Radeon Adrenalin Edition Driver December 2017 Analysis

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Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition - A Different Shade of Red

Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition December 2017

AMD released their new Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition and as such, we'll have a quick peek at the new driver features. AMD has been teasing and announcing their yearly December driver. Moving away from the Crimson branding, it will now be called Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition with a release in December, today. The driver is version 17.12.1 WHQL. The new name is based on and after the Adrenalin Rose, which is a different shade of red compared to Crimson.

The new driver has been redesigned and will offer some new features, among it a fully fetched OSD, showing registers like FPS game performance, VRAM, CPU and other stuff. The December driver obviously is an incremental driver update just as we have seen on roughly a monthly release schedule with lots of zero-day driver releases when games are released. 
 

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New in Adrenalin is support for smartphone monitoring of your graphics card(s), which we'll talk about on the next few pages as well. The driver team has put a lot of focus on consumer feedback and tries to deal and adapt towards the demand from you guys. Winter is coming and AMD always cooks up a nice December driver. 

 

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You can download (once made available) the driver here.

For Radeon Adrenalin Edition  Edition I wanted to write a small article as the updates in this driver are significant for APUs and desktop graphics cards. The past few months the driver team has been working on a series of driver features. Ever since the RTG group was launched the Radeon Software division has released over 70 drivers. The new/updated driver enhancements, changes, and updates can be bulleted up towards these primary features:

  • Performance & latency
  • Borderless Multi-GPU support
  • Framerate target control
  • Compute profiles
  • Connect tab
  • Radeon Overlay
  • AMD Link

Performance

AMD mentions performance increases of Radeon cards such as the RX 480 see of up to 19% performance increase with Adrenalin. These, however, are the incremental performance increases over time since last years launch.
  
  

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When you look at the performance numbers AMD supplies, you will quickly get excited. However, the bar charts above show accumulated differences in performance gains ever since the Crimson ReLive edition Launch. In this case the first driver for a Radeon RX 480, versus the latest one (Adrenalin Edition). So you are not going to see any massive performance increases with the new Adrenalin Edition, other then the past increases over time.


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AMD does mention however that their latency overall has been further decreased and finetuned, the above bar chart shows the difference between the initial November Crimson driver versus the new Adrenalin Edition.  Substantial, nothing groundbreaking. 
 

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Windowed Borderless Fullscreen mode allows for better usability for gamers using multiple displays, provide more game support/display options for FreeSync and will also improve click-to-response latency in games where AMD FreeSync and Windowed Borderless Fullscreen mode are used over displays without AMD FreeSync or with it disabled.
 New for this update is Multi-GPU support.
 

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By itself, FRTC is nothing new, but AMD added Vulkan support for framerate targeting. If you have a 60Hz monitor,  you could set that at 60 FPS, anything above that number will not be rendered as the software tries to deliver that 60 Hz/FPS. Be advised though this setting is not for everybody at it can introduce more latency issues. With this update, Multi-GPUs, D3D12 and now thus the Vulkan API are now supported for FRTC.
 

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Initially launched in the Vega Frontier edition and propagated already in the latest beta drivers, there was an option where you could switch towards gaming or compute modes, offering better support and performance for your specific workload needs. This is now a standard option in the driver, deliberately placed there for cryptocurrency enhancements, AMD claims up-to 15% extra mining performance.

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