AMD’s latest GPU driver adds a tool to stress test your overclocked graphics card

Radeon RX 6700 XT
(Image credit: AMD)

Whenever AMD or Nvidia launch a new graphics card, there is typically a driver update that coincides with it. And so it goes with the Radeon RX 6700 XT—following its official unveiling earlier this week, there is an updated Adrenalin driver available (version 21.3.1) that adds support for the card, and it also brings with it a stress testing tool to ensure your graphics card is running smoothly and reliably.

After applying the driver update, there will be a built-in 'Performance Tuning Stress Test' in the Radeon Software utility. One way you could use this is to check that your graphics card is working properly, though it's really intended to help determine if your overclocked settings are stable.

"Radeon Software helps unlock the full potential of your AMD powered experience. It gives you access to tuning functionality that is both easy to use for novice users via the one-click tuning presets, and feature rich for enthusiasts who like to adjust every little setting," AMD explains.

AMD Performance Tuning Stress Test Tool

(Image credit: AMD)

"If you are an advanced user, the new 'Stress Test' option and updated performance tuning UI are the tools you need to test out your tuning. Running a Stress Test is easy: check your overclock stability with a simple click. New temperature gauges make it easier than ever to understand performance readouts. We have also added indicators for performance limitations which allow you to see where there is room for improvement," AMD continues.

It's a thoughtful addition to the Radeon Software utility, and one of several things the latest driver introduces. Another highlight is Anti-Lag support in DirectX 12 games.

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Anti-Lag is AMD's answer to Nvidia's Reflex technology, in that it aims to reduce the time it takes for a mouse click to register the intended action on the screen. We're talking milliseconds here, but the closer these features can get to instantaneous responses, the better for competitive gaming.

The latest driver also expands Radeon Boost into DX12 territory. This works with Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards to selectively reduce shading rates in parts of a game to lessen the load on the GPU, which in turn can improve performance.

Finally, the 21.3.1 driver brings back Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), and adds performance optimizations for Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods, Part Two.

Beyond the feature additions and tweaks, AMD's driver team managed to shoo away over a dozen bugs. They include:

  • Radeon Software may sometimes have higher than expected CPU utilization, even when a system is at idle.
  • A system hang or crash may be experienced when upgrading Radeon Software while an Oculus VR headset is connected to your system on Radeon GCN graphics products.
  • Minecraft DXR may exhibit corrupted or missing textures when ray tracing is enabled on Radeon RX 6000 series graphics products.
  • An application crash may occur in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare when ray tracing is enabled on Radeon RX 6000 series graphics products.
  • Lighting fails to render correctly on Radeon RX 6800 series graphics products in Star Citizen.
  • A black screen may occur when enabling and disabling Enhanced Sync while V-Sync is enabled in some Vulkan API games.
  • A black screen or system hang may occur on Hybrid Graphics systems for some Vulkan API games when Enhanced Sync is enabled.
  • Bethesda launcher may experience an application crash on startup when launching some games.
  • Users may be unable to create a new scene in the Radeon Software Streaming tab on first launch or after a settings factory reset.
  • Game specific performance tuning profiles may fail to load when a global performance tuning profile has been created or set.
  • Disabling HDCP support and performing a factory reset and/or system restart may sometimes trigger a system crash or hang on boot.
  • Epic Games social overlay or launcher may exhibit color corruption.
  • Xuan-Yuan Sword VII may experience an application crash with DirectX 12 ray tracing enabled on Radeon RX 6000 series graphics.
  • Color corruption may be experienced in Cyberpunk 2077 when Radeon Boost is enabled.
  • Display flicker or corruption may occur on high refresh rate/resolution multi-monitor system configurations on Radeon RX Vega series graphics.
  • Audio loss or cutout may intermittently occur on some TV displays when Windows audio is set to use 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configurations.

All things considered, it is a pretty comprehensive driver update, certainly more so than is typical. Work is not complete, however. AMD points to several known issues, including one whereby by the start and cancel buttons in the performance tuning stress tester sometimes disappears when resizing the Radeon Software window.

You can apply the latest driver through the Radeon Software utility, or grab it from AMD's driver download page to install it manually.

Paul Lilly

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).