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AMD Radeon Software Crimson

amd radeon software crimson edition 16.2.1, amd radeon software crimson
16121 December 8, 2016; 36 days ago 2016-12-081 ±

Linux 1512 December 17, 2015; 12 months ago 2015-12-172 ± Preview release Windows 15111 Beta November 16, 2015; 13 months ago 2015-11-163 ± Operating system Microsoft Windows
Linux Platform IA-32 and x64
NET Framework
Qt Size 288 MB Type Device driver and system monitor License Proprietary / Freeware Website AMD Catalyst

AMD Radeon Software Crimson formerly named ATI Catalyst and AMD Catalyst is a device driver and utility software package for Advanced Micro Devices's graphics cards and APUs It runs on Microsoft Windows and Linux, on 32- and 64-bit x86 processors


  • 1 Software bundle
    • 11 Radeon Settings
  • 2 Supported hardware
    • 21 Supported products
    • 22 Multi-monitor support
    • 23 Video acceleration
    • 24 Audio acceleration
    • 25 Power saving
  • 3 Supported interfaces
    • 31 Rendering
      • 311 Direct3D
      • 312 Mantle
      • 313 OpenGL
      • 314 Vulkan
    • 32 Video acceleration
    • 33 GPGPU
      • 331 OpenCL
      • 332 Close to Metal
    • 34 Other
      • 341 Heterogeneous System Architecture
      • 342 AMD GPU Services AGS
      • 343 AMD Display Library ADL SDK
  • 4 Operating systems support
    • 41 Linux
    • 42 Microsoft Windows
    • 43 Issues
      • 431 On Windows Platforms
      • 432 On Linux Platforms
  • 5 History
  • 6 See also
    • 61 Related technologies
    • 62 Related topics
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Software bundleedit

Radeon Settingsedit

Radeon Settings replaced the old AMD Catalyst Control Center AMD Catalyst Control Center uses Qt as part of its toolchain

Supported hardwareedit

AMD Catalyst is targeted to support all function blocks present on a GPU's or APU's die Besides IC targeted at rendering, this includes display controllers as well as their SIP blocks to do video decoding, Unified Video Decoder UVD and video encoding Video Coding Engine VCE

The device driver also supports AMD TrueAudio, a SIP block to do sound related calculations

Supported productsedit

AMD Catalyst supports the following AMD and ATI-tradition product lines targeted at rendering:

  • Graphics processing units GPUs
  • Accelerated processing units APUs

The following product lines are probablyoriginal research not supported by the AMD Catalyst, but instead by some other software, which for example is OpenGL-certified:

  • AMD FireStream product line for GPGPU in supercomputers and such
  • AMD FireMV product line for multi-monitor setups deprecated by AMD Eyefinity being available on all consumer productscitation needed
  • AMD FirePro product line for professionals who require certified OpenGL support

Multi-monitor supportedit

Main article: AMD Eyefinity

Starting in Catalyst 146 AMD has enabled mixed resolution support, allowing for a single Eyefinity display group to be created while each monitor runs at a different resolution This feature is made possible through the addition of two new Eyefinity display modes, Fit and Expand, which join the traditional Fill mode In both Fit an Expand mode AMD is compensating for the mismatched resolutions by creating a virtual desktop that is of a different resolution than the monitors, and then either padding it out or cropping it as is necessary4

Before Eyefinity, there was the Windows-only software "HydraVision", a desktop/screen management software mostly providing multi-monitor and virtual-screen management It has extensive hot-key support5

Video accelerationedit

Both of AMD's SIP cores for video acceleration, Video Coding Engine as well as Unified Video Decoder, are supported by AMD Catalyst

Audio accelerationedit

Main article: AMD TrueAudio

Some AMD products contain SIP cores for audio acceleration branded AMD TrueAudio Support for this audio acceleration DSP co-processor is part of AMD Catalyst

Under Microsoft Windows the support for AMD TrueAudio is codenamed "ACP" for audio co-processor and implemented via "ACP user service" amdacpusrsvcexe, a background service that helps manage audio tasks in games

