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The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Tech Report

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Tech Report

AMD has been on a yearly update cycle of Radeon Software, ever since they introduced the first version – Crimson Edition on 2 November 2015. This was followed by the Crimson ReLive Edition on 9 December 2016. On 12 December 2017, they introduced the third iteration – Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition.

In addition to enhanced performance, there are over 30 new or improved features in Adrenalin Edition. So join us for a tour of what’s new and what’s improved in the new AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition!

 

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition is named after the Adrenalin Rose, not the hormone adrenaline (also known as epinephrine). That’s Adrenalin without the e. The Adrenalin Rose is a rich velvet red rose with long thornless stems and deep green foliage.

Before we go into the details, here is a summary of the new features being introduced in Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition :

Radeon Overlay

Radeon Overlay allows gamers to fine-tune their game experience, and monitor, record and share their gameplay without ever leaving the game. It provides one-click access to Radeon ReLive, Performance Monitoring, Radeon Chill, Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), Radeon FreeSync and Color settings.

AMD Link Mobile App

Available for Android and iOS platforms, the AMD Link is a mobile app that complements Radeon Software on the desktop, at home as a convenient second screen, or on the go. The AMD Link dashboard features streaming and replay with Radeon ReLive, GPU and PC performance monitoring, an AMD news feed, and notifications for new driver releases.

Improved Radeon Software Core Technologies

Radeon ReLive : Radeon ReLive now includes a chat integration feature that allows gamers to engage with their communities while streaming on Facebook, Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Weibo and more.

Radeon Chill : With Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill now supports games based on the Vulkan API, along with DirectX 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Radeon WattMan : With Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, custom GPU profiles can be saved, reloaded at a later point and shared with the Radeon user community

Enhanced Sync : With improved compatibility and an even wider field of view, Enhanced Sync extends its support to Vulkan API-based games, Radeon GCN architecture-based products, Multi-GPU and AMD Eyefinity Technology.

 

Operating System Support

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition will support Windows 10 and Windows 7. AMD no longer supports Windows 8, but says that the Windows 7 driver works perfectly fine in Windows 8.

 

The Adrenalin Edition In Detail

If you want more in-depth details on Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, we split them up into separate sections :

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Next Page > Performance Boost, BWMG Support, FRTC Vulkan Support, Compute Profiles, Linux Support

 

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The Adrenalin Edition Performance Boost

The Adrenalin Edition is not meant to be a “performance driver update”. In fact, Terry Makedon was amused to read claims that AMD promised big performance update after the Adrenalin Edition name was revealed. That was probably because they mistakenly thought the name was based on the hormone adrenaline…

He clarified that performance optimisation is an on-going concern, with a focus on getting specific optimisations out in time for new game launches. There will be general performance optimisations that will be delivered over the year. But AMD won’t be holding back optimisations just to deliver a major driver update with large performance boost.

With that in mind, this chart does not show a sudden performance boost with Adrenalin Edition. Instead, it shows the cumulative performance gains since the last major release – Crimson ReLive Edition.

They also managed to reduce latency across the board in all DirectX 11 titles.

 

Borderless Windowed Multi-GPU Support

The Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition introduces a new Borderless Windows Multi-GPU Support, to complement the existing Fullscreen Multi-GPU Support.

 

Frame Rate Target Control Now Supports Vulkan

Frame Rate Target Control reduces GPU power draw by throttling it to maintain a 60 fps limit. It now supports Vulkan.

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Compute Profiles

Compute Profiles was released in an optional update a few weeks ago, and is now part of Adrenalin Edition. The Compute Profile optimises workloads on the GPU to deliver better compute performance for cryptocurrency mining.

In this example, they quoted a 15% boost in Ethereum mining performance with the Compute Profile over the default Gaming Profile on a Radeon RX 570 graphics card.

 

Radeon Software For Linux

AMD will start offering a single suite containing both open- and closed-source software stacks for Radeon Software. You will be able to choose between the consumer (AMDGPU) or workstation (AMDGPU-PRO) drivers, with the flexibility to mix-and-match open- and closed-source components.

AMD is working to deliver an open-source AMD Vulkan driver for Linux.

Next Page > Improved Core Radeon Technologies

 

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Improved Core Radeon Technologies

Radeon WattMan

The Radeon WattMan is the power management tool that doubles as an overclocking / underclocking tool. In Adrenalin Edition, custom GPU profiles can be saved, reloaded at a later point and shared with the Radeon user community

Radeon Chill

Radeon Chill saves power by dynamically regulating the frame rate based on your in-game movements. With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill now supports games based on the Vulkan API, along with DirectX 9, 10, 11, and 12.

In addition, Radeon Chill now supports a lot more games. Radeon Chill used to work on a whitelist concept – it will only support games that have been profiled and tested. Thanks to improved algorithms and other changes, AMD is switching it to a blacklist concept.

