AMD’s annual big AMD Radeon Software release is upon us. What started in December of 2014 with AMD Catalyst Omega continues to this day, 2021 with a brand-new big software release with AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition. The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.4.1 Release is here. This new driver version brings some big updates to the AMD Radeon Software suite to make your experience better. It also brings new features and functionality, plus some improved UI elements.
This driver isn’t so much about any big game performance updates, rather feature and user experience updates. Although AMD emphasizes it continually updates drivers to improve performance over time for video cards, and it is important they have day-one support for new games.
AMD’s Past Updates
Let’s first talk about some of AMD’s goals with AMD Radeon Adrenalin, and some big updates it made to the software not so long ago. Starting back in July of 2019 some new features were added with the Radeon RX 5700 XT launch, Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Image Sharpening, and FidelityFX CAS. Those technologies are still used today and have been expanded upon since release.
Then in December of 2019 came a major change for AMD Radeon Software, it got an entirely new user interface. The entire look and feel of the software was changed, this was a huge change from the previous look. In addition, Radeon Boost, Integer Display Scaling, and User Profiles were introduced.
Then, in May of 2020, another big update came and new FidelityFX features added. AMD FidelityFX Screen Space Reflections, Ambient Occlusion, HDR Mapper, and Downsampler. There are SDKs available for developers to include these features in games.
Then just recently, in March of 2021 with the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Radeon Anti-Lag was updated to support DX12, there was a brand-new Performance Stress Test feature added and Frame Rate Target Control.
When it comes to performance, AMD releases frequent drivers every month, which fixes issues and gradually improves performance in some games. The Radeon RX 5700 XT for example has seen some large improvements over its lifetime through driver released, like a 23% performance increase in Wolfenstein Young Blood since launch. It has appreciated 30 game day-0 releases since its launch. We hope to see these trends continue with the Radeon RX 6000 series.
Other improvements made to the software are reliability-related. There is an AMD Bug Reporting tool built into the software and AMD Crash Defender. With the bug reporting when a bug is encountered it will fill in the information and make it simple to send that report which gets sent directly to the right people at AMD to get the problems resolved. The Crash Defender can help keep your system running if a crash occurs due to driver issues. Crash Defender is only supported on Windows 10.
AMD is hard at work with the new driver stability methodology deployed for Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics. There is a community forum on AMD.com that addresses questions from the public. Moving forward there will be new processes to help test stability and monitor issues and trends.
The next big topic is improving visuals with AMD’s initiative called Vivid Visuals. This includes Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Boost, and AMD FreeSync. The other part of Vivid Visuals is AMD’s FidelityFX suite of features for games.
One of these is AMD Radeon Image Sharpening. You can turn this feature on in the driver and it will be applied for all games. It supports DX9, DX11, DX12 and Vulkan games. It does not need special coding from game developers, it operates simply by the driver and just applies the sharpening in every game. This can make clearer details in games, removing blurry textures.