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Drivers & Software

Adept I

my experience with an amd graphics card and the zero rpm feature

I decided to take a risk on an AMD graphics card instead of my usual green team and what could have been an excellent experience has ended up being the most annoying graphics card I have ever purchased.   Just sitting at idle the fans would spin up to an audible level consistent with gaming and after a few minutes would spin back down to quiet.   It's annoying when just looking at a website the fans occasionally spin up and down.

Obviously, it's the fan curve on the video card, which I thought would only take a minor adjustment.  What I found made me realize, that an AMD graphics card is not for me.

The tuning settings in the Adrenaline software are Quiet, Balanced, Rage and Custom.   I find it hysterical that someone missed the concept of quiet since the first three profiles start at the same fan rpm.  Which turns out, at least for me is 1500rpm, which is very noticeable.   I then found that custom is not a customizable as one would hope.   The minimum fan speed could only be set to 25% or 1500rpm which is ridiculous.   There is zero fan option but when the zero fan threshold is reach the fans instantly go to 1500rpm.

This is what is causing the issue and the reason I will never risk buying an AMD graphics card again.  The card is silent or 1500rpm.  Over time the card temps slowly creep up and the fans kick in and the day temp increases so does the frequency of the fan spin up.   It quite annoying when doing something other than gaming.   I can't believe there is no option between Zero and 1500 it's simply an asinine option.  I finally resorted to a stupid PCIe slot fan that blows air on the card to keep it from reaching the zero fan threshold when at idle.    That I had to do that for an expensive graphics card is proof enough to me that I don't need to spend my money with AMD.  

7 Replies

I have similar grievances with AMD's fan control. My Sapphire Nitro+ Vega 64 also has the same zero fan behaviour. When the card reaches somewhere north of 50c, the fans kick on to around 1300rpm, which on my card is insanely quiet. When it then dips below, they shut off. Luckily I'm running a pretty extreme undervolt so the card stays very cool anyway - cool enough that I can use the stock fan curve, despite it being quite anemic.

In the past when I ran the card at much higher voltages, I used a custom fan curve in wattman, which exposed how terrible its control is. Cant use zero fan with a custom curve (unless you edit the xml file), and the fan curve isnt even *really* a curve at all, it jumps between each step rapidly and sounds terrible.

Also I think I once read somewhere that the reason you cant set the fans below a certain point in wattman is due to the PWM signal. In fact, on my motherboard if I set any of the fans too low, it gives a warning...but it still lets me do it anyway and I've had zero issues. Maybe AMD wanted to avoid fans potentially being set too low and failing to spin up? Pure speculation though.

Have you tried using MSI Afterburner to set a fan curve? Pretty sure that has way more adjustment than Wattman, never tried it myself though.

I appreciate the suggestion and I did give MSI Afterburner a shot, but the 25% fan setting is a hard stop and not adjustable.    I thought about under-volting the card but then why pay for something just to reduce its capabilities.    I just find it absolutely ridiculous that I have to mount a 120mm fan under the card running at 350rpms just to keep the idle temps from slowly creeping up to the 25% threshold, instead of slowly spinning the card fans, which to be much more efficient.  


@Katitude Gotta say im surprised your card reaches the zero rpm threshold *outside* of gaming. What model/cooler do you have?
Also you might be a bit mistaken about undervolting, its only with EXTREME undervolts that you end up sacrificing some performance. On most cards you can get away with a little without actually harming core clocks in any significant way, in fact you may even *improve* them if you're bouncing off a thermal/power ceiling.

Also @johnnyenglish  @untouchable2k I agree with both of you. Personally, the awkward fan control isnt a deal breaker at all.
But then again, my card doesnt spin up on desktop/browsing...I can only imagine how annoying that is.

Love my card, its eaten every task i've thrown at it. Super fun to mess with under the hood. Owned since late 2018 and I can say with 100% certainty the drivers are by far the worst part about it. Theres always something else that crops up after updating. I joked when I got my card about how much nicer AMD's software looks compared to Nvidia's Windows 95 looking control panel, but hey, at least that **bleep** actually functions.



Well on another note, i really stopped buying consumer graphic cards years years ago, the last one i bought was a RX 570 8gb phantom D edition 3 years because nothing was on sale. But me personally, i only use and buy workstation gpu's for gaming, etc. I have a W7100, WX 7100, WX 5100, WX 4100, and i bought two W5500s last year. Plan on buying a W6600 Radeon pro soon. 

Workstation gpus work better for gaming imo, and overall more stable. Just my opinion. 


I really never had any issues with AMD Graphics card or Nvidia. The problems always came down to what drivers to use. 


I didn't quite get it, is it just because of the fan noise and minimal rpm for it?

Try other fan control software, because Adrenalin does seems to have a minimal %/RPM higher than others.

What I did:

I have several profiles for each game, and when I'm on desktop I have Zero DB mode.
When the card reaches about 53ºC the fans kick in at 1300rpm, a bit noticeable.
I set the desktop profile in adrenalin but after that I start ASUS GPU Tweak and turn off DB mode and turn on back again.
Somehow they will now only kick in at minimal 900rpm. Now I can just quit ASUS Tweak, because they will kick in every time at 900rpm.

Maybe AMD can set lower the minimal % in the fan profiles in the next releases.

If you have dual bios on the card, try quiet BIOS, maybe it has lower RPM values.

In the end, this is not by a long stretch a deal breaker. I've dealt with Nvidia software too and I find them more problematic.

Let me give you an example, search for feedback regarding ASUS Armoury Crate. Pretty bad isn't it? Its source code is from Nvidia.

The Englishman
Adept II

Same problem here. XFX 7900 XT. 23% Fan speed is noticable noise. While okay for gaming, its annoying in office use. Most people who do not see this behavior, have only one monitor, because of high mem clock on more than 1 monitor are causing this.