Hot on the heels of Nvidia's driver release, AMD just put up its Radeon Software 16.3 hotfix drivers. Despite the "hotfix" moniker, this release comes with a basketful of new features and improvements.
First off, this is AMD's first mainstream release with support for the Khronos Group's Vulkan API, which is the low-level variant of OpenGL (akin to DirectX 12). DirectFlip is now supported in the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, letting the game behave closer to an exclusive full-screen application. The company also added a setting under "Global Options" in the driver's control panel that allows users to disable power efficiency optimizations. According to AMD, toggling that setting may fix some performance and screen corruption issues.
The 16.3 release also comes with support for AMD XConnect, which is the company's branding for external GPU support (something Nvidia also introduced a while back). AMD says the driver supports external GPU enclosures with compatible Radeon graphics cards over Thunderbolt 3 connections. The company notes that systems must have BIOS support for external GPUs to make use of this feature, as is the case with the Razer Blade Stealth, for example.
Additional driver features include per-game display scaling settings, a new language menu, two-display EyeFinity support, and an on-screen CrossFire status indicator. AMD also updated CrossFire profiles for Hitman and The Park.
There are performance improvements on the menu, too. Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be up to 16% faster on Fury X cards, and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition purportedly gets speed boosts of up to 60% on Fury X cards and up to 44% on R9 380 GPUs. Check out the 16.3 drivers' release notes here, along with download links for all Windows versions.
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