What New Features with What New Cards

With Crimson ReLive, AMD is stating that this is their biggest software launch ever, and the joint initiative between consumer, developer, professional and feedback mechanisms will help future software development especially as so many areas overlap. The policy for 2017 will be similar to 2016 for driver updates: around a half-dozen WHQL launches plus updates for every major game launch on the day of launch (or for serious bug fixes).

AMD is putting a lot into open source development, enticing developers to work with the tools provided for better user experiences on AMD or other hardware. However users will notice that throughout this piece there have been a number of features limited to particular hardware, mostly due to the feature set of certain types of hardware. Here’s a tabular breakdown of what works with what, starting with the Pro software.

AMD Crimson ReLive Feature Support List
Pro Level / Creator Features
  GPU OS
LiquidVR Affinity Multi-GPU VR Ready Premium
VR Ready Creator
Windows
Linux
MultiView
MultiRes
TrueAudio Next
Radeon ProRender VR Ready Creator Windows
macOS
Linux
Radeon Pro Game Engine Integration Pro WX-Series
FirePro W-Series
Various
Radeon Pro: LiquidVR Pro WX7100
Pro Duo
FirePro W9100
Windows 7/10
Radeon Pro: Linux Driver Pro WX-Series
Pro Duo
FirePro W-Series
Ubuntu
RHEL
CentOS
Radeon Pro: vmware vSphere 6.5 FirePro S7100X
FirePro S7150
FirePro S7150 x2
-
Radeon Pro ReLive DVR for ISV
(streaming at customer request)
Pro WX-Series
Pro Duo
FirePro W-Series
Win 7/10

On the consumer level:

AMD Crimson ReLive Feature Support List
Consumer Level Features
  GPU OS
Bad HDMI Cable Detection Kabini APU and newer
GCN Discrete
Windows
VP9 4K60 Decode Acceleration Stoney APU
GCN Discrete
Windows
HDR10 Support R9 Fury series
RX 460/470/480
R9 380/390/390X
Windows
FreeSync Borderless FreeSync Mode
FreeSync Refresh Ramp
R9 Fury series
RX 460/470/480
R9 380/390/390X
R9 285/290/290X
R7 360
R7 260/260X
Windows
Skype Acceleration on APU Bristol APU
Carrizo APU
Stoney Ridge APU
Windows
DisplayPort HBR3 Support RX series Windows
Radeon CHILL Software
(Select Games Only)
GCN Discrete* Windows
DX9/DX11
Radeon WattMan R9 Fury series
RX 460/470/480
R9 380/390/390X
R9 285/290/290X
R7 360
R7 260/260X
Windows
AMD XConnect R9 Fury Series
RX 460/470/480
R9 380/390/390X
R9 285/290/290X
Windows
Radeon Software Clean Install GCN Discrete
Pro WX-Series
Pro Duo
FirePro W-Series
Windows
(Pro: Not Win8)
Upgrade Advisor Kabini APU and newer
GCN Discrete
Windows
User Feedback GCN Discrete Windows
Crimson ReLive Linux Driver GCN Ubuntu 14.04/16.04
RHEL 6.8/7.2/7.3
SLED/SLES 12 SP2
Radeon ReLive DVR GCN Discrete
Pro WX-Series
FirePro W-Series
Windows
(Pro: Not Win8)

In most cases, owning a GCN discrete GPU gets a user most of the features, and an RX-400 series gets them all. It's worth noting that none of the Pro features work on Windows 8, but also Windows Server wasn't mentioned specifically on the list of support packages - but I would assume that the equivalent Server version is supported for non-server Windows versions.

Final Thoughts

A year under the new AMD software strategy has yielded significant benefits for user experience, especially when good performing drivers are launched day one. The ethos for the original Crimson has worked well, and will continue into 2017 with ReLive, however there is a large number of new features and it may be tricky for AMD to balance so many new features with a good user experience. The ability to upvote new future features will be an enablement step for AMD to get a live glimpse into their users, but such a feature rarely produces a paradigm shift in thinking. The prominent focus into open source tools and Linux development, especially with technologies such as Freesync or ReLive for ISV certified applications, opens up potential for those markets. 

AMD has promised a yearly cadence for major updates. In the last set of updates, Ryan said: 

"This project has clearly been in the works longer than 3 months – but at the same time this is the RTG making their mark. It’s a new direction for AMD’s graphics group and a new look to match. And if the RTG can meet their stability, performance, and release goals going forward with the new Crimson driver, then they should be able to make 2016 a good year for the Radeon user base."

The same thing applies for 2017: execution is critical. 2016 ended up being a good year for AMD, helped in part with the RX-series launch, but similarly 2017 launches will be aided by a good user experience through both the drivers and the features. Something as large and complicated as the ReLive recording software can be a key product feature going forward, when done right. 

Where to Download

The new ReLive drivers (16.12.1) should be available to download from today at AMD's driver page, or the Pro driver page.

ReLive New Features (4): Game and Pro DVR for Streaming
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  • negusp - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

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

    Yes, you dork. Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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... Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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. Reply

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