As 2018 winds down, once again it’s time for AMD’s annual major feature update for their graphics drivers, Radeon Software. Going by the unassuming title of ‘Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition’, today’s release is more of an evolution on last year’s Adrenalin Edition, bringing improvements and further integrations with AMD Link and Radeon Overlay. The headlining feature is the new capability to game stream to a mobile device or VR headset, powered by ReLive and AMD Link. AMD is also addressing highly-demanded user requests as collected on their feature voting and feedback page, now checkmarking 7 out of the top 10 requests.

Additionally, Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 also brings WattMan overclocking/undervolting profile presets, WattMan controls in AMD Link and Radeon Overlay, ReLive improvements for streamers, and ‘Radeon Advisors’, the latter which are new game/settings optimization tools for entry-level users.

For those just catching up, AMD’s cadence of an annual ‘big bang’ driver update started back in 2014 with Catalyst Omega, following up with the introduction of Radeon Software in 2015 and its inaugural Crimson Edition, and subsequent yearly updates with Crimson ReLive Edition in 2016 and Adrenalin Edition in 2017.

This contemporary approach has hotfixes and performance updates occur throughout the year, punctuated by large feature updates and overhauls, with an overall emphasis on user experience (UX) and quality assurance.

The consistency of the UX is clearer with the latest discrete GPUs, but the same couldn't be said of AMD’s APU offerings. On that note, recent complaints on the status of outdated Ryzen Mobile drivers led AMD to release a statement on the matter. Adrenalin 2019 Edition doesn’t bring any changes on that front, and AMD has nothing to add to their original statement.

The new developments are however far from being irrelevant, as these annual feature updates, better zero-day game support, and cited stability metrics began as a move to stave off from the reputation of older AMD/ATI drivers. More directly, a consistent UX presumably also incorporates mobile APUs as well, especially since OEM vendors would have little interest in being involved in that aspect. A meaningful percentage of mainstream users will continue to have their experience with AMD drivers solely dictated by OEMs and without the ability to leverage AMD’s improvements in their driver development strategy.

Elsewhere, there’s no official updates on Radeon support for hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing, but with NVIDIA’s recent launch of Turing-based GeForce RTX series, it’s a topical theme.

Looking forward, there will be increased competition in the GPU space, and a lot of AMD’s incumbent advantages will be in software/driver maturity as well as feature support. With Adrenalin and now the Adrenalin 2019 Edition, there’s been a good deal of increased emphasis on streaming/social uses and mobile devices, and over the coming pages we’ll be taking a look at the specifics of each of the new features.

Adrenalin 2019 Improvements (1): WattMan and Performance
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  • limitedaccess - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Are there any plans to bring Gamestreaming to desktops? Preferably via a portable style implementation?
  • Despoiler - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Not sure what you are referring to. You've been able to stream from desktops using AMD Relive since last year's driver update.
  • limitedaccess - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Actual remote game streaming? I don't mean streaming game play to watch but to actually play the game on another machine like the mobile streaming and VR streaming implemented in this release. But in my case I'm looking for a solution in which the client is a Windows PC and does not require any installation of software (preferably fully portable leaving nothing behind).
  • SetiroN - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Actual remote game streaming. Even in vr now. They have an android app.
  • limitedaccess - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    I know they have it now for mobile and VR. What I'm asking about is plans for PC to PC (desktop/laptop) preferably with a fully portable client app.
  • Targon - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    That's the whole point of ReLive. If you mean running the game on one machine and being controlled by another, that is another story.
  • Rocket321 - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    I came here to say the same thing. They put in all this work to allow remote gaming on a phone but still no first party solution for PC to PC remote gaming. Those of you willing to do a third party tool check out Parsec. Still hoping AMD will fix this for PC as well as FireTV/Android TV/ etc.
  • Targon - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    You need to understand that there is the whole issue of complexity. Streaming video is fairly simple with a 720p data stream, but trying to have anything complex that requires more CPU/GPU power is going to be more difficult. I don't consider most phone/tablet games where remote gaming is possible to really be able to compete with ANY game that is actually running on that device.
  • Rocket321 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    I totally agree - it was basically a waste of time to bring game streaming to mobile phones. On the other hand, bringing remote play capabilities to laptops/desktops would be super useful for quite a few people.

    Steam streaming was awful the last time I tried it. Parsec works pretty well, but I'd sure prefer a first party tool from AMD to give parity with the green team.
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    I was going to say that Steam already offers that for Steam titles, but this leads me to believe that the experience may be different with AMD GPUs. I've only ever tried this on Nvidias, where it works extremely well as long the network is good enough.

    So much so that I've actually upgraded my 24x7 box with a very quiet GTX 1060 and then have people wonder how my Chuwi Atom notebook plays ARK Survival Evolved at great resolution, detail and speed.

    But Nvidia has put highly latency optimized x264 encoding block into the GPU hardware specifically to support that use case, which incidentally even works with Android tablets and a beta Steam client (as well as the recently discontinued Steam link box).

    One of my kids still has a Radon 290X, perhaps I'll run a Steam test with that to compare.

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