In an overhaul to their graphics drivers, AMD has released AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition drivers. Like the Omega release last year, this is a large update to their Catalyst suite. In addition to this, AMD is now considering Radeon 5000 and 6000 to be legacy cards supported by their legacy driver, effectively ending new features and enhancements for any graphics processors that aren’t using AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. Any system older than Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is also discontinued.
Like Omega, this is a large yearly update. The Crimson drivers are a complete overhaul of the old Catalyst interface, featuring a simpler, flatter interface. AMD claims that the application speed was a large focus, nothing how it opens much faster even on lower end computers. The codebase has also been overhauled and the interface is now using the QT framework rather than the previous .NET framework. AMD has also said that the new driver lays down the foundation for better and more frequent WHQL certification – despite monthly beta updates, only three Catalyst releases in 2015 were WHQL certified. AMD plans for “up to 6 Major WHQL releases” for 2016, with “additional Beta Releases”.
Notably, this release only supports Radeon 7000 cards and newer – this allows AMD to focus strictly on cards using it’s Graphics Core Next architecture, released in 2011. AMD has made GCN the cornerstone of its graphics plans, building API’s such as Mantle around it, and showcasing it for Vulkan and DirectX 12.
It’s great to see that AMD has overhauled their graphics drivers and the control panel. I never bought into the idea that the drivers were bad, which was a problem with the old ATI. However, while they worked fine, there were still some odd issues, and Crimson makes it feel like a dog in comparison to what it is now.
How have you liked the Crimson suite so far? Let us know in the comments.
Update: This article was originally published without the image by mistake. It has been updated with an image.