AMD’s Radeon Software Crimson Edition: an overview

AMD’s last major update to its graphics driver package, Catalyst Omega, added more than 20 features and fixed more than 400 bugs for Radeon owners. Catalyst Omega also turned on FreeSync and Virtual Super Resolution, features that are now household names. AMD also promised that Catalyst Omega would be the first in a series of annual major updates that would add new features and refinements to the company’s driver software.

True to its word, AMD’s second major Radeon software release is here—but Catalyst is no more. The company’s driver packages will now be called Radeon Software, and Radeon Software Crimson Edition is the first release under the new name.

Crimson (as I’ll call it from here on out for brevity’s sake) is more than a rebranding exercise, though. This release offers 12 new or improved features, up to 20% higher performance, and tools to eke more efficiency out of AMD graphics cards. Alongside the major driver update itself, AMD is introducing a new management utility called Radeon Settings.

AMD boasts of this software’s all-new user interface, better UI performance, improved in-game performance, and higher power efficiency. Those are some ambitious changes, and we’ll see whether AMD accomplished everything on its to-do list with Radeon Settings in a moment. For now, let’s see what Radeon Software Crimson has in store for those with the red team’s graphics cards in their PCs.

What’s new

If we were to sum up AMD’s goal for Crimson in one word, it’d probably be stability. The company says it ran twice as many automated test cases and 25% more manual test cases during QA on Crimson. It also claims to have tested Crimson on 15% more system configurations, including “the latest technologies.”

AMD also polled the community of Radeon users for their top 10 most annoying bugs, and it claims to have fixed those issues in the Crimson release. Some of the more galling problems that the community brought to light included GTA V crashes on Radeon R9 390X cards, errors related to driver installation on systems with Radeon R9 380 cards, and a Diablo 3 crash in the Desolate Sands area of the game.

FreeSync has learned some new tricks in Crimson. AMD has enabled support for FreeSync on CrossFire multi-GPU configurations running in DirectX 9 mode for the first time. FreeSync also gets some polish in certain corner cases where the display isn’t receiving frames faster than its minimum refresh rate.

In that situation, and with v-sync on, a feature called low framerate compensation (LFC) will prevent both tearing artifacts and motion judder. With v-sync off, LFC will reduce (but not eliminate) tearing and judder. LFC will only work on FreeSync displays where the maximum refresh rate is greater than or equal to 2.5 times the minimum refresh rate.

Crimson is also the first public driver release with AMD’s LiquidVR developer tools enabled. LiquidVR gives devs access to tools like affinity multi-GPU, direct-to-display, latest data latch, and asynchronous shaders. LiquidVR is ultimately meant to let devs create a smoother, more immersive VR experience.

Performance and efficiency improvements

Shader Cache is a Crimson feature that’s meant to reduce level load times by storing compiled shaders in a cache on the system’s hard drive, a technique that could cut load times up to one-third compared to older driver versions.

Shader Cache could also improve frame time consistency in some cases. We should point out that AMD reached that conclusion by calculating the standard deviation of frame times in its data, a method we don’t recommend.

Frame pacing improves frame-time consistency for graphics cards in CrossFire configurations, and it first made its debut a couple years ago with a driver update for the Radeon HD 7990. That feature gets extended to games running in DirectX 9 mode in Crimson, and to demonstrate its benefits, AMD provided the impressively smooth frame-time graph above. Frame pacing for DX9 could help reduce CrossFire-related microstuttering for popular e-sports titles like League of Legends and Dota 2.

Another change—and potential improvement—for e-sports players is an optimized flip queue size.  The Crimson drivers can make use of only a single frame buffer in games where the additional input lag generated by triple-buffering doesn’t make sense, like League of Legends or Dota 2. For an idea of where this optimization takes place, have a look at our handy, if oversimplified, diagram of the frame production process:

Moving to a single buffer, as AMD’s example above shows, can reduce input lag to 16.7 ms on a 60Hz display, versus 50 ms with triple-buffering enabled. AMD says this improvement makes mouse and keyboard input more responsive. We don’t see a per-application setting for the flip queue size in Radeon Settings, so we’re guessing that Crimson manages it automatically.

Radeon owners may also see improved performance in general from Crimson. In a best-case scenario with an AMD Radeon R9 Fury X and Crimson, the company says it achieved a 20% improvement in average FPS with the Fable Legends DirectX 12 benchmark running at 1080p. The company’s base results were collected with Catalyst 15.7.1 drivers. We put these numbers to the test using our own Fury X at the same settings and with the same software. Here are our results:

The numbers above are certainly a big improvement over Catalyst 15.7.1. For our own curiosity, we collected a third set of results with Catalyst 15.11.1 at similar settings, and we saw average FPS and frame-time numbers similar to the ones we collected with Crimson. It seems that whatever magic is present in Crimson is also in the wild already with Catalyst 15.11.1. Still, it’s good to see that AMD can extract additional performance from its graphics cards with software updates, as we’ve suspected in our past reviews.