With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill will now work with all games. But if AMD discovers that Chill does not work properly with a certain game, it goes into the blacklist so Radeon Chill won’t run on it. Currently, there are no games in the blacklist.

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Enhanced Sync

Think of Enhanced Sync as pseudo-FreeSync, minimising screen tearing with non-FreeSync monitors. With Adrenalin Edition, Enhanced Sync is now enabled on all Radeon GCN-based graphics cards, and supports all Vulkan API-based games. They also added support for Multi-GPU and AMD Eyefinity Technology.

Radeon ReLive

Radeon ReLive now has a Connect section, which serves as a control center for your Radeon ReLive video library. In addition to browsing your recorded videos, you can queue and share them on social media.

Radeon ReLive will now allow you to integrate chats from Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, YouTube, Weibo and more, to your game play.

AMD has also reduced the performance impact of Radeon ReLive. Note that these examples are from an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card.

With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon ReLive will also supports games based on the Vulkan API.

Radeon ReLive will also come with support for :

  • Borderless Region Capture – allowing you to capture only what you want to share, instead of the entire screen.
  • Chroma Key – allowing you to remove your background in your webcam or video stream
  • AMD Eyefinity Technology – allowing you to capture your game play across multiple monitors
  • separate audio tracks – recording mic audio separately from the game audio, for easier mixing and editing later

Radeon FreeSync & Themes

With Adrenalin Edition, you can now enable or disable Radeon FreeSync on a per-game basis. And Radeon Settings will have three UI theme options – Yellow, Crimson and Blue.

Next Page > Radeon Overlay & AMD Link

 

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Radeon Overlay

Radeon Overlay allows you to access Radeon ReLive, Performance Monitoring, Radeon Chill, Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), Radeon FreeSync and Color settings from within the game. Just press Alt+R to activate Radeon Overlay. This key combination, incidentally, can be changed.

Performance Monitoring and Recording

Radeon ReLive

Radeon Chill

Radeon FreeSync

Frame Rate Target Control

Color Settings

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AMD Link

Available for Android and iOS platforms, the AMD Link is a mobile app that complements Radeon Software on the desktop, at home as a convenient second screen, or on the go.

You can link multiple PCs to AMD Link using a simple QR code, or you can do it manually. However, your mobile devices must (at least in this version) be on the same network as your computer.

The AMD Link dashboard features streaming and replay with Radeon ReLive, GPU and PC performance monitoring, an AMD news feed, and notifications for new driver releases.

AMD Link is now available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It supports smartphones and tablets running on iOS 10 (or better), and Android 5.0 (or better).

Next Page > Adrenalin Edition Summary & Complete Set of Slides

 

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Adrenalin Edition Summary

In summary, the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition is a checkpoint when it comes to performance. Performance improvements is a continuous process, with Adrenalin Edition delivering up to 15% better performance compared to Crimson ReLive Edition a year ago.

More important are the 30+ new or enhanced features being introduced in Adrenalin Edition.

The summary includes three infographics created by Sasa Marinkovic and his team.

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The Complete Set Of Adrenalin Edition Slides

Here is the complete set of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition slides, minus the legal boilerplate.

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Go Back To > First PageArticles | Home

 

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The AMD Radeon RX 480 Graphics Card Review

On the 23rd of June 2016, we received a surprise delivered by a special courier – the AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card! This is one of the first few samples in the country. W00t!

Due to our existing commitments, we didn’t have all that much time to do a more thorough test, but here is a quick review for now. We will update the review with more benchmarks and details later.

 

The AMD Radeon RX 480 Hands-On Preview

Here is the hands-on preview video we created on the same day we received the Radeon RX 480, so please forgive the unpolished effort. Basically, it gives you an overview of how the card looks like, and what connectivity options it comes with.

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The AMD Radeon RX 480 Up Close

The next best thing we can do right now is take photos of the card to show you. Enjoy!

Next Page > AMD Radeon RX 480 – Size, Thermal Output, Noise Levels

 

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How Big Is It?

For those already measuring their cases to see if the AMD Radeon RX 480 will fit, we measured the card and added the measurements for your convenience.

As you can see, the Radeon RX 480 is “technically” a 7″ long card, but its cooler extends 6.7 cm or 2.65″ beyond the card.

 

The AMD Radeon RX 480 Thermal Output

The AMD Radeon RX 480 uses the new AMD Polaris 10 GPU, which is fabricated on the latest 14 nm FinFET process. This not only means AMD can stuff more transistors into a smaller chip, it also means lower power consumption and thermal output.

We tested this out by recording the peak exhaust temperature of the Radeon RX 480, its predecessor – the Radeon R9 380, as well as two NVIDIA graphics cards – the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and the new GeForce GTX 1070. Check out the results!

