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AMD's Radeon Software 16.4.2 drivers fully support external graphics cards

By Scorpus ยท 26 replies
Apr 25, 2016
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  1. If you've got an AMD Radeon graphics card, now is the time to update your drivers: the company has launched version 16.4.2 that includes performance improvements and full support for Xconnect technology.

    Xconnect allows gamers with supported systems to use a Radeon GPU in an external enclosure over Thunderbolt 3. At this stage, the technology supports Radeon R9 Fury, Nano and 300 series cards, giving those with underpowered laptops a serious performance boost in games. AMD says the 16.4.2 drivers include an "integrated management interface" as well as plug and play support.

    Unfortunately you can't simply use Xconnect with any Thunderbolt 3 device. Instead, manufacturers will need to enable or include external graphics support in their devices' BIOS, and users will need to ensure they're running at least Windows 10 build 10586 with the latest Thunderbolt firmware and a correct Thunderbolt 3 cable.

    The Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2 drivers also include new Crossfire profiles for Elite Dangerous and Need for Speed. AMD has fixed a number of issues with flickering in games when Crossfire is enabled, and fan speed issues on R9 380 graphics cards has been resolved.

    As always, you can download the latest AMD Radeon Software drivers through Radeon Settings automatically. If you want a manual installer, you can grab directly from here.

    Permalink to story.

  2. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    Now if they could only fix the common driver issues where monitors fail to wake.
  3. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +153

    It's not for these drivers, but overall it seems to me that's time to come back to RED team. Somehow Nvidia has managed to let me down with the GTX 970.
  4. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,461   +630

    this is still an issue?

    This was fixed for me on the 7000 series on a driver update almost 2 years ago.
  5. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    Consistently still get it on my R9 390 on every version of Crimson thus far.
  6. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,461   +630

    hmm not recommending you go back to an older driver but going to assume you tested it with pre Crimson and its fine?
  7. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,962   +577

    Mmm I turned off monitor sleep and just manually powered off my monitor for years because of this issue.
  8. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,962   +577

    On the current story though, great news and progress. Going to be watching how this tech goes closely!
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    Does this issue occur over multiple cables, port types, or with integrated graphics. It's possible that it's a display issue. I've had it a couple of times with Dell monitors and a replacement always fixed it.
  10. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    It's nice to see the R9 200 series getting so much support from AMD

    Oh. wait.
  11. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    You want AMD to recall the 200 series card to include technology that literally hasn't existed until a month ago? Or are you insinuating that the 200 series could handle the new external GPU tech? On the latter, it's not likely. Even laptops require new hardware to support it.

    If you are referring to performance enhancements it's a moot point. Any improvements in performance for the 300 series almost directly translates to the 200 series.

    Hypothetical situation, let's say that AMD does hold this back from previous gen cards. Nvidia does the same thing all the time. GameWorks features in new games crush performance on the 700 series thanks to the heavy lean on tessellation.

    I can understand if you had at least a shred of evidence pointing to the feature intentionally being held back but right now you are just jumping to conclusions and casting shade on AMD even when the worst outcome is still not nearly as bad as the competition.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  12. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    I''m referring to the full support for external graphics, which is the subject of the article.

    Most of the 300 series GPUs are rebrands of the 200 series, so I have no idea what you're on about. Laptops require new hardware to support it because they're the ones the thing is plugging into!!! This article is talking about the GPU going into the dock. If a 300 series gpu can go into it, why can't the original version go in too?

    Person A killed someone so that means person B can!

    How is that relevant? I just can't even...
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    Actually the subject of the article is AMD drivers and the title is AMD external GPU support. Big difference.

    The 300 series is a REFRESH and includes many features baked into the hardware not on the 200 series. Namely, the power delivery system when through an overhaul which not only helps load consumption but also idle consumption. Pretty much a requirement given the higher clock speeds.
  14. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    You're quite adept at dodging the situation when someone calls you out...

    Okay, it's about the drivers, whatever. Despite the fact that most of the article is about xconnect.

    It's a rebrand, it's slightly different, and the slight difference doesn't explain why the 200 series doesn't fully support external gpus, when the 300 series does.
  15. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    2/5 paragraphs does not equal a majority of the article.

    A rebrand means it's the exact same card. You contradict yourself in the very next sentence. No, you failed at trying to can the word into your own definition.

    If don't even know the difference between the 200 and 300 series how can you sit here stating that they could be compatible? You don't even have all the relevant information to confirm or deny this. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't but it's pointless to sit here and complain unless you have real proof.
  16. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +121

    I still don't understand why they are only at this stage now. the idea of a a external GPU enclosure popped up at least 15 years ago. I had expected it would have been more commonplace by now.

    The idea of this built in to a ultra book docking station does interest me a lot. It would be a perfect compromise for those who need a powerful portable laptop for work but need more graphics power when at home. I would have been one of the first in line for it 15 years ago.
  17. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,962   +577

    External bus bandwidth I'd say. The Lightning connector is getting there but still a way to go. PCIe and external connection spec has paved the way. USB and Firewire simply had too much latency and not enough bandwidth or reliability to be really worth it. You could at low res and refresh I guess but that won't solve the latency issue.
  18. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    I'm guessing that low latency is going to be the target for many interfaces in the coming years with all the demanding devices like Virtually reality headsets and external graphics cards needing as low latency as possible.
  19. Teflon777

    Teflon777 TS Rookie

    I made an account to say this but he's right. Techspot even has an article about the 290 vs 390 at the same clocks and found that they have exactly the same performance. This means that the 290 can achieve the same performance as a 390 if you simply oc it to 390 clocks. They're literally exactly the same except for vram. The power management stuff is a non issue when talking about driver compatibility so don't bring that up again.

  20. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +121

    When I first read about the possibility of this they were looking at running it by old PCMCIA slots so you could be right. I'm still surprised it has been this long
  21. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +138

    Wait a minute; that's an NVIDIA card in the photo... Just thought it ironic.
    Puiu likes this.
  22. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,962   +577

    Yeah this stuff moves VERY slowly. I've been waiting for decent power over USB to become mainstream for years. SATA 3.0 spec was absolutely abysmal. The moment SSDs hit, it was painfully obvious SATA 3 was obsolete before it even hit the market.

    PCIe/m.2 is only just starting to gain some hardware traction but many boards I'm seeing are bandwidth crippled compared to SSD speed potential. No future proofing. Really the bus should never be the bottleneck - it can connect many devices after all. Can't even cater for the needs of 1 device. It's as if the people designing these buses don't know the devices in the market?
  23. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,980   +3,471

    If you are going to jump into a conversation please take the time to read everything before you make a rude comment and make yourself look like the backside of a donkey.

    This was never about performance of the cards. The power management stuff is a non-issue? Oh, you must know a few guys from the driver dev team right? I guess they don't have to alter the drivers at all to accept these new features. Oh wait, if that is the case why did they have to update the drivers in order to use the 300 series at all? That's because you are wrong.
  24. Apogee777

    Apogee777 TS Member Posts: 21

    I have never had that issue in my life with an AMD card not waking the monitor and atm I have a r9 390, but I have heard of this issue with MONITORS that are bugged.
    if I connect my ASUS MX299 21:9 via HDMI (I use dvi) it won't wake out of sleep and that's ASUS fault not AMD.
  25. Apogee777

    Apogee777 TS Member Posts: 21

    it's your screen not the card.

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