Efficiency is another major theme of the Crimson release, and the road to AMD’s claimed efficiency increases is Frame Rate Target Control, or FRTC. FRTC is supposed to help reduce power consumption when frame rates would otherwise rocket into the multiple hundreds of FPS, like menus and loading screens.

To curb these apparently wasteful situations, FRTC can be set to cap frame rates at anywhere from 30 FPS to 200 FPS, and it can be configured as a global setting or on a per-application basis. With FRTC on, AMD says Crimson can reduce system power consumption up to 1.8x. FRTC works with DX9, DX10, and DX11 games under Crimson.

 

A look at Radeon Settings

Radeon owners will already be familiar with AMD’s venerable Catalyst Control Center software. Catalyst Control Center is riding into the sunset alongside the Catalyst driver with the advent of Crimson. The new sheriff in town is called Radeon Settings. AMD says Radeon Settings is a “ground-up rebuild” of its management utility using the Qt framework.

To be honest, my experience with AMD’s older Catalyst releases is limited. My main PC gets its pixel-pushing power from Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 760, and I’ve long used the green team’s GeForce Experience software to manage driver updates and graphics settings. Our Casewarmer test system, on the other hand, is a perfect Radeon Software Crimson Edition testbed. This machine comprises an AMD A10-7850K APU and an AMD A88X motherboard.

For reference, the most recent release of Catalyst Control Center for this system, 2015.0804.21.41908, uses a spare (if serviceable) breadcrumb-based interface with link-style paths to display, power, video, gaming, performance, and audio settings. CCC is pretty sluggish to start even on my SSD-equipped testbed system. The software needed a few seconds to load when I launched it from its tray icon.

Perhaps it was just a quirk of trying to install beta driver software on an already-abused testbed system, but my first attempt at installing Crimson resulted in a hung system and a black screen. My PC came up fine after a reboot, so no harm done. I proceeded to uninstall any vestiges of graphics drivers from both Nvidia and AMD before running AMD’s own driver cleaner tool. After that, Crimson installed just fine.

AMD isn’t kidding about the improved responsiveness of Radeon Settings, the CCC replacement included in Crimson. The software launched instantly when I clicked its tray icon, and I didn’t notice any lag when moving around its transition-heavy interface. Catalyst Control Center didn’t feel slow to me after its long start-up time, but it’s nice that Radeon Settings is snappier overall.

The latest version of GeForce Experience is a slug to start compared to Radeon Settings, even on my wholly modern main machine. It also felt slower to respond under certain demands, like enumerating all of the Steam games I have installed. To be fair, pulling up a list of games and all of their optimal settings might be a tough task on a system with lots of titles installed, but that fact doesn’t fully excuse GFE’s occasional pokiness.

There are five tabs

The main Settings interface groups its wide range of options under five main tabs: Gaming, Video, Display, Eyefinity, and System. Settings’ main screen shows a carousel of ads for games and hardware from AMD’s partners by default, but that behavior can be turned off in a single click under the Preferences tab. These ads are tasteful and don’t appear to be targeted, at least.

The Gaming tab lets users set global graphics settings for parameters like anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, v-sync, the new Shader Cache feature, and Frame Rate Target Control. Users can also tailor per-game graphics settings here. For demonstrative purposes, we’ve shown the per-game configuration screen for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Video contains a handful of pre-baked “enhancement” profiles for watching, well, videos. These profiles control sharpening, “color vibrance,” AMD Steady Video, and AMD Fluid Motion Video. I was prepared to dismiss these profiles out of hand, but I actually didn’t find them too objectionable in use. AMD also offers a neat “demo mode” that lets you see what each profile will look like in a split-screen view with the source video. It doesn’t hurt to try these profiles out to see whether they help the source material.

The Display tab shows all of the screens connected to the host PC. This tab lets users control features like FreeSync, Virtual Super Resolution, and GPU scaling.

Clicking “Additional Settings” on the Display tab brings up a CCC-like interface for some more esoteric display settings, like color correction, supported HDTV modes, and custom resolutions. It’s all well and good to have control over these settings, but I found it jarring to get kicked out to an older-style interface to change them.

If you’re using AMD’s Eyefinity multiple-monitor tech, the Eyefinity tab will presumably let you tweak those settings. I don’t have enough monitors in my labs to get Eyefinity enabled on my test system, so we’ll have to leave the exploration of this tab for a later date.

Finally, the System tab lets users see key information about their Radeon hardware and software, alongside basic system info like the CPU model, the amount of main memory and graphics memory, the installed graphics card, and more. A Hardware sub-section of this tab displays a GPU-Z-like interface with more in-depth specs of the installed graphics adapter.

Overall, AMD should pride itself on a job well done here. For the most part, Radeon Settings feels as polished as Nvidia’s competing solution.

