Overview of AMD Adrenalin 2020 Edition

Adrenalin 2020 Edition: AMDs großes Treiber-Update in 5. Generation

tl; dr: As expected, AMD is also updating the driver software for Radeon graphics cards on a large scale this December. The new Adrenalin 2020 Edition has it all and presents itself with a completely new interface and many new functions. These include Radeon Boost, Integer Scaling and an improved image sharpening.

Update 12/13/2019 1:11 p.m.

Update 12/10/2019 11:55 p.m.

Update 12/10/2019 5:13 p.m.

After two generations of Crimson and two generations of adrenaline, the current term is now entering its third round.

Installation and surface

It all starts with installing the driver, which AMD now wants to have simplified and accelerated. Starting with the Adrenalin 2020 Edition, a new installer will be used, which should enable a "one-click" setup with optimized factory settings. However, there is still the option to retain previous user settings or to carry out an individually configured installation. According to internal tests by AMD, the installation time should be reduced by around a third.

After the installation, the user is greeted with a window for selecting one of three profiles when the new Radeon software is run for the first time. In general, AMD recommends the profile default, With the profiles Gaming and eSports some functions, which are supposed to improve the gaming experience, are already activated in the driver, but can have a positive as well as a negative effect on the performance or the image quality. The profiles are described by AMD as follows:

As usual, the Radeon software can be called up via the desktop or the taskbar and the shortcut "Alt + R". Using the shortcut path, functions such as streaming or tuning the driver software can be accessed directly during a game without going through the desktop. The redesigned home screen in the center now adapts its content accordingly and shows current performance parameters during a game, while in desktop mode it displays information about the games installed. From this view you can also start the games directly, make individual settings for each title or call up recorded statistics on the performance in the respective game.

On the left edge of the screen there is always information about the last game played as well as a quick start menu for screenshots and video recordings. Information on the system status, such as the driver version and its up-to-date status or a possible connection to the smartphone app AMD Link, is shown on the right-hand side of the screen. Commer- cially, it is also indicated there if the CPU or GPU fall below the respective requirements of the game developer, which suggests an upgrade of the hardware (from AMD). Addendum: A reader has pointed out that for this function, data on their own system is apparently being transmitted to the third-party system requirements lab.

Read This Now:   Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020 review, price, specifications and availability in Italy

Radeon Boost

A few days ago, information leaked about a major innovation in adrenaline 2020: Radeon Boost. This feature is designed to provide more performance in supported games by reducing the render resolution of moving scenes, which in turn provides more frames per second (FPS). If the movement ends, the previously set resolution is used again for full details. Due to the limitations of human perception as well as the display techniques, it is quite possible that the temporary reduction in details when moving the camera in the game is not noticed, according to AMD.

Radeon Boost is designed to provide a faster, more fluid, and more responsive gaming experience in select supported games. Radeon Boost works by watching for specific sorts of user inputs – when a gamer moves a mouse or presses a control stick – that trigger on-screen camera rotation. When such movement happens, Radeon Boost responds by instantly and dynamically scaling back the rendering resolution in order to improve frame rate. As soon as the motion ends, Boost scales the resolution back up. Due to limits in both display technology and human perception, you may not notice the reduction in detail at all – but you're likely to appreciate the improved feel and responsiveness of gameplay with Boost enabled.

AMD

Radeon Boost can be activated via the global graphics settings in the driver menu. The minimum resolution for the function can also be set with a slider, but AMD recommends the default setting of 50 percent for the first attempts. The hot key (Alt + K) can also be used to switch Boost directly in the game. Since the boost is only triggered by camera movements initiated by the player, i.e. inputs in the game, the function cannot be tested with integrated benchmarks.

However, Radeon Boost does not work with every game, support is currently limited to the following titles:

  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Destiny 2
  • GTA 5
  • Overwatch
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Another limitation is that Radeon Boost currently only works under DirectX 11 – DirectX 12 and Vulkan are excluded.


Radeon Boost
Radeon Boost

Radeon Boost
Radeon Boost

According to measurements by AMD, up to 10 percent more FPS in Rise of the Tomb Raider, up to 22 percent more FPS in PUBG and up to 38 percent more FPS in Overwatch can be expected with a Radeon RX 590 in 2,560 × 1,440 through the Radeon Boost , Overwatch therefore benefits above average from the boost. In further measurements with Destiny 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, AMD did not even achieve five percent more performance, which means that the respective advantage also depends heavily on the game.

