AMD's Unified GPU Driver Update Is Packed With Performance Optimizations And Bug Fixes
AMD has brought out its first Adrenalin Edition graphics driver that rolls together support for the latest Radeon RX 7000 series (RDNA 3) GPUs and those that came before. The new unified release, dubbed AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1, will be particularly welcome to modern PC gamers who have been waiting for some optimizations for Radeon RX 6000 series (RDNA 2) GPUs, and older, which have been seemingly neglected since early December.
It is understandable that AMD has wanted to focus closely on optimizations for its newest graphics architecture during a crucial introductory period, but not at the expense of previous generations. Thus, the unified driver is very welcome, and even more so for its bumper harvest of game optimizations and fixed issues.
Some of the highlights of the 22.11.2 driver are added support for Forspoken, Dead Space, plus the IREE compiler and multiple new Vulkan extensions. A new version of AMD Link has also been delivered, with improved streaming capabilities on RX 400 and newer series cards. Radeon RX 6000 series users will also welcome new streaming capabilities like pre-filter toggle, pre-analysis, and CAML technology.
Moving back to gaming, AMD has been busy with RX 6000 optimizations across a multitude of games. In a dedicated blog on the latest driver release, AMD charts the improvements delivered to RDNA 2-powered gaming since the release of Windows 11.
Games tested to generate the above RDNA 2 performance uplifts overview chart include F1 2022, God of War, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Hitman 3, World of Warcraft, Dying Light 2, and Sniper Elite 5. However, some other games listed with worthwhile optimizations (between 3% and 9%) for RX 6000 series graphics cards are DOOM Eternal, Borderlands 3, Hogwarts Legacy, Quake II RTX, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Among the fixed issues, there are some standouts worth mentioning. Firstly, for Windows 11 22H2 users, AMD has quashed a driver control panel failure to launch bug. It has removed scrolling corruption for RX 6000 users in the Steam app, and intermittent flickering in chromium-based browsers in multi-monitor systems should be similarly consigned to history. Other fixes seem to apply to singular games titles, and if you have had trouble with your Radeon in SpaceEngine, Fortnite, Door Kickers 2, Emergency, Balders Gate 3, Sea of Thieves, Battlefield 4, or Hogwarts Legacy then this driver might have something good for you.
As usual, a number of known issues remain, but at least AMD is aware of these and it gives us hope for next time. Among these issues, the RX 7000 series have more than their fair share, but not excessively so.
With driver feature creep and the new unified offering, you might be expecting a particularly bloated and hefty download with AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1. Thankfully, it isn’t particularly large, with the 64-bit driver for Windows 10 and 11 systems weighing in at under 600MB. You can grab it now if you are a user of a Radeon RX 400 series graphics card or newer.