During the Crimson setup process, users can choose to get AMD’s Gaming Evolved software, too. Gaming Evolved is a reskin of the Raptr client application, and it provides services like Twitch streaming, video capture, game settings optimization, and automatic driver updates. If this all sounds a lot like GeForce Experience, it should, since both applications offer similar feature lists.

Conclusions

High-quality software and regular driver updates are a huge part of the graphics card ownership experience. If our time with Radeon Software Crimson Edition is any indication, AMD has taken this truth to heart for its latest major release. Radeon Settings shows an impressive level of polish already, and AMD’s included Gaming Evolved software offers many of the same features as GeForce Experience does for Nvidia owners, even if Gaming Evolved isn’t as tightly-integrated as GFE. If you own a compatible Radeon, we see no reason to hold off installing Crimson.

AMD says it plans up to six major WHQL Radeon Software releases in 2016, along with additional beta releases. That’s compared to three WHQL releases and nine beta releases for all of 2015. Given that Nvidia will be releasing 12 WHQL driver updates by the end of this year alone, AMD may have to lean on quality over quantity for those releases, but the polish of Radeon Software Crimson Edition suggests the company has the chops necessary to do just that. 

Comments closed
    • WaltC
    • 4 years ago

    My opinion is that the Crimson driver interface is horrible. I am amazed this was released. Shocked, really, it’s so poor. From Crimson you cannot change screen resolution–nope, have to go out to Windows’ Display properties to do that, now. Likewise, Systray functionality is gone–can’t change the desktop res from there anymore, either! Resolution control has simply been stripped out of the drivers. Along with Hotkey control, too–even though the ATi external events service is still installed and running–hotkeys don’t seem to function. People tell me there is lots more MIA, as well (for Eyefinity, multimonitor support, etc.)

    What should have happened, of course, is that resolution switching & refresh-rate control should have been added to per-game profiles, along with fan control and overclocking–which were added. And although CRU continues to work fine in Win10 and under the Crimson drivers–the new Custom Resolution & refresh-rate utility doesn’t work–or at least the few tries I made with it were futile (no trouble with the ancient CRU, of course–go figure!)

    So, my solution to restore the Catalyst functionality and run the Crimson drivers, too, is a simple one that has probably occurred to many already: I re-installed the 15.11.1 Catalysts and used the Device Manager to install the Crimson drivers into the 15.11.1 CCC. Worked great the first time–*all functionality restored*–including access to the new CRU (which I cannot get to work.) The only thing that doesn’t show up in the CCC interface is the new shader cache control–but I’ll bet there’s a registry setting for it somewhere–and after I digest my Turkey & fixin’s, I’ll probably look for it…;)

    What this tells me is that these drivers, the 15.30.1025-151117a-296567C Crimson drivers, were originally designed for the CCC interface and *not* for this Crimson abomination. And that’s because when plugged into the CCC everything works like in any Catalyst release–save for the shader cache feature showing up in the CCC interface.

    (Unlike some others, I have had not the slightest trouble uninstalling & installing the Crimson driver interface, fortunately.) But now, having solved everything for the holiday, it’s back to the Skellige Isles …;)

    *Happy Thanksgiving to all!*

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    well, for some reason, i have a bug that drives my gpu usage up to 98% on the desktop with nothing running. Fans go to 100% and heat climbs way up. going to try to uninstall and clean.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Uh-oh

      Looks like he might find my folding@home I am running remotely on his GPU 😀

    • cldmstrsn
    • 4 years ago

    Maybe I missed it but any word on them doing actual WHQL drivers more often instead of beta drivers every once in a while? If so I am very seriously considering a full AMD build the next time im looking to upgrade. This also hinges on if Zen will be any good.

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    Seems faster

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Installed last night on W7 x64 pro with HD 6850 no issues.

    Didn’t have any time to test anything or tinker with it though.

    • Jeff Kampman
    • 4 years ago

    For the folks having problems installing Crimson, I suggest first uninstalling all Catalyst software using Windows’ Add or Remove Programs/Programs and Features before running [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/AMD-Clean-Uninstall-Utility.aspx[/url<] <- AMD's own driver cleaning utility. You should then be able to install Crimson without issues.

      • Mikael33
      • 4 years ago

      I just installed it over catalyst with no issues so far, checked programs to make sure it got rid of it.

      • Mr Bill
      • 4 years ago

      I just ran the AMD-clean-uninstall utility rebooted and then installed Crimson. No problems so far.
      Edit: But not much adjustable in Win7 Pro on an APU system.

    • Klimax
    • 4 years ago

    Just quick reminder:
    Comparison of software like GE/NVidia Control Panel needs to be done with same number of games installed and on similarly fast drive otherwise its broken comparison.
    (I got extreme edge case where just through Steam I got more then 700 games and thus scanning through can take a lot of time and there is nothing for developer to do about it)

    Anyway, bit impressive they got QT-based app to start fast (especially after fail with DotNet-based Catalyst).

