Adrenalin 18.10.2 Driver Performance Analysis featuring the RX 580 vs. the GTX 1060 SC

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Adrenalin Software 18.10.2 Edition Driver Performance Analysis featuring the RX 580 and versus the EVGA GTX 1060/6 SC

As a returning feature for BabelTechReviews, this driver performance analysis will show the performance of 27 PC games using the latest Adrenalin Software Catalyst 18.10.2 Edition which was released last week. We will compare these drivers versus Adrenalin 18.7.1 from last Summer using our reference Gigabyte RX 480 G1 8G overclocked 4% to RX 580 stock clocks. For an additional comparison with the RX 580’s main rival, we are also showing the EVGA GTX 1060 SC’s performance on the latest GeForce 416.34 drivers.

Future BTR driver performance analysis will track the progress of every major driver release from NVIDIA and from AMD, and they will include every game in our recently updated 35-game benchmark suite beginning with the next evaluation.

We will document the performance changes of the current Adrenalin Software 18.10.2 Edition since last Summer on Windows 10 at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1440 resolutions. Our testing platform is a recent install of Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition, and we are using an i7-8700K which turbos all 6 cores to 4.7 GHz, an EVGA Z370 FTW motherboard, and 16GB of HyperX DDR4 3333MHz. The games tested, settings, and hardware are identical except for the drivers being compared.

Let’s get to the test configuration, to the driver release notes, and then to our results.

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i7-8700K (HyperThreading and Turbo boost are on to 4.7 GHz for all cores; Coffee Lake DX11 CPU graphics).
  • EVGA Z370 FTW motherboard (Intel Z370 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x), supplied by EVGA
  • HyperX 16GB DDR4 (2×8 GB, dual channel at 3333 MHz), supplied by HyperX
  • Gigabyte RX 480 G1 8 GB, overclocked to RX 580 stock speeds.
  • EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6 GB, stock SC clocks, supplied by EVGA.
  • 480 GB Team Group SSD
  • 1.92 TB San Disk enterprise class SSD
  • 2 TB Micron 1100 SSD
  • Seasonic 850W Gold Focus power supply unit
  • EVGA CLC 280mm CPU water cooler, supplied by EVGA
  • Onboard Realtek Audio
  • Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius
  • EVGA DG-77, mid-tower case supplied by EVGA
  • Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K

Test Configuration – Software

  • Nvidia GeForce 416.34 WHQL drivers are used for the GTX 1060.
  • AMD’s Adrenalin Software 18.10.2 is compared with 18.7.1 used for the RX 480 at RX 580 speeds.
  • VSync is forced off.
  • AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified
  • Gaming results show average frame rates in bold including minimum frame rates shown on the chart next to the averages in a smaller italics font.
  • Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
  • Windows 10 64-bit Home edition. All DX11 titles were run under DX11 render paths. DX12 titles are generally run under the DX12 render path unless performance is lower than with DX11. Three games use the Vulkan API.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All 35 games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.
  • MSI Afterburner, latest beta.
  • OCAT, latest version
  • Fraps, latest version

35 PC Game benchmark suite & 4 synthetic tests


  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • Time Spy DX12

DX11 Games

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Witcher 3
  • Fallout 4
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Just Cause 3
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Battlefield 1
  • Resident Evil 7
  • For Honor
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Prey
  • DiRT 4
  • Project CARS 2
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Destiny 2
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Far Cry 5
  • The Crew 2
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

DX12 Games

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Hitman
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided
  • Gears of War 4
  • Civilization VI
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Total War: Warhammer II
  • Forza 7
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Vulkan Games

  • DOOM
  • Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
  • Strange Brigade

AMD Control Center Radeon Settings

All AMD settings are set so as to be apples-to-apples when compared to NVIDIA’s control panel settings – all optimizations are off, Vsync is forced off, Texture filtering is set to High, and Tessellation uses application settings.

We used Wattman to overclock the RX 480 to stock RX 580 speeds (1340 MHz), and power, temperature and fan limits are set to their maximums to prevent throttling.

NVIDIA Control Panel settings

Here are the NVIDIA Control Panel settings.

We used MSI’s Afterburner to set our GTX 1060’s highest Power and Temperature targets. By setting the Power Limits and Temperature limits to maximum for each card, they do not throttle, but they can each reach and maintain their individual maximum clocks stock or overclocked.

The release notes and download links for the latest Software Adrenalin 18.10.2 Edition can be found starting here for Windows 10. The release notes can also be found here. The included highlights below are from AMD’s website.

Included Highlights:

Support For

  • Fallout®76 B.E.T.A

Fixed Issues

  • Some Vulkan™ API games may experience a crash on game launch.
  • On multi GPU enabled system configurations Assassin’s Creed™ Odyssey may experience a random game exit when Adaptive Anti-Aliasing is enabled and the game is restarted.

Known Issues

  • Strange Brigade™ may experience an application hang when playing with DirectX®12 API enabled.
  • When using Radeon Overlay on system configurations with the latest Windows®10 October 2018 Update some users may experience intermittent instability or game crashes.
  • Radeon RX Vega Series graphics products may experience elevated memory clocks during system idle.

Let’s head to the charts to compare the driver changes from the 18.7.1 Adrenalin Software Edition of last Summer to the new Adrenalin Software 18.10.2 Edition released last week.

The Summary Chart

Below are the summary charts of 35 games and 2 synthetic tests. 27 games compare the driver progression of the RX 580 from last Summer’s 18.7.1 Adrenalin drivers to last week’s 18.10.2 driver edition. The highest settings are always chosen and the settings are listed on the charts. The benches were run at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1440. Open each chart in a separate window or tab for best viewing.

Most results show average framerates and higher is better. Minimum framerates are next to the averages in italics and in a slightly smaller font. A few games benched with OCAT show average framerates but the minimums are expressed by frametimes in ms where lower numbers are better.

The first two columns show the RX 580’s performance. Columns one represents the latest 18.10.2 driver and Column two represents 18.7.1. Wins between the drivers are represented in yellow text and both sets of numbers are yellow if they are equal. The last column represents the EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6 GB’s performance, and an “X” means the benchmark was not run.

We note mostly incremental improvements with the latest drivers over the older set, and they are generally positive. There are also some rather larger improvements and the rare regression. For Honor got a recent rather large update which shows more than incremental regression.

Let’s head to our conclusion.


We would recommend upgrading to the latest Adrenalin Software 18.10.2 Edition from any previous driver set because there are generally advantages that are sometimes quite significant, depending on which game you are playing. We found the latest drivers to be stable overall, and we experienced no major performance issues while benching or playing any of our 35 games.

For many games in our benching suite, the Adrenalin 18.10.2 Software Edition may bring solid improvement to the RX 580 over last Summer’s drivers. The benefits generally outweigh the negatives and they are essential for playing some of the newer games.

Stay tuned, we are benching a brand new card and the results so far have surprised us.

Happy gaming!