FRTC removed in 2020 drivers

Mar 11, 2004
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I just finally upgraded to one of the 2020 Adrenaline drivers as I've gotten a few BSODs lately (in past few weeks, like 3, but then got two today), something about driver IRQ, not sure if its the video drivers, others, or just Windows itself (probably a mix). The previous driver wouldn't even update as it said it was up to date (although last time I'd messed with drivers (after one of the previous BSODs, where I have to go and reload my profile to get my undervolt settings back) it said to update. So I download and install the new one. Not a fan of the interface but whatever its probably fine and just takes time to get used to. I'm going through and putting my settings back. Looks like I got everything and will try out some of the new stuff (Anti-lag, sharpening - probably won't use it much since I'll likely run native res, but have a few simpler games that have blurry looking parts of their visuals that it might help).

Last thing is, I go to enable Frame Rate Target Control, which lets you cap framerate globally. Which I've found to be a great setting as it limits excess rendering (which makes it so you don't need to bother with VSync, and also has benefit of not getting pointlessly high framerates - I'm on 60Hz monitors right now, but seems like plenty of people with high framerates ones feel its great for bypassing VSync). Its not there. So I google and see apparently its gone now for some reason, and while people play with chill, its not a suitable replacement. For starters it then disables Anti-Lag. The other is that it causes stuttering and input lag (due to it dropping framerates at just about every opportunity). Which its been awhile since I played with it, but I didn't use Chill or the normal Power Efficiency option as they both caused stuttery behavior (think it was even outside of games, although that might have just been Power Efficiency, but I recall Chill not being great in games due to the stuttery aspect).

And I've been relatively lucky, sounds like a lot of others have had nightmares with the 2020 drivers. I don't know what AMD borked, but if they can't get their driver quality back then it won't matter if they have competitive hardware, people won't put up with the software. I'm seeing a lot of people saying losing FRTC is the last straw, and while I'll give it a bit of time to see, it might end up being that for me as well.

I'd hold some hope that perhaps they have that as some default driver behavior (meaning it checks what displays you have and then automatically sets a limit), but people dug into registry editing and were able to enable it that way (which I'm not keen to, and I'm not sure if its even the same thing). I've seen some other options for similar capability, I think RivaTuner and MSI Afterburner might still have that as options. But it'd be a lot nicer if they'd just put it back in.

EDIT:

Got another blue screen so I redid the TIM on the CPU (and added a fan, plus blew out the dust, reseated cards and memory). Bent a pin (but was able to bend it back, its an FX chip so I wouldn't have lamented it much if I'd lost it, I still have the Phenom II so I could've gotten it back up and running; plus it would've given me a good reason to buy one of the new 4000 series laptops).

But then I got back up and running but everytime I opened the Radeon Settings it'd crash (which apparently has happened to people off and on, most seem to find disabling their Intel IGP in Device Manager resolved it, but I didn't have that). So I rolled back to I think the last driver that before Adrenaline 2020 and its working. Had to redo all my settings (including undervolt) as I did a clean install. But I got FRTC back.

The baffling thing to me is that AMD even says on their page showing how to use Radeon Chill that its not a replacement for FRTC (although it can offer similar behavior for limiting max frames), so I don't know why they got rid of it. Which they did indicate something that makes me wonder if its not going to just be automatically handled, but I think that only applies when using Chill (where the max frame is limited to the max refresh rate of the display). Although if they did that globally I could see it being problematic for certain cases (like maybe Folding or something where the user wouldn't have input), which is why having it be a simple option for the user makes sense.
 
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Stuka87

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Dec 10, 2010
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To my knowledge, it was removed because it could cause out of order frames which would appear as screen jitters. As part of capping the frames, the GPU would drop frames to keep it below the configured limit. But there was no way to guarantee frame ordering with this method.

From what I have read Radeon Chill can be configured to give a similar effect of limiting max frames. You can also set the minimum frames, so that can be set higher if you just want the upper end limiting.
 
Mar 11, 2004
22,058
4,353
136
To my knowledge, it was removed because it could cause out of order frames which would appear as screen jitters. As part of capping the frames, the GPU would drop frames to keep it below the configured limit. But there was no way to guarantee frame ordering with this method.

From what I have read Radeon Chill can be configured to give a similar effect of limiting max frames. You can also set the minimum frames, so that can be set higher if you just want the upper end limiting.
Wouldn't that cause Chill to suffer the same problem? Which, even AMD says Chill is not a substitute for FRTC.

