Verdict





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Professionals

  • A lot sooner UI loading occasions
  • Slicker, extra intuitive interface
  • Extra options and a small efficiency enhance
  • ReLive gives straightforward recreation seize assist
  • Wattman makes overclocking and fan management straightforward

Cons

  • Hidden settings will be complicated
  • Solely a modest pace bump

In late 2015, AMD launched a very new model of its graphics driver and graphics settings software program. Out was AMD Catalyst and in was AMD Radeon Software program Crimson Version. The brand new driver, and specifically the AMD Settings interface for controlling it, was far faster to load, largely extra intuitive to make use of and simply typically was a giant enchancment.

Over the past yr AMD has been steadily bettering that software program, including options such because the Wattman overclocking device, however a yr on from launch AMD thought it was time for an additional massive launch, within the form of AMD Radeon Software program Crimson ReLive.

The headline function right here is the addition of in-built recreation seize and streaming, which had beforehand been dealt with by AMD Gaming Advanced that was primarily a rebranded model of Raptr’s software program. There are a number of different adjustments too, so let’s take a deeper dive to see what’s new.

The brand new AMD Radeon Software program Crimson driver is free to obtain and is suitable with all present AMD graphics playing cards so you may go and take a look at it in the present day.

The one greatest new function of the unique Crimson software program launch was the brand new AMD Settings app, which was faster to put in, sooner to load (as much as 10x sooner) and much sleeker wanting than the Catalyst Management Middle of previous.

This stays largely unchanged with the ReLive model, by way of general feel and look, however there are many tweaks and new options on this newest replace.

Essentially the most visually apparent change is the removing of the superfluous Eyefinity tab – it did nothing until you had multiple monitor – to get replaced by the ReLive tab. Multi-monitor tweaking is now finished by way of the Show part.

Associated: AMD Radeon RX 480
AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

Dive into one of many sections and it fills the entire window – which will be resized and made fullscreen – presenting all the assorted choices. Oddly, although, the principle navigation buttons transfer from the highest to the underside while you enter every part, which we discovered a bit unintuitive.

Serving to to maintain issues tidy is that sure choices are saved hidden till wanted, such because the variety of samples utilized in anti-aliasing. If you choose “use application settings” it retains this selection hidden but when you choose to override the applying settings then the additional possibility seems.

This works fairly properly although isn’t good. For a begin, it could actually generally be irritating which you can’t discover the setting you’re after since you haven’t turned on the father or mother setting that allows it. Additionally, the entire grid of rectangles that makes up every possibility is dynamic so you may resize the window they usually all shuffle round and restack to suit.

Mixed with the brand new blocks showing for in any other case hidden choices and the actual fact the blocks are in no apparent order (not alphabetical and many others) and it could actually generally take fairly a little bit of scanning forwards and backwards to seek out the choice you’re after.

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AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive
Some settings are hidden…

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive
…till different settings are turned on.

Nonetheless, it’s largely fast and straightforward to make use of and a giant enchancment over each Nvidia’s present driver and former AMD drivers. We simply want there was an choice to cease the AMD Settings icon showing on the high of the context menu while you proper click on in a folder or on the desktop.

Hit the Gaming tab and also you’re introduced with what initially seems like only a listing of your video games. Nonetheless, the highest left tile is labelled international settings and its right here which you can setup your most well-liked settings for no matter video games you’re working.

If you happen to then wish to set particular choices for sure video games you may choose the corresponding tile. It is a far more intuitive approach of managing recreation particular settings than the earlier CCC model and the driving force does a very good job of robotically detecting all of the video games you may have put in.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

Leap into any of the sport settings and also you’re introduced with primarily the identical listing of choices as the worldwide settings, with issues like anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and tessellation mode on the left tab and the brand new WattMan overlocking settings on the correct tab.

The latter is AMD’s graphics card overclocking device that replaces AMD Overdrive. In addition to having a much more clear structure, it’s additionally far more granular with a bunch of choices for balancing efficiency, energy consumption, noise and warmth.

WattMan was solely obtainable for RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 playing cards however with the ReLive launch it’s now obtainable for R9 Fury, R9 390, R9 380, R9 290, R9 285, R9 260, R7 360 and R7 260 playing cards.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

One of many options of WattMan is Chill. It is a new addition that permits your graphics card to cut back its efficiency throughout occasions of low on-screen exercise. I.e. when you’re standing nonetheless or in a loading menu, the cardboard will dynamically scale back its pace, saving energy and decreasing warmth. It’s much less of a priority for desktop customers however might make for significantly better battery life on laptops.

Transferring onto the Video tab and that is the place you may tweak how your graphics card handles color profiling and a few video results for making any video in your PC look its finest.

You may shortly select from a collection of presets that load what AMD thinks are the optimum set of options for movies, sports activities and the like or hit Customized and you may select for your self which to load.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

Many of the settings are ones which were round for some time on present variations of AMD drivers however one new function is directional scaling, which is actually anti-aliasing for video.

