There’s a chill in the air, and the leaves are falling off the trees en masse. You know what that means: It’s time for AMD’s huge annual Radeon software update. Like 2014’s Catalyst Omega and 2015’s Radeon Software Crimson, this year’s refresh packs in some huge new features and extends some existing ones—like the superb Radeon WattMan overclocking tool—to more graphics cards.
This year’s iteration expands on Radeon Crimson to become Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition (whew, what a mouthful), named after its highlight ReLive feature. ReLive replaces the Raptr-powered AMD Gaming Evolved app that AMD unceremoniously dumped a few months back. It brings a bevy of video recording and streaming options right into AMD’s core software to challenge Nvidia’s popular Share (née Shadowplay) solution.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s all sorts of new gamer-centric tools, including FreeSync improvements, HDR support, and a feature designed to ratchet down Radeon temperatures and power usage when extra oomph isn’t needed. Separately, AMD’s releasing an easy-to-use benchmarking tool that logs in-game performance across DirectX 11, DX12, and even Vulkan games.
There’s a lot, is what I’m saying. Let’s dig in.
It only seems appropriate to start with ReLive. ReLive does everything you’d expect a utility like this to do: video recording, video streaming, instant replays, and screenshot captures.
Open the Radeon Settings tool and you’ll find a new ReLive tab in the navigation buttons across the top. Selecting it reveals a wealth of options, from simply enabling ReLive—it’s disabled by default—to setting hotkeys, assigning where your gameplay videos will be saved, and deciding whether to record just games or your PC’s desktop as well.
Here’s a picture of the ReLive overlay you can summon in-game:
From left to right, the icons are:
- ReLive settings
- Instant replay. Saves the last few minutes of your gameplay. You can configure how far back Instant Replay saves in the Radeon Settings tool’s ReLive options, along with granular features like the encoding type and frame rate for recordings.
- Record video. As with instant replay, the ReLive settings (pictured above) let you tweak the details, such as video and audio bitrates and the recording resolution. The video encoding options available to you depend on which graphics card you’re using. And yes, you can opt to record the desktop too. Huzzah!
- Stream to Twitch, YouTube, or other services. Again, you can tweak all sorts of options related to the output.
- Screenshot. Pretty self-explanatory!
Video capture utilities are great—unless they send your in-game frame rates plummeting, in which case they’re garbage. Fortunately, Radeon ReLive appears to fall into the former category. When AMD tested Overwatch, H1Z1 King of the Kill, Battlefield 1, and World of Warcraft—examples of games that are widely streamed—at punishing graphics levels on a system equipped with a Core i7-600K and Radeon RX 480, ReLive’s impact was a mere 3 to 4 percent loss. Always take manufacturer-supplied numbers with a pinch of salt, but that’s impressive.