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AMD says its latest GPU driver bumps performance up to 18% in Modern Warfare

(Image credit: AMD)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and The Outer Worlds are both out now, and if you're running a Radeon graphics card, AMD's latest driver could potentially improve performance quite a bit.

According to AMD, its new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.2 driver release boosts performance by up to 18 percent for Radeon RX 5700 XT owners, when playing Modern Warfare using the ultra preset. And in The Outer Worlds, AMD says 5700 XT owners will see up to 8 percent better performance.

Those claims are based on comparisons between the 19.10.2 and previous 19.10.1 driver. The fine print reveals AMD plucked those numbers from a test system comprised of an Intel Core i9-9900K processor and 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM.

We have not fully tested the driver release ourselves, and naturally you can expect results to vary, depending on your specific configuration. That obviously includes the GPU—AMD's release notes do not provide any performance claims for other cards, such as the 5700 (non-XT) or 5500.

Unfortunately, we've seen some pretty bad rendering changes between previous drivers and 19.10.2 in The Outer Worlds. In fact, the changes are bad enough that we straight up do not recommend running 19.10.2 if you're playing The Outer Worlds. Jarred put together a short video demonstrating the problem, which you can see above.

Regardless of what settings you use, the new drivers cause a noticeable rendering horizon for certain effects. That doesn't happen on previous AMD drivers (Jarred checked 19.10.1 and even 19.8.2 with Vega 11 integrated graphics), nor on Nvidia or Intel GPUs. And that 8 percent performance improvement? He couldn't replicate that either, and given the rendering error it wouldn't count anyway.

Beyond the touted performance benefits, the 19.10.2 release squashes a few bugs. They include:

  • Launching League of Legends may cause the display to remain blank for a few seconds.
  • Radeon Chill may create an incorrect registry entry when enabled or disabled.
  • Borderlands 3 may experience an application hang after running the in-game benchmark or changing resolutions.
  • Flicker may be experienced while playing media in Movies and TV application when using some displays connected via USB Type-C.
  • Some Radeon RX Vega and Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may intermittently experience a thread stuck crash or TDR when there is a high GPU load active.

There is a larger number of known issues. They include:

  • The Outer Worlds may experience character models being rendered incorrectly on the inventory screen.
  • Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience stutter in some games at 1080p and low game settings.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay may cause stutter or screen flashing on some applications.
  • Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience display loss when resuming from sleep or hibernate when multiple displays are connected.
  • Toggling HDR may cause system instability during gaming when Radeon ReLive is enabled.
  • Stutter may be experienced when Radeon FreeSync is enabled on 240Hz refresh displays with Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • AMD Radeon VII may experience elevated memory clocks at idle or on desktop.

Follow this link to grab AMD's newest GPU driver, and check out our guide on how to update drivers for tips on best practices.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).