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AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Drivers

Category: Software
Posted: 12:33PM

A little more than a year ago AMD released Radeon Software Crimson Edition, which are new drivers for AMD GPUs and new software suite surrounding them. At the time it offered a new user experience, improved stability, better performance, more energy efficiency, and a dozen new or enhanced features. Today AMD has again released a major update to its driver package, called Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

There are several new additions and improvements that come with ReLive, with two particular stand-outs. Radeon ReLive is one of these, and obviously AMD believes this is an important feature since the whole package shares the name. The simplest description is that ReLive is AMD's response to NVIDIA's Shadowplay, which I believe has since been renamed Share in GeForce Experience 3.0. Since GCN 1.0 for AMD GPUs and Kepler for NVIDIA GPUs, ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) have been included on the chip for encoding and decoding at least h.264/AVC video, but it was NVIDIA that first offered a relatively simple, driver-included tool for capturing real-time gameplay using its NVENC encoder, without a significant performance hit. There have been ways to access AMD's VCE encoder, but nothing comparable to Shadowplay/Share from AMD itself, until now with ReLive. It has the ability to keep a video buffer, so you can capture something after it happens, or just record directly to a file, like NVIDIA's solution, but it also has some exclusive features. One is the ability to add a custom overlay image, so you can have a watermark applied at the time of recording instead of after the fact. It can also stream to services other than YouTube and Twitch. Getting into more technical details, it can record at a constant frame rate to maintain audio-video sync, and can record using the h.265/HEVC codec, if you have a Polaris-based GPU. (I feel it is worth noting that while h.265/HEVC may get you better quality videos than h.264/AVC, YouTube does not currently ingest videos made with this codec, so you will need to re-encode them to something else. There are many free tools for doing this, but it still is an extra step to the process.)

The second stand-out feature is Radeon Chill. Previous drivers already enabled a user to set a framerate target, which will keep a GPU from generating more frames than necessary, reducing power usage. Radeon Chill takes this a step further as it dynamical regulates framerate, reducing it at times there is little on-screen movement, further saving power. This not only reduces power usage but can also improve response time because of fewer frames being queued. Currently Chill can only be enabled in whitelisted titles, but it can improve power efficiency by 31%, lower temperatures by 13%, and reduced frame-time by 32%.

Other features include Borderless Fullscreen support for FreeSync, Gradual Refresh Rate Ramp for mobile setups, DisplayPort HBR3 support, extended WarrMan support to older GPUs, a better ability to detect bad HDMI cables, and accelerated VP9 decoding, for the Chrome web browser.



Source: AMD [1], [2] and Radeon.com

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