Note that these are not the recorded temperatures but how much hotter the exhaust air is above ambient temperature.

As you can see, it is a relatively cool-running card, producing significantly cooler (8 °C) exhaust air than the Radeon R9 380 graphics card.

But you might wonder – is this because it has a more powerful, and therefore, noisier, fan? Let’s take a look…

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The AMD Radeon RX 480 Noise Levels

AMD put a lot of work into reducing the noise levels for the Radeon RX 480. According to them, it is comparable to the noise levels of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. Take a look at the table and graph comparing the noise levels of the Radeon RX 480 against the GeForce GTX 970.

But nothing beats hearing it for yourself. So we recorded the sound of the cooler’s blower fan while it’s running the 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra benchmark.

Okay, now let’s take a look at some benchmarks!

Next Page > AMD Radeon RX 480 Performance In 3DMark – 1080p, 1440p, 2160p

 

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Our Test Bed

Our graphics benchmarking test bed has the following specifications :

Operating System : Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit

Processor : Intel Core i7 6700K processor running at 4.0 GHz

Motherboard : ASRock Z170 Extreme4

Memory : 8 GB DDR4-2133 memory (dual-channel)

Storage : 240 GB HyperX Savage SSD

Monitor : BenQ XR3501 Gaming Monitor

 

3DMark (1920 x 1080)

We started testing the graphics cards using 3DMark at the most common gaming resolution – 1920 x 1080.

The AMD Radeon RX 480‘s 3DMark score for full HD gaming was very impressive. It was, on average, about 38% faster than the Radeon R9 380! In fact, the Radeon RX 480’s pure graphics score was 41% higher than the Radeon R9 380.

The frame rate breakdown shows just how much more superior the Radeon RX 480 is to its predecessor, the Radeon R9 380. It is 40-42% faster than the Radeon R9 380.

 

3DMark (2560 x 1440)

Then we took 3DMark up a notch to the resolution of 2560 x 1440. According to AMD, this is the sweet spot for the Radeon RX 480. Let’s take a look!

The Radeon RX 480 continued to maintain its performance lead of about 38% over the Radeon R9 380.

These are hardly playable frame rates but it is impressive to note how much the Radeon RX 480 is trouncing the Radeon R9 380.

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3DMark (3840 x 2160)

Okay, this is torture, even for the 8 GB version of the Radeon RX 480. Even the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and the new GeForce GTX 1070 have trouble handling the 3DMark 4K torture test. 😀

In the 4K graphics test, the Radeon RX 480’s performance lead over the Radeon R9 380 slipped a little to about 34%.

There is no doubt that the Radeon RX 480 is ill-suited for 4K gaming. Still, this is VERY impressive performance, considering the fact that it consumes 20% less power than the Radeon R9 380!

Next Page > AMD Radeon RX 480 Gaming Performance – Fallout 4 & Witcher 3

 

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Full HD Gaming

We had some problem with the BenQ XR3501 gaming monitor, which prevented us from using virtual resolution to test the four graphics cards. So we benchmarked The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt and Fallout 4 in full HD resolution – 1920 x 1080. Here are their average frame rates :

The AMD Radeon RX 480 is perfect for full HD gaming. It is fast enough in both games to deliver frame rates in excess of 60 fps… most of the time. In The Witcher 3, it was actually 47% faster than the Radeon R9 380. Very impressive.

Of course, these are average frame rates. Let’s take a closer look at both games…

 

Fallout 4 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in Fallout 4.

The Radeon RX 480 shows a much wider range of frame rates, matching the Radeon R9 380 in the most difficult scenes but beating it as much as 28% in less arduous scenes.

 

The Witcher 3 (1920 x 1080)

This chart shows you the minimum and maximum frame rates, as well as the average frame rate, FRAPS recorded in The Witcher 3.

The new Polaris architecture is certainly giving the RX 480 a big boost in The Witcher 3. It is roughly 50% faster than the Radeon R9 380. Very impressive!

Next Page > AMD Radeon RX 480 – Our Initial Verdict, Award, More Information

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Our Initial Verdict

The AMD Radeon RX 480 is no beauty, with its slab-sided cooler. Neither is it the fastest kid on the block. But if you are a gamer on a budget, you are going to thank AMD for creating the Radeon RX 480.

For one thing, the Radeon RX 480 is 38% faster than its predecessor, the Radeon R9 380… while producing roughly 20% less heat.

While it is about 1/3 slower than the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, the Radeon RX 480 sells for 40% less. That means it offers better value for money, IF you only want to game in full HD resolution.

Yes, while AMD may tout 1440p gaming as the Radeon RX 480’s sweet spot, our preliminary results show that it is best used for 1080p gaming. You can use it for 1440p gaming if you are not fussy about achieving 60 fps.

