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A770 is limited by Power Limit 4 (overcurrent protection)

TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
12,860 Views

When playing any game with my A770, I notice in HWiNFO that it is throttled by the PL4, which is a current limit. Normally, PL4 is here for overcurrent protection, but it is not normal that it is triggered at only 1.035V and a stable 195W. The consequences of being throttled like this is that games won't use the full capacities of the GPU; It will report as being at 100% load and drawing ~195W while the Power Limit 1&2 are at 228W with a ton of thermal headroom

I'm pretty sure it's the same issue than this article , even though I'm not trying to overclock anything, and I don't have an A380. I'm on the beta drivers right now, but the issue happens also on the stable ones. I've already tried a DDU.

Please don't tell me that "it's normal for the GPU to have voltage limits, because otherwise it could be damaged", of course it does, but at 1.035V, no it's not. PL4 is here for overcurrent protection, most likely for a short circuit or something. PL4 is a hardware-fixed limit of 800W, and I never asked my GPU to hit this 800W, and it's nowhere near this wattage when in my case, it's throttled by that PL4.
I've linked the Intel Scan Report, let me know if you'd need anything else to solve the issue

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40 Replies
Jean_Intel
Employee
8,497 Views

Hello TheWonderfulPie,

 

Thank you for posting on the Intel️® communities. We would be more than glad to help you.

 

We will do further research on this matter and post the response on this thread once available.

 

Best regards

Jean O. 

Intel Customer Support Technician


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Goldy
Novice
7,860 Views

The PL4 throttle also works for me. For Shadow of the Tomb Raiders see attached Photos

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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,461 Views

Hello TheWonderfulPie,

 

We appreciate your patience.

 

It is important to mention that not all silicon performs equally, if the card is running at full frequency drawing less than 228 Watts then it is on a more efficient power budget but there is no guarantee this will be the same for all workloads.

 

For issue reproduction purposes, we would like to request you to share screenshot from HWinfo from the scenario you are describing.

 

Best regards

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,457 Views

I know not all silicon performs the same, but going from a Power Limit of 228W to the card actually drawing ~170W at 100% due to PL4 isn't just silicon lottery except if that lottery is very unfair because it would cause some cards to be 25% more powerful than others when they should perform the same. Plus, the PL4 triggering when it shouldn't is even less due to silicon lottery

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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,419 Views

Hello TheWonderfulPie,

 

We will resume our investigation into this matter, and we will post back as soon as we have further details.

 

Best regards

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,415 Views
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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,304 Views

Hello TheWonderfulPie,

 

Thanks for waiting for a response.

 

We are still reviewing this matter internally, and we will try to replicate the issue you are experiencing. But we wanted to let you know that if the GPU is 100% utilized and the clock frequency is above max spec, then we can confirm that the product is working correctly. The energy efficiency will dictate that as long as the power limit remains within 228 W.

 

Best regards

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,234 Views

Hello TheWonderfulPie,

 

Thanks for your patience. We have tried to replicate the issue internally with no luck. We were unable to replicate the problem you described. Here is our replication process information:

 

System environment:

  • MOBO ROG STRIX Z590-E GAMING WIFI
  • CPU i7-11700K
  • GPU A770 Graphics
  • Driver: 31.0.101.4369 and 31.0.101.4335
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 11 Home 10.0.22621
  • For the game, we used Red Dead Redemption 2 (max graphic settings)

 

Results:

There was no throttle detected by the indicated software using the latest driver version and the latest beta driver version.

 


As previously mentioned, not all silicon performs equally, yet in your Graphics adapter, the frequency goal/specification is met under a different - lower power budget.

 

We can offer you a card replacement; however, there is no guarantee that it will yield different results. If you want to continue with the RMA process, contact Intel Customer Support directly to initiate the process (you cannot do this through the forums). Here are pages where you can look up contact information, including local/country phone numbers, by geography:

 

U.S. and Canada: Intel Customer Support

Europe, Middle East, and Africa: Intel Customer Support EMEA 

Asia-Pacific: Intel Customer Support APAC 

Latin America: Intel Customer Support LAR  

 

Best regards, 

Jean O. 

Intel Customer Support Technician


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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,140 Views

I understand that not all silicon performs equally, but come on, it is absolutely OBVIOUS that this is a software-side issue. My card can push up to 228W, so this mean that I haven't got the worst GPU of the lottery or something, because it can in fact push up to 228W

There is one game I'd really like you to check, "Teardown" which runs on OpenGL. On this particular game, I'm getting as low as 160W while the GPU is used at 100%. There is no way that you'll draw 228W (or whatever you PL1 and PL2 are set at currently), other people on an Arc Discord are reporting having the exact same power draw on this particular game (so this cannot be only my card's fault).

