AMD is getting ready for 2019 with a brand new version of Radeon Software. The company introduced its first version of Radeon Software back in 2015 with Crimson, and it's since released regular updates that introduced new features, such as Radeon Chill and Radeon ReLive.
Now, Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition will come with a multitude of user-facing features to make it easier for the layperson to optimize the performance of their gaming system for today's games. As always, many of these features were added at the request of users, and AMD made sure to talk about the user-driven nature of Radeon Software's development.
To kick things off, it simplified the installer itself, and installation is now a one-click process that keeps your existing Radeon Software settings.
The most notable addition is probably what AMD refers to as Radeon Advisors. As the name suggests, you'll get help in getting the most out of your system, whether it's tweaking your settings in game or upgrading your hardware. This is primarily directed at casual users who aren't interested in diving into the settings themselves, so this takes a lot of legwork out of what could be a lengthy process of trial-and-error.
Radeon Advisors is actually a collection of different advisors, each focused on a different aspect of system performance. For starters, there's the Game Advisor, which lives in Radeon Overlay. It measures your performance in-game, generates a performance report, and then makes recommendations on possible improvements.
This doesn't revolve solely around achieving higher frame rates, however. For example, if you're getting poor performance, it might suggest lowering the display resolution or a setting like ambient occlusion. Conversely, if you're getting blistering frame rates, it might instead suggest increasing specific settings to improve image quality.
AMD says it aims for a target frame rate at the 90th percentile of systems, and it's hopeful that gamers who aren't the most tech-savvy will find some use for this.
Next up, there's Settings Advisor, which serves as an introduction to Radeon Settings for entry-level users. It scans your system's capabilities and suggests which settings need optimization. This includes things like FreeSync, Virtual Super Resolution, or Radeon Chill. You'll then see a list of these settings with a checkbox beside each of them, so you can easily decide which you want to apply and then make the changes all at once.
Finally, there's the Upgrade Advisor, which looks at the games you've got installed and checks whether your CPU and GPU meet the requirements specified by the game developer. The interface is pretty simple as well, and you can see all your games and the recommendations in the same window.
However, enthusiasts haven't been left out either. For starters, Radeon WattMan now comes with one-click tuning for your GPU and memory. This includes auto-overclocking for both the GPU and memory, where the program will test your GPU and try to boost performance with a stable overclock. There's also now auto-undervolting for the GPU, which can help improve efficiency while keeping performance the same.
In addition, WattMan will now let you set a custom, temperature-dependent fan curve, so you can better control noise and cooling in your system. There's also support for semi-passive fan operation, which means even less noise during less demanding workloads.
The Radeon RX Vega cards also now support voltage tweaks for even finer adjustments, and you can adjust the memory settings for overclocks and faster timings.
To cap things off, WattMan will be available in Radeon Overlay, AMD Link, and Radeon Settings for better integration with the UI as a whole. Its visibility in Radeon Overlay also means that you now have easier access to powerful customization tools, and you can even adjust the overclocking settings on-the-fly in-game and see how they play out.
AMD worked to improve existing features like Radeon Chill and FreeSync 2 as well. Radeon Chill is a dynamic power saving feature that monitors your mouse movements and lowers the frame rate when it thinks you don't need that much performance. While AMD said before that you shouldn't notice much lag, if at all, it says the algorithm has now been tweaked to feel even snappier. At the same time, power savings have reportedly been improved by up to 20 per cent.
On the display front, FreeSync 2 originally offered game developers an API that let them tone map from their internal high-precision HDR format to the display, which was required because every display is different. However, one problem with this approach was that it's rather difficult to get developers to adopt an API, so support could be patchy.
Now, FreeSync 2 displays will automatically support HDR10 and automatic tone mapping for games that support HDR10, which should relieve the burden on developers somewhat.
Radeon Overlay also now features a display tab that puts display-related features all in one place. For instance, you'll get access to game color controls that lets you set a color profile for a specific game, which you can save. It'll then launch every time you launch the game, so you don't have to set it every time.
Other settings include Enhanced Sync controls for every game and real-time adjustments. Radeon FreeSync controls also live in the display tab, so most of the key features are now brought front and center.
AMD improved the performance metrics feature as well, where onscreen display and performance metric options are now available in Radeon Overlay. In addition, you can now view things like frame-time measurements to gain deeper insight into game performance beyond the average frame rate. Better still, you can benchmark and graph your frame time directly from Overlay.
The overlay itself can also be customized, and you can change things like color, position, transparency, and size.