Based on current results, we feel confident enough to award AMD our Reviewer’s Choice Award for this job well-done. It’s not the fastest kid on the block, but it sure offers a lot of bang for the buck… with low power consumption to boot! Congratulations, AMD!

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More Radeon RX 480 Information

For more information on the AMD Radeon RX 480, take a look at our previous articles :

Go Back To > First Page | Review | Home

 

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AMD FirePro S7150 Hardware-Virtualised GPUs Launched

AMD today revealed the world’s first hardware virtualized GPU products – AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology. AMD’s ground-breaking hardware-virtualized GPU architecture delivers an innovative solution in response to emerging user experiences such as remote workstation, cloud gaming, cloud computing, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

In the virtualization ecosystem, key components like the CPU, network controller and storage devices are being virtualized in hardware to deliver optimal user experiences, but prior to today the GPU was not hardware virtualized. AMD MxGPU technology, for the first time, brings the modern virtualization industry standard to the GPU hardware.

What does this mean? Consistent performance and enhanced security across virtual machines. MxGPU controls GPU scheduling delivering predictable quality of service to the user.

AMD MxGPU technology, based on SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization), a PCI Express® standard:

  • Delivers hardware GPU scheduling logic with high-precision quality of service to the user.
  • Preserves the data integrity of Virtualized Machines (VM) and their application data through hardware-enforced memory isolation logic preventing one VM from being able to access another VM’s data.
  • Exposes all graphics functionality of the GPU to applications allowing for full virtualization support for not only graphics APIs like DirectX® and OpenGL but also GPU compute APIs like OpenCL.

 

AMD FirePro S7150 & FirePro S7150 x2

The new AMD FirePro S7150 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 server graphics cards will combine with industry-leading OEM offerings to create high-performance virtual workstations and address IT needs of simple installation and operation, critical data security and outstanding performance-per-dollar. Typical VDI use cases include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Media and Entertainment, and office applications powered by the industry’s first hardware-based virtualized GPU.

IT budgets can realize support for up to 16 simultaneous users with a single AMD FirePro S7150 GPU card which features 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, while up to twice as many simultaneous users (32 in total) can be supported by a single AMD FirePro S7150 x2 card which includes a total of 16 GB of GDDR5 memory (8GB per GPU). Both models feature 256-bit memory bandwidth.

Based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture to optimize utilization and maximize performance, the AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs feature :

  • AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology to enable consistent, predictable and secure performance from virtualized workstations with the world’s first hardware-based virtualized GPU products to enable users with workstation-class experiences matched with full ISV certifications.
  • [adrotate banner=”4″]GDDR5 GPU Memory to help accelerate applications and process computationally complex workflows with ease.
  • Error Correcting Code (ECC) Memory to ensure the accuracy of computations by correcting any single or double bit error as a result of naturally occurring background radiation.
  • OpenCL 2.0 support to help professionals tap into the parallel computing power of modern GPUs and multicore CPUs to accelerate compute-intensive tasks in leading CAD/CAM/CAE and Media & Entertainment applications that support OpenCL allowing developers to take advantage of new GPU features.
  • AMD PowerTune is an intelligent power management system that monitors both GPU activity and power draw. AMD PowerTune optimizes the GPU to deliver low power draw when GPU workloads do not demand full activity and delivers the optimal clock speed to ensure the highest possible performance within the GPU’s power budget for high intensity workloads.

AMD FirePro S7150 has an MSRP of USD $2399 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 has an MSRP of USD $3999.

AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs are expected to be available from server technology providers in the first half of 2016.

 

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14nm FinFET AMD Polaris GPU Architecture Revealed

Jan 4, 2016 — AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) has recently provided customers with a glimpse of its upcoming 2016 Polaris GPU architecture at CES 2016, highlighting a wide range of significant architectural improvements including HDR monitor support, and industry-leading performance-per-watt. AMD expects shipments of the new AMD Polaris architecture-based GPUs to begin in mid-2016.

 

The New AMD Polaris Architecture

The AMD Polaris architecture-based 14nm FinFET GPUs deliver a remarkable generational jump in power efficiency. The Polaris-based GPUs are designed for fluid frame rates in graphics, gaming, VR and multimedia applications running on compelling small form-factor thin and light computer designs.

“Our new Polaris architecture showcases significant advances in performance, power efficiency and features,” said Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD. “2016 will be a very exciting year for Radeon fans driven by our Polaris architecture, Radeon Software Crimson Edition and a host of other innovations in the pipeline from our Radeon Technologies Group.”

The AMD Polaris architecture features AMD’s 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, a next-generation display engine with support for HDMI® 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3, and next-generation multimedia features including 4K h.265 encoding and decoding.

AMD has an established track record for dramatically increasing the energy efficiency of its mobile processors, targeting a 25x improvement by the year 2020.