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AMD has released new Radeon drivers with Adrenaline 21.9.1 this week, and there are a few goodies of note this time around for RDNA (RX 5000) and RDNA2 (RX 6000) owners. If you’re one of the AMD fans who bought both a Zen 2 CPU and a Radeon RDNA GPU when AMD launched both in July 2019, your dedication just paid off a bit.
According to AMD, its Smart Access Memory technology can now be enabled on RDNA GPUs, provided you have the other hardware required to do so. This will require either an Intel 400/500 series motherboard (10th and 11th Gen Core) or an AMD 400/500 series board with either Zen 2 or Zen 3. You’ll also need a UEFI flash from your motherboard manufacturer.
Enabling Smart Access Memory typically boosts game performance by a modest percentage. TechSpot calculated a 3 percent average gain at 1080p, but it’s important to note that per-game tests varied widely. 10 of the 32 games TechSpot tested gained more than 5 percent performance, while two titles dropped that much or more.
The gains drop off above 1080p but the losses also vanish. The net gain across all games remains 3 percent according to TS in all three resolutions, with substantial variance depending on the title. Anyone with an RDNA-based GPU has a pretty modern card and should be in fine shape, but an extra 3 percent is always useful in today’s era of high prices.
Other new features included in the driver update an automatic overclocking tool if gamers are running both Radeon RX 6000 GPUs and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs. According to AMD, Adrenaline 21.9.1 offers both Ryzen and Radeon combined overclocking in a single tab. This is a separate feature from the various overclocking modes offered for the CPU via Ryzen Master or AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive.
AMD and Intel have both gotten increasingly good at squeezing every last bit out of their respective chips, but if you intend to play with combined overclocking via this new mode and have made adjustments in Ryzen Master already, we recommend shutting RM off to avoid potential interference while testing the new Radeon Adrenaline overclock mode. AMD’s Zen 2 and Zen 3 CPUs don’t typically have a lot of headroom and I’m not sure anyone has tested enough RDNA2 GPUs to know for certain given AMD’s difficulty supplying the retail channel, but the feature exists for those who can take advantage of it.
Finally, the 21.9.1 driver release will also support Windows 11, for those planning a near-term upgrade to the OS. AMD also expects support for FidelityFX Super Resolution to be added to some existing PC titles, including World War Z: Aftermath, JX3, F1 2021, and No Man’s Sky. Deathloop is also expected to add the feature in the next few weeks.