    • jokinin
    • 4 years ago

    Quite impressive, I got Shadow of Mordor on sale on steam last week, and while benchmarking I saw some nasty lagging in some frames, minimum fps was like 30 fps after a bad lag spike.
    After installing this software, minimum FPS have raised to 43FPS and there are no more lag spikes anymore, and average FPS have raised from 60 to 63 FPS.
    That is on a 1920×1080 resolution, with default setings (everything set to high except textures), and an old (more thatn 3 year old), radeon HD 7870 GHz edition 2GB GDDR5 on a modest core i5 3550, 16GB standard DDR3 1333 and a Gigabyte H77 chipset board.
    Since I don’t play the very latest game and I only buy games a little old on sale, I am quite happy with the performance of the thing.

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      My fallout is significantly smoother now too

        • killadark
        • 4 years ago

        ya even me first thing i noticed fallout got smoother but the fps drops at long scene’s still exist especially in cities (that’s jus the game being bad).
        get anywhere between 35 and 60 fps @1440p on a 290

          • auxy
          • 4 years ago

          I’m playing in 1080p on a 290X and while I get 60 FPS the huge majority of the time I still drop to 25-30 FPS in the worst cases inside the big cities. It seems like it might be a case of just ludicrous overdraw. Does Bethesda not do any hidden surface culling?! ;つД`)

            • aggies11
            • 4 years ago

            If I recall correctly, culling is something that’s always been problematic with their games, as far back as Oblivion. Generally speaking most of the geometry in front of the player would cause performance issues and rarely be culled (You could see this by toggling wireframe view, and back in the day enabling debug menu’s with triangle counts etc). I think the original engine/design was more based on a concentric LOD scaling system for performance, and considering the more “open” form of their games, the player wasn’t usually faced with lots of geometry. You would see this in certain dungeons that had the unlucky layout where at some points you would be literally looking in line with the entire dungeons geometry, and performance would drop precipitously, despite that the entire thing would have been occluded by walls etc.

            To be fair, they do seem to have gotten a lot better, as standing deep behind walls, you will observe some culling going on, although it’s still not what I’d consider aggressive. Seems to be that geometry tends to really increase the CPU workload (which is why some people have luck lowering shadow draw distance to improve performance in these areas, as I believe shadows were mostly processed on the CPU).

    • killadark
    • 4 years ago

    Am i the only one it does not install for? huh
    Tried everything
    Install on top of old – Fail
    Install safe mode – does not allow some error
    Clean install – Fail
    All attempts fail with the installer hanging
    Re-downloading now on my slow ass connection…(1mbps ugh)

    Okay a temp workaround for those with this issue
    Installing components one at a time worked for me, i installed the diplay drivers first then settings and so on.
    installer can be found here C:\AMD\Radeon-Crimson-15.11-Win10-64Bit

    • alrey
    • 4 years ago

    finally they ditched the .net framework (its slow because of the extra layer similar to java virtual machines) and went to Qt C.

    • odizzido
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]To curb these apparently wasteful situations, FRTC can be set to cap frame rates at anywhere from 30 FPS to 200 FPS, and it can be configured as a global setting or on a per-application basis. With FRTC on, AMD says Crimson can reduce system power consumption up to 1.8x. FRTC works with DX9, DX10, and DX11 games under Crimson.[/quote<] That's nice that they're thinking about that, I remember when SC2 cooked a bunch of people's cards. However what I read from that it sounds like if you limit it to your monitor's refresh rate you would effectively have Vsync on if you're maxing out your frame rate and off if you're not. That's a really good feature.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 4 years ago

    I really want to like the new drivers but it broke my fallout 4 compass :C. The new GUI is whatever but it’s laid out logically at least, and I like the per-game profiles being more streamlined.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Ok, when I got to [url=http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows+7+-+64<]AMD's Driver Download Page[/url<], I see there's a download link for 'Radeon Software' and 'AMD Minimal Setup'. 'Radeon Software' is easy enough to understand, but what is 'AMD Minimal Setup'? Is it an online installer or is it a driver-only installer without all the fancy red menus?

      • cal_guy
      • 4 years ago

      It’s an online installer. Note it won’t give you the option to not install the AMD Gaming Evolved app.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I honestly don’t know why AMD or many others would put out an online installer unless it’s so that the latest builds would be downloaded during the actual installation. In AMD’s case, however, these Crimson editions won’t be coming out every few weeks or so, so you might as well just get the whole installer and use it to install without worrying that the installation would go awry when internet connectivity suddenly goes down. And if one chooses to download the minimal installer using a slow connection for installation to a PC with a fast connection later, why not just download the full installer using said PC with a fast connection? Doesn’t look like an online installed is really needed. Besides, during a fresh reformat/reinstall of everything, one usually installs core system drivers first before peripheral drivers such as WiFi and printer drivers.

