AMD today released Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition, its major yearly graphics driver update, keeping up with a tradition it built over the past few years. Each year, before Christmas, AMD releases a new special driver that introduces several new software features that add to the functionality of AMD Radeon graphics cards. Besides a few fundamental under-the-hood changes, AMD's new Radeon Software Adrenalin brings performance updates spanning several games, and sometimes entirely new software interfaces and settings utilities. Adrenalin 2020 Edition ticks all these checkboxes and comes at a time when AMD is rolling out brand new 7 nm "Navi" GPUs across key high-volume market segments.
AMD's new major driver release also helps the company reiterate to gamers and PC enthusiasts its commitment to quality of software. Over the past decade, the company fought a perception battle among some that claimed AMD produces great hardware that's let down by software. An important way AMD is changing this perception is by delivering day-zero driver updates that align with major game releases, as a growing number of gamers prefer to pre-order, pre-load, and play their anticipated games the moment they're released.
AMD also uses the opportunity to fix bugs and issues with its software while being transparent about new bugs and issues it has just discovered and is working on. The other major weapon in AMD's perception battle is the annual major software update, which lends new features to graphics cards launched 3-4 years prior, also known as "Fine Wine". At the heart of both efforts is user feedback. AMD includes a feedback utility that acts as a direct line between end-users and AMD developers.
Since 2015, AMD claims it achieved a 12 percent performance improvement year-over-year on average (counting performance optimizations introduced throughout the year) and 93 percent software stability according to a QA Consultants study dated June 2018; along with 16 new software features introduced each year on average. The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 being released today seeks to tick all three checkboxes.
In this article, we explore the various new features of AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 and take it for a spin across a selection of AMD Radeon graphics cards to check on Adrenalin 2020 performance improvements not only for Navi users, but to see what gains can be found on Polaris and Vega.