ReLive New Features (3)

Earlier this year, during the Polaris set of pre-briefings, AMD mentioned that it had acquired a company called HiAlgo. HiAlgo had designed a set of software and driver hooks to decrease FPS/power or increase response time by dynamically adjusting resolution by monitoring graphic workloads and gameplay mechanics. At the time the software only worked on DirectX 9, but since the purchase AMD is now bringing part of the package to its driver set. First up is CHILL.

Radeon CHILL

The concept of CHILL is fairly simple. During periods of low user interaction or little action on screen, the CPU and GPU power limit is reduced, causing the hardware to slow down. This reduces the frame rate during periods where a high frame rate is not required, allowing the CPU/GPU to cool down (where the CHILL bit comes in). This also saves power on power-limited systems such as laptops. When CHILL detects more action or more strenuous movement by the user, the power limit is moved back up.

We still need to test the software internally, but the idea means lower temperatures and lower average power consumption. One side-effect of this means that fewer frames are queued in the buffer, which AMD claims it results in a quicker response time from frame generation to frame output.

CHILL will be enabled in ReLive for any GCN enabled product, initially for only specific DX9 and DX11 titles. As a first release of CHILL, AMD is being somewhat cautious and shipping with the feature turned off by default and relying on a list of approved games at this time. We were told that as time goes on it may be turned on by default and games known to be incompatible will be denied by the software.

WattMan: Extended to More Cards

One of the big updates for the release of AMD’s Polaris GPUs was the WattMan (what, man?) power management software, taking over from previous overclocking tools.

As part of ReLive a number of 200 and 300-series discrete GPUs will now be enabled with WattMan as well as the R9 Fury series.

AMD XConnect Technology

During the gamut of external GPU enclosure announcements around Thunderbolt 3 during the year, AMD’s XConnect technology emerged as a leading figure. However, up until now, it mainly requires specific driver sets under specific hardware configurations.

With ReLive this is opened with XConnect now supporting any Thunderbolt certified laptop, thin client and all-in-one when used with an enclosure that supports an AMD Radeon discrete card with GCN 1.2 or above.

ReLive New Features (2): Diagnostics, VP9 Decode, HDR10/HBR3, FreeSync Tools ReLive New Features (4): Game and Pro DVR for Streaming
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  • negusp - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    Linux support, AMD?
  • negusp - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    Yes, you dork.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    I'm hopeful they can improve since I don't want to have my choice of Intel or Nvidia on Linux for my next graphics card upgrade.
  • coder111 - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    Wait what? AMD is great on Linux. The most FPS you can get with open-source drivers. And it's getting better by the day.

    NVidia is still better if you are willing to run BLOBs. But I don't want to deal with that hassle.

    Read phoronix for more Linux benchmarks.
  • negusp - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    AMD is horrible on Linux. The fglrx driver has no support and the open-source drivers aren't great. OpenGL performance is really quite bad as well.
  • Azurael - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    I don't get it, have you guys actually used AMD under linux recently? On the 7870 I just pulled out of my machine (and presumably at least all the GCN1.x cores, I know the later models use amdgpu which I've not tried), the radeonhd driver is totally stable now and fully supports OpenGL 4.5 and so far as I could see matches or betters the performance of the Windows drivers (though it's difficult to compare cross-OS, I wasn't about to mess up my Gentoo install with the proprietaries)

    Since I stuck a GTX 970 in my machine, I've realised it's actually Nvidia who are the laughing stock with drivers these days. In a matter of months, I've had stability problems under Windows, performance regressions with new drivers, the open source 'nouveau' driver won't even boot on said 970 as of 4.8.x without a bunch of kernel patches that just about enable 2D acceleration (but not at 1440, only 1080)

    The proprietary Linux drivers are okay but it's a right pain in the backside having to remember to rebuild them every time I do a kernel update, plus they have no framebuffer console support so if something goes wrong before GDM starts successfully, I have to SSH into my machine to resolve it.
  • Azurael - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    I should add that I can't use a VGA framebuffer because it's an EFI-booting system, and efifb conflicts with the proprietary Nvidia drivers. They are a joke. And that's before we get on to the DX12/Vulkan performance. I wouldn't be at all surprised if my old 7870 matched the performance of my 970 there...
  • Beany2013 - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    When AMD works on Linux, it works well.

    However, I have an Ubuntu 16.10 box, with an R280, and AMD have basically thrown me under the bus. I can't even play back HD video without stuttering. There is no info on whether they will ever actually support <GCN 1.2 on ubuntu, period.

    I'm going to have to revert back to Ubutnu 14.04.4 (not .5, as it has the Xorg that AMD can't be arsed working with) to get accelerated graphics back. Or install Debian instead (which would break the workflow I've had in Ubuntu for a few years).

    or keep my workflow and by nvidia.

    If anyone has an R280 on Ubuntu > 16.04 and has it working, let me know - because this, and AMDs attitude (IE *all* the development on Windows, fuck all on Linux) is really starting to get on my fucking tits.
  • artifex - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    You're blaming your gear manufacturer because your preferred distro that used to work with it dropped support in more recent spins?
  • JopV - Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - link

    Uhm, no. FGLRX stopped development and no longer supports newer Linux kernels. So only distro's with old kernels will work, it can impossibly work on any modern distro.

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