    • DrDominodog51
    • 4 years ago

    Was a test.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      If you were North Korea the West would be all over you right now with all the ‘tests’ you’re conducting. Heh.

        • Klimax
        • 4 years ago

        They’d have to be missile or nuclear based. I don’t see missile nor plutonium here…

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    I’m probably one of only 4 or 5 guys in the world that still play Thief 1 and 2. Now the funny thing about this game is that when I play it with Google Chrome or Opera open (and not just open, usually I need to have a webpage open.. Anandtech always works), things are ultra smooth. With no browsers open, things get real stuttery (coined a new word there). I don’t know why this is happening, but hopefully Crimson will not break this pattern/behavior, or better, maybe not even need a browser open to play these games smoothly.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Interesting, something some people find with older games is that they underuse the GPU or CPU so much that they fall back to the lowest speeds, which may be going on here. Maybe keeping a browser open, since they’re all GPU accelerated now, keeps the higher power GPU modes enabled for you.

        • Firestarter
        • 4 years ago

        if that’s true he should just disable those power saving features

      • DoomGuy64
      • 4 years ago

      Nobody should be running the original Thief when there’s the newdark patch available, which should solve most of the issues running such an old game on a modern system. Apologies if you are already using the patch, but IMO that’s probably the problem.

      [url<]http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141148[/url<] also: [url<]http://www.moddb.com/mods/thief-gold-hd-texture-mod[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Kudos to AMD for taking all our complaints regarding the quality of their graphics drivers and addressing them. They know where they’re lacking and that’s exactly what they want to address with Crimson.

    Keep it up, AMD.

    [See, I dish out compliments to AMD when they deserve it, and dish out criticism whenever it’s called for.]

      • DrDominodog51
      • 4 years ago

      Pointing out how you’re not a shill makes it seem like you are one.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Well, why not ask Lisa if I’m on AMD’s payroll? 🙂 Then again, I may not be there even if I’m a shill. 🙂 Honestly though, I really am not. Just been an AMD fan for more than 20 years now. Unlike most AMD fanbois though, I dish out criticism when AMD deserves it.

          • DrDominodog51
          • 4 years ago

          I’m just stating a fact. That fact does apply to you(or rather your posts), but I think everyone here knows your an olde AMD fanboi and one of the less biased of the bunch of AMD fans. I just wanted to point out your commentary on the bottom of your posts aren’t helping you.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Well, AFAICT I only did it once (disclaimers). At least within recent memory.

      • DrDominodog51
      • 4 years ago

      “&

      This is a test.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Wat?

    • MEATLOAF2
    • 4 years ago

    For those having issues installing, I highly suggest using DDU (DisplayDriverUninstaller) to remove the old drivers. You can find it on Guru3d.

    It’s very thorough, and I’ve never had any issues with it, of course YMMV.

      • Puiucs
      • 4 years ago

      the “amd cleanup utility” worked great for me.

    • Puiucs
    • 4 years ago

    For those who want Crimson on the legacy 5000/6000 GPUs try searching for the Radeon-Crimson-15.11-15.30.1025-Beta7 driver package. It’s probably the first and last Crimson driver to be released for those cards.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      No need to search through general web.
      amd.com->drivers+support->Drivers + Download Center->Section: Radeon™ HD 8000 – HD 8400, HD 7000 – HD 7600, HD 6000, and HD 5000 Series
      will get you there.

    • Shobai
    • 4 years ago

    Win 8.1 x64, HD6950. The beta installed over the top of the 15.7 driver smoothly on my work desktop.

    It looks like CCC had better clock control options than Crimson gives me access to; I can only drop the GPU Clock down to 500MHz, instead of ~200MHz, and I can’t move the Memory Clock at all.

    I won’t get a chance to install Crimson at home [Win 8.1 x64, R9 290] until tomorrow night [Aussie time] but I’ll be pretty disappointed if I can’t downclock the 290 with Crimson – I normally clock the GPU at 250MHz and memory at 150MHz for anything other than gaming, which really helps with power draw and heat.

    As an aside back when I owned a 4890, and even when I had a 6950 myself, it was possible to create profiles to switch between sets of clocks with a key combination. By the time I’d sold my 6950 and got the 290 that feature had been removed; I wouldn’t mind if it made a comeback under Crimson

      • Shobai
      • 4 years ago

      Driver update completed on my own machine, and I can still downclock the 290 as previously. Phew!

      I played a bit of Borderlands 2 with a friend and noticed something odd: we were playing the Torgue DLC, and were off to visit Flyboy. When it was nighttime in game and I looked towards the area where you meet Flyboy, the game slowed considerably as the 290’s core clock bounced down to ~650MHz before settling around 750MHz, from ~1000MHz when looking in any other direction [I have a second display showing temps and clocks while I game on the other]. During the in game daytime, when I looked in that direction the core clock dropped down to ~750MHz before settling around 850MHz.

