AMD confirms bug with recent Radeon gaming GPU — RX 7900 GRE overclocking limit will be removed in a future driver

AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 GRE (Golden Rabbit Edition) may make our list of best graphics cards when we update it next month. In the meantime, AMD has reportedly confirmed to Hardware Unboxed a bug with the Radeon RX 7900 GRE that limits the Navi 31-based graphics card’s overclocking potential, but a fix is on the way.

“AMD’s has told me that extremely limited overclocking of the GRE cards is a bug and it will be addressed shortly,” stated Steve Walton in the latest YouTube video.

TechPowerUp noted in its review that the Radeon RX 7900 GRE appears to have an artificial overclocking limit imposed by AMD. The graphics card’s memory clock would not surpass 2,316 MHz, while its maximum boost clock can’t break the 2,803 MHz barrier. According to AMD’s statement to Walton, the limit is a bug, and the chipmaker is already working on a solution.

The Radeon RX 7900 GRE isn’t a new graphics card. Initially exclusive to China, the Navi 31 graphics card has been on the market since July 2023. It wasn’t until recently that AMD decided to release the graphics card worldwide — it officially launched in the U.S. on February 27, 2024. Having been on the market for so many months, it’s curious that we’ve heard nothing about the bug until now. The good news is that AMD has committed to rolling out a fix to remediate the issue. The chipmaker didn’t specify if the fix will come in a driver or firmware update.

The Radeon RX 7900 XT has a 2,000 MHz game clock and a 2,400 MHz boost clock. In contrast, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE has a 1,880 MHz game clock and a 2,245 MHz boost clock. We tested the Sapphire Radeon RX 7900 GRE Pulse with a 1,927 MHz game clock and a 2,293 MHz boost clock. Our results above illustrate how the Radeon RX 7900 XT dramatically exceeds the state boost clock, while the Radeon RX 7900 GRE is much closer, on average, to the rated boost clock.

That suggests that there ought to be quite a bit of overclocking headroom on the Radeon RX 7900 GRE. AMD apparently put a limit on its drivers — why, we couldn’t say — which went undiscovered until the worldwide launch this past week. Or perhaps the limit wasn’t always in the drivers and is a recent introduction? Either way, manual overclocking could give a sizeable bump to the Radeon RX 7900 GRE’s performance.

There’s a sizeable gap between the Radeon RX 7900 GRE and Radeon RX 7900 XT right now — up to 15%, depending on the resolution. Removing the artificial overclocking limit on the Radeon RX 7900 GRE won’t magically make it perform like a Radeon RX 7900 XT. Still, it should allow end users who want to manually overclock away to narrow the gap. The Radeon RX 7900 XT still has a wider 320-bit memory interface and 20GB of memory, plus higher default clocks, but it should be possible to reduce the margin between a stock XT and an overclocked GRE to perhaps 5~10 percent.

The issue only affects manual overclocking so that it won’t benefit the Radeon RX 7900 GRE’s out-of-box experience. Factory overclocks are still in place and working correctly. You can’t properly redline the 7900 GRE right now, which saddens some enthusiasts. AMD doesn’t like sad enthusiasts, so it will now remove the limiter.