Under Linux, AMD TrueAudio is codenamed "acp" as well, some code regarding this can be found in the /drivers/gpu/drm/radeon directory of the Linux kernel sources

Power savingedit

Main article: AMD PowerTune

AMD Catalyst includes support for AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune and AMD ZeroCore Power, AMD's set of technologies to reduce energy consumption in their graphics products6

Supported interfacesedit


The AMD Catalyst device driver supports multiple rendering interfaces, all designed to give the user-space programs, such as video games or CAD software, access to the correspondent SIP blocks


Main article: Direct3D


So far, only the Catalyst targeting Microsoft Windows includes support for Mantle API


Main article: OpenGL


Main article: Vulkan API

Vulkan 10 with 1632 or higher for GCN

Video accelerationedit

The AMD Catalyst device driver supports multiple interfaces, all designed the give user-space programs, such as eg GStreamer or HandBrake software, access to the correspondent SIP blocks



Main article: OpenCL

With Catalyst 912 support of OpenCL 10 was available7 In Catalyst 1010 OpenCL 11 was available8 Catalyst 124 Supports OpenCL 129 OpenCL 20 includes 10 to 12 Driver Works since 1441 for GCN-based Models Terascale 2 Chips can use Level 12 10

Close to Metaledit

Main article: Close to Metal

Close to Metal was a low-level API by AMD which was abandoned in favor of OpenCL


AMD HD3D stereoscopic 3D API by AMD

Heterogeneous System Architectureedit

Main article: Heterogeneous System Architecture

With Catalyst 141 HSA is possible11 AMD main Prozessor graphic Units and Radeon graphic Card Units work combined

AMD GPU Services AGSedit

  • GPUOpen: http://gpuopencom/gaming-product/amd-gpu-services-ags-library/ & https://githubcom/GPUOpen-LibrariesAndSDKs/AGS_SDK

AMD Display Library ADL SDKedit

  • http://developeramdcom/tools-and-sdks/graphics-development/display-library-adl-sdk/

Operating systems supportedit


AMD Catalyst for Linux and Mesa will use the same Linux kernel drivers: amdgpu12 and amdkfd13 Mantle is not supported on Linux
Support for ASICs such as eg UVD, VCE, or AMD TrueAudio will be integrated into amdgpu In the past AMD Catalyst for Linux here called: libGL-fglrx-glx used a proprietary binary blob

For a long time fglrx an abbreviation for "FireGL and Radeon for X"14 had been the name of the proprietary graphics device driver for Linux Starting from Catalyst 711, the ATI Proprietary Linux driver was renamed ATI Catalyst Linux, and was moved to the same release dates and version numbering as the versions for Microsoft Windows15

In the first years of its development, the proprietary Linux driver fglrx had been criticized for its stability and performance issues as well as lack of options AMD improved the driver in the following periods by including key features such as CrossFire, OverDrive, Catalyst AI, Stream Computing, new anti-aliasing functions, MultiView, SurroundView, etc But the major breakthrough for fglrx was the strategic decision that AMD took in 2008, to increase the significance of Linux support: From then on all new GPUs in future are to be shipped with Linux driver support right from the first day of their release, instead of having to face a delay of several months as it used to be until then16 In the following years the state of the driver had continuously further improved over time, with AMD working in concert with application developers, and most instances of the drivers were considered to be solid enough for most tasks and functional for most users17

Soon after its release as free and open-source software, VOGL, an OpenGL debugger available for Linux and Microsoft Windows, received support for the AMD Catalyst Linux driver18

On the GDC 2014 AMD was publicly exploring the strategy of rebasing the user space components of the AMD Catalyst Linux driver from the current proprietary Linux kernel blob to the libDRM of the free and open-source radeon driver easing the use and implementation of HSA under Linux At then XOrg Developer's Conference in October, 2014 AMD's Alex Deucher officially introduced amdgpu and amdkfd13

