AMD Radeon Pro 18.Q2 software welcomes the Windows 10 April Update


Gamers can generally pick up the latest-and-greatest AAA titles on Steam safe in the knowledge that AMD and Nvidia will crank out an optimized driver right around release time. Launches of high-end workstation applications aren't as fast and furious as Steam releases, though, so the big graphics vendors take a more measured pace with their driver updates for professional graphics cards. Releases like today's Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q2 WHQL only come four times per year. The big news is full support for Windows 10's recent April 2018 feature update.

The red graphics team isn't claiming any specific speed leaps when compared to the last release, but it does say that since last year, performance in Siemens NX has increased by 47% and that Autodesk 3ds Max and Catia saw gains over 35%. AMD claims smaller speed improvements in Creo and Solidworks over the same period. As for security, AMD says the new driver works hand-in-hand with Microsoft's Windows Defender Device Guard on Enterprise-branded versions of Windows.

AMD shipped updated versions of its ProRender plug-ins for Blender and Maya to macOS users in April. The 18.Q2 releases for Windows and Linux include these updates along with an improved ProRender plug-in for 3ds Max. The plug-ins include new goodies like interactive denoising, support for volumetrics, and Uber Shader and Light Shader enhancements.

AMD says it has used its ISV certification on over 80 different professional applications and real-world testing results to increase system reliability on systems with AMD graphics cards. The company says 99.99% of its customers reported zero issues.

The unique Radeon Pro SSG graphics card with its own SSD isn't supported in the Linux version of the 18.Q2 driver. Linux users with AMD pro graphics cards should probably check out the release notes, which include information about supported distributions.

The workstation lot tends to be conservative, so that statement about checking out the release notes applies to Windows users as well. The Windows release notes can be found here. The bold can proceed to the download page here.

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