With the driver update floodgates not closing yet, we are given a massive update from AMD that brings Radeon Software Crimson Edition to version 16.3 (driver version 16.15). Incoming this week is a good list of bug fixes, a large list of new features which include a couple of surprises, and some performance numbers to let us know how these cards have been improving.

On the list of resolved issues, AMD has fixed an issue with cards not sustaining steady clock speeds, which had been leading to choppy performance. AMD also fixed a random crash in Rise of the Tomb Raider caused on launch of the game when Tessellation is enabled. And possibly most interesting of the fixes is the Ashes of the Singularity 2.0 Benchmark now supports DirectFlip, the absence of which limited AMD's ability to allow screen tearing for lower latency in that game.

More significantly, a large number of features have been added to the driver and Radeon Settings application this time around. First is official support for Vulkan which AMD notes will bring the driver to Vulkan 1.0 compliance. Support has also been added for Per-Game Display Scaling. Which can be handy for those instances where a monitor or laptop may not always scale a game to fill the screen while not running at native resolution.

In a new technology announcement, 16.3 adds support for what AMD calls XConnect technology. XConnect appears to be AMD's trademark name for supporting external Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosures with Radeon R9 300 series GPUs, and includes supporting GPU plug’n’play. However AMD also notes that the base system will need to have BIOS support to connect to an external GPU, which implies that XConnect won't work with any and every TB3-equipped system.

Finally, AMD also posted a list of performance numbers:

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider™(2)
    • ​Up to 16% on AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X Series vs AMD Radeon™ Software Crimson Edition 16.2.
  • ​Gears of War Ultimate Edition(3)
    • Up to 60% on AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury X series vs AMD Radeon™ Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1
    • Up to 44% on AMD Radeon™ R9 380 series vs AMD Radeon™ Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1

While initially these are some stellar performance improvements, AMD states that the Tomb Raider numbers were tested at 1080p, while Gears of War Ultimate Edition was running at UHD (4K). These numbers also came from two different machines running different CPUs. Performance improvements are always good but internal validation has to be taken with a grain of salt, and a list this size can only give a small piece of the picture.

As always, those interested in reading more or installing the updated hotfix drivers for AMD’s desktop, mobile, and integrated GPUs can find them either under the driver update section in Radeon Settings or on AMDs Radeon Software Crimson Edition download page.

Source: AMD

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  • ximox - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    AMD driver releases make me LAUGH (not to cry) let me give a really funny example: I own a 295x2, The division was released Tuesday, MASSIVE graphical glitches and flickering in game when using multiple GPU (Unbearable and dangerous as I can see kids with epilepsy or seizures trying to play it anyway and ending up in hospital, they should get sued for that stuff) Today I noticed the new hotfix is out and I am like "oh well, not too bad at the end", i read notes and in "known issues" what i read? Have a Guess.....Flickering in The DIvision. I mean how sad is that?They release a driver after a massive title worldwide release 4 days before and there is no fix!! they make me laugh. But the money we pay to buy their cards i'm sure always arrives on time in the company banks doesnt it? Reply
  • Zefeh - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    The moment you said "I own a 295x2" I immediately knew whatever you were going to say was going to be in a blatant privileged tone. You bought a $1,500 video card and instantly thought you were the most important customer to AMD when in reality the most important is the owners of the most sold video card model. Owners of a 295x2 are probably in the low 10,000's at most while there's probably a couple hundred thousand of 290x owners. Dual GPU cards have ALWAYS had crap driver support because they just aren't adopted by nearly the same number of customers as single card owners. Even when Nvidia made them(haven't in a while lol) they weren't any better in their driver support. Any company would choose to support the larger customer base first before going to the niche bases.

    Going forward though with VR and the concept of multiple GPU's offering the best VR performance with alternating frames etc, AMD is ahead of the game in the VR/Multi GPU drivers. Next time you decide to buy a GPU, don't buy one that costs so much that there will be no customer base for them...
    Reply
  • D. Lister - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    "The moment you said "I own a 295x2" I immediately knew..."

    That's called prejudice.

    "...whatever you were going to say was going to be in a blatant privileged tone"

    Asking for working drivers often is. How dare he ask for his money's worth from a company that YOU like, amirite?

    "You bought a $1,500 video card and instantly thought you were the most important customer to AMD"

    Telepaths scare me to no end, BTW.

    "...when in reality the most important is the owners of the most sold video card model."

    Just like Toyota cares more for the guys buying the Corollas, and the guys buying the Lexus often get the shaft. So right you are.

    "Dual GPU cards have ALWAYS had crap driver support because they just aren't adopted by nearly the same number of customers as single card owners."

    Dual-GPU cards require Crossfire/SLI profiles to employ both the GPUs, and AMD is often late with those.

    "AMD is ahead of the game in the VR/Multi GPU drivers."

    Of course, because of the huge pre-existing customer base that VR has, with millions of people holding their fully working VR units in anticipation, waiting for AMD to be their virtual savior.

    No really guy, that's exactly why AMD is on a record low in market share - NOT supporting the existing customers the way they deserve, and instead trying to make new customers with promises of "future" technologies. That is why people eventually wise up and take their money elsewhere. The proof is in the spreadsheets.
    Reply
  • medi03 - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    AMD drivers never been even remotely as bad as nv payrolled claim, nor had NV drivers been as trouble free as one wants it too look. Reply
  • jaden24 - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    I've used AMD cards the last 10 years and haven't had any problems. Granted, I run single-slot configurations because I know problems exist for CrossFire, but you couldn't be more wrong. Reply
  • rmm - Sunday, March 13, 2016 - link

    Come on people lets be more pragmatic here.

    Nvidia just recalled update because it bricked peoples pc.

    Nvidia Optomus was so buggy with bsod disabled it and used integrated graphics on my t450p.

    Intel only just fixed terrible sleep bug on my surface pro4 that drained my battery in a day.

    Apparent graphics drivers are hard and nobody is really any different from where i am standing.
    Reply
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    I used to have a Geforce 680 GTX 4GB in my main system Highly over clocked & I can say for sure There were plenty of problems in a lot of games with the Nvidia card & it was not from over clocking because it did the same thing at stock. I now have a Sapphire 390x 8GB Tri-X card & yes I have noticed a few problems here & there but those games that had problems were the Game works games that Nvidia had something to deal with. In Fallout 4 I had very little problems mainly a bit of stutter which was fixed by changing a couple of game works settings. AMD have really stepped up their game as of late with their drivers I just hope it keeps happening. Reply
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - link

    I just wanted to add that I am not a fan boy for either company except I do like my Intel CPU's but would be willing to give the AMD ZEN a go if it pans out to be a good CPU when it is released. I go for which ever card I can get the best deal on & this time it happened to be a 390x for $330 in Canada through my supplier as a deal for me because at the time it was my Bday..lol The same card I got was retailing for $579 to $589 CAD our dollar sucks here.I jumped ship & have never looked back since until I am ready to upgrade again when Pascal or Polaris GPU's are released.I am not complaining about this card you get a lot bang for the buck for sure. Reply

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