Tech

AMD Radeon: Graphics card driver unlocks AV1 decoder plus new functions

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With the Radeon software Adrenalin 21.4.1, AMD has released the largest graphics card driver update since mid-2020. Version 21.4.1 contains new functions and brings the usual performance optimizations. For example, AMD activates the AV1 decoder of the Radeon RX 6000 graphics card series, with which corresponding videos can be played efficiently. Google, among others, uses the AV1 codec on YouTube.

AMD adjusts the driver interface in some places, for example the performance tab, which now also displays CPU data such as clock frequencies and load when using a Ryzen processor. If you just want to read out the data without making changes, you no longer need third-party programs such as AMD’s Ryzen Master.

The performance tab in the driver interface now also shows CPU data if a Ryzen processor is used.

(Image: AMD)

AMD’s streaming client Link is version 4.0. The Android, iOS and Smart TV apps are followed by a Windows 10 app that can be used, for example, to access the desktop PC from the sofa with a notebook. The latter renders any 3D game and streams it to the notebook via WLAN. The whole thing can also be done via the Internet, provided the PC is switched on at home. In the case of titles with local cooperation mode, this now works with two clients on one host PC, without both having to buy the game.

If you don’t feel like the driver bells and whistles, you can install slimmed-down versions from the Radeon software Adrenalin 21.4.1. AMD offers three variants, but all of them the same 460 MB download package need:

  • Driver only: only the graphics driver without a surface
  • Minimal: graphics driver plus driver interface and setting options
  • Complete: In addition to the driver interface, there are AMD’s game client, a streaming menu (e.g. for Twitch.tv), the performance tab for overclocking and AMD Link

Slimmed-down driver installations get by without AMD’s game client.

(Image: AMD)

The Crash Defender from the minimal installation is also new: The driver should detect instabilities before a crash occurs, and in such a case restart itself and prevent a blue screen. Together with a revised error reporting tool, AMD aims to identify and correct errors more quickly.

For people with red, green or blue weaknesses, the Radeon software can adjust the color profiles at the driver level in order to specifically adapt the color gamut.


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