AMD updates Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 with new features, better performance

Manufacturer: AMD

Software Iteration

The software team at AMD and the Radeon Technologies Group is releasing Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 this evening and it includes a host of new features, improved performance capabilities, and stability improvements to boot. This isn’t the major reboot of the software that we have come to expect on an annual basis, but rather an attempt to get the software team’s work out in front of media and gamers before the onslaught of RX Vega and Threadripper steal the attention.

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AMD’s software team is big on its user satisfaction ratings, which it should be after the many years of falling behind NVIDIA in this department. With 16 individual driver releases in 2017 (so far) and 20 new games optimized and supported with day one releases, the 90% rating seems to be about right. Much of the work that could be done to improve multi-GPU and other critical problems are more than a calendar year behind us, so it seems reasonable the Radeon gamers would be in a good place in terms of software support.

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One big change for Crimson ReLive today is that all of those lingering settings that remained in the old Catalyst Control Panel will now reside in the proper Radeon Settings. This means matching UI and streamlined interface.

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The ReLive capture and streaming capability sees a handful of upgrades today including a bump from 50mbps to 100mbps maximum bit rate, transparency support for webcams, improved optimization to lower the memory usage (and thus the overhead of running ReLive), notifications of replays and record timers, and audio controls for microphone volume and push-to-talk.

Continue reading about the latest Crimson ReLive driver updates!

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Wattman gets an upgrade with support for memory underclocking (looking at YOU miners) and direct control over the GPU power states. This allows gamers or miners to specific which DPM states the GPU is allowed to reside in, giving you the ability to force the GPU into higher performance or lower power states as you see fit.

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Radeon Chill is an interesting feature that continues to be improved upon. This release will now support more than 30 titles including some of the most recently and important games of 2017 like Battlefield 1 and Prey.

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Power consumption drops are now available for DX12 and Vulkan game titles (previously it was only DX9 and DX11), and AMD has added support for Chill in CrossFire / multi-GPU configurations, external GPUs through XConnect, and even gaming notebooks with the OEM allows it.

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There are a lot of fans for AMD’s Frame Rate Target Control feature and Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 adds support for DX12 and multi-GPU systems in this release. AMD’s example of power savings was in BF1 that showed a 26% lower average GPU power consumption for FRTC enabled at 150 FPS.

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Per-display color controls was the #2 requested feature by Radeon users and AMD is bring that capability back to the driver with Crimson ReLive. If you know what this is, you are likely very excited to see this slide!

By far the biggest and most interesting feature release for this driver is Enhanced Sync, a new option under the Vsync tab in the driver that aims to bring you the best of both tear-free gaming and uncapped frame rates.

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The idea of what Enhanced Sync does might seem complicated at first but it easier to wrap your head around if you look at the system in two states: above the refresh rate of your panel and below the refresh rate. When your game is running at 90 FPS on a 60 Hz screen, you generally had the decision to enable or disable standard Vsync, which allowed you a tear-free experience with longer latency from mouse/keyboard input to the next frame (because you were metering the gaming engine) or with screen tearing at the lowest latency for input. With Enhanced Sync the game engine is allowed to render at its full speed (90 FPS in this example) but the driver only outputs the latest FULL frame when the displays refresh window resets. This gives you no on-screen tearing and faster input by letting the game engine continue to *think* its output at 90 FPS.

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The result is minimal tearing with improved input latency when compared to a Vsync on state. Yes, Vsync off will still give you the absolutely minimum of latency but at the expense of horizontal tearing.

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When you are under the refresh rate of your monitor, the Enhanced Sync settings goes into another mode that attempts to offer a much smoother gaming experience without tearing but will regress into a state that allows tears if the frame rate drops “far enough below the display’s refresh rate.” From AMD’s paper provided to the media before release:

When Enhanced Sync does allow tearing, users should typically only see a single tearing “seam” on the screen at once, since the frame rate is low. And Enhanced Sync will automatically choose to stop allowing tearing once the game’s frame rate returns to a more comfortable level.

So Enhanced Sync improves on traditional vsync by combining two techniques. At high frame rates, it aims to provide a better mix of visual integrity and responsiveness. At lower frame rates, it uses a dynamic algorithm minimize both stuttering and input lag when the going gets tough.

I don’t have details on how the algorithm works yet and how it decides that it will enter and exit the tearing state, but I am hoping to get more answers when we start doing our own testing of the driver this week.

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It’s also worth noting that Enhanced Sync can work just with FreeSync displays. Above the maximum refresh rate, where a VRR display would simply revert to a Vsync-like state, Enhanced Sync has the same benefits. If the FreeSync monitor does not support LFC (low frame rate compensation), then Enhanced Sync will again work with the same algorithm mentioned above to try and minimize tearing and input when possible.

