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Planning to buy a Radeon VII graphic card? You'll need this driver

AMD is pushing out a new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition driver release (19.2.2) that adds official support for the Radeon VII graphics card. In addition, the latest driver release is optimized for Metro Exodus and a few other games.

The Radeon VII is AMD's newest graphics card, based on its 7nm Vega GPU. It's still not widely available—there is no stock on Amazon or Newegg right now—but you can snag one if you're quick on the trigger, direct from AMD. Stock comes and goes, though. At the time of this writing, clicking the "Add to Cart" button on AMD's website brings up an "out of stock" message, with the promise that "additional inventory will be available soon."

In any event, the latest driver will prep your PC for the new card, assuming you already have an AMD GPU in your system. If you don't plan to buy a Radeon VII but do own a previous generation Vega or Polaris card, you'll benefit from optimizations to Far Cry New Dawn, Metro Exodus, Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and Crackdown 3.

To what extent remains to be seen. AMD's release notes provide only a single performance claim—it states that Radeon RX 590 owners can expect up to a 5 percent performance bump in Crackdown 3 with the 19.2.2 driver release.

As is usually the case with new GPU driver packages, AMD fixed several issues. They include:

  • Using the Alt+Tab shortcut out of a fullscreen application or game may be slow or take longer than expected when using a display connected by DisplayPort.
  • Apply and Discard buttons may not appear in some areas of Radeon Overlay under the Radeon WattMan overclocking tab.
  • Radeon WattMan may fail to apply memory clock changes on AMD Radeon VII.
  • AMD Radeon VII may intermittently experience a system hang when attempting to perform a timeout detection and recovery on Windows 7 system configurations.
  • Radeon WattMan may display the incorrect max fan/temperature values for AMD Radeon VII.
  • Radeon WattMan may experience issues with changed values failing to save or load when multiple changes are applied at once.
  • AMD Radeon VII may experience intermittent system stability issues on some X399 motherboards.
  • Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds may intermittently experience an application crash when changing post-processing settings.
  • Radeon Settings may experience an application hang when loading the performance histogram in a game profile through game manager.
  • Update Notifications may sometimes incorrectly list the currently installed driver as an available upgrade.
  • Apex Legends may intermittently experience line corruption on AMD Radeon VII.

Notice that several of the bug fixes pertain to the Radeon VII card. It's possible to run the card on an older driver release, but this is definitely the version you want if you already own it or plan to pick one up.

Follow this link to grab the new driver.