AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

AMD launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Back in 2015, shortly after the creation of the Radeon Technologies Group, AMD started a journey that would move the company away from Catalyst and towards a new era of Radeon Software, extending their graphics drivers beyond what would traditionally be considered a driver. 

Radeon Software is now about a lot more than getting your GPU running on your chosen OS, adding support for Streaming, Video Recording, Performance Analysis and overclocking tools to their driver stack, alongside game-specific performance optimisations and tweaks that are designed to reduce input latency and otherwise improve the playability of modern games. 

With the release of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, AMD took their Radeon Software stack outside of PCs and onto mobile devices through the Radeon Link app, leaving performance data at the fingertips of users while their Radeon Overlay allowed multiple settings to be adjusted in-game, a handy add-on for tweakers. 

Today marks the launch of AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition, otherwise known as Radeon Software version 18.12.2, boasting a highly advanced feature set which boasts 23 new or upgraded features, adding more reasons for PC gamers to select Radeon-powered graphics cards.  
   

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  
Performance

Rumours regarding AMD’s big 2018 driver have been circulating for quite some time, some of which stated that AMD would deliver some major performance boosts, specifically on their RX Vega series graphics cards, using a hardware feature called “Primitive Shaders“, one of Vega’ most highly sought after upgrades. 

We can say here that Adrenalin 2019 Edition/18.12.2 is not primarily about performance upgrades, though it is worth noting that driver optimisation has enabled some notable performance upgrades since the release of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 17.12.1, a lot of which is due to day-1 driver optimisations for new titles. 

Looking at the list of games in the above slide, we can see that Call of Duty: WWII receives a major performance boost thanks to this year’s driver optimisations on an RX 570. This is not due to da-1 drivers either, as AMD’s latest driver upon that game’s release was 17.11.1, which is older than Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided also gained a 6% performance uptick, a boost that is not from day-1 driver optimisations. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  
Project ReSX

Project ReSX is perhaps one of the most exciting developments of Radeon’s driver team from early 2018, pledging to improve the performance of popular eSports titles by increasing average framerates, lowering 99th percentile frametimes and reducing the response times of popular games when using Radeon hardware. 

The results of this project were the highlight of AMD’s Radeon Software 18.3.1 driver, though since then AMD has continued to improve the playability of titles like Fortnite, Overwatch and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. When combined with the performance and latency improvements of 18.3.1, Radeon has achieved a colossal performance uptick in these titles since the launch of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition. 

More information about Project ReSX is available here.

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

Update – AMD 18.12.2 driver launches with the performance optimisations for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, DOOM, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Strange Brigade. 

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

– Up to 4% faster performance in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey using Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 on the Radeonâ„¢ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.1 at 1920×1080 (1080p). RS-277

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

– Up to 3% faster performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider using Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 on the Radeonâ„¢ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.1 at 2560×1440 (1440p). RS-278

DOOM

– Up to 5% faster performance in DOOM using Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 on the Radeonâ„¢ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.1 at 3840×2160 (4K). RS-279

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

– Up to 5% faster performance in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus using Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 on the Radeonâ„¢ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.1 at 3840×2160 (4K). RS-280

Strange Brigade

– Up to 7% faster performance in Strange Brigade using Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 on the Radeonâ„¢ RX Vega 64 graphics card than with Radeonâ„¢ Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.1 at 3840×2160 (4K). RS-281

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Radeon Advisors, Games, Settings and Upgrades  

Newcomers to PC gaming will know how daunting a game’s graphical options menu can be, especially when you move into the worlds of .ini tweaking and driver settings optimisations. PC offers gamers an unparalleled level of choice, but with it comes with a lot of extra complexity, which is something that AMD/Radeon wants to address with their new “Radeon Advisors” system. 
 
AMD’s Radeon Advisors are designed to help PC gamers get the best performance out of their systems, helping gamers to tweak their game settings for additional performance, Radeon Settings to ensure the best experience by informing users about options like FreeSync and Enhanced Sync if their systems are compatible. The Upgrade Advisor also suggests potential upgrade options when your PC is ready for some new hardware. 

