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5700 aggressive downclock behavior workarounds

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon Drivers Section' started by connos, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. connos

    connos Maha Guru

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    -Use render ahead when possible in games that have this option. BFV for example has this option.

    -Try DX12 if the game supports it as it uses a different method from DX11 render ahead.

    -In problematic games, create game profiles and set your power limit at -50%. Then monitor gpu usage and clocks with radeon overlay. By reducing power limit, the gpu usage increases and this reduces the downclocking behavior. In BFV with -50% power limit, gpu usage is close to 97% and the card clocks at 1500Mhz 1600Mhz steady boost with minimal stuttering and 0 performance lost. Increase the power limit steadily if needed to gain any lost performance. That is quite the opposite behavior from the 480 that you had to increase the power limit to steady the clocks and reduce stuttering. This is my best solution for BFV so far.

    -Increase minimum volt to 800mv in Wattman.

    -You can try loading others cards bios settings with More Power Tools. My card is reference but i am running Nitro+ Bios settings.

    -At the moment avoid limiting your fps.

    -Use Chill with narrow settings. 135-140. This may force the card to boost.

    -All the above

    All workarounds have some micro stuttering because the card aggressively monitors gpu usage and adjust its clocks. Nothing we can do about it at the moment as Wattman is broken.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  2. Jackalito

    Jackalito Master Guru

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    Thanks for sharing - I believe I read this very advice on Reddit if I'm not mistaken.

    I'll give it a try in Apex Legends to see if it makes any difference, though I'm not optimistic at this point.
     
  3. connos

    connos Maha Guru

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    Yeah I post it there too. At least with BFV its playable this way. Not happy with it though. I was expecting a lot better when I update from 480 to the magical innovative RDNA architecture. You cannot have power saving features that hurt performance, and with CPU, Windows, Ethernet are all features you can disable. With 5700 the card is always fighting you and the game to save few watts.
     
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  4. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Cant you just give the card more power and avoid all the issues. Atleast thats how Polaris works.
     

  5. Jackalito

    Jackalito Master Guru

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    I'm afraid it's not as simple as that.
    Hoping @mtrai can chime in, as I remember him saying these cards are power (voltage) starved, but the thing is my Pulse doesn't have the best cooling solution and it's still hot where I live, so pumping up voltage like crazy doesn't sound particularly appealing to me.
     
  6. connos

    connos Maha Guru

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    Increasing the power limit worsens the situation. It allow for the frequency to vary even more from low to high and low can be really low. BF5 goes down to 700mhz while playing a 64 player multiplayer match with all the action on screen, explosion, fire, smoke etc.

    With my Polaris i set power limit 50% and thats it, no more downclocking no more stuttering.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  7. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    @mtrai
    Do you know why the 5700 series downclocks (ignoring manual inputs not to do so) so aggressively in DX11 games like BF5?
     
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  8. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    It's tied to GPU load isn't it?

    So all kinds of fancy nice graphical effects and here's the CPU limit and instant ~60% or so utilization and the GPU activity goes down and while it might only be for a short time that is enough for the GPU to start downclocking and as a result you get less framerate and stuttering is perceived since said framerate saw a noticeable drop.

    Render ahead and other means and keeping the GPU active means it dips less and adjusting the power limit can adjust the maximum boost but since the minimum clock speeds can be all over regardless of settings it might still chug a bit during the time the card goes from lower activity and clock speeds to full activity and between the game boost and target boost speeds.

    Navi might be better at getting more out of threading and CPU without needing very specialized coding and care but CPU limitations and such can still hinder and as a result the lessened GPU activity leads to a performance drop which even if just for a couple of frames is still noticeable to the user and the game feels like it's chugging and stuttering. (Or actually is depending on how low it clocked down and then has to boost up again.)


    Part of it at least considering it drops immediately on lowered GPU activity so it's not just thermals or voltage or power draw which sure it can affect things but more for how much it can boost and if it can maintain stable clock settings but hitting limits with CPU, RAM or HDD/SSD and it affects the overall performance or behavior of the GPU since for how it works there's no longer a need to maintain near 100% speeds.

    EDIT: That said the driver and GPU are both flexible enough, later drivers could make changes to how this little algorithm works and how it boosts and when possibly making it smoother and less of a immediate drop thus less stuttering and instant terrible framerate and all that. As I'm thinking of how it would behave at least though this is probably fairly simplified and it's a number of conditions and parameters that affect the total performance and speed of the card.

