I can safely say I am totally impressed with this software. The optimisation over Catalyst Control Center is huge and the user interface is so much more streamlined. There are still tweaks to be made to some sections, but overall it is a great advancement and a leap in the right direction to more evenly compete with NVIDIA. The new features of Radeon Software is a great advancement over CCC and really brings a competitive edge to the drivers once again.
The software is so much more aesthetically pleasing to look at and so much easier to use compared to CCC; a welcome change! All of the settings that are within 2-3 clicks of opening the software are pretty much everything a mainstream user will need; if you do happen to need something more advanced then another 2-3 clicks will get you into the depths of Radeon Settings. The layout is well thought out and every setting is well placed with Overdrive within the Gaming settings. The additions made such as the dedicated Gaming tab is a welcome change and something that will be a big hit with gamers with all of the AMD applicable settings within easy reach. I’m quite fond of the Video settings with different preset screen properties
One thing I wish they kept on this was the search bar, so many times that saved me a few minutes of searching and frustration because a setting wasn’t where it should have logically been. Maybe also implement a skin changer to add a bit of personalisation for users or even start implementing settings such as screen capture and FPS counters; now that the foundations are here this software can be taken far.
The performance is a nice boost compared to CCC 15.7.1, but even better when compared to 15.11.1 which is supposedly designed for performance and the driver that allowed the R9 Fury X to beat the GTX 980Ti. Even though analysing the results shows that the average increase (well decrease) was -1 FPS across all three cards and both tests, please remember the low GPU demand with the presets selected and the test was only to demonstrate the new DX 9 addition of Frame Rate Target Control.
One of the main points for this new software and driver was the improved efficiency. I’m happy to confirm that there is a tangible drop in power consumption and with FRTC enabled, the drop is very impressive, even when you compare the FRTC power consumption of Tomb Raider of 15.11.1 and Crimson Edition. There has been a lot of behind the scenes refinement to make their GPU’s more powerful and less power demanding. It is by no means perfect with still comparatively high power consumption to NVIDIA, but maybe the focus can now be put towards more performance to make up for the drop in consumption. I wasn’t able to test most of the features due to a lack of hardware such as a FreeSync monitor and VR headset, but once these hardware pieces are in hand I will update this article fully.
Would I recommend this update?
I’d be stupid not too, but just be careful of older games for possible poorer optimisation of power consumption. Once the drive hits the community, issues like this might be ironed out in future updates if reports are logged.
The download for the newest Radeon Software: Crimson Edition software and driver is available here:
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