A lot of thought, effort, and testing go into the development of each driver; one standard within the industry that helps ensure quality is the Windows Hardware Quality Labs, or WHQL, testing method. WHQL is a testing process from Microsoft that hardware vendors can use to validate the support of their products for Windows operating systems. WHQL incorporates a suite of tests that vendors like AMD run locally. Passing logs can then be submitted to Microsoft to generate a passing certificate.
Passing WHQL is just a small part of the overall testing methodology used for AMD Software. Our quality assurance teams employ a portfolio of sophisticated, non-overlapping stability tools from operating system vendors, software vendors, and computer system manufacturers. In fact, in 2021 alone, AMD launched 26 WHQL-passing drivers, with over 40 games having optimized day-0 support in the past year. For even more rigorous testing, the teams at AMD run automated testing on 6,000 unique system configurations in combination with production-grade features. The outcome then, is outstanding stability for our drivers – with 99.95% of users experiencing no crashes when AMD Software is installed (1).
Publicly available data from NVIDIA, June 1, 2022.
AMD Software features like AMD Radeon™ Image Sharpening (2), AMD Link (3), and AMD Radeon Super Resolution (4) are released as production-grade solutions which means users do not have to face problems that come with experimental capabilities, but rather are able to enjoy fully tested features and capabilities to get the best gaming experience immediately.
How We Continue to Deliver
To ensure prompt support of new game releases and patches, or to reduce issue turnaround time for gamers, AMD sometimes elects to release a WHQL-passing Adrenalin driver without waiting for certification. You may see sometimes within AMD Software that there are “Recommended” drivers and “Optional” drivers for update – both drivers undergo the same strenuous validation, including WHQL-readiness.
AMD Optional drivers are more akin to the production-grade drivers from our competitors. However, AMD Recommended drivers represent tried-and-tested software that often has had months of soak time in the public domain. While every AMD Software release passes Microsoft’s WHQL test suite, it is sometimes advantageous for gamers to use non-WHQL certified drivers. By releasing a non-certified WHQL passing driver, AMD can ensure greater support of new game releases and patches.
Our engineering teams are constantly looking for ways to deliver users better performance. Within the last year alone, we achieved an average 15% performance uplift(5) across various titles, with these benefits being delivered to our users throughout the lifetime of their product ownership.
More recently, we rebuilt our DirectX® 11 driver from the ground up to deliver on average, up to 10% increase in performance gains on your Radeon™ RX 6000 series graphics card, with some games reaching even higher than average gains such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – up to 28%, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands – up to 30%, and Grand Theft Auto V – up to 11%.(6)
Last but certainly not least, is our mandate to ensure that users have the best experiences possible and can take full advantage of their hardware with AMD Software. Within 2021 alone, we introduced 22 new or updated features and key technologies such as Radeon™ Super Resolution and AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution (7), giving users extra performance in-game and in some cases, even better quality.
See endnote RX-772, RX-774, RX-775
We are also delivering new and more immersive ways to play, with features like AMD Link for example – a free app that lets you connect to your AMD-powered PC from your phone, tablet, TV, or other PCs and play or stream your games almost anywhere! It can also be used to monitor your computer performance, so you have a full view of what is going on, or also remotely control your desktop using custom hotkeys. With the new improvements to AMD Link, users can now connect up to 4 people on their AMD-powered system and play local multiplayer games, with the feature supporting both Intel and NVIDIA platforms, allowing everyone to be part of the experience. Furthermore, AMD Software can be used to record, stream and clip the best highlights in-game so you can relive the memories later.
To discover all the great features found in AMD Software that drive your AMD-powered PC, and to learn more about key features, visit our website at https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/software. DOWNLOAD AMD Software HERE and change the way you game.
Isaak Wong is the Sr. Product Marketing Specialist for AMD Software at AMD. GD-5
Disclaimers & Endnotes