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  1. #1

    Radeon Dynamic Power Management

    Back in June, Phoronix reported a patch to the open source Radeon driver. Starting with the 3.11 kernel, there is now support for Dynamic Power Mgt. Debian Sid recently upgraded to the 3.11 kernel and enabling GPU scaling is not difficult.

    Note: this is only for Radeon HD 2000 GPUs and newer, with the 3.11 kernel. Also necessary is the firmware-linux-nonfree pkg, version 0.40 or newer.

    Note: if you're considering the 3.11 kernel in Wheezy or Jessie, be sure to install the 0.40 firmware-linux-nonfree pkg along with the 3.11 kernel, and reboot, before doing the grub edit and reboot below.

    Caveat: Installing the 3.11 kernel and firmware on Wheezy or Jessie will create a mixed system and likely cause dependency problems. If you're not familiar with managing a mixed system and still want GPU power management, the proprietary fglrx driver from your system's repo may be a better solution.

    In a terminal...
     # <favorite editor> /etc/default/grub
    On the line, GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" add radeon.dpm=1 inside the quotes

    After saving the edit, update grub and reboot

    The results? My Radeon HD 4550 now idles 10C cooler as it's not constantly running at 100%. It remains several degrees cooler even when ramped up for full-screen video. Devs did a great job on this patch!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Good to hear this fanderal! I personally prefer nVidia gear, but the AMD/ATI gear is very popular amongst Linux folks.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Rubberman, I was surprised to read the patch was written for both the new and the legacy architectures; it's usually limited to the newer stuff. I upgraded to Sid a couple of months ago knowing the 3.11 kernel would show up in that repo before Testing and Stable. I agree, it's really good to see the Radeon development continue to improve like this.

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