AMD pledges better driver releases and new overdrive replacement in next update

Raja Koduri
Matt Smith/Digital Trends
When AMD overhauled its graphics driver system at the end of last year with the new Crimson platform, it was a change that was welcomed by most of its fans. One aspect that didn’t change too much though was the Overdrive tool, which facilitates overclocking and manual fan control. That may be about to change with Polaris cards though, as leaked slides suggest “WattMan,” could be its replacement.

Despite being unconfirmed for now, OC3D seems quite convinced that the slides it has gotten a hold of are legitimate. They talk about the new RX 480 and its high-end performance at an entry level price point, and also reference “Radeon WattMan (formerly AMD overdrive).”

The description suggests it will help push “your hardware to its limits,” with new settings to customize and control clocks and voltages at the various stages of the graphics processor’s (GPU) operation.

Related: AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX 470 cards may have a starting price of $149

Presumably that means tweaking idle and load clocks, which may well allow gamers to generate more performance when required, while lowering power draw and cooling requirements when not in use.

Due to the die shrinking down to 14nm with the Polaris GPUs, it may well be possible to take them further with aftermarket overclocking than previous, hotter running parts. While that remains to be seen, AMD is making a big play with this generation, which may well pay off.

On top of bringing down the price for high-end graphics card performance, and VR entry-level performance, these slides also suggest the firm will further improve its drive release schedule. It pledges to have many more day-one driver releases, so that AMD gamers can expect top-notch performance regardless of game, from the launch day.

In the past this has been one area where Nvidia has really outshone AMD, so it will be interesting to see if it can keep its promises — especially considering DirectX 12 has many promised performance incentives for AMD hardware, potentially giving it a much better horse in this generation’s GPU race.


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