Using AMD’s Radeon overlay, you can conduct a quick framerate test in a game and AMD’s Radeon settings will help players maximise their framerate by suggesting graphical effects to turn down or disable. While this does not adjust a game’s setting automatically like Nvidia’s Geforce Experience software, the tool will no doubt prove useful to newcomers to the PC gaming ecosystem.  
  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

AMD’s Radeon settings advisor also makes it easier to enabled options like FreeSync, HDR, VSR, Radeon Chill and Enhanced Sync than ever before, allowing each setting to be enabled using a single click while informing users whether or not they are using AMD’s latest graphics drivers. 

The upgrade advisor is perhaps the strangest new entry into AMD’s Radeon Software toolset, allowing PC gamers to select several titles and get AMD’s Radeon Software to recommend hardware upgrades, though the usefulness of this tool will no doubt be limited. I don’t see AMD recommending Intel or Geforce hardware using this tool, making the expertise of the users of hardware forums or reviewers a more useful to most end users. That said, AMD’s hardware advisor is could be a great starting point when considering a system upgrade. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Radeon Software – New Installer Settings Retention

With Radeon Software version 18.12.2, AMD has upgraded their Adrenalin 2019 driver with a new installer, which is designed to maintain settings choices when upgrading from older versions of Radeon Software and offers a clear percentage indicator to allow users to more accurately judge how long it will take for new drivers to install. 

On top of these updates, 18.12.2 also offers advanced support for FreeSync 2 displays, promising to enrich the quality and consistency on supported setups and improved auto-tone mapping on FreeSync 2 compliant systems. 
  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver   

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Wattman Improvements – Auto Overclocking and Undervolting

And now for the meaty section of AMD’s Radeon Software 18.12.2 update! AMD’s Radeon WattMan utility has received a tremendous overhaul, one-upping Nvidia by offering support for automatic undervolting, automatic GPU core overclocking and automatic GPU memory overclocking, as well as support for other advanced features. 

Sadly we were not able to give AMD’s latest WattMan iteration a full performance/power rundown before the official release of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019, but it must be noted that we received information about this driver yesterday, simply leaving no time for adequate performance testing.  

Automatic undervolting is a big deal for AMD’s graphics cards, especially their RX Vega series, which can often be tweaked to offer more performance and decreased power consumption if tweaked correctly. We hope to test the capabilities of AMD’s automatic overclocking software soon. 
  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

On top of Radeon WattMan’s auto overclocking features, AMD has also delivered new options such as temperature-based fan profiles for Radeon graphics cards, adjustable DPM states for RX Vega series graphics cards and what AMD calls “targetting optimisations for memory-bound applications with memory tuning”. 

These features offer a level of customisability that is rare to see on dedicated overclocking utilities, making WattMan an incredibly impressive solution considering the fact that it is driver-based. AMD is delivering their consumers a lot of freedom with these tools, which is a great thing for the overclocking community. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Radeon ReLive – New features and Gif support

AMD’s Radeon ReLive tool has been the highlight of many Radeon Software releases over the years, with Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition acting as the official name of the software stack until the release of Adrenalin in late 2017. 

When it comes to Adrenalin 2019 Edition it is hard to know where to start when it comes to Radeon ReLive, from enhanced streaming capabilities, increased functionality through Radeon’s Link smartphone app and the tool’s support for more streaming services than ever before. 

With this release support for Restream.io, Streamable and gfycat have been added, as well as the ability to view and crop videos and screenshots on a linked mobile device. 
  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Another interesting addition is the ability to “Relive and replay your gaming moments” by using Radeon’s new “In-Game Replay” tool, which can be used to replay your last 5-30 seconds, a tool that can be configured using hotkeys. Need to your winning goal in Rocket League again, or your chicken dinner in PUBG? Radeon Replays may be the feature you’re looking for.  

