Adrenalin 2019 Improvements Part 1: WattMan and Performance

While the new Adrenalin 2019 suite puts a heavy emphasis on new streaming features as well as multi-device integration and ease-of-use, some of the existing features have seen some healthy number of tweaks and improvements. WattMan is such an existing feature that brings some larger updates, some of which are Vega-focused.

For Adrenalin 2019, WattMan now features one-click ‘Tuning Control’ presets for overclocking and undervolting, separate from the power-oriented ‘Performance Profile'. 

As WattMan is a built-in first-party OC tool, which first-time overclockers and tuners would be most likely to use, these profiles offer a straightforward option for beginners, especially with including an oft overlooked approach with undervolting.

Because WattMan is a built-in first-party OC tool, it’s most likely the first tool that first-time overclockers will fall back to. As such, these new profiles provide a straightforward option for beginners, especially with also providing an option for the often overlooked approach of undervolting the GPU.

While the two overclocking presets are available to RX 400 series and higher, the undervolting profile is limited to discrete RX Vega GPUs. Otherwise, the new Adrenalin 2019 also enables control for all of RX Vega’s DPM states, where as previously only the two highest states were unlocked.

For discrete RX series GPUs, WattMan also brings better fan control by enabling temperature-dependent custom fan curves and also supporting zero RPM. Additionally, WattMan now offers a second preset of video memory timings, intended for optimizing more memory-bound workloads like cryptocurrency mining.

Meanwhile, WattMan has been further integrated into Overlay and AMD Link. With Overlay’s new “WattMan” tab, the Tuning Control presets can be changed on-the-fly, along with loading and saving custom profiles, or even outright manual adjustments of frequencies and voltages.

In the same vein, the aforementioned settings can now also be all adjusted through AMD Link, though by default profile loading is the only modification available. Enabling ‘WattMan Advanced Control’ in AMD Link’s App Settings will permit all the rest of the GPU customization options. Of course, adjustments to potentially unstable settings while in-game may result in unintended consequences.

In line with the new WattMan features to customize efficiency, Radeon Chill is also bringing power-saving improvements to discrete RX GPUs. On the RX Vega, altogether with WattMan enhancements there are now more efficiency-tweaking options for both the entry-level and enthusiast user.

Naturally, AMD reiterates year-over-year performance improvements, though these represent an aggregate over the year rather than arriving all at once with Adrenalin 2019.

Also in this mix is AMD’s ongoing Project Radeon eSports Experience (ReSX), which was first unveiled in March with Adrenalin Edition 18.3.1. Project ReSX focuses on improving performance, 99th percentile frametimes, as well as input latency on the most popular eSports titles. Compared to 18.3.1, AMD is particularly citing the latency reduction enhancements.

Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Adrenalin 2019 Improvements (2): Radeon Overlay and Display Features
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  • overseer - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Can't believe they still haven't fixed the frequent hanging issue with RX 480, and I have to roll back to 18.9.3 WHQL.
  • Manch - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    I never had issues with mine. Even before undervolting. Have you tried logging it? Are you unstable only under the new ones?
  • bernstein - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    real shame amd link isn't available on android tv / apple tv...
  • silverblue - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    Problems, if somewhat minor... I undervolted my RX 590 in 18.12.1 from 1168mV to 1075mV with a power limit of -10%, which allows it to successfully get through Unigine Heaven 4.0. In 18.12.2, undervolting to the same level just causes the card to reset to normal. Oh, and it thinks the card is 1150mV by default now, not sure which is correct.

    Another issue is that settings aren't applied on restart, so I have to manually go back to Global Wattman to apply them as well as to Display for my HDMI scaling (which is set, but not applied until you change the slider).

    Back to 18.12.1 for now, then.
  • benzosaurus - Sunday, December 16, 2018 - link

    Me, on first reading this article: "Oh, cool, I wonder if they fixed the bug where the overlay won't open at all!"

    Me, after installing the update: "Oh cool, they addressed that by making it so the entire settings pane doesn't open to allow you to turn the overlay on."
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