AMD has today announced the launch of a new approach to its graphics drivers and software, with a new naming scheme and user interface to show for it.
If you’ve been keeping up with AMD headlines, you may remember that at the start of September the company launched the new Radeon Technologies Group
. Fronted by Raja Koduri, a veteran of both AMD (and formerly ATI) and graphics engineering generally, the aim of the RTG is to reorganize everything graphics-related within AMD into a streamlined, vertically integrated structure as part of a renewed focus on this aspect of the fiscally troubled firm. While cynics have been quick to theorise that this is in preparation for a spin off and sale of the graphics division, such murmurings remain rumours for now.
Three key areas have emerged as a focus for the RTG: new technologies like DirectX 12 and virtual reality, efficiency, especially of future products, and software. It’s this latter arena where we’ll see the first tangible results of the RTG, although it’s likely something that has been in the pipeline for some time.
The Radeon Technologies Group is promising a “re-imagined software strategy”, and that begins today with the announcement of a new driver suite for AMD graphics products. However, while previous big Catalyst launches like Never Settle
have received positive feedback, this is such a big change, according to AMD, that an entirely new name is needed. As such, Catalyst is no more. In its place is the creatively named Radeon Software.
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Specifically, what's announced today is the Radeon Software Crimson Edition. Major driver updates, estimated to come approximately once a year, will take on shades of red as their name (suggestions in the comments please). Of course, minor driver updates with performance tweaks and bug fixes will still occur throughout the year with the format year.month i.e. version 15.11 for this month. AMD has not, as yet, made any scheduling commitments for these smaller but still very important updates.
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The Catalyst Control Centre has been re-architected with Qt and redesigned with a modernised UI. Naturally, this too needed a new name, so those creative thinkers got to work again and Radeon Settings was born (or FirePro Settings for professional graphics customers). AMD claims to have massively improved the software's startup time (particularly on low end systems) and there's a new, brushed metal design.
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Other improvements include a Game Manager and a redesigned Overdrive section, which allows you to change settings and overclocks on a per-game basis. AMD has also simplified the creation of multi-monitor Eyefinity setups as well as a number of settings pages and the overall layout. Video presets, a system notifications tab and social media integration have all been added as well. You can get a bit more information straight from the horse's mouth in the AMD launch video embedded below.
We've only been given a short, hands off preview of Radeon Software thus far but it definitely looks a lot better than the ageing CCC and, more importantly, appears to be easier to use. AMD says it will be publicly available before the end of the year.