AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Update Boosts Performance And Brings Killer New Features
Getting down to brass tacks, we'll first talk about performance. At the end of the day, all of the added functionality in these drivers is nice, but we all want increased performance first and foremost. Thankfully, AMD is delivering here, promising up to a 15 percent boost in today's "top games" on average compared to Radeon Software Adrenalin 2018. Some of the biggest gains, however, were noted in Battlefield V (39 percent), Call of Duty: WWII (21 percent) and Star Control: Origins (24 percent).
One of the big new features is the expansion of Radeon ReLive with game streaming to mobile device and even virtual reality (VR) headsets. In both cases, your desktop PC serves as the host which then streams content to your iOS- or Android-based smartphone or tablet.
AMD is promising up to 4K 60fps game streaming to these mobile devices thanks to hardware acceleration, along with relatively low latencies. With streaming games, you can either use on-screen controls or a Bluetooth controller, although we'd probably recommend the latter for the best possible experience.
As previously mentioned, Radeon ReLive also extends streaming to supported VR headsets. However, AMD is using a mix of services to enable this functionality. You'll need to enable Steam VR integration in Radeon Settings and launch Steam VR. Additionally, on your VR headset, you'll have to launch the Radeon Relive for VR app to get started.
VR streaming is only supported on Radeon RX 400, RX 500 and RX Vega series hardware at this point. As for supported VR headsets, the Steam VR requirement limits compatibility to the HTC Vive Focus and Google Daydream-compatible hardware.
With both PC-to-mobile and PC-to-VR headset streaming, all of your devices will need to be on the same 802.11ac Wi-Fi network.
Radeon ReLive has also been updated with in-game instant replay. What good is a spectacular kill shot, or the perfect drift. if you can't relive that moment and share it with others? Gamers will be able to view instant replays in a picture-in-picture clip (in intervals ranging from 5 to 30 seconds), or you can create a separate GIF (with the same time interval window) with upload support via Gyfcat.
WattMan, AMD's performance and hardware monitoring tool, also gains some new tricks this time around with what AMD calls One-Click Tuning. This is AMD's effort to help simplify the process of extracting the most performance (or power savings) from your GPU. To this end, the WattMan tool now supports automatic overclocking for GPU and memory frequencies along with automatic GPU under-volting for those looking to conserve power an keep things running cool and quiet.
Other updates incorporated into the WattMan tool include the ability to control fan speeds based on temperature dependent curves (zero RPM settings are also supported). You will also have full control over all Radeon RX Vega DPM states. The WattMan improvements have also been extended to Overlay (for on-the-fly adjustments in-game) and AMD Link (from your mobile device), so you can tweak settings quickly, from a number of menus, without having to exit a game or application.
When power optimization is your immediate priority, you've probably experimented with Radeon Chill. This dynamic power-saving functionality in AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 has been updated as well, and is promising up to an additional 20 percent power savings in select titles -- AMD drew attention to efficiency gains in Fortnite, Overwatch, and PUBG, specifically.
There are also lots of odds and ends that have been added this year, including Game Advisor (a new automation tools to help simplify the game tuning process), Settings Advisor (automatically recommends optimal system and display settings), and Upgrade Advisor (which can tell you if your current system meets dev specs for specific games and provides upgrade suggestions if your system is not up to par).
FreeSync 2 now supports auto-tone mapping, and Virtual Super Resolution has added support for ultra-wide 21:9 gaming displays. And finally, AMD Link now supports voice control. In conjunction with Radeon ReLive, you can use your mobile device to verbally performs tasks such as starting/stopping a recording, taking a screenshot, or saving an instant replay. In addition, you can also inquire about current GPU performance metrics like temperature, clocks, and fan speeds (among other things).
Needless to say, there's a lot to unpack with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition and we touched on all the highlights here. But to get the full monte, you'll probably want to go ahead and download the driver package and find out for yourself. AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition is available to download right now.
And if you'd like to learn more, be sure to tune into our 2.5 Geek Podcast tomorrow. We are going to have AMD's Scott Wasson join in to talk about these new features in-depth and show them off live, on video.