      This is on an Asus R9 290 DCuII OC model, with the GPU core maxing out at 47 deg C, and VRM1 and VRM2 at 61 deg C, so I don’t think it’s a heat issue. Interesting…

    • Ari Atari
    • 4 years ago

    Sheesh, DO NOT try disabling the AMD External Events service on Windows 10. You will boot to a black screen and have to fight to get to safe mode to turn it back on.

      • Firestarter
      • 4 years ago

      why would you do that?

        • Ari Atari
        • 4 years ago

        Idk. I like to disable random services to see what they do. I’ve been disabling that service for like a year now with no problems until this latest release. Didn’t think it kill windows, that’s for sure. Also, I’ve been hearing people getting black screens with Crimson and I wonder if this has something to do with it.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          Interesting, I’ve always disabled that and FUEL also on 7, no issues whatsoever.

          • Pholostan
          • 4 years ago

          Do you loosen random screws on your car too?

            • auxy
            • 4 years ago

            I like to try different filters and sparkplugs to see how they affect the performance. I would say this is more analogous to what Ari Atari was doing than loosening random screws (which would be more like deleting random system files). (´・ω・`)

            • Firestarter
            • 4 years ago

            Pick the wrong plugs and your pistons could melt. I’d try and make this work for the service disabling analogy but I think the main point is that you should not mess around with things you don’t fully understand and expect to get away with it every time.

            • Ari Atari
            • 4 years ago

            Well I don’t have a car, so no.

            My computer knowledge comes solely from reading things on the internet and pushing random buttons. It’s much like how a child might press every button they see or how some self learning robots learn what limbs they have and how to get from A to B. It has helped me solve just about every IT problem I’ve come across even though I can only scratch the surface of how computers operate.

            If I was given a gas engine, I poke around in it and probably break something. However, by the time I could possibly get a car, I’d hope to get an electric one, which will be much simpler.

            • TruthSerum
            • 4 years ago

            No, and the ones I do loosen and retorque as I deem necessary tend to stay on the vehicle.

            Disabling FUEL and External Events in services does NOTHING adverse under 7.
            I can say that… because that’s how it is on this box as I type this, right the hell now.

            Try it and see if you like.

            • Ari Atari
            • 4 years ago

            For science, I need to break my computer again. BRB…

            Edit: Yep still broken. whats worse is that my keyboard wont work when its time to select safe mode. aggh…

            Edit2: And that is fixed by disabling Fast Boot in the UIEF. Which, now that Fast Boot is disabled, my computer won’t boot while my external HDD is on. I love computers.

            More Edits: I need more word learning for some reason.

    • jmc2
    • 4 years ago

    Well, won’t finish installing and nothing changes.
    (get the old “not responding”)

    W7/64,290, Spybot-never have turned it off, never been a problem.

    Gets to 50% and the screen may or may not go black for a
    number of seconds. Then it never finishes.

    Reinstalled the old driver set to be safe.

    jmc2

      • LostCat
      • 4 years ago

      Sounds like ye need a decent driver cleaner.

      • Puiucs
      • 4 years ago

      you need to fully clean your old driver using the uninstall utility provided by amd (amd cleanup utility)

        • Klimax
        • 4 years ago

        Or by DDU

        • jmc2
        • 4 years ago

        That did it.

        EDIT….
        (Great, now MPClassic has a red line down the center of H264.MP4s.)
        EDIT… it was the DEMO mode -(ON) in the VIDEO section.
        ………..

        Got to 66% and set there for over 8 minutes!
        installing the new driver set.

        Had to look at “monitor resources” to see the disk
        activity and know it was not hung up.

        Thanks,
        jmc2

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      Try updating to windows 10

      I didnt uninstall my old one, just installed new one, no problems.
      Ssk

    • USAFTW
    • 4 years ago

    Folks over at WCCFtech seem to have gotten some interesting results on same games like Battlefield 3/4, Black Ops III especially with the Fiji GPU.
    [url<]http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-software-performance-analysis-is-this-the-crimson-tide/[/url<] Really pleased about the new driver package, even though I'm currently in the Nvidia camp. AND DAT DX12 JUMP THO! Goes to show that there's still work to be done on the software side. If shader caching is that effective, why has AMD taken so long in implementing it?

      • Pitabred
      • 4 years ago

      It’s probably taken a major software architecture change, and that’s not something you can do overnight. Sometimes things that seem simple in software aren’t, and things that seem hard are easy. I say this as a programmer 😉

      • Mat3
      • 4 years ago

      Nice! Improvements across the board, and some of them substantial.

    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 4 years ago

    You say in this article that the application performed quickly and had no lag when starting up. Did you check to see what the memory allocation is on Crimson as apposed to CCC? How many threads does it use? What is the memory footprint? Etc.

    If might be more efficient but I still don’t want it lurking in the background taking up resources I don’t want to give.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      On our test system, Radeon Settings uses 31MB sitting at the desktop. Raptr (Gaming Evolved) uses a further 2MB. The software’s overall resource impact appears to be minimal.