    Could even differ depending on the workload such as pushing geometry, texture data, shaders and all that or the newer bits of hardware for what games use these.
    (Far Cry 5 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint perhaps, some of the VLK AMD supported games like Wolfenstein New Colossus and Youngblood or Rage 2 maybe?)
     
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  9. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Interesting theory.
    However, if that's true it's a flawed execution regarding how the pipeline works. Regardless of what CPU you use there will always be some level of fluctuation in the data pipeline. Sometimes the gpu needs to wait. Other times, the cpu. In a perfect setup there is no wait no time but that's unreasonable expectation. The GPU drivers are suppose to mitigate this not expose this. In this case AMD drivers does more to expose it instead of smoothing things out when it comes to cpu feeding the gpu while the cpu also processes other gaming workloads/calculations, etc.

    If true, this is a flaw in how AMD decided how the cpu is suppose to communicate with the GPU and vise versa.

    When using boost there should be a fallback mechanic in place that allows the gpu to keep it's performance similar to the older AMD GPUs. Instead GPU clock rates go all the way down to 400Mhz and back up to 19000+MHz. This should NOT be happening.

    I can guarantee you that with the non boosted gpus they were not being fully feed and yet it didn't cause the fluctuating gpu usage/gpu clock rates we see with 5700 series (be it small enough not to see a visual difference vs large enough to see a visual difference). This is a bug IMO and AMD should address this so that GPU Usage/Clock Rates doesn't exhibit this unstable behavior.

    This unstable behavior is best seen in Battlefield where you can enable something called: PerfOverlay.DrawGraph 1
    At times I can clearly see a flat, stable line with the CPU (orange) and a continuous spiking for the GPU (green). At times the game can run smooth (usually in BF1). But other times it doesn't and it's choppy and inconsistent stutter (BFV). But the graph readout is similar. Both games use the same engine by the way.

    When I had my R9 fury those lines were flat and interposed into each other. Minor hiccups in the graph but it didn't visually show issue. When I use the RX 5700 those lines can show continuously spiking throughout. At times I can see visual stuttering...other times nothing. DX12 is a better then DX11 as I do see higher FPS and higher gpu usage and a smoother graph from GPU.

    This tells me that drivers are not fully optimized for DX11 in BFV. But in BF1 the issue is fine. Therefore, the drivers are working correctly in BF1.

    Therefore, it's my earnest opinion there is more to this then " not getting enough workload from the cpu" in and of itself. The drivers are suppose to dictate how the workload is to be distributed and the end result is smooth gaming. But that's not happening in BFV and other gaming titles and this is something AMD needs to address and fix.

    If it takes a 9900K or similar cpu in order to "feed the 5700 properly" then it should have been posted as a requirement on it's product page. Which doesn't exist. This implies that it doesn't need a 9900K or similar cpu in order to use it properly. Therefore, IMHO the Driver teams has their work cut out for them in fixing these issues.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  10. MaCk0y

    MaCk0y Master Guru

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    Back in 2015, when AMD released Crimson drivers, they introduced this power saving feature, downclocking the core clock based on load. I had a R9 390 at the time and it was annoying especially in Rocket League. I was running RL at 3200x1600 VSR at a peasant 60FPS :p and because of the downclock, every few seconds it would drop the core clock down to around 600MHz from 1150MHz causing the FPS to drop from 60 to 55 which in turn caused a noticeable stutter. Then discovered ClockBlocker which saved the day. Then after some time AMD released a driver with a toggle for 'Power Save' in Global settings or something like that. Can't remember the exact name. It's gone now.

    What I don't understand is why AMD does not provide the option anymore. I don't care about saving a couple of watts an hour while gaming. Just provide the option so that while using a 3D application, the core clock should run at the maximum base clock speed constantly, then if thermal and power limits permit, boost the clock speed accordingly. Currently, the core clock speed fluctuates constantly and lowers beyond the base clock speed.
     
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  11. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    I wouldn't be surprise if something like this is repeated in the 5700 series cards. I as well as others already sent complaints to amd about this.

    https://www.amdsurveys.com/se/5A1E27D23A3DE966
     
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  12. MaCk0y

    MaCk0y Master Guru

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    I have a conspiracy theory. :p AMD does this so they can claim lower average TDP during high load usage....at the detriment of an enjoyable gameplay experience. Although AMD does look bad at having a higher TDP on 7nm vs Nvidia at 12nm, I don't think many people care that the GPU consumes 50W more than the competitor while playing games. This is just my theory though.
     
  13. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, I get that and would agree it's a very good theory. We can't say that it's true at all. And may in fact not be true at all.
    However, we would like know why AMD is doing this and we want AMD to fix it is the gist.
     