  
AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

Another neat addition to Radeon ReLive is the ability to create GIFs directly, allowing Radeon users to create 5-30 second GIFs with support for automatic gfycat uploads. No need to record video and generate a GIF later. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

AMD has also added new ReLive customisation tools that will enable new streaming options and further customisations to recording/streaming resolution framerate and Bitrate. Enhanced audio options will also be available as well as 900p streaming capabilities. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Game Streaming to mobile devices and VR headsets

And now for something that we didn’t expect, bespoke in-home streaming support for Radeon graphics hardware, facilitating streams to both mobile devices (phones/tablets) and standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus, Google Daydream and Samsung GearVR. 

Phone/Tablet streaming support is available through the Radeon Link app on Android and iOS, supporting resolutions and framerates of up to 4K 60FPS with low latencies through hardware acceleration. From a click of a button, PC gamers can seamlessly move to their handheld hardware, wich support for both on-screen and Bluetooth controllers. 

AMD’s software will automatically adjust the quality of the stream based on network speeds, making the tool extremely user-friendly. Games can also be launched directly from the AMD Link app, assuming your gaming PC is already turned on and ready to stream. 
  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

When compared to Steam’s Link software, AMD says that their AMD Link software can offer up to a 44% reduction in lag when using the same smart device, making games a lot more playable while streaming. This is thanks to AMD’s closer to the metal approach to AMD Link, as Valve has to operate in a GPU agnostic way to offer software compatibility over a wider range of hardware. 

AMD’s streaming solution can also be used outside of gaming applications, allowing Radeon users to stream their desktop onto their mobile devices, allowing productivity applications to be used on the go. Hopefully, this functionality will be added to enable Desktop-desktop streaming in the future, as this could be useful for accessing APU-based home servers or other Radeon-based systems. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  
VR Streaming?

If you didn’t expect in-home streaming to mobile devices you definitely didn’t expect this. Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition supports streaming to standalone VR headsets, offering per-eye resolutions of up to 1440×1440. 

This feature enabled VR gaming using standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go, HTC Vive Go, Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, enabling PC VR gaming using untethered VR headsets. 

AMD claims that this VR solution delivers access to “your catalog fo SteamVR titles”, suggesting that AMD’s solution world with most SteamVR titles using AMD’s Radeon ReLive VR tool. 

AMD claims that their “low-level hardware acceleration” allows streaming latencies to be low enough to grant users seamless immersion. Sadly we do not have a standalone VR headset to test this functionality. 

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver

Conclusion – An Adrenalin Rush of new features

There is a lot of information to cover here, so much so that we haven’t even mentioned some aspects to AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 driver, from their enhanced Radeon Chill support to Radeon Overlay’s enhanced feature set and the addition of USR support on 21:9 monitors. 

In all, AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin software supports 23 new or updated features, easily making this release the most feature-rich upgrade to AMD’s Radeon Software ecosystem to date. 

Reading through the enhancements list alone, it is hard not to be impressed with what RTG has accomplished here, implementing a feature list so large that every Radeon user will find something new and useful with Radeon Software 18.12.2, making AMD’s drivers more of an asset than ever before. 

A lot has changed since AMD transitioned to their Radeon Software mindset, so much so that it is hard to believe that AMD’s Catalyst drivers were one considered a downside to Radeon products. Now AMD has features and options in their drivers that none of their competitors can match, requiring no log-ins, usernames or other nonsense to access every aspect of Radeon Software. 
    

AMD Launches their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Driver  

On the performance side, there will no doubt be people who are unimpressed, but that’s not what this driver release is about. When looking at titles like Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Call of Duty: WWII as well as their ReSX program, we can see that AMD’s optimisation efforts extend beyond a game’s release date, showcasing AMD’s continuous drive to improve their software. Beyond that, AMD’s automatic overclocking and undervolting tools will no doubt enable more Radeon users to achieve new performance milestones, which is a big deal for those who typically find overclocking to be a daunting process. 

Over the coming days, we plan to have a deeper look into some of the aspects of AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition drivers, especially into AMD’s automatic overclocking features on RX Vega graphics hardware. 

AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.12.2 driver is now available to download (Link). 

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