NVIDIA has had a feature like this in its drivers called FastSync that was released with the GeForce GTX 10-series of graphics cards in May of 2016.

AMD dives further into the performance improvements in the Crimson driver over the last year, though no specific games or results were called out for this driver release in particular. Games like Wildlands, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Prey have seen 12-13% performance uptick with today’s 17.7.2 driver compared to the 16.12.1 driver that launched the ReLive brand. Linux drivers continue to get additional love from AMD as well with as much as a 122% increase in performance spotted in the Phoronix testing in June.

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For users that like to be on the bleeding edge and would like to help AMD improve its work on the Radeon software stack, the company is starting the Radeon Software Vanguard program for beta testers. This will allows users like you to get early access to new features in exchange for beta testing and feedback, helping to make the software solution better for everyone involved.

Other changes are implemented in this release today including the AMD LiquidVR 360 SDK for video playback, updates to the OCAT performance testing tool, and a new piece of software for developers called the Radeon GPU Profiler that will allow them to analyze and accelerate games and systems.

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This AMD’s last push for software before we dive into the world of RX Vega this weekend at LA and SIGGRAPH. The RTG and the AMD Radeon Software team continue to make significant strides to closing the gap with NVIDIA and its dominance on the software ecosystem. There is still some work to do to get more gamers over the previous assumptions of AMD’s drivers, but that is a long term goal that the management at the company understand and are committed to cutting down.

Now, let’s see how much software impacts our RX Vega views in the coming days.

Video News

July 26, 2017 | 05:22 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Ryan, can you please talk about the new feature "advanced sync?"

thanks in advance

July 26, 2017 | 10:52 PM - Posted by pdjblum

thanks anyway but tom's hardware covered it

July 26, 2017 | 05:45 PM - Posted by NomNomsNomed (not verified)

GamersNexus is saying a slight improvment for the Vega FE via this new update. Will there be some new FE testing maybe as time allows?

"For Vega FE, we anticipate no greater than 3% performance uplift for most games with 17.7.2 at this time, based on our conversations with AIB partners. Some specific applications, like 3DMark 11, will see uplift closer to 10%. This is information from GamersNexus contacts and not from AMD officially." (1)


"AMD on Gaming vs. Pro Mode: “Not a Placeholder” in FE"

July 26, 2017 | 08:31 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

This driver doesn't have device IDs for Frontier Edition.

July 27, 2017 | 08:02 AM - Posted by NomNomsNomed (not verified)

But eventually there will be those code/inprovments gitting into the Vega FE's approved drivers and maybe some Wattman tweaks for undervolting and underclocking the FE for better power usage metrics on long rendering runs(Like long 3D animation rendering runs).

There is that use for the FE and hours long rendering runs in an underclocked and undervolted state to save on power usage. So hopefully there can be some more Vega FE testing/benchmarking for Blender Rendering on Vega FE so some potential Vega FE owners can get some idea of that Power/Performace sweet spot is for for NON-FPS focused rendering workloads that do not need or benifit from overclocking the Vega FE.

July 26, 2017 | 09:06 PM - Posted by Ram (not verified)

Should read more then the topic, they clearly say still does nothing to the card.

July 27, 2017 | 08:45 AM - Posted by NomNomsNomed (not verified)

It's not about All gaming workloads with Vega FE, or the Vega Micro-architecture and you can look at the Vega HBCC and that HBC/HBM2(16GB on the Vega FE/other Vega based SKUs) and see that via the HBCC and HBC/HBM2 IP and Vega is using the HBM2 like a last level cache and that for those doing 3D animation rendering workloads they can and will have 3D scenes that are much bigger than 16GB. And that Vega's HBCC/HBC-HBM2 subsystems will be able to swap in the background large VM memory page pools/regular memory pools(in from regular system RAM and/or SSD/hard drive) of very large 100's of GB Textures, Mesh data, and other data in such a way as to keep the Vega shaders/ROP/TMUs/Etc. working directly form the HBM2/last level cache and up into Vega's L2 cache in a very efficient manner.

Large 3D animation scenes can eat up 16GB of memory in a New York Nanosecond so Vega's HBCC/HBC-HBM2 and that VM paging functionality(512 TB of total addressing) is going to be of great use for those 3D animation and even gaming workloads under the Vega micro-architecture based GPU SKUs. Even folks with say a mobile Vega GPU SKU with only 4GB of HBM2 will still be be to have better game play with larger than 4GB of game textures/mesh data/etc. because of Vega's HBCC/HBC-HBM2 IP.