I don't recall ever having that happen when using FRTC, although its possible it either was rare enough or I'm not susceptible to noticing it. I see some saying FRTC introduces input lag comparable to VSync, which is possible as I'm not super competitive gamer or play a ton of twitchy games. But I see a lot of people that use FRTC and then try Chill say the latter has noticeable issues related to input. I saw something Chill is inherently different as it can actually adjust the rendering call and should provide lower input lag, but in my experience using Chill was stuttery in general, but maybe I just need to configure it differently. Saw some say set min and max to same (and your refresh rate). Others were saying to set chill max to a few below your refresh rate (but most of that was talking about Freesync displays). I'll give Chill another try but it'll have to wait due to the issues with the most recent driver I was having. I'm not liking that feedback seems all over the place. Some say Chill only works in some games, others say FRTC does, some say FRTC adds input lag while others say its the smoothest (and input lag difference isn't big), and some say Chill is stuttery. Its all over the place. And then stuff like VSync, Enhanced Sync, and Freesync all add other aspects that make it difficult to tell. Seems almost game by game basis too (seems like if the game has its own frame limiter built-in to use that is the best option).

Just checked and its back do saying driver is up to date when its 4 months old, so I'll have to manually do it. Ugh.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,837
1,802
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Wouldn't that cause Chill to suffer the same problem? Which, even AMD says Chill is not a substitute for FRTC.

I don't recall ever having that happen when using FRTC, although its possible it either was rare enough or I'm not susceptible to noticing it. I see some saying FRTC introduces input lag comparable to VSync, which is possible as I'm not super competitive gamer or play a ton of twitchy games. But I see a lot of people that use FRTC and then try Chill say the latter has noticeable issues related to input. I saw something Chill is inherently different as it can actually adjust the rendering call and should provide lower input lag, but in my experience using Chill was stuttery in general, but maybe I just need to configure it differently. Saw some say set min and max to same (and your refresh rate). Others were saying to set chill max to a few below your refresh rate (but most of that was talking about Freesync displays). I'll give Chill another try but it'll have to wait due to the issues with the most recent driver I was having. I'm not liking that feedback seems all over the place. Some say Chill only works in some games, others say FRTC does, some say FRTC adds input lag while others say its the smoothest (and input lag difference isn't big), and some say Chill is stuttery. Its all over the place. And then stuff like VSync, Enhanced Sync, and Freesync all add other aspects that make it difficult to tell. Seems almost game by game basis too (seems like if the game has its own frame limiter built-in to use that is the best option).

Just checked and its back do saying driver is up to date when its 4 months old, so I'll have to manually do it. Ugh.
FRTC and Chill work differently, but can accomplish the same thing. FRTC would drop already rendered frames. This is what would cause the jitter. Chill just doesn't render them, which results in a smoother delivery.

But yes, there are lots of variables, and different accounts from different people. I have not tried using it on my 5700 XT, but I used it a lot on my RX 480. And I do not recall having any issues with it, except that my card ran cooler, which in turn was quieter.
 
Mar 11, 2004
22,058
4,353
136
FRTC and Chill work differently, but can accomplish the same thing. FRTC would drop already rendered frames. This is what would cause the jitter. Chill just doesn't render them, which results in a smoother delivery.

But yes, there are lots of variables, and different accounts from different people. I have not tried using it on my 5700 XT, but I used it a lot on my RX 480. And I do not recall having any issues with it, except that my card ran cooler, which in turn was quieter.
Thanks for the clarity.

I know I tried it around when they first implemented it (I played with it and the Power Efficiency setting, and some others). It seemed like I'd get stuttering and other stuff when using either Chill (which as I understood it was expected/intentional behavior as you were giving up responsiveness for efficiency) or Power Efficiency, which I didn't get with FRTC. Seems like it was trading smoothness off for responsiveness itself. I'll have to give it another go and see if it works better. I don't think it had the ability to set min max (in the control panel at least) for Chill prior to Adrenaline 2020. Them putting that its not a replacement of FRTC, with it being gone is irritating. It sounds like it should be superior, but they act like its something else. They should be saying how to use Chill to get better results than FRTC.

All the configuring is a bit of an annoyance (sometimes its nice to have that ability, sometimes it becomes tedious).

Sounds like they've improved things with Adrenaline 2020 for some people. When the next official driver gets out I'll do a clean install and try it (especially since I have the looming big feature set update for Win 10 going to be installed soon).
 

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