AMD Releases Long Overdue Unified Driver for Radeon 7000/6000 GPUs

Radeon RX 6900 Series
Radeon RX 6900 Series (Image credit: AMD)

After being forsaken for over two months, AMD's Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, which are still some of the best GPUs, can finally welcome a new driver. Making good on its promise, AMD has deployed the Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver for RDNA 2-powered graphics cards. It's not just for the RX 6000-series, though, as the unified driver also supports the RX 7000-series as well as RX 400-series and later GPUs.

The Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver brings official support for Forspoken and Dead Space. But, of course, it wouldn't be a driver update without performance improvements. AMD claims that the Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver offers up to 7% higher 4K performance on Forspoken and up to 4% on Hogwarts Legacy compared to the previous Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver released in December 2022. Again, F1 2022 showed the most significant uplift, with AMD measuring a performance increase of up to 19%.

AMD utilizes the Radeon RX 6950 XT for the performance comparison between the two drivers (the 7000-series drivers previously received many of these updates), so your mileage may vary. In addition, the chipmaker focused more on Vulkan in this release. It also added support for the IREE compiler using the MLIR interface on Vulkan and several Vulkan extensions.

Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 Performance Improvements

Swipe to scroll horizontally
GamePerformance IncreaseGPU UsedResolution
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered4%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Sniper Elite 53%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Shadow of the Tomb Raider6%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Quake II RTX7%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Hitman 34%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy6%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
F1 202219%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Doom Eternal 9%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Borderlands 34%Radeon RX 6950 XT4K
Hogwarts Legacy4%Radeon RX 6950 XT, Radeon RX 7900 XT4K

Radeon RX 6900-series owners will be happy to know they're finally receiving the features that Radeon RX 7900-series users have been enjoying. AMD delivers H.264 and H.265 streaming optimizations on the Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver and a merited update to AMD Link. The chipmaker highlighted that users of Radeon RX 7900-series graphics cards would also need to download the new version.

The newest version of OBS Studio will come with an optimized encoder molded to AMD's Radeon RX 6000- and RX 7000-series graphics cards. In addition, the software brings AV1 encode acceleration support for the latter.

AMD fixed many issues with the Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver, such as the Fortnite performance drops or stuttering in Sea of Thieves. Some known bugs remain, though. For example, the high idle power on Radeon RX 7000-series graphics cards related to high-resolution and high refresh rate monitors persists. Some users may still experience performance degradation on virtual reality games or applications. Again, you can find more information within the release notes.

Zhiye Liu
News Editor and Memory Reviewer

Zhiye Liu is a news editor and memory reviewer at Tom’s Hardware. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Makaveli
    Just a heads up.

    I installed these a couple hours ago and ran into a Windows repair boot loop and had to use a restore point to go back to 11.2 drivers.

    Some other people have reported this in the reddit thread.

    And now a few hours later I solved the issue some of you may need to disable Fast Boot in your bios before the driver install. After that it installed windows rebooted normally I have since renabled fast boot and everything is good now.
  • Gymonx11
    Admin said:
    AMD has finally deployed the Adrenalin Edition 23.2.1 driver for Radeon RX 7000-series (RDNA 3) and RX 6000-series (RDNA 2) graphics cards. It also supports older GPUs and includes new features and performance uplifts that previously were part of the 7000-series drivers.

    AMD Releases Long Overdue Unified Driver for Radeon 7000/6000 GPUs : Read more

    If anyone else's adrenalin software fails to open after driver update run RSXPackage.msix in c:/program files/AMD/CNext/CNext fixed it for me.
  • -Fran-
    As an old AMD user, I'll wait until a few weeks have gone in, if not the next release, so they check all the breaking bugs they could be introducing on this one. AMD put a lot of pressure on the engies behind the drivers, and when management puts the foot down, there's always a high chance of relaxing rules in favour of getting the software out faster.