Today’s Crimson Software 16.7.2 beta hotfix driver performance analysis charts the performance of 26 games focusing on the RX 480 and the 290X compared with the Crimson 16.6.2 hotfix drivers which we recently tested for our RX 480 8GB launch review.  AMD has released their latest July hotfix Crimson Software driver on July 7 to address the RX 480 launch issues that we also encountered with instability, excessive power draw through the PCIe slot, and the inability to set the Power Limit to its maximum or to overclock more than 3-5%.  These issues no doubt affected performance, and we want to see if the latest drivers have addressed them.DSCN1457rx-480v1060We have run these benchmarks in preparation for our GTX 1060 launch evaluation to be posted here, Tuesday, July 19 at 6 AM Pacific Time, and we are pretty sure that those results will surprise you.

We are also featuring our newest 2016 games, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and DOOM, and we are also including Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, and Rise of the Tomb Raider using DX12.  We have also added Total War Warhammer’s newly released DX12 built-in beta benchmark to our regular benching suite plus Futuremark’s just released DX12 benchmark, Time Spy.  In addition, we have also managed to test Vulkan versus Open GL performance in DOOM.  We will compare the performance of 26 modern games at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160 resolutions with maximum settings.

Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-6700K at 4.00GHz which turbos to 4.4GHz for all cores as set in the ASRock Z7170 motherboard’s BIOS, and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 at 3200MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the drivers being tested.

At R9 280X or at GTX 970 performance level and above, we test at higher settings and resolutions generally than we test midrange and lower-end cards.  All of our games use average and minimum frame rates to test performance at 3 resolutions when the results make sense (generally above 25 fps average), and we use DX11, or DX12 when available, and with a very strong emphasis on the latest demanding 2015-2016 AAA games.

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