The 19.8.1 is without a doubt the best driver I've tried out thus far on my Vega 64
It also was the first driver (beta and stable alike) that had fully functional profile switching; When a custom wattman profile application/game was launched the appropriate profile was loaded and upon quitting customized profiled application/game it switched back (to the last used General Graphics WattMan Profile, such as Balanced or Energy Save). But beyond that it is stable. Stable and improved performance while actually keeping the card a few degrees cooler.
Then the 19.8.2 came and somethings changed
This driver (.2) , much like the previous and both being the 19.8 gen. optional, came with improvements. First and foremost I noticed an increase in performance and lower temperatures during the same load, same circumstance and content. I would argue the performance improved some, from the previous .1 optional.
However the large improvements made to wattman profile loading and unloading went back to the behavior observed in the previous generation drivers.
Specifically, customized profiles would either not load or would have to be loaded trough Radeon Overlay feature, in-game/application and it will either;
1. Not unload customized wattman profile upon exiting featured process, or
2. Overwrite the standard profiles: Balanced Energy Save and Turbo (Turbo is completely useless btw)
I also noticed that the installation process of .2 in contrast to .1 was less stable.
The 19.8.1 as well as .2 are tremendous improvements from all previous generations. The first being more user friendly with the automatic loading and unloading of wattman profiles (customized ones) as well as improved stability, performance and streaming/recording functionality. The second release followed in the same footsteps but losing a lot of the user friendly features that made the .1 so comfortable.
For instance; It's nice to know that if I (having children) kill a process running a custom wattman profile have to leave the computer, I won't have to worry about wasting energy**
** Almost all my customized wattman profiles for full-screen FreeSync games (Like KCD, Rage 2, et cetera) are tweaked for stable performance, I rarely use more than three states of clock speed, memclk and voltage.
If there were more comprehensive and detailed information available about the individual releases with-in a certain gen. (like the current optional one) it would be a lot easier for advanced users or retailers (like myself) to draw a conclusion to what might be the primary cause.
With that said I want to give cred and praise to the developers, finally catching up with drivers that match the potential of the hardware and without removing features while always, I don't know how, improving the brute-force performance of the hardware itself. Keep it up!