Read This Now:   Intel Comet Lake-S CPUs: first temperature tests questionable

Image sharpening

With the Adrenalin 2020, the Image Sharpening function, a kind of sharpness filter to improve the image quality, receives some innovations. First, another API is supported with DirectX 11. The function can now be used for games under DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and Vulkan. Only new graphics cards with RDNA architecture, i.e. currently Radeon RX 5700 (XT) and RX 5500, can also use the feature under DirectX 9.

Image sharpening
Image Sharpening (Image: AMD)

In addition, the level of sharpness of Image Sharpening can now be individually adjusted and the function can be switched on or off during the game. AMD advertises with sharper details with less than two percent performance loss. In contrast to Radeon Boost, Image Sharpening works independently of the respective game and is therefore almost always usable. The function is based on the Contrast-Adaptive Sharpening Algorithm (CAS), which is also used by FidelityFX.

Integer scaling

Intel got the ball rolling, Nvidia followed suit and now AMD also offers it: In the new Radeon driver, the interpolation process Integer Scaling is available, which is particularly suitable for the display of pixelart games. While other methods such as the frequently used bilinear interpolation smoothes otherwise sharp edges, but also provides blurring, the integer scaling renders the pixels razor-sharp, which is desirable for the aforementioned pixel look – but definitely not games with modern graphics. An older article on integer scaling provides more information and examples.


Integer scaling
Integer scaling

Integer scaling
Integer scaling

Anti-lag under DX9

The Radeon Anti-Lag option, which is used to reduce the input lag, can now be activated or deactivated globally, i.e. for all applications, in the driver. Also new is the support for DirectX-9 games with graphics cards before the current RX-5000 series.

Radeon anti-lag
Radeon Anti-Lag (Image: AMD)

Revised streaming tab and tuning tab

AMD has also redesigned the streaming tab in the driver software. Streaming settings should be easier to make directly from the game. New is the possibility to create a GIF directly from a video recording.

New streaming tab
New streaming tab (Image: AMD)
New tuning tab
New tuning tab (Image: AMD)

The tuning tab has also been refreshed, which, in addition to advanced settings for clock rates, voltages and fans of the graphics card, also offers preset tuning presets for less experienced users. Relevant parameters such as the current FPS or the GPU temperature can also be read from the game and monitored at the interval selected.

Read This Now:   New AMD Ryzen 6000 APUs for Mid-Range Laptops Coming Soon, Codenamed Mendocino

DirectML filter for images and videos

Direct Machine Learning (DirectML) is a low-level machine learning API that developers can use to implement software and games. AMD takes advantage of DirectML for some filters for image enhancement based on machine learning. These can be used, for example, to reduce noise in photos or videos, but additional software is required for this.

DirectML Media Filter
DirectML Media Filter (Image: AMD)

The AMD Link smartphone app has also undergone a makeover and is presented in a new, according to AMD "tidier“Interface that is based on the Radeon software.


AMD link
AMD link

AMD link
AMD link

AMD Link now supports a bit rate of 50 Mbit / s as well as x265 encoding for streaming in better quality or with lower bandwidth requirements with the same quality. In addition, GIFs can be created directly on the smartphone.

Integrated web browser

The software now also offers an integrated browser that can be used, for example, to view the driver tutorials without calling up alternative software. This is possible even during a game via the overlay display.

Web browser
Web browser
Web browser
Web browser

Tried it out briefly

In view of other upcoming issues, the editors have only taken a brief look at the new Radeon software. The extended range of functions and the new menu navigation know how to please after a certain period of familiarization. The tool has clearly become more powerful without losing its overview.


Sidebar overlay in-game
Sidebar overlay in-game

Values ​​in The Witcher III
Values ​​in The Witcher III

Tuning (WattMan) with all features enabled
Tuning (WattMan) with all features enabled

sidebar
sidebar

The editors recommend a "clean" installation with the factory settings. Because in the first attempt with a simple update there were problems. The overlay menu (via Alt + Z) in the games Assassin's Creed: Origins, PUBG, The Witcher 3 and Track Mania did not want to open, instead the game froze. The cross-check with the complete new installation including restarting the system remedied the problem.

The new AMD Adrenalin 2020 Edition will be available shortly from AMD and in the download archive from BitcoinMinersHashrate.

This article was interesting, helpful, or both? The editors appreciate any support in the form of deactivated ad blockers or a subscription to BitcoinMinersHashrate. More on the topic of ads on BitcoinMinersHashrate.

Downloads

  • AMD adrenaline driver

    4.4 stars

    AMD Adrenalin (formerly Crimson or Catalyst) is the driver for all Radeon graphics cards.

    • Version 2020 Edition 19.12.3 German
    • Version 2020 Edition 19.12.2 WHQL update German
    • +7 more