Potentially dangerous efficiency tweak removed by an AMD Linux driver update

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AMD is a beacon for overclockers on Linux, with tons of options when it comes to setting clock speeds and power limits. But this will change, as AMD has added a lower power limit on each Radeon GPU for Linux 6.7, cautioning users that not having the limit could damage or even break the hardware.

Mario Limonciello, a principal member of AMD’s technical staff, confirmed this change in a bug report. “This has been discussed on the amd-gfx M/L, and the conclusion was that under-powering outside of the bounding box is potentially dangerous and might damage the hardware. This won’t be added back in,” Limonciello stated. The lower power limit has been set and is programmed into the vBIOS, meaning there’s no way users can remove the limit.

AMD says bypassing lower power limits in Linux could damage hardware

AMD fears that allowing users to bypass the lower power limit could inflict hardware damage or cause longevity issues. However, problems like these typically come from bypassing the maximum limit. Setting a lower power limit decreases the risk of any hardware being damaged or having its life shortened. At least, this is what AMD is implying with its decision.

The vBIOS on the AMD GPU driver has not, in the past, honored the lower power limit like it has the maximum. This change with the Linux 6.7 driver has not been popular, as responses believe the decision doesn’t make much sense. AMD GPU Linux users argue that the hardware is designed to work under lower power scenarios and that the limit imposed isn’t necessary.

Many are calling for the lower limit to be repealed, but AMD is holding firm on its decision. The lower limit will stay on the vBIOS and will not be removed in future drivers. It’s safe to say that if Linux users want to use one of the best GPUs that allows bypassing the lower power limit, they won’t be able to find it with AMD GPUs any time soon.

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