AMD recently released a new driver for its Radeon graphics chips that provides an optimized experience for Bethesda’s Dishonored 2, which lands in the laps of PC gamers (and Xbox One/PS4 owners) worldwide on Friday, November 11. Published as Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.11.3, the driver also resolves an issue that terminated Steam and Origin when unplugging an external device that relies on AMD’s XConnect technology.
If you’re not familiar with XConnect, it’s a technology produced by AMD that enables consumers to connect an external graphics card. Typically, customers purchase an empty external enclosure and install a discrete graphics card inside. After that, the external graphics solution is connected to a desktop or laptop (likely the latter) via a Thunderbolt 3 port. XConnect solutions require a PC with Windows 10 Build 10586 or later installed, and a BIOS that supports external GPUs over a Thunderbolt 3 connection.
As for the graphics cards that can be used in XConnect-based external enclosures, the lineup consists of the following:
- Radeon RX 400 Series
- Radeon R9 Fury
- Radeon R9 Nano
- Radeon R9 300 Series
- Radeon R9 290X
- Radeon R9 290
- Radeon R9 285
Although the new driver resolves the issue surrounding Steam, Origin, and AMD’s XConnect technology, there are still several known issues that have yet to be resolved. One of them is related to the third-party Raptr desktop client and its in-game overlay. This overlay continues to prevent several games from launching, causes performance issues, and even crashes PC games when a Radeon card is installed. The current “fix” is to disable the overlay until AMD resolves the problem on the driver side.
Additionally, there are continued problems regarding four specific PC games: DOTA 2, Battlefield 1, Overwatch, and FIFA 17. Here is a simple breakdown of each:
|DOTA 2||Launching this game with the Vulkan graphics API enabled could cause it to crash.|
|Battlefield 2||This game may pop up a message stating that the graphics device was removed.|
|Overwatch||Systems with multiple Radeon cards in CrossFire mode may cause flickering when viewing this game’s character models or within its main menu.|
|FIFA 17||Some Hybrid Graphics or PowerXpress mobile configurations will cause this game to hang or present a black screen on launch.|
The other two items on AMD’s list of outstanding issues focus on H.264 content. First, Radeon RX 400 Series customers may see blocky corruption while streaming H.264 content through P2P playback clients. Second, there are playback issues within internet browsers when hardware acceleration is enabled and game applications/content is running in the background.
To download AMD’s new driver, click on the appropriate operating system below. The company provides instructions on how to uninstall the previous driver here, and how to install the new driver here in case you’re new to driver updates.