AMD Crimson

AMD’s latest Crimson software release, 16.3, offers users a way to bypass the persistent ‘downclocking’ problem that could result in choppy performance and screen corruption with certain GPUs in some games. It also provides advance support for Hitman ahead of that game’s release on Friday, and boosts performance in a couple of other titles.

The downclocking may not be fully ‘fixed’ (in the sense of power-saving behaving correctly in all games) but there is now an official workaround. With 16.3 (and, presumably, onwards) it’s possible to disable some of the power efficiency features of the affected GPUs. Or, as AMD put it in their notes: “A new feature introduced in the Radeon Settings Gaming tab for select AMD Radeon 300 series and AMD Radeon Fury X available under “Global Options”. This allows the user to disable some power efficiency optimizations.”

This is a more official solution to the problem than the third-party ‘Clockblocker’ program some AMD users were previously having to use as a stop-gap measure. Though I haven’t tested it myself, disabling the power-saving options through Crimson will reportedly still allow the GPU to downclock outside of games.

16.3 also integrates Vulkan (the OpenGL successor) support, as well as per game display scaling.

Both Rise of the Tomb Raider and (especially) Gears of War: Ultimate Edition should run better with this driver. AMD are claiming up to a 60% boost for Gears on the Fury X.

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