AMD's new GPU driver promises a massive performance boost in F1 2021

F1 2021
(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

AMD's latest Radeon Software Adrenalin driver package is optimized for F1 2021, the new racing simulation developed by Codemasters, and promises to deliver up to a 26% increase in performance. That is definitely on the higher end of the kind of performance lift a GPU driver upgrade typically delivers.

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That figure is based on AMD's own testing (not ours), and specific to playing the game at 1080p at Ultra High settings, with a Radeon RX 6800 XT running the show. The rest of the testbed consists of a Ryzen 9 5900X processor and 16GB of DDR4 memory. It's also with ray tracing turned off.

As we noted in our F1 2021 review, the game runs pretty well at 1080p even if you are not rocking the latest hardware.

Naturally your mileage will vary depending on your specific GPU and platform, but the potential is at least there for a massive and free performance gain with AMD's latest driver package (version 21.7.1). The release notes also claim you can see up to a 6% performance boost when playing at 4K, and with ray tracing turned on. Not too shabby.

Beyond the performance gain in F1 2021, AMD's driver is tuned for the company's Radeon RX 6700M and 6600M mobile GPUs. It also contains half a dozen bug fixes. They include:

  • An Oculus service error may be received on Radeon RX 5000 and 6000 series graphics products which prevents the Oculus Link setup software from running.
  • Lighting corruption may be experienced in Apex Legends when Radeon Boost is enabled.
  • Some users may experience elevated memory usage by AMD User Experience Program.
  • A driver mismatch error may appear when two versions of Radeon software (Windows Store and AMD Support versions) are installed on your system.
  • Some users may experience higher than expected memory utilization when running 3DMark Time Spy.
  • While playing Carrion, some users may experience image corruption when Anisotropic Filtering is enabled.

AMD also lists a bunch of known issues that have yet to be resolved. One of them affects the Game Compatibility advisor in the Radeon Software utility—it's erroneously telling some users that their CPU and/or GPU does not meet the minimum requirements to play certain games, even though their hardware is up to the task.

You can grab the driver update through the Radeon Software utility, or head to AMD's driver download page to grab and install it manually. If you're using Ryzen Master, note that a system restart might be required before it shows up in the utility (another known issue).

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).