I haven't tried Red Dead Redemption 2, but I believe that it's normal that it runs well given that it's a DX12 game, and Arc cards are particularly well optimized for DX12. If needed, you can even very easily crack

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DCD-I-Forum
Beginner
8,174 Views

BACKGROUND

I just ran into the exact same problem last night on a brand new Intel ARC A770 Limited Edition running Handbrake.  I installed the ARC A770 last night after cleanly removing all the prior video card drivers.  I downloaded the drivers from 16-May-2023 and everything installed just fine.  The specific reason I chose the ARC A770 was for Handbrake, Adobe Premier Pro, video streaming, and the like, so the real test for me was seeing how the ARC would combine with the Intel i9-13900K internal GPU to enhance Handbrake encoding.

 

SYSTEM

  • MB:  Gigabyte Elite Z690 Stealth with BIOS F24a, 23-Apr-2023
  • CPU:  Intel i9-13900K
  • RAM:  64GB DDR5 6400 G.SKILL
  • GPU:  Intel UHD Graphics 770, v31.0.101.4369
  • GPU:  Intel ARC A770 Limited Edition, v31.0.101.4369, 16-May-2023
  • OS:  Windows 11 Pro, v22H2 (OS Build 22621.1702)

 

HWINFO64 DURING HANDBRAKE ENCODE

According to HWINFO64, the ARC ran between 89-95%, the highest temperature was 42°C (memory), the highest voltage was 1.052v., and the power limit was 190 watts, yet Current (PL4) was throttled for some reason.  The odd part was that I saw the encoding with the combined GPUs jump to as high as 400 FPS from my preNividia's 150 FPS, so that was a very nice benefit.  But I'm still left wondering why the Current throttled.

 

TEST SETUP

  • Ran HWINFO64 and reset Min/Max/Average timers

 

HANDBRAKE SETTINGS

  • Input File:  The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King - part 2.mkv (39 GB file size)
  • Movie output:  MKV
  • Dimensions:
    • Resolution Limit:  2160p
    • Optimal Size:  unselected
    • Allow Upscaling:  selected
  • Filters:  all turned off
  • Video:
    • Encoder:  H.264 (Intel QSV)
    • FPS:  Same as source
    • Variable framerate:  selected
    • Quality:  Constant at 22
  • Encoder Options
    • Encoder Preset:  Quality
    • Encoder Profile:  High
    • Encoder Level:  5.1
    • (No advanced options)
  • Audio:
    • All streams individually set to DTS-HD Passthru, AC3 Passthru, or DTS Passthru
  • Subtitles
    • All subtitles imported
    • Foregn Audio Scan:
      • Forced Only:  selected
      • Burn In:  selected

The encoding framerate averaged about 417 FPS over the extremely fast encoding time.  After the subtitle scan and about 30 seconds into decoding, the CL4 limit indicator in HWINFO64 turned to "Yes".

 

BAD SILICON.  REALLY.

I disagree that it's some kind of lousy silicon problem.  My max wattage usage is even less than TheWonderfulPie:  his max wattage was 228 but mine was 190 watts.

 

POWER SETTING
I increased the maximum power from 192 watts (default) to 228 watts without making any other Performance settings, started a new Handbrake encode, and aside from HWINFO64 reporting a power limit of 228 watts and the Core Voltage increasing to 1.060, I still received the Current (PL4) throttling indicator within 1 minute of starting the encode.

 

Is there a power setting for Current (PL4) and that's why it's throttling?

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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,159 Views
For the 228W thing, I was talking about the Power Limit (1&2), not the actual power that was being drawn, just so you know
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DCD-I-Forum
Beginner
8,156 Views

Yep!  Just noting the minor differences between what you reported and what I experienced.

Other notes:

  • My input and output files reside on a Gen4 NVMe installed on a PCI4 bus tested at ~6,690 GB transfer speed with CrystalDiskMark.
  • I have an ASUS ROG Thor 1000 watt Platinum PSU, so I don't think it's a power supply problem.
    • The PSU has an OLED panel on the side that reports the average wattage consumption every three seconds.
    • During the Handbrake encode, the PSU reported its highest average at 253 watts.
  • HWiNFO64 reports the following wattage consumption:
    • CPU:  maximum wattage 105.447
    • GPU:  maximum wattage 71.513
  • Handbrake's run priority in Windows is set to "Below Normal"

 

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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,151 Views

Hardware encoding engines won't use the full power available in the GPU, because the Xe Media Engines aren't the same as the multi-purpose Xe-Cores that mostly do 3D, so I believe it's normal for Handbrake to not use 190/228W when encoding, even with QSV enabled. I think that as long as Task Manager, in Task Manager -> Performance -> Intel Arc A770 Graphics -> Video Decode (or Video Decode 1 or Video Processing or Video Processing 1, it's quite random which will do the encode, you can change which to see by pressing their names) report being used at near 100%, everything is okay.

