Last week we looked over AMD’s Radeon RX 480 and how it fared in price and performance. The card behaved spectacularly, and the article ended with an announcement from nVIDIA stating that the GeForce GTX 1060 will be at least five percent more performant than the Radeon RX 480, with an extra surcharge of $50. Well, this week we are looking over AMD’s WattMan, a positively brilliant tool from AMD, which comes free with all new Polaris GPUs.
What Does The WattMan do?
Oh, it is just the new Radeon Crimson overclocking tool.
With just a few google searches to ensure we wouldn’t be setting anything on fire and a few tweaks and dials in WattMan, the Radeon RX 480 was able to dish out about five to ten percent more performance. And that performance came while the card maintained an overall lower level of power consumption.
AMD’s WattMan is an absolute must-install, must-run, must-enjoy for any owner of an AMD Polaris GPU. After just the first five minutes of looking through the menus, it felt like the RX 480 had been running with the handbrake on. Again, without the tool, the card performs spectacularly by itself.
WattMan was designed by people who love gaming. There is no question about it. It has features addressed specifically towards gamers. This is not a debugging or a benchmarking tool.
The first and simplest feature WattMan has is called Histogram. It observes and maps out activity level, memory frequency, current core clock speed, fan speed, and temperature, all in real time. And the display is easy to read and figure out.
WattMan Looks Under The Hood
As mentioned above, several features part of the toolkit can increase the performance of the card. After increasing the power limit to the highest stable value determined using a benchmark program, we turned up the clock speed and the voltage.
Obviously, the change can be done globally, as well as per application, allowing the card to hum away lazily in games like Hearthstone and then to shift into full gear for Overwatch. Globally, we left the clock speed where it was as the browsers, streams and widgets ran fine with it as it was. Instead, we lowered the power consumption, because with Wattman that is an option. For ten or twenty percent less power consumption, there’s barely any hit on performance.
Wattman allows users to do a lot more fine tweaking such as memory boosting and a horde of fine tuning elements which should be really looked at rather than listed.
Long story short, unless you favor nVIDIA above all else if you are looking for a performant and cost efficient video card which can get cranked up to 11, consider AMD’s Radeon RX 480. And use WattMan, it is epic!
Image Courtesy of AMD.