AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive Drivers Review 60

AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive Drivers Review

Performance Improvements »

Radeon Chill

Radeon Chill is the other breakthrough feature being introduced with the Crimson ReLive 16.12.1 software. It appears to be a dynamic frame-rate-cap-adjustment feature that studies user input to dynamically lower frame rates when no user input is happening, reducing GPU temperatures and power draw.

The trick here is to get it right in such a way that serious gamers would want to use it without it affecting the fluidity of their gameplay. AMD claims to have got it right. The feature works on a select few games right now and AMD is maintaining a growing whitelist of games Radeon Chill works on effectively.

You can enable it by editing the Radeon Settings profile of the supported game. AMD claims that the feature offers up to 31% lower power draw and 13% lower temperatures. We couldn't resist testing their claims.

You have to enable Radeon Chill in Global WattMan, after which it can be toggled on or off in-game by the Global Hotkey (defaults to F11). Additional tweaking options are available in the game settings, where you can define the minimum and maximum FPS Chill should aim for.

We tested Chill in Far Cry Primal by performing the same sequence of gameplay events with Chill on and off, while physically recording card-only power consumption using the same setup we use in GPU reviews.

Normally, you would expect gameplay to consist of a permanent stream of input, which means Chill would never be active. In reality, you can see short pauses where Chill can drop FPS, resulting in significantly reduced power consumption. Subjectively, this is not noticeable during active gameplay; remember, we were playing, not standing around. I'm also happy to report that Chill reacts to keyboard, mouse, and gamepad input, instantly raising the FPS.

If you stand around in a game like World of Warcraft that has animations all over the screen even while you are idle, you can definitely see some stuttering in those movements across your screen. Once you start interacting with the game, the stutters will instantly disappear and you will be back to your maximum framerate. The bonus is that your card is cooler at this point, which means higher clocks can be maintained.
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