Test Configuration – Hardware
- Intel Core i7-6700K (reference 4.0GHz, HyperThreading and Turbo boost is on to 4.4GHz; DX11 CPU graphics).
- ASRock Z7170M OC Formula motherboard (Intel Z7170 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x)
- G.SKILL Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4 RAM (2×8 GB, dual-channel at 3200MHz)
- Diamond PowerColor RX 480 8GB, reference clocks.
- VisionTek R9 290X 4GB, reference clocks tested as single GPU; fan set to 100% to prevent throttling.
- Two 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDDs
- EVGA 1000G 1000W power supply unit
- Cooler Master 2.0 Seidon, supplied by Cooler Master
- Onboard Realtek Audio
- Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius
- Thermaltake Overseer RX-I full tower case, supplied by Thermaltake
- ASUS 12X Blu-ray writer
- Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K
Test Configuration – Software
- The AMD Crimson Software 16.7.2 beta hotfix and 16.6.2 beta hotfix drivers were used for benching the RX 480 and the 290X.
- VSync is off in the control panel’s global settings. Texture Quality setting is High.
- AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied
- All results show average frame rates including minimum frame rates shown in italics on the chart next to the averages in smaller font.
- Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
- Windows 10 64-bit Home edition, all DX11 titles were run under DX11 render paths. Our only DX12 title is run under the DX12 render path. Latest DirectX
- All games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.
The 26 PC Game benchmark suite & 1 synthetic test
- Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
- Time Spy – DX12 (2560×1440)
- Crysis 3
- Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)
- Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor
- Alien Isolation
- Dragon’s Age: Inquisition
- Dying Light
- Total War: Attila
- Grand Theft Auto V
- the Witcher 3
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Mad Max
- Fallout 4
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
- Just Cause 3
- Rainbow Six Siege
- DiRT Rally
- Far Cry Primal
- Tom Clancy’s The Division
- DOOM (*OpenGL & Vulkan)
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
- DX12 Games
- Ashes of the Singularity
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Total War Warhammer
Here are the settings that we always use in AMD’s Crimson Control Center for our default benching. The Power Efficiency Toggle is left off in our benching. Please note that 100% fan speed is used for benching the 290X reference version, and it does not throttle at all.
In our AMD reference RX 480 8GB launch review, using Crimson 16.6.2 drivers, we had to leave the Power Limit settings at stock (0%) to ensure the cards stability, but this time, with the Diamond reference RX 480 8GB, we were able to set it to +50% as we always do for all our our video card evaluations. We believe that setting the Temperature and Power Draw/Limit to their maximums eliminates the variability that throttling may otherwise cause with midrange and higher end video cards.
Below are the stock settings available to us in WattMan as originally used for the RX 480 launch review. This time, the Temperature profile is set to manual and maximum, and the Power Limit is set to +50%. Fan and voltage profiles are always left at default.
Release Notes Highlights for Catalyst 16.7.2 Hotfix Drivers
The release notes and download links for the latest Crimson Catalyst 16.7.2 drivers can be found here.
Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2 Highlights
- The “compatibility mode” UI toggle was designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact on AMD Radeon™ RX480 reference boards and has been made available to users in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings (first introduced in the previous Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver). This toggle is in “off” by default.
- Support for DOOM (with Vulkan API) – enables performance enhancements through support for Async Compute and Shader Intrinsics.
- In the previous Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver the “Restore Factory Defaults” option under Preferences of Radeon Settings Software would not set the “Compatibility Mode” UI toggle to its default “OFF” value. This is fixed in the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2 driver. The “Restore Factory Defaults” options resets all Radeon Settings to their factory default values.
- A few game titles may fail to launch or crash if the AMD Gaming Evolved overlay is enabled. A temporary workaround is to disable the AMD Gaming Evolved “In Game Overlay”.
- Radeon™ Pro Duo may experience a black screen in Total War™: Warhammer with the games API set to DirectX®12 and V-Sync enabled.
- DiRT™ Rally may experience flickering terrain in some races when the advanced blending option is enabled in the games settings page.
- Some Overdrive settings may not appear in Radeon Settings for Radeon™ Fury X when in AMD Crossfire mode.
- Dota™2 may crash when using the Vulkan™ API and the user changes resolutions or quality settings.
- Battlefield™ 4 may experience crashes when using Mantle. As a work around users are suggested to switch to DirectX®11.
- Need for Speed™ may experience flickering on some light sources in AMD Crossfire mode.
- Frame Rate Target Control gaming profiles may fail to enable for some games.
- Radeon Wattman may retain settings of an overclock after it has failed. If you have failed an overclock with a system hang or reboot make sure to use the “Reset” option in the Radeon WattMan settings page when the system has rebooted.
- Low frame rate or stutter may be experienced Wolfenstein®: The Old Blood™ on Radeon™ RX 480.
- Assassin’s Creed® Syndicate may experience a game crash or hang when in game settings are set to high or greater.
- Disabling AMD Crossfire mode on Radeon™ RX 480 may disable the device in Windows® Device Manager. A workaround is to reboot the system to re-enable the device.
Let’s head to the chart to compare the driver progress from the 16.6.2 Crimson drivers for RX 480 and the 290X to the new Crimson Software 16.7.2 hot-fix driver.