        • ibnarabi
        • 4 years ago

        I installed it a few hours ago, just checked and it’s using 8.4 megs hanging out in the background, that’s it, didn’t install Raptr. Right clicked on the desktop and executed it, usage jumped to 27 megs, closed it and fell to 2megs…

        It’s snappy 🙂

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Interesting, just going back to the frame time posted by AMD.
    Skyrim
    DX9
    W10

    Looks like DX 9 will be around for a long time yet, I guess it’s good they are still making improvements to it.

    • Firestarter
    • 4 years ago

    It’s pretty slick, but I really don’t like how it decided what language I should want the interface to be in. I guess that’s easily fixed later on. The driver changes/fixes are nice of course, but many were already in the latest regular betas. Still good for AMD to try and make a statement with a fresh new package!

    • kloreep
    • 4 years ago

    LFC sounds like a fairly big deal, addressing one of GSync’s big advantages over FreeSync. (Only other thing that I can think of off the top of my head: support for the desktop and windowed apps/games?)

    Do we have any idea if LFC introduces significant overhead of any kind, seeing as it’s doing something (I assume frame duplication) on the computer’s end? Would love to see tests on that.

    If LFC does what it sounds like it’s supposed to, I wonder if we’ve now seen the end of Freesync ranges not going up to the maximum refresh. It sounds like there should no longer be a disadvantage to a manufacturer setting a high Freesync range minimum, so long as the min-max ratio meets that 2.5 requirement.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      I was coming to comment on this feature too. I bet it’s doing something similar to what TVs do, and crank up the refresh rate to a multiple of the incoming framerate and interpolate extra frames. That’s the only way I can imagine it being able to eliminate tearing and judder. That would have to introduce some lag though, just like on TVs.

    • Aranarth
    • 4 years ago

    Awesome! Now lets some some benching! 😀

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder if Crimson still plays nice with RadeonPro. I’m going to check.

      • brucethemoose
      • 4 years ago

      AMD Registry Editor + ReShade will do almost everything RadeonPro did, and more.

      Dynamic VSync is still missing, but I just asked the Reshade devs if they could implement a shader-accessible VSync toggle.

    • Ifalna
    • 4 years ago

    Note to self: do NOT try to uninstall the old CCC via Windows Control panel. After a reboot my Windows looked like this:

    [url<]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/JdkO9jVwl9k/hqdefault.jpg[/url<] Win 10 safe mode worked but apparently windows10 is too dumb to load the "generic MS display adapter" driver in the normal version. Format c: it was then. ._.

      • Firestarter
      • 4 years ago

      I just used the AMD express uninstall and it worked fine

        • Ifalna
        • 4 years ago

        Yup, same thing I did. Install manager -> express uninstall -> reboot -> BooM.

      • Tirk
      • 4 years ago

      Weird, I used Win 10’s System Apps & features to uninstall CCC with no issues on restart. I would think it would use the same uninstall process as the Control Panel. Might be an odd glitch rather than a consistent bug, Win 10 seems to like those 😉

        • Ifalna
        • 4 years ago

        Well glitches appear now and then.
        What really pisses me off is my own stupidity though.

        Why did I reformat the entire OS (incl nuking all programs wee) wen I could just have used the intel IGP to reinstall a proper driver for my AMD card?

        Ugh. Guess I’m not used to having 2 graphics options in my computer (never used the IGP for anything).

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      I suspect some left overs from driver installation prevented switch. I think I saw similar results when testing older card under Windows 7 when drivers were broken.

        • Ifalna
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah most uninstalls leave a royal mess, no matter the application.
        I never understood why programs can’t clean up properly after themselves. <_<

    • BillyBuerger
    • 4 years ago

    Ug, it still puts the “Open Radeon Settings” menu item on ALL folders context menu with no option in the application to turn this off. I assume it’s because they want it in the desktop context menu which makes some sense as all graphics drives (intel, nVidia) do this. But they seem to take the lazy approach and just add it to all folders context menu which puts it on the desktop one but then all on your documents folder and everywhere else.

    Install drivers, import reg file to turn it off.

    • south side sammy
    • 4 years ago

    the only thing I want to see is the return of manual fan control.

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      Manual fan control is present in Catalyst 15…? (´・ω・`)

      • xeridea
      • 4 years ago

      I use AfterBurner for fan control, I like to have a custom fan curve. CCC has had manual fan control for a while. I don’t think it ever left. It is on the Overdrive tab for setting custom clocks, checking temps etc.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    So AMD is finally getting the message? Hopefully it’ll last.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 4 years ago

    For a driver update, this is fantastic.

    TR, what are the chances we could get a few updated reviews with the new drivers? It’s rare that anything this significant comes through just software.

      • jessterman21
      • 4 years ago

      I’d like to see the HD 7970GHz vs. a GTX 680 (or R9 280X vs. GTX 770), and see just how far they’ve both come in performance.

