Adrenalin Software Edition 19.7.5 Performance Analysis featuring the Red Devil RX Vega 56 and the liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 with 40 Games

As a BabelTechReviews regular feature, this Adrenalin Software Edition 19.7.5 Performance Analysis will chart the performance of 40 PC games using the latest drivers that released late last month. We will compare these 19.7.5 drivers with 19.6.3 using the the Red Devil RX Vega 56 and the liquid-cooled RX Vega 64.

We benchmark at 1920×1080 and at 2560×1440 resolutions using the latest games, and we also recently added Anno 1800, F1 2019, and Total War: Vermintide II.  In addition, Hitman 2 and TW: Warhammer II are run on DX11 and on DX12.

We recently upgraded our testing platform using a Core i7-8700K which turbos all 6 cores to 4.8GHz, an EVGA Z370 FTW motherboard, and 16GB of T-FORCE XTREEM DDR4 at 3866MHz.  The games tested, settings, and hardware are identical except for the driver versions being compared.

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i7-8700K (HyperThreading and Turbo boost are on to 4.8GHz 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
  • T-FORCE XTREEM (2×8 GB, dual channel at 3866 MHz), supplied by Team Group
  • Red Devil RX Vega 56 8 GB, at stock Red Devil speeds, on loan from PowerColor
  • Gigabyte Liquid-Cooled RX Vega 64 8GB, at stock liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 speeds
  • EVGA Nu Audio PCIe soundcard, 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
  • Edifier R1280T active speakers
  • EVGA DG-77, mid-tower case supplied by EVGA
  • Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K

Test Configuration – Software

  • AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.6.3 is compared with 19.7.5.
  • 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 v1903. 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; Hitman 2 and TW: Warhammer II are run on both pathways.  Three games use the Vulkan API.
  • Latest DirectX
  • All games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication
  • Wattman
  • OCAT
  • Fraps

40 PC Game benchmark suite & 3 synthetic tests

Synthetic

  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • Time Spy DX12
  • Superposition

DX11 Games

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Witcher 3
  • Fallout 4
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Overwatch
  • Battlefield 1
  • For Honor
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Prey
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Project CARS 2
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Total War: Warhammer II
  • Destiny 2
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Far Cry 5
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Conan: Exiles
  • F1 2018
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Hitman 2
  • Just Cause 4
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Devil May Cry 5

DX12 Games

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided
  • Gears of War 4
  • Civilization VI
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Forza 7
  • Total War: Warhammer II
  • Total War: Vermintide II
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Battlefield V
  • Hitman 2
  • Metro Exodus
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  • F1 2019
  • Anno 1800

Vulkan Games

  • DOOM
  • Wolfenstein: The New Colossus 
  • Strange Brigade

AMD Control Center Radeon Settings

All AMD settings are set with all optimizations off; Vsync is forced off, Texture Filtering is set to High, and Tessellation uses application settings.  These same settings are used across all drivers so that the driver performance of each edition can be compared identically.  We used Wattman to set power limits to their maximums to prevent throttling.

Adrenalin Software 19.7.5 Edition can be downloaded starting here.  The release notes are found here.  The included highlights below are taken directly from AMD’s website:

Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.5 Highlights

Fixed Issues

  • Wolfenstein™: Youngblood may experience an application crash or hang on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.

Known Issues

  • Some system configurations may experience green color corruption after install of Radeon Software when running Windows® 10 May 2019 update.
  • Stutter may be experienced when Radeon FreeSync is enabled on 240hz refresh displays with Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • Radeon Performance Metrics may report incorrect VRAM utilization.
  • AMD Radeon VII may experience elevated memory clocks at idle or on desktop.
  • Radeon Overlay may intermittently fail to appear when toggled in game.
  • Audio for clips captured by Radeon ReLive may be corrupted or garbled when desktop recording is enabled.
  • Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics may experience a black screen during uninstall on Windows®7 system configurations. A work around is to perform uninstall in safe mode.
  • Recording clips with Radeon ReLive may result in blank clips on Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics with Windows®7 system configurations.
  • Enabling Enhanced Sync may cause game, application or system crashes on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products

Important Notes

  • AMD Ryzen™ Mobile Processors with Radeon™ Vega Graphics FAQ for Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition can be found here.

Package Contents

The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.5 installation package contains the following:

  • Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.5 Driver Version 19.30.01.25 (Windows Driver Store Version 26.20.13001.25001)

The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.5 installation package can be downloaded from the following links:

By clicking the Download button, you are confirming that you have read and agreed to be bound by the terms and conditions of the End User License Agreement (“EULA”).  If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of these licenses, you do not have a license to any of the AMD software provided by this download.

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Let’s check the charts to compare the driver changes from the 19.6.3 Adrenalin Software Edition to the newest Adrenalin Software 19.7.5 Edition.

The Summary Charts

Below are the summary charts of 40 games and 3 synthetic tests.  Each game’s performance is charted to compare the driver progression of the latest Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.7.5. The highest settings are chosen, the driver versions and the specific 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.  The games benched with OCAT show average framerates but the minimums are expressed by frametimes in ms where lower numbers are better.

The RX Vega 64 driver 19.7.5 performance in column one is compared with 19.6.3 in column 2.  The RX Vega 56 19.7.5 performance is represented by column 3 while 19.6.3 is in column 4.  Colored text indicates a “win” for the highest performing result between 19.7.5 and 19.6.2, and if the performance is equal, both sets of numbers are given in colored text.

There are many incremental performance changes with our RX Vegas using the latest Adrenalin Software 19.7.5 drivers from 19.6.3, and most of them are positive for the newest drivers.  We see two significant performance improvement between our two sets of drivers with Wolfenstein and with ARK.  Unfortunately, we encountered stability issues with Adrenalin Software edition 19.7.5 with both cards that included game lock-ups, crashes to desktop, and even some blue screens.

Let’s head to our conclusion.

Conclusion:

We would normally recommend upgrading to the latest Radeon Adrenalin Software Edition 19.7.5 from any previous driver set because there are usually some advantages that might be useful, depending on which game you are playing.  However, we found this driver to be rather unstable and we encountered issues with more than just a few of our games with both cards.   AMD has released five beta drivers in a row for the RX 5700 series which are probably quite useful for Navi owners, but Vega owners might want to wait until a new driver is released before upgrading.

Over time, Adrenalin software drivers usually show mostly continued positive performance improvement which may be more notable in some of the newer games.  The new features of the Radeon Adrenalin 2019 annual software update are being improved continuing with the 19.7.5 edition, and they are welcome and worth exploring.  The advantages of using the latest drivers normally outweigh any disadvantages, but this time we found serious stability issues which may or may not be system dependent.  In this case, user beware.

We are continuing to add new games to our benching suite including Wolfenstein: Youngblood to replace The New Order, with an eventual goal of 50.  If you would like to make a request for other games to be added or dropped, please let us know in the Disqus comment section below.

We are benchmarking in preparation for an AIB RX 5700, and will have a brand new review up by the end of this week.  After the follow-up overclocking showdown between the RX 5700 and the RTX SUPER cards, we will head back into VR for a performance comparison featuring both the Vive Pro and the Oculus Rift.

Happy gaming!