  14. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    SpecialK and the CPU widget is what I tend to go with together with the performance graphs (Framerate but also frame time.) there was a video a short while back that also delved into Vega and the driver situation and compared with Navi or rather GCN and RDNA.



    AMD's little performance tool which I think is what is used shows Vega having several moments where it's just idle and waiting and doing nothing though while Navi doesn't have the same limitations the driver situation is very new and untested changing up several things from how earlier GPU models operated.

    So that and AMD's driver situation with D3D11 but then D3D12 and VLK exhibit the same issues even if it's less prominent with at least for Battlefield 5 the workaround looks to be render ahead and so the GPU is actually doing something and sees less gaps of inactivity maintaining at least somewhat higher GPU clocks from this.

    D3D9 then and the dips fall under single threaded limits for this API and the lowered core clocks from less demanding settings or "1080" as it's often just called in short since display resolution is one of the primary performance factors would tie into the GPU activity and cutting clock speeds.


    Driver wise it pretty much ends the same as I see it.

    The GPU is too aggressive with reducing clock speeds and it's not really realistic to hit 100% GPU load constantly but the moment it dips and it doesn't need to be down to 50% or some such either the core clocks just drop way down like the boost clocks only really matter near 100% load or something but it doesn't always even stop at the game clocks (The mid value in Wattman between idle and boost.) instead dropping further by as low as below 1 Ghz from what I am reading.

    My own tests in Division 2 and Breakpoint so far lands at 1600 to 1800 Mhz and with the CPU limit holds it back a bit whenever it comes into effect plus with the low background FPS locks the moment one alt-tabs the GPU clocks immediate drop to idle there's no delay or limit at all and it just drops immediately whereas I would have liked at least a few frames for the GPU to re-adjust or correct if it's just a temporary fluctuation or dip without cutting clock speeds but that's something newer drivers can improve.

    There's limited ways to influence persistent minimum clock speeds and the driver and way that the hardware and all the little sensors and such works means it cuts immediately to lower clock speeds now that it's a free floating scale and not these states whereas for earlier cards it'd maintain around P6 or P7 ensuring higher clock speeds.


    There is a lot that can influence GPU load and how it can be maintained including Wattman and tinkering with overclocking and undervolting but it usually just means a higher or more readily reachable boost clock and then nothing for minimum clocks.

    Hardware limits and how the game is coded is also always a thing and older games just can't be easily brute forced since they won't utilize more than 2 - 4 cores anyway and resulting threading or lack thereof plus AMD's D3D11 code itself and limits here.


    So yeah it's the drivers that need to be worked on either more options or some way to lessen the drastic clock fluctuations for how Navi constantly re-adjusts itself from any number of factors and it's a immediate change regardless of if it's just a smaller dip maybe even for just a few frames before it's back to normal again so that's something that can be resolved and even with a top end system some games just won't utilize all that hardware fully so expecting the GPU and CPU utilization and such to work isn't something I would rely on so some form of mitigation in the driver for these fluctuations should be implemented or that's my idea if they are going to keep the fully free GPU core clock speed system which while it can boost up to nice near or above 2 Ghz speeds also means it drops and falls to below smooth performing clocks from any one number of possible factors which is a bit too sensitive for how gaming would usually operate.
    (Even testing some AMD optimized titles shows the same behavior too not that it means much on it's own if the engine has limitations and bottlenecks that just can't be resolved by more hardware.)



    EDIT: As for widgets and such and SpecialK that's just for monitoring the overall status and threading of the title I'm using it with, smooth 16.6ms for 60 FPS and maintained framerate and frame time values and good threading and CPU balancing = Good.

    That's very idealistic though and the usual is more mixed even with various overrides and trying to cut latency and such down to minimum and keep frame time high via anything from improving GPU or CPU to balancing core priorities and threading reshuffling.
    (Impressive features but not a full fix or anything but it can do good but it varies.)


    Perhaps call it a buffer or threshold or timer or something or more direct control in Wattman for more of how Navi behaves but far as I see it thus far it just reacts really quickly to a lot of different factors one of the more noticeable ones being overall GPU load percentage often as a result of limitations or bottlenecks elsewhere which in my case is RAM, CPU and I/O all but often hits a CPU limit on modern system but similar results and GPU activity goes down by a bit.
    (Which again since the card is quite aggressive in how it scales it doesn't take much for it to start dropping to low speeds.)


