Following last week’s release of NVIDIA’s first Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling-enabled video card driver, AMD this week has stepped up to the plate to do the same. The Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.5.1 Beta with Graphics Hardware Scheduling driver (version has been posted to AMD’s website, and as the name says on the tin, the driver offers support for Windows 10’s new hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling technology.

As a quick refresher, hardware acceleration for GPU scheduling was added to the Windows display driver stack with WDDM 2.7 (shipping in Win10 2004). And, as alluded to by the name, it allows GPUs to more directly manage their VRAM. Traditionally Windows itself has done a lot of the VRAM management for GPUs, so this is a distinctive change in matters.

Microsoft has been treating the feature as a relatively low-key development – relative to DirectX 12 Ultimate, they haven’t said a whole lot about it – meanwhile AMD’s release notes make vague performance improvement claims, stating “By moving scheduling responsibilities from software into hardware, this feature has the potential to improve GPU responsiveness and to allow additional innovation in GPU workload management in the future”. As was the case with NVIDIA’s release last week, don’t expect anything too significant here, otherwise AMD would be more heavily promoting the performance gains. But it’s something to keep an eye on over the long term.

In the meantime, AMD seems to be taking a cautious approach here. The beta driver has been published outside their normal release channels and only supports products using AMD’s Navi 10 GPUs – so the Radeon 5700 series, 5600 series, and their mobile variants. Support for the Navi 14-based 5500 series is notably absent, as is Vega support for both discrete and integrated GPUs.

Additional details about the driver release, as well as download instructions, can be found on AMD’s website in the driver release notes.

Finally, on a tangential note, I'm aiming to sit down with The Powers That Be over the next week or so in order to better dig into hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. Since it's mostly a hardware developer-focused feature, Microsoft hasn't talked about it much in the consumer context or with press. So I'll be diving into more on the theory behind it: what it's meant to do, future feature prospects, and as well as the rationale for introducing it now as opposed to earlier (or later). Be sure to check back in next week for that.

Source: AMD

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  • toffty - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    What bsod and/or crashes? I've had a 5700 since release and never had a problem.
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    perhaps you can start with uninstalling first your Nvidia driver.....
  • Irata - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Seems like people who don‘t own an AMD GPU care the most. How considerate.
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Haven't had a single blue-screen in the years I have had my Polaris based RX 580.
    Perhaps something else is wrong with your rig?
  • bcronce - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    My 4850 was solid, but when my wife's 4850 burned out after 6 years of poor cooling, the 6770 was flaky and her 380 has been green screens for years. Overall, I hear the grass is greener on the other side. Both camps have long running issues.
  • alufan - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    when it comes to CPU amd an AMD fan not had intel for many years, GPU I tend to go with the best solution for me performance and budget wise at the time, over the Years have had many issues with both brands but Nvidia has had the Lions share of driver issues with failed installs and BSODs loss of performance etc, both sets of software wrappers ie streamers etc are rubbish
  • Sivar - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Title is redundant. All AMD video drivers are beta drivers.

    --Typed from a Ryzen 7 3700X system. I like good products regardless of vendor, but "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me SIX times over the years..."
  • UNCjigga - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    I wonder if future PCIe 4.0 GPUs can offer an NVMe-based cache on-board (similar to next-gen consoles) hardware GPU scheduling a first step for something like that?
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - link

    Can't wait for your article on this. Im no expert but this probably in preparation for cards in the future with SSDs?

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