Microsoft Windowsedit

Windows support From version To version Notes
Windows 9x 021 44 There were some later releases for these operating systems, including and up to a Windows Me build of Catalyst 62 released on Feb 9, 200619
Windows 2000 021 6520
Windows XP 021 14421 Driver updates and support stopped at AMD Catalyst 144 for video cards with support up to DirectX 11 on Hardware, but up to only DirectX 90c on Windows XPcitation needed
Windows XP x64 44 14422
Windows Vista 72 1312 Driver updates and support stopped at AMD Catalyst 1312 for video cards with support up to DirectX 1123
Windows 7 93 16121 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 7 64bit,24 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 7 32bit25
Windows 8 12826 16121 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 81 64bit,27 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 81 32bit28
Windows 10 15729 16121 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 10 64bit,30 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 10 32bit31

Starting with version 49 released on 4 September 2004 the Catalyst driver package included the ATI Catalyst Control Center,32 a new software application for manipulating many hardware functions, such as 3D settings, monitor controls and video options It shows a small 3D preview and allows the user to see how changes to the graphics settings affect the quality of the rendered image It also shows information about the card itself and the software data This application requires Microsoft NET Framework

Crimson 16x and higher only for GCN-based Models With 1632 Vulkan 10 support


On Windows Platformsedit

  • Quantity of rendered ahead frames cannot be adjusted
  • Triple buffering in D3D cannot be forced
  • V-sync in many games under Windows 7 cannot be forced disabled
  • Sometimes installables complain about registers being in use by Catalyst Control Center and AMD Fuel Service, and asks to shut them before proceeding Users are in doubt whether "End Task" on them will cause display to stop working In Control Panel installed system programs do not have a field to indicate for any program whether system will be unusable without it

On Linux Platformsedit

  • No support for 3D HDTVscitation needed
  • No support for kernel modesetting
  • Very long duration between updates fglrx releases are often six months behind in compatibility terms with their key upstream dependencies, such as the Linux® kernel and the xorg xserver


Catalyst originated on 13 June 200233 with version 021 - after ATI Technologies released the Radeon 8500 GPU in October 2001 - as "a software suite that includes unified driver and software applications to enable ATI's Radeon family of graphics products"citation needed for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Me, with support for Windows 98 via the Windows Me driver The first number in a release version denotes the year, the second the release within that year, starting at x1 for all years other than 2003 which had a 30 release

In June 2012 AMD announced that they would stop monthly driver-updates and release new drivers "when it makes sense"34

The original Catalyst consisted of these elements:

  1. a new, unified driver for ATI Radeon graphics-cards
  2. Hydravision, ATI's proprietary desktop-management software
  3. an ATI "Multimedia Center"
  4. ATI's Remote Wonder software
  5. a new AGP diagnostic and stability tool
  6. a redesigned control-panel

Key features promised by ATI include frequent driver-updates with performance enhancements, bug fixes, and new features

In mid-2004, however, ATI started to support Linux XFree86, XOrg, hiring a new Linux driver team to produce fglrx Their new proprietary Linux drivers, instead of being a port of the Windows Catalyst drivers, were based on the Linux drivers for the FireGL the FireGL drivers worked with Radeons before, but didn't officially support them, a card geared toward graphics producers, not gamers although the display driver part is now based on the same sources as the ones from Windows Catalyst since version 4x in late 2004 The proprietary Linux drivers could support R200 Radeon 8500-9200, 9250 chips35 For a better display driver, the drivers from a distribution's official repositories are recommended

Initially, ATI did not produce Radeon drivers for Linux, instead giving hardware specifications and documentation to Direct Rendering Infrastructure DRI developers under various non-disclosure agreements

The frequency of driver updates increased in late 2004, releasing Linux drivers every two months, half as often as their Windows counterparts Then since late 2005 this has been increased to monthly releases, inline with the Windows Catalyst releases

