Adrenalin 2019 Improvements Part 1: WattMan and Performance

While the new Adrenalin 2019 suite puts a heavy emphasis on new streaming features as well as multi-device integration and ease-of-use, some of the existing features have seen some healthy number of tweaks and improvements. WattMan is such an existing feature that brings some larger updates, some of which are Vega-focused.

For Adrenalin 2019, WattMan now features one-click ‘Tuning Control’ presets for overclocking and undervolting, separate from the power-oriented ‘Performance Profile'. 

As WattMan is a built-in first-party OC tool, which first-time overclockers and tuners would be most likely to use, these profiles offer a straightforward option for beginners, especially with including an oft overlooked approach with undervolting.

Because WattMan is a built-in first-party OC tool, it’s most likely the first tool that first-time overclockers will fall back to. As such, these new profiles provide a straightforward option for beginners, especially with also providing an option for the often overlooked approach of undervolting the GPU.

While the two overclocking presets are available to RX 400 series and higher, the undervolting profile is limited to discrete RX Vega GPUs. Otherwise, the new Adrenalin 2019 also enables control for all of RX Vega’s DPM states, where as previously only the two highest states were unlocked.

For discrete RX series GPUs, WattMan also brings better fan control by enabling temperature-dependent custom fan curves and also supporting zero RPM. Additionally, WattMan now offers a second preset of video memory timings, intended for optimizing more memory-bound workloads like cryptocurrency mining.

Meanwhile, WattMan has been further integrated into Overlay and AMD Link. With Overlay’s new “WattMan” tab, the Tuning Control presets can be changed on-the-fly, along with loading and saving custom profiles, or even outright manual adjustments of frequencies and voltages.

In the same vein, the aforementioned settings can now also be all adjusted through AMD Link, though by default profile loading is the only modification available. Enabling ‘WattMan Advanced Control’ in AMD Link’s App Settings will permit all the rest of the GPU customization options. Of course, adjustments to potentially unstable settings while in-game may result in unintended consequences.

In line with the new WattMan features to customize efficiency, Radeon Chill is also bringing power-saving improvements to discrete RX GPUs. On the RX Vega, altogether with WattMan enhancements there are now more efficiency-tweaking options for both the entry-level and enthusiast user.

Naturally, AMD reiterates year-over-year performance improvements, though these represent an aggregate over the year rather than arriving all at once with Adrenalin 2019.

Also in this mix is AMD’s ongoing Project Radeon eSports Experience (ReSX), which was first unveiled in March with Adrenalin Edition 18.3.1. Project ReSX focuses on improving performance, 99th percentile frametimes, as well as input latency on the most popular eSports titles. Compared to 18.3.1, AMD is particularly citing the latency reduction enhancements.

Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Adrenalin 2019 Improvements (2): Radeon Overlay and Display Features
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  • evernessince - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Many laptops use custom hardware so reference drivers will only work for models that use reference products. You should read the disclaimer Nvidia puts for it's mobile drivers

    "As part of the NVIDIA Notebook Driver Program, this is a reference driver that can be installed on supported NVIDIA notebook GPUs. However, please note that your notebook original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provides certified drivers for your specific notebook on their website. NVIDIA recommends that you check with your notebook OEM about recommended software updates for your notebook. OEMs may not provide technical support for issues that arise from the use of this driver."

    It's pretty clear that Nvidia does not intend these drivers to work with all laptops nor is that a reasonable assumption. I'll re-iterate, there are tons of custom configurations in laptops that makes it unreasonable to expect drivers to work with each and every one. This is why laptop OEMs provide custom drivers. This isn't something new either, they've been doing this for over 2 decades now.
    Reply
  • Manch - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Ref NVidia drivers work pretty good on ASUS Zen Book(current laptop). Actually a reason I got a Zen Book over a couple others. I detest waiting on the NB manufacturer to customize. I've been burned regardless of GPU vendor. Fortunately both Nvidia and AMD have supported with generic drivers eventually and the communities are helpful dealing with the quirks. The APU situation will get sorted. It sucks that you have to wait but it will get done. Reply
  • limitedaccess - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    You seem to be dodging the issue.

    The reference driver is provided by everyone except in the case of AMD specifically for Raven Ridge mobile. AMD even provides reference drivers for other mobile products whether APUs or discrete GPUs. This is the problem.

    The choice is provided in all cases except this one. And that choice by most cases works better than relying on OEM specific drivers.
    Reply
  • Manch - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    The old A8/10 APUs were in the same situation at first and it got sorted. Reply
  • JasonMZW20 - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    They're blacklisted by installer for stability and operational reasons. You can force install the drivers via Device Manager, but some issues arise after doing so. Some laptops will no reinitialize display after it sleeps, while others become resolution locked in games (newer games need resolution reductions for acceptable performance), others simply present a black screen after restart, etc. etc. It's a problem, but AMD can't force OEMs to play nice with reference drivers without some sort of opt-in program like Nvidia or Intel. They all have disclaimers, and even AMD's older mobile GPUs don't always work correctly with reference drivers. My old Acer laptop black screens at times (with reference drivers) and I have to use the built-in function keys to turn off/on display to get it back. It's dumb.

    Mobile/laptop market has always been locked down. Many IT admins prefer that to reduce issues.
    Reply
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    Never even checked to see if there *was* any OEM drivers for a couple of GigaByte P35X v6 with GTX1070 I'm running. I guess that's because they run CentOS as a primary OS and are used mostly for CUDA stuff. But I also run Windows 2016 and Windows 2019 as a secondary OS on some of them, and I just use the same "desktop" driver I use for my tower workstations (they are bit-by-bit the same, even if the filenames differ when you download them btw.)

    That's another unforgivable driver development sin AMD has committed in my personal view as a long time "dual stack" operator: Ever since one of these "revolutions" they refuse to install on Windows server editions, which I used to run on APUs for standby backup servers (MSDN developer license, otherwise it would be insane).

    Over the last 20 years, ever since I risked replacing an Intel 80486DX with an AM486 DX4-120, they have always gone somewhere beyond the 90% mark, only to hit you with something really hard or impossible to fix, before going to 100% functionality or reliability. I really believe it's necessary to support them, if only to keep Intel from absolute supremacy, but my conviction has cost me dearly for a very long time and I guess I tire more easily these days.
    Reply
  • Saabensippen - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    I have a Vega 56 red dragon and the zero fan does not work. 25% is the lowest you can set it. The fans never ran (actually zero rpm) unless I was gaming with the previous most recent driver. There was another guy on wccftech who mentioned the same thing although I think he said he couldn’t get the fans below 35% super annoying now I can hear the fans running all the time. Reply
  • Manch - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Did a clean install of this yesterday in an attempt to get AMDREWARDS to recognize my game code. Support Service fixed it within an hour. While waiting I tinkered around a bit. One big change I noticed is in Wattman. before when doing custom profiles, I could only see the last two steps. FE cards were allowed a few more. Now I can can see the voltages and clockspeed for all steps which is great. I was able to undervolt significantly and after playing around I was able to overclock even more and even out the ramp up. As a result I evened out the frame rate @ 4k for a few games. Normally, driver update...yay. For this update I'm like YAAAASSSSSS!!! I'm glad theyre putting work into their drivers. Reply
  • Manch - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    their Reply
  • Haawser - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    You had it right the first time, 'they're' is the correct contraction of 'they are'. The word 'their' is completely wrong as it means 'belonging to them'. Reply

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