AMD can also be highlighting lowered energy consumption with Crimson when taking part in YouTube movies. That’s fairly a particular state of affairs however a helpful one nonetheless and in my assessments I did document round a 20W discount in energy consumption when taking part in the identical Star Wars The Pressure Awakens trailer AMD utilized in its assessments. To spotlight its particular nature, although, I additionally examined with VLC and noticed no distinction.

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The large new function of this launch is ReLive. That is AMD’s new utterly built-in reside streaming and recreation seize facility meaning you are able to do away with secondary software program like AMD’s personal Gaming Advanced app.

It’s a complete setup for a primary outing, with choices for recording your gaming classes manually or simply recording immediate replay clips. There are additionally loads of settings for altering the standard of the video, together with setting a particular decision or going with the in-game decision, selecting 30fps or 60fps and altering the bitrate.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

On the similar time you may also stream straight to Twitch, YouTube or a customized server. Once more you get loads of choices for tweaking high quality and you may select whether or not to archive the stream.

AMD claims solely a 3-4% efficiency hit from enabling recreation seize, although this can rely in your precise {hardware} configuration. Throughout our assessments it didn’t noticeably have an effect on our framerate or responsiveness.

It’s also possible to add an overlay to your stream or recording that may embody system data, and a digital camera feed in addition to embody a customized overlay picture.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

All advised, it’s an ideal addition each for its complete and straightforward to make use of interface and the truth that it means you may have one much less little bit of software program to put in.

It stays to be seen how this can work along side the upcoming recreation seize function that’s being constructed into the Home windows 10 Anniversary replace however for now it really works properly.

Below the Show settings tab is a key new function of Radeon Software program Crimson, which is the flexibility to make use of customized resolutions and framerates, relatively than having to select from a listing of verified supported resolutions.

This will probably trigger issues on your monitor so AMD makes you comply with a waiver earlier than accessing the choice, however as soon as opened you may decide from a wide range of monitor choices, even together with detailed timing settings. This function has additionally now been totally up to date to run inside the Crimson interface, the place earlier variations of the software program opened an occasion of CCC to alter these settings.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

In any other case, it’s right here you’ll discover choices for enabling AMD Freesync, digital tremendous decision (this makes every part on display screen smaller as you attempt to emulate your monitor having a bigger decision), GPU scaling and a brand new color temperature setting. The latter gives a fast approach of manually tweaking how purple or blue your show seems, with the default possibility set to the usual 6500K temperature.

When you’ve got a number of screens it’s right here you may set them up with the standard Eyefinity choices.

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The System tab is the place you discover all of the details about your graphics card {hardware} and AMD software program. So when you ever must lookup your driver model or learn how a lot graphics reminiscence you may have, it’s the place to go.

In addition to the Radeon Settings app, there are some key under-the-hood options in Crimson, considered one of which is Shader Cache.

This works by storing the compiled shaders wanted for the sport on the laborious drive. Usually these shaders are compiled on the fly, which may result in pauses in open world video games as you progress across the map, in addition to different micro-stutters and usually longer recreation and degree loading occasions. Shader Cache goals to cut back all these points.

Enabled by default it’s going to take at the very least one run of every recreation for the cache to be crammed and any advantages to be realised however thereafter the sport and ranges ought to load faster, plus there needs to be lowered stutter from CPU overhead and from “map hitching”.

Nonetheless, in my testing I didn’t discover any distinction in recreation and degree loading occasions utilizing Battlefield 4. By its nature this isn’t the best factor to check, although, as it’s going to differ vastly from recreation to recreation and even machine to machine.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

Nonetheless, the function has been obtainable on Nvidia playing cards/drivers for some time now and generally there’s a modest however welcome discount in these points when the setting is enabled so it’s cheap to anticipate the identical enchancment for AMD playing cards.

One other new addition is wider AMD XConnect assist. XConnect is the ThunderBolt-based expertise for connecting a laptop computer of all-in-one PC to an exterior graphics card to spice up graphics perforamnce, and beforehand it was one thing that solely labored with particular {hardware} and particular driver variations.

Now, although, AMD XConnect is supported throughout all Thunderbolt licensed PCs and laptops and exterior graphics options. We’re but to check this out although, so the jury remains to be out on whether or not the holy grail of transportable gaming is actually a viable possibility but.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

AMD can also be increasing its Linux assist. Freesync is now supported in addition to all discrete GCN graphics playing cards – that’s principally every part for the reason that HD 7000 collection.

Supported Linux distros embody Ubuntu 16.04, RHEL 7.2, RHEL 6.8, Ubuntu 14.04, RHEL 7.3, SLED/SLES 12 SP2 Linux.

Total, AMD seems to have as soon as once more made a big sufficient replace to its driver and software program to justify the fanfare it has tried to whip up round AMD Crimson ReLive. AMD Crimson was a giant enchancment in pace and ease of use and now the ReLive version provides helpful new performance and additional improves the usability. Ultimately it’s only a free driver replace however we predict AMD is certainly doing a very good job of constructing it faster and simpler for customers to make the very most of every part their graphics playing cards has to supply.

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