    EDIT: And said clocks are all over the place so it's not like Ryzen where the max clocks can be more like a burst speed in short moments hitting high voltage and clocks for a smaller period of time but even if the game clocks were more realistic than the boost then the card often drops below these too close to the idle speeds or lower if the user tried to increase this via Wattman which might at least keep some voltage but doesn't seem to impact the actual clock speeds much for some reason.
    (Sides the cards can hit and maintain the boost clock speeds or higher but any one single thing just causes it to start dropping so again with how it fluctuates heavily.)



    EDIT: Or over engineer the thing like the rest of Wattman and implement a second graph for boost behavior and curve for % load with % boost something like that I'm sure it can be fine tuned into some engineer excellence of WTH is this graph and all these things.
    (Much as Wattman can be good it's kinda all over the place after all.)

    Really only needs a toggle for Hyper Aggressive True/False or something like the pre-render settings so 1 - 5 frames before WAAAGH! -mode and the GPU clocks dropping like a rock. :p
    (Endless circular arguments and examples now but in effect a buffer before it starts throttling or whatever works best.)

    (And yes if it was doing that it would be scaling up but as a example or something really.)


    Still not sure on the specifics or much else really for now but from observation and reading it's just kinda picky really which has it's complications. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  15. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    @JonasBeckman

    Thanks for the post/video.

    I think we all can agree, even though we are not sure what's cause the downclock issue, that AMD needs to stop the card from going well past gaming boost speeds (down to desktop speeds). The card, when it detects it's in 3d mode, should never downclock past what it's advertised gaming boost speed to be.


    And as @MaCk0y suggested this does remind me of the UVD bug from back in the day. But from what GPUz states these Navi cards don't support UVD...at least in the iteration we know of right now.

    Edit:
    I just enabled the performance graph for BO4 and everything works fine. This game only uses 2 cores too. Hmm...there is the odd pausing every once in a while.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  16. connos

    connos Maha Guru

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    I bought the card 2 months ago to replace my 480. With my 480 I was playing bfv with 110 fps limit at 1310mhz with smooth performance and freesynch. Installing the 5700 and firing up BFV i was very surprised of how bad the game felt. I was expecting a huge performance boost with smoother gameplay, close to my monitors 144hz as this what the benchmarks and review sites were showing. I reinstall windows as I though this was the cause. Nothing helps. The card has its own mind. Wattman is not functioning as it should and we don't know if its a bug.

    There several post on reddit for this "issue" and some comments from AMD_Mickey that he will pass this info to the driver team but he can not guarantee anything. I am not optimistic until I see this problem mention in the drivers known issue. Then I will feel confident that they will address it.
     
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  17. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Some game profiles and driver tuning might also apply more aggressively to certain titles but that becomes a pretty complicated issue plus the current very random assortment of other driver problems well it's clear there's more to be done and I do hope the later drivers start fixing up both these issues and the boost algorithm however it might be working which even if it scales to overall GPU load there's bound to be more to how it scales than just that.
    (Internally there should be some metric for how far it can boost and also clock down so it has to be a number of different conditions and parameters defining however this behavior is set up though so far Wattman doesn't look like it can fully control it.)

    When it does work though the hardware is quite impressive but it it's not quite there yet and some games seem very prone to unstable clock speeds as well even if they might not hit CPU or RAM as much so it's hard to test how exactly this all works. :)
     
  18. connos

    connos Maha Guru

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    It is impressive indeed and its a stupid problem to have. I saw people in reddit returning the card due the down clocking behavior, or taking out of there systems and trying it at a later stage. For sure if I still had my 480 i would switched to that card until they fix this behavior.
     
  19. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Yes I've read much the same and those picking up a 5700 or the XT variant would want to use them now not potentially hit a number of different software issues with drivers and this performance up and down cycling.
    I'm on 19.7.5 for now and so far it exhibits none of the issues from 19.9.2 and later and then I assume once I test 19.8.1 or 19.8.2 it'll be back to some of these issues but the big problems were only in 19.10.1 so it could have been worse.

    It does still do this little thing though but otherwise the other problems in later drivers are mostly gone entirely. (D3D9 and lower settings would likely be a problem however.)

    EDIT: Which means that it's not surprising to hear people are hitting problems and since it's within the warranty time or return period the card is sent back which is going to be a issue if AMD isn't resolving these problems soon.
     
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  20. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    I've read some going back to earlier drivers. Are the earlier drivers really that much better then 19.10.1?

    This really makes me want to use MSI AB to see if that can clamp down on the gpu frequency. Has anyone tried MSI AB
     

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