AMD Releases 16.12.1 Radeon Software Crimson ReLive

/ 4 years ago


Earlier in the week, we got the first leaks out about AMD’s upcoming driver refresh. Dubbed Radeon Software Crimson ReLive, the new release is now available as part of the new 16.12.1 drivers. As a full WHQL release and biggest software update of the year, Crimson ReLive brings in a massive host of features and changes. Chief among them are Radeon ReLive and Radeon Chill among others.


Radeon ReLive is the title feature which is what the release its name. AMD experimented with third party solutions like Raptr to enable screen recording in the past. Now with ReLive, they have their own built-in system-wide screen capture tool. Using the GPU, the system captures basically anything on your screen with nearly no performance impact. AMD is claiming about a 3% hit in performance, more than made up for by the improvements brought by the new driver. Polaris based cards can utilize H.265 encoding while older GCN GPUs will have to made do with H.264/AVC. There is even built-in support to enable streaming to YouTube and Twitch as well stream customizations like banners. In all, it is pretty much a competitor to GeForce Shadowplay but with even more flexibility and lower performance penalty.


Next, we have Radeon Chill which is aimed at reducing power consumption and temperatures. The new feature dynamically adjusts FPS based on game and user input, allowing for lower loads on the GPU. AMD is claiming 31% power savings and 13% lower GPU temperatures overall. Due to the lower load on the GPU, it can also respond quicker when needed to reduce latency and frame times due to unclutter queues. The feature is optional and AMD is working on a whitelist to ensure games do not run into any issues with Radeon Chill.


Lastly, we have some more minor and miscellaneous feature additions. The biggest one is a user feedback portal built into Radeon Settings for direct feedback, requests and bug reports to the driver team. This should allow for issues to be reported more quickly and acted upon. Another addition is the Open Capture and Analysis Tool which is a vendor-neutral alternative to FCAT to study frame times. TressFX 4.0 is also being supported and LiquidVR is getting a number of  updates. FreeSync is also gaining a borderless windowed fullscreen mode with a special reduced latency mode. AMD XConnect external GPUs are also fully supported at this time. Other minor additons are VP9 decode acceleration, support for Dolby HDR, HDR10 and Display Port HBR3 for 8K displays. Clean install is also being added as an option and the install interface has been cahnged to match the overall Radeon Software design.


Of course, no driver update would be worth if it doesn’t also introduce some bug fixes as well and 16.12.1 is no exception. The new release offers a total of 14 new fixes, which is great. A large number of them deal with bugs in Radeon Software which is nice to see fixed. Performance is also up by about 6% overall compared to the previous WHQL release. With the addition of Radeon ReLive however, there are also a large number of known issues in the new software. Hopefully, AMD will be able to get these issues solved shortly. You can find the full release notes here.

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