This is a game changer for those that use Blender 3D/other graphics software for 3D animation workloads on budgets that are not large enough to afford the more expensive Radeon Pro WX SKUs. Ditto for 3D animation students for using the Vega FE to learn their trade. Ditto for mobile Vega gaming GPUs that have only say 4GB of HBM2 on their Mobile Vega SKUs(When those SKUs arrive) to allow the games more available texture size that 4GB. You did see the gaming demo where AMD reduced the Vega SKU’s HBM2 size temporarily and still the game play was not affected and that was because of the HBCC/HBC-HBM2.

So lots of graphics rendering folks are intrested in Vega FE's underclocking/undervolting benchmarks. The people that create your games sure need that information.

July 26, 2017 | 09:36 PM - Posted by Thor8472

I have an MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8GB. I have it OC'd and running stable with a clock speed of 1356MHz and the Mem to 2200MHz with MSI Afterburner. I updated to the latest drivers earlier today and now the clock and Mem speeds both are default set to 300 MHz. Ok that is fine because I just figure that the GPU will use my OC settings when it is under load. Nope. Nothing changes. I disable Afterburner and set the Wattman settings to achieve the same OC I had on the previous drivers. I then start up Cinebench and 3D Mark again and still the GPU does not change from 300MHz on both the clock and Mem speeds. I reboot and the custom Wattman settings are back to stock. So until Radeon can issue new drivers that will allow OCing or even just base functionality in any 3D application I will be using Driver Version 17.7.1. The new features in the newest driver sound like a good idea and I would love to try the features but I can't do that if they won't even let the GPU function at stock settings let alone when OC'd.

But that being said, Thanks guys for all the great content you all put out. I enjoy reading it as well as watching your live streams.

July 26, 2017 | 10:10 PM - Posted by xkronusx

I'm a hardcore AMD fan but we need to boycott AMD graphics until they pull their heads out from where the Sun don't shine.

Still to this day Rx 4 and to my knowledge 5 series cards still have issues with multiple screen systems.

Sometimes even in single monitor systems.

The issue is as follows, a screen connected (usually via HDMI) will randomly disconnect and the plug and play driver will assume the device has been uninstalled, causing the desktop to freeze, rearrange and then go back to norma use.

It happens so frequently I purchased an active displayport to HDMI so that I can have my 4k screen plugged into my Rx 480 to keep the problem minimal. The screen still will randomly lose signal but won't stop the driver.

It's ridiculous, I've talked it over with other Radeon card owners and people with setups almost entirely different with the same issues proving it's on the Radeon driver end of things.

If you need any info on it let me know I'll grab as much as I can, getting really tired waiting for a fix to happen.

July 26, 2017 | 10:20 PM - Posted by Thor8472

I have the same issue and it happens about once a week to me.

July 27, 2017 | 07:57 PM - Posted by xkronusx

I have it happen consistently, seems to be triggered any time anything uses hardware exceleration. Playing YouTube videos in Chrome will trigger it, streaming something into VLC will also trigger it.

Sometimes after a decent amount of time idle it will randomly drop, I've had it where I was sitting on my phone figuring something out and I see the familiar blue light from my screen out of the corner of my eye.

Would love to have it solved but it's been literally a year at this point where the device which it's sole purpose is to drive a screen has issues driving a screen.

August 10, 2017 | 02:32 AM - Posted by Nawiex (not verified)

I have this problem, and it hangs my pc entirely.
I did some updating on software and drivers one of them this new driver and i literally cant use my pc for gaming. It hangs freezing the screen and making buzzing sounds.

Anybody experienced that or got any solution?

July 27, 2017 | 04:16 PM - Posted by me (not verified)

You know what, I have the same problem with a 290x. I use a hdmi to vga adapter for one of my secondary monitors and thought it was just the adapter.

Has anyone else had this issue with display port only? I have 3 monitors.

Any place where this discussion is taking place with details on what to look for?

July 27, 2017 | 07:53 PM - Posted by xkronusx

I currently use two display ports and one DVI port on my Asus Strix 480 8GB card.

Last time I went into detail about it I posted on the /R/AMD subreddit trying to get answers.

Unfortunately I still have yet to find any answers to fix the problem. I suggest taking a look at overclock forums, they usually have some knowledgeable people that have gone in depth on monitor related issues.

Also going to note with the newest update it still opens the old Radeon settings to try and configure eyefinity...

Good luck, hopefully you find a solution, I became tired of trying and just let it be for the time being.

July 28, 2017 | 12:34 PM - Posted by BubbaDump (not verified)

No AMD needs to focus on the professionl GPU market to have a line of competative with Nvidia's compute/AI GPU SKU with which to complement AMD's Epyc line of workstation/server/HPC CPU SKUs.