        • Phartindust
        • 4 years ago

        That’s a great idea! We see driver updates come and go with incremental improvements, but rarely comparisons from a larger time span like you are suggesting, and these were some really popular cards too.

        • Mr Bill
        • 4 years ago

        The hardware for TR to test is probably water under the bridge.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        Absolutely! It seems like GCN did gain a lot after release in driver extracted performance, would be interesting to see which came further as a percent of original performance and if it changed the equation.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Looks like the HD 6000 series is now legacy support also.

    [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy3&os=Windows+7+-+64[/url<]

      • seeker010
      • 4 years ago

      So Llano, Trinity and Richland as well? That’s kind of ridiculous, but I guess given AMD’s cash position not too surprising.

        • NTMBK
        • 4 years ago

        Good job nobody bought any of those chips.

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        Well seems mostly pre-GCN stuff.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      Makes sense

      Windows 10 is going to be pushing for WDDM 2.0 and DX12 while Windows 8.1 and older are going to go EOL status soon.

      Nvidia is going to the same thing as well with their pre-Fermi stuff.

        • auxy
        • 4 years ago

        I upvoted you, but I think it’s worth noting that pre-Fermi is pre-DX11, while Radeon 5000s and 6000s support DX11, so it’s nooot quite the same thing. (´・ω・`)

          • Pitabred
          • 4 years ago

          Not quite, but it’s still a different architecture. The VLIW and GCN are very different beasts, and I can see them not wanting to try to shoehorn new features onto old processors. Nvidia has kept the same kind of processing system for a while in it’s chips, even as it’s made them faster. No major instruction-set level changes from what I know.

      • Puiucs
      • 4 years ago

      for the 5000/6000 series for the Radeon-Crimson-15.11-15.30.1025-Beta7 driver. while officially AMD is dropping support, they did “unofficially” released the driver. it will probably be the last crimson driver for those cards.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 4 years ago

    This sounds promising and it’s something they need quite a bit. Looking forward to new releases.

      • DarkMikaru
      • 4 years ago

      As a long time ATI / Radeon fan I second that. I don’t use CCC unless I absolutely have to for certain things. Otherwise I use Windows built in tools. But this is great… can’t wait to give it a spin.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    Definitely interested in Shader Cache for our other PC that has an R9 270X. Anything that speeds up level loading times and reduces hitches is welcome in my book.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Curious for game load times of that vs Nvidia.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    No comparison to ATI Tray Tools?!?!? 🙂

    • kuttan
    • 4 years ago

    Good job AMD.

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    So, can we expect a larger run-down of games with the new stuff? Or will we have to wait until the next gfx card review?

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Techpowerup did a small one, but against 15.11 beta so not much difference.

        • DancinJack
        • 4 years ago

        meh. I wanna see recent games with frametimes. That one chart they have is atrocious.

          • anotherengineer
          • 4 years ago

          The point of the quick and dirty chart is to show that 15.11 beta and crimson there is basically no change, just like the one test TR did also confirmed.

          The big changes seem to be vs. 15.7

      • wimpishsundew
      • 4 years ago

      new Crimson driver in 15 different games against the 15.11.1 beta driver that was released very recently.

      [url<]http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-software-performance-analysis-is-this-the-crimson-tide/#ixzz3sQnQcyIw[/url<]

    • mkk
    • 4 years ago

    Glad to see the demise of ye olde dotNet beastie. Even if I haven’t had any problems with it for years, it was never a good idea to began with.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      Aw cmon, ASP.net devs gotta eat.

    • Hattig
    • 4 years ago

    I’m sure a lot of people will be happy that CCC is dead.

    It would be nice if the advanced settings could be brought into the tool (I’m guessing that aspect wasn’t ready in time for the release), and even that Raptr/Gaming Evolved functionality (or at least if that was rewritten using the same UI/UX).

    Of course the main aspect is performance and reliability, and that looks like it has improved too.

    All in all, a good release it seems, so far.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      I’m not so sure adding Raptr into the drivers is a good idea.

      As a gamer, I hate Raptr and I know I’m in the majority but there are also a significant number of people who like it.

      However, there are lot of people with Radeon cards who don’t game [i<]at all[/i<]. Why should all their driver packages now come with gaming bloat when it's not even of interest to them?

        • Ninjitsu
        • 4 years ago

        Someone tell Nvidia :/

        • Firestarter
        • 4 years ago

        I’d rather have them include Plays.TV since that’s the only thing I care about in Gaming Evolved and the standalone version is more up to date anyway

      • Puiucs
      • 4 years ago

      the advanced settings will eventually be added to the new UI. they just need more work.
      Rapt will also be dropped in the future as they are adding the same functionality to crimson.

      In the end i think AMD still needs another year of constant updates to completely remove the legacy software. But you have to admit that they are off to a good start.

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