What you could try would be to use MSI Kombustor with a Vulkan test (OpenGL is very bad on Arc) and here, check if the power draw is at 190/228W

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DCD-I-Forum
Beginner
8,146 Views

What I'm thinking is that you're a heavy 3D user and pushing your GPU pretty hard while I'm using the GPU for non-3D stuff with a fairly light demand at that, yet we're both experiencing CL4 throttling.

Hopefully, this rules out some things for the engineers.

 

Did you make any changes to GPU voltage?  I didn't.  I left my GPU alone other than changing the max wattage from default to 228 watts.

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TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,141 Views

Indeed, I mostly use my GPU for games. But I got a question, if you're not a heavy 3D user, why did you buy an A770 ? For hardware encoding, you could have bought an A380 for just a hundred dollars or so if all you need is hardware encoding. The A770 doesn't perform that much better in encoding than the A380
But yeah, too bad all they can say is "Not all silicon performs equally", when my card can in fact push up to 228W, but not in all games, and that was the issue of the beginning. 

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DCD-I-Forum
Beginner
8,132 Views

Well, I'm a heavy Plex user with about ~1,800 DVDs and Blu-rays in my collection (and growing).  I knew that I wanted top-notch video decoding, which, 5 years ago, was the Nvidia RTX 2080-Ti.  My new desktop, the Gigabyte Project Stealth, came with an Nvidia 3070, but it's encoding frame rate was no better than the 2080-Ti.  My Plex server, now going on 5 years old, is still running strong, still delivering videos, and still performing reasonably well.

For my new desktop, I was considering the Nvidia 4090 even though it was way over-spec what I needed, but I didn't want to purchase a new system or upgrade it for at least five years.  That explains my system build with the i9-13900K, the Gen4 NVMe (2 of them), the 64 GB of 6400 MT DDR5 RAM, and the only choice left was which video card.

I started looking at GPUs based on gaming performance, and the Nvidia 4090 was what I wanted.  However, when I started reading and listening to reviews of GPUs for productivity, video editing, streaming, and encoding, that's when I saw that practically all of them ran more or less the same, so I didn't need to purchase a top-of-the-line Nvidia.  Not only that, but for encoding videos, I learned that Nvidia limits it to 4 cores, and as I understand it, they haven't updated their NVenc encoder in a while, either, which explains why encoding hadn't changed much between the 2080-Ti and the 3070.  So why stick with Nvidia?

When I read that the Intel Arc could combine its GPU with the CPU's built-in GPU, that's what I wanted!  Even better, Handbrake supported it.  So that's why I settled for the Intel Arc A770.

Yeah, even the A770 was probably over-spec, but I saved $1,800!

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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,121 Views

Hello everyone,

 

We will check this matter internally one more time. Once we have more information, we will post back.

 

Best regards,

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


TheWonderfulPie
New Contributor I
8,090 Views

Thanks, I do hope you'll be able to fix this issue. Every people on the Discord that has the A770 and this game are reporting having the exact same issue. IT happens on some other games as well, but not to this extent

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DCD-I-Forum
Beginner
8,022 Views

TheWonderfulPie,

 

It would be very beneficial if your Discord friends could also contribute to this thread.  It seems Intel is unable to replicate either of our errors and requesting that we RMA our cards for a replacement, but unsure if that will fix this issue.  Without your Discord friends, we're two Peters crying, "Wolf!"

 

I'll start an RMA to be on the safe side, but I'd rather see Intel work directly with us via TeamViewer or something so they can get a hands-on feel for the issue.

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Jean_Intel
Employee
8,035 Views

Hello everyone,

 

Unfortunately, since we were unable to replicate the issue internally with our cards using the same drivers, it is unlikely a driver's issue. However, please share with us an Intel® Graphics Command Center report to gather more information about your card and system:

  • Open the Intel Graphics Command Center
  • Navigate to the Support tab
  • Select System Diagnostic
  • Click Generate Report
  • Select Save and name the output file.

 

Otherwise, as we previously mentioned, we can suggest RMA the card; however, there is no guarantee this won't happen again.

 

Best regards,

Jean O.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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