In 2008, ATI changed its release cycles and driver versions; now referred to as Catalyst <year><month>, the driver package still includes an internal 8xxx driver revision, but it is now monthly, having a common code base with the Windows driver starting with internal release 843 In 2009, the Catalyst driver officially dropped support for R500 and older chips, the FOSS driver being deemed stable and complete enough The last driver release supporting older architectures is Catalyst 93

See alsoedit

  • AMD CodeXL

Related technologiesedit

  • ATI Avivo
  • ATI CrossFire
  • ATI PowerPlay

Related topicsedit

  • ATi/AMD on Free and open-source graphics device drivers


  1. ^ "Software Crimson ReLive Edition 16121 Release Notes" 2016-12-08 Retrieved 2016-12-08 
  2. ^ "AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Linux 1512 Proprietary Graphics Driver Release Notes" 2015-12-17 Retrieved 2015-12-17 
  3. ^ "AMD Catalyst™ 15111 Beta Driver for Windows® Release Notes" 2015-11-16 Retrieved 2015-11-17 
  4. ^ "AMD Catalyst 146 beta adds new Eyefinity functionality" AnandTech 2014-05-27 Retrieved 2014-07-02 
  5. ^ "HydraVision" 2008-04-18 
  6. ^ "PowerPlay™ support in Catalyst for Linux version 81910" 2005-11-12 
  7. ^ http://wwwgeeks3dcom/20091221/how-to-enable-opencl-support-on-nvidia-and-amd-platforms/
  8. ^ http://wwwgpu-techorg/contentphp/140-Industry-s-first-Open-CL-1-1-Driver-is-public-AMD-Catalyst-10-10
  9. ^ https://wwwkhronosorg/news/permalink/opencl-12-supported-in-amd-opencl-app-sdk-27-and-catalyst-124-drivers
  10. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/OpenCL2-Driveraspx
  11. ^ http://wccftechcom/amd-catalyst-13-35-beta-drive-mantle-hsa-support-scheduled-january-kaveri-coprocess/
  12. ^ "Initial amdgpu driver release" 2015-04-20 
  13. ^ a b "Alex Deucher - AMD's New Unified Open Source Driver" 2014-10-08 
  14. ^ http://wikigentooorg/wiki/Talk:Fglrx
  15. ^ ATI Catalyst Linux 711 release notes
  16. ^ AMD Linux 2008 Year in Review on Phoronix
  17. ^ WineD3D developer statement concerning fglrx 2008-12
  18. ^ http://richg42blogspotcouk/2014/03/completed-another-round-of-testing-onhtml
  19. ^ "Catalyst™ 62 Drivers and ATI Multimedia Software for Windows 98/Windows 98 SE/Windows ME" Официальный сайт Retrieved 19 November 2009 
  20. ^ ATI Catalyst 66 release notes
  21. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows%20XP%20-%20Professional/Home&RenderOnServer=true
  22. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows%20XP%20-%2064&RenderOnServer=true
  23. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows%20Vista%20-%2032
  24. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+7+-+64 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 7 64bit
  25. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+7+-+32 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 7 32bit
  26. ^ AMD Catalyst 128 release notes
  27. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+81+-+64 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 81 64bit
  28. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+81+-+32 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 81 32bit
  29. ^ AMD Catalyst 157 Release Notes
  30. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+10+-+64 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 10 64bit
  31. ^ http://supportamdcom/en-us/download/desktopos=Windows+10+-+32 actual AMD Support Download for Windows 10 32bit
  32. ^ ATI Catalyst Control Center announcement Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ ATI Catalyst announcement Archived November 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ AMD Drops Monthly Driver Update Practice After Ten Years "AMD Drops Monthly Driver Update Practice After Ten Years" X-bit labs Retrieved 2012-12-30 
  35. ^ "r2 support is completely broken with 82518 - Rage3D Discussion Area" Rage3dcom Retrieved 2012-12-30 

External linksedit

  • AMD Catalyst Technology
  • AMD Graphics Drivers & Software
  • AMD Game Driver Page

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