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AMD’s Radeon graphics driver update is all about the Vulkan. Live long and prosper

Specifically released to add in extra Vulkan support, the new Adrenalin driver is here

Doom Eternal

AMD’s new Radeon Adrenalin driver is focusing on added Vulkan support with a particular emphasis on its high dynamic range (HDR) support and FreeSync 2 HDR. The company has long teased that we would be seeing a groundswell of new games coming with support for the open graphics API standard, and we are indeed starting to see more triple-A games launching with Vulkan as standard.

The Adrenalin 19.6.2 release also fixes a few minor issues with wireless VR and some with the metric overlays, but the main crux of the release seems to be all about delivering improved support for those Vulkan titles. And there are some doozies either just released or on the way, from Total War: Three Kingdoms to Doom Eternal.

What’s particularly interesting is that AMD thought these Vulkan updates important enough to hang a new driver release around, while many of the recent Radeon updates have been game ready versions. Though I guess there aren’t too many new games getting a release just now with E3 only just hanging up the closed sign on the show’s doors last week…

The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.6.2, to give it its rather grand title, leads with the extended Vulkan support up top, offering five different additions to the new driver package.

Added Vulkan Support

  • VK_EXT_host_query_reset
    Allows resets of queries from the host, rather than on the GPU.
  • VK_EXT_full_screen_exclusive
    Gives applications explicit control over exclusive full-screen modes (this is for instance useful for HDR support).
  • VK_AMD_display_native_hdr
    Exposes FreeSync2 capabilities for improved HDR support.
  • VK_EXT_separate_stencil_usage
    Separates the usage flags for depth/stencil aspects of a depth/stencil image making it possible to restrict/expand the usage relative to the depth aspect.
  • VK_KHR_uniform_buffer_standard_layout
    Provides more flexible alignment for uniform buffers, enabling among other things, the usage of std430 layouts in Vulkan.

Fixed issues

  • Wireless VR may experience performance drops across multiple game titles on some Radeon RX 400 and Radeon RX 500 series graphics products.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay may fail to enable or may be disabled when toggling Radeon Overlay while in game.
  • A TDR may occur when exiting some gaming applications that are using DirectX12 API when multiple displays are connected and in clone mode.
  • Microsoft PIX tool may fail when a GPU is connected using AMD XConnect Technology.
  • Crackdown3 may experience an application or game hang on Radeon R7 370 series graphics products.

Known issues

  • Radeon ReLive streaming and uploading of videos and other content to Facebook is currently unavailable.
  • ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 may experience discrete GPU connection issues with devices disappearing from device manager when the system is idle.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII.
  • ACER Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen Processor may experience system instability when upgrading to Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.6.2 using the Custom Clean Installation option.
  • Graphics driver may not uninstall correctly when using the express uninstall option on some Ryzen APUs.

Quake II RTX

Kinda separate to the new Vulkan driver support in the new AMD drivers is the extent that Vulkan is being used with Nvidia’s RTX games too. For a start Quake II RTX is a Vulkan-based title, using the Nvidia VKRay extension (also known as VK_NV_ray_tracing), This allows developers to drop RTX effects into games running on Vulkan.

We’re guessing that’s what’s getting Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein: Youngblood’s ray tracing goodies on the go when those too biggies launch later this year.

You can grab the Radeon Adrenalin 19.6.2 update from that there hyperlink.