AMD does not need any damn dirty fickle gaming consumers telling it how to earn its revenues! Nvidia is making those mad margin markup revenues on its professional line of GPU/AI products and that's the market that AMD need to double down and focus on, gamers be damned.

A professional GPU compute AI/FP accelerator is a higher margin revenue producer and any GPU that can be sold for compute by AMD for bitcoin mining produces better or the same margins as any GPU sold to the gaming only market.

AMD's consumer GPU SKUs have always been sold to a wider compute market in addition to the gaming market, and any GPU sale is a GPU sales revenue producer for whatever reason. So AMD is doing just fine by its investors selling GPUs and earning revenues! Epyc needs a Vega dancing partner for the HPC/workstation/server market and that's where the most revenue growth potential is.

JHH over at Nvidia is growing Nvidia's Professional FP/AI GPU products and automotive SOC SKU markets sales at amazing rates, much faster than any of Nvidia's gaming GPU sales/revenue growth rates! So AMD needs to focus likewise on any markets with the best revenue growth potential.

July 31, 2017 | 01:27 AM - Posted by xkronusx

Oh boy I'm really glad the arm chair business man is coming out of the woodwork to tell other "consumers" they are all idiots.

How do you think AMD is going to win over any company when their products don't do the bare minimum of their intended use?

You think someone at Disney is going to care one bit about AMD's amazing Vega lineup if their monitors flicker every time they go to try and render a scene?

How foolish are you to think that anything you said had anything to do with what I mentioned was a problem. Imagine if Ford had an issue with it's car starters, and you said "THEY SHOULD FOCUS ON THEIR INDUSTRIAL VEHICLES" shouting out loud like a fool not to notice that those same starters might be used in these so called higher tier of earners.

Go back to whatever hole you crawled out from you neanderthal, don't attempt to insult us "damn dirty fickle gaming consumers" while you sit behind your monitor acting all high and mighty about money you never been in the room with.

August 19, 2017 | 07:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous123871623 (not verified)

Second that.

Same freaking problem. And my card is BRAND NEW.

3 weeks trying to solve this crap.

F-you AMD.

July 27, 2017 | 07:33 AM - Posted by renz

so i heard AMD decided to ditch windows 8/8.1 completely starting from this driver release?

July 27, 2017 | 01:05 PM - Posted by Anonymoussss (not verified)

Worst OS ever IMO. Worse than Vista.

July 27, 2017 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Just an Nvidia User (not verified)

AMD dropping support for 8/8.1 because of low user base BS. Why do they bother making drivers at all with their low user base of 30-35% compared to Nvidia's market share.

I had/have both Vista and Win 8.1. When a new OS debuts there are always issues. Win10 by far has way more growing pains. I don't have it but can read about all the problems it has. Win 7 could be called Vista 1.1 as it utilizes most of what Vista had.
Win7 didn't have many issues because most of the bugs had already been worked out in Vista.

My win 8.1 pc runs flawlessly and I won't be upgrading to the abomination that is win10. DX 12 is also a major fail much worse than dx10 adoption in games for sure.

July 28, 2017 | 04:57 AM - Posted by AMdaretrash (not verified)

470 rx AMD still have display disconnect issues daily. have posted on forums/ reddit along with thousands of other users. Still no fix> They say they know bout the wattman problem but have no interest in fixing it.

AMd cards are cheap, but by GOD, the drivers are absolute trash.

August 6, 2017 | 04:10 PM - Posted by Photonboy

I think the only way Enhanced Sync would work is to be a combination of Adaptive VSYNC, and FAST SYNC. That would mean on a 60Hz screen that:

1) GPU under 60FPS:
VSYNC is turned off (so screen tearing, but not added stuttering)

2) GPU is over 120FPS:
Output is locked to 60FPS but uses latest frame to make game feel more responsive. GPU is not throttled.

*In the article 90FPS is mentioned but I don't understand how that would feel better than normal VSYNC on a 60Hz monitor.

If you can't output over 120FPS then all you're doing is WASTING POWER and creating more noise by letting the GPU run uncapped as you'll just be throwing away partial frames.

Or is there something I'm confused on?

August 9, 2017 | 08:54 AM - Posted by Ed (not verified)

Why can't I seemingly update the drivers on my HP laptop with a A10 EE APU and M365 video chip and get the "AMD Radeon Settings" to work. This worked from the factory and I had updated the drivers using the Radeon settings prior to 17.4.x but 17.4 completely f'd up the system. I can get the drivers to work but the Radeon software utility is hosed with the error msg that no radeon hardware was detected!

