Owners of AMD Radeon graphics cards will be happy to learn an overhaul is coming for their GPU drivers and control panel. In fact, new branding and user interface will have them doing away with the long-standing Catalyst name in favor of "Radeon Software," and I've got to say the first snapshots we've got look promising.
The new Control Panel called Radeon Settings will be faster and more intuitive. AMD is ditching .NET in the backend in favor of QT framework which promises to boost startup and response times dramatically. They are also streamlining driver options in an evident effort to get back to Nvidia's GeForce Experience software.
Radeon Settings can detect your installed games and allow you to set antialiasing, tessellation, v-sync, frame rate target control and even overclocking on a per-game basis. Meanwhile, recommended game settings will continue to be available in the separate Gaming Evolved application which is crowd-sourced and powered by a third party, with potential plans to integrate recommendations to Crimson down the road.
Features in Radeon Settings are grouped in five areas, inhering most of what Catalysts do today: Gaming, Video, Display, Eyefinity and System. As you can see in the screenshots below, the interface looks clean and modern:
Improved performance is not part of the announcement (for now), this is more about user experience. AMD's driver release schedule won't change dramatically under the new Radeon Software banner and the year.month convention will be kept as well. "Crimson Edition" is the major yearly version of the driver and is likely to change after a year or two.
To be noted, this is one of the first initiatives of the newly formed Radeon Technologies Group led by graphics expert Raja Koduri, that is AMD's dedicated Radeon division that started acting as its own business group since last September.
The first release of Radeon Software Crimson is planned before before the end of the year, with a possible launch date later this month.