize my orverdrive tempering of the clocks as a sign that I want both 2d and 3d clocks to be the (very low) same, but playing a YT video? Surely I need full memory speed and 2x GPU core clock to do that...

Afterburner was useless. It could not change power/voltage and was locked at 450/625mhz clocks for the GPU/Vram. I tried closing it down and opening back up, as to allow further to lower the clocks, but this did nothing.

Curiously, AMD zero core power usage never seemed to kick in. Even after 30mins of being afk and computer being completely idle with monitors shut of by windows after 5min, GPU temp was 50c+ upon moving the mouse to turn monitors on. This is the default temperature of the GPU while actually being idle with monitors on with the default AMD multi monitor 2d clocks.

Ultimately I was lucky as my 7950 had its thermal paste all used up so its load temp in 3d would go over 90c. Driver would stop responding, freeze the image, go black and than go back again (just what i remember ati experience used to be in 4850 days). The person I bought the card from apologized for the thermal paste problem and accepted to return me the money.

It will be several years before I attempt to use another AMD gpu again. I'm a little sad that I'll need to pay more money to get a slower nvidia card now, but at least I can count on it to work properly.
 
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