August 9, 2017 | 10:03 AM - Posted by colesdav (not verified)

Linux for Gaming and GPU Passthrough.

I think Linux is the main OS in many areas of Computing apart from Consumer / Gaming where Windows is dominant for historical reasons.
Many people I know do not want to move to using Microsoft Windows 10.
Valve have now produced Steam OS, a Linux based operating system to allow the gamer to have a more console like gaming experience running Linux based games.
More Linux based AAA games seem to be made available now on Steam.
I have personally tested Linux titles like the Hitman and others. They run really well.
Since the advent of Ryzen Processors, and now RX Vega GPU, I feel AMD have really changed the PC market by making see lots of compute power available at more affordable cost for the consumer versus Intel and Nvidia offerings.
A great thing for the consumer and AMD I think.

I think moving forward that Linux will become increasingly used instead of Windows 10.

Question 1.
Does AMD have any plans of working to address / improve Linux Driver Support in future?

Question 2.
There is no version of AMD Crimson Relive on Linux as far as I am aware.
Support of AMD Drivers on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS seems especially limited.
Does AMD plan to address this issue at all?

In order to still be able to run Windows based games in Linux there are 3 methods I know of.

1. WINE.
- Lots of setup involved. Some performance impact.
2. Running Windows inside a virtual machine.
- Less setup involved. High performance impact.
3. Running Windows inside a virtual machine with GPU Passthrough, allowing the Windows Installation inside the virtual machine direct access to the GPU Hardware.
- This is the best performance and easiest solution but is not easy to get to work, and there are some hardware support requirements.

Question 3.
Is there any chance that AMD could pick a Linux OS (Ubuntu or Steam OS or whatever distribution would work), and work/partner on producing a Ryzen and Polaris/Vega Linux Solution that
works to allow running Windows 10 games inside the Linux OS with AMD CPU and GPU for Gamers?

That way Gamers could move to Linux and still be able to run titles still not available on Linux.
Lack of Windows 8.1 Support on Ryzen means Linux migration is happening for me now.


August 12, 2017 | 11:40 PM - Posted by Photonboy

I know you are asking PCPER, but I'll give my two cents:

1. yes
They are doing that already.

2. I doubt AMD will release information on this until it's actually happening so probably no point asking. Also depends on how non-trivial the features are to implement both in getting to work and with potential issues they may cause.

I could be wrong but I wouldn't expect any of the main features for quite a while.

3. NO.
You are asking about running DirectX games using a proprietary Microsoft API, I assume in a VM with optimized, virtual extensions to minimize overhead to the hardware?

Not only is that an incredible amount of work which AMD can't justify due to limited resources, but Microsoft wouldn't even allow them to do (use any of their code directly) it as it's encouraging a break from Windows.

They would have to adopt WINE, and even then I'm not sure on the legality of how that works. I think you can't copy, but can write code from scratch. You can see how hard it's been and I'm sure THOUSANDS of man hours have gone into this effort.

VALVE have spent MILLIONS of dollars getting SteamOS into the state it's in now, and it's still a long haul. They can't implement DX games for the reason I gave, so they have to recode games to a different API.

*Linux gaming will SLOWLY get better over time with more ports, and especially once more games are natively coded from the start with VULKAN. You don't need EVERY GAME then, just enough games to satisfy those wanting to switch.

So you're switching to Linux because there's no W8.1 support but not considering Windows 10 because... (and I'm going to take a stab) you feel there's a SPYING issue? Guess what, that's reality and Linux browsers like Chrome will do the same thing. (there's also a difference between your buying habits and actual concerns about very important privacy like your credit card etc.

*BTW, you can DISABLE many of the monitoring tools in Windows 10. Guides online.

Anyway, don't expect gaming to change much from where it's at now.

Windows 10 will be the best PC gaming platform for at least ten years, with XBOX and even PS feature being integrated.

I'm really not sure what's going to happen with Linux gaming. Valve on Steam (not SteamOS) with Vulkan as I've said for "good enough gaming" is probably the best you can expect but we can probably consider this collectively the "Killer App" to start users over and encourage OTHER software developers to jump onto Linux more.

I think we may see a 5% install base in ten years but I don't think it will grow faster than that. Most people are comfortable with Windows, and have hardware without driver support etc so again for most its pros vs cons.

Microsoft is also using UWP to create software that makes coding between Windows mobile and desktop easier (including XBOX ONE). Now, I doubt W10 phones can succeed but if they had it would create an even nicer ecosystem that's hard to break out of (similar to staying in the Apple iPhone + Mac ecosystem).

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