I’m very confused right now. When I conducted my first look testing for the drivers, performance saw a reasonable increase, however that doesn’t seem to be the case. Each test was conducted at least 3 times with the average score taken to present in our results, but variations between tests could be apparent here. The Crimson driver is underpinned with the 15.11.1 driver mechanics and just CCC was replaced with a more streamlined UI, so maybe in the next Crimson instalment we could see a greater performance boost.
At least the power consumption is somewhat as promised with the majority of cards seeing a reasonable drop with the R9 Fury X dropping a huge 26W. Hopefully, future updates will see that saved power being utilised to gain higher performance. The drop in power input leads to a similar drop in temperatures also. Most differences were only 1-3°c, but the R9 Fury X saw a decent 6°c drop and the R9 390 experienced a huge 11°c drop.
We have started to see reports of the new software interfering with default fan speeds and causing some cards to overheat, I didn’t experience any of these issues myself but I am aware they are an issue. AMD have addressed this and as of writing this article, a patch will be released shortly.
Probably the most noticeable point of this driver was the re-introduction of Bioshock Infinite into our testing. It’s an old game, but it’s still demanding and a good point of reference. If this patch was included with Crimson with a really quick turn around after CCC 15.11.1, then I’m sure the fan patch will be delivered similarly as quick.
Would I recommend this driver? Simply put, yes! The additional features that Radeon Settings brings are enough to warrant the upgrade on its own. Couple that with the drop in power and temperatures and it makes a lot of sense to upgrade. Performance didn’t suffer enough to not recommend it, a drop of just a few frames per second can be down to the interference between tests and not actually down to the driver itself. If you still haven’t updated, here is the download.
Thank you to all our partners who provided the hardware and software that made this driver analysis possible.