While testing the GeForce GTX 660 Ti vs the Radeon HD 7950, The Tech Report discovered that despite the beefier hardware, AMD's card performed rather poor in the website's latency-focused tests. The Radeon HD 7000 series' problem doesn't appear when you test the card in traditional frames per second benchmarks, but when you take a closer look and analyze the frame latency you notice that there's something significantly wrong.
AMD's David Baumann now responded to The Tech Report and confirmed that they've found a host of different software-related issues that are potentially responsible for the Radeon's latency issues. Baumann promised that a few driver updates will arrive over "the early part of the year" to help resolve this across a variety of games.
We're pleased to see that AMD will be addressing these issues soon, even if Borderlands 2 can't be patched via a CAP update.
The most intriguing revelation in Baumann's correspondence, though, concerns one specific technical contributor to the frame latency problems on HD 7000-series Radeons based on the GCN architecture: less-than-optimal memory management in software.
Additionally, when we switched from the old VLIW architecture to the GCN core there was a significant updates to all parts of the driver was needed – although not really spoken about the entire memory management on GCN is different to prior GPU's and the initial software management for that was primarily driven by schedule and in the meantime we've been rewriting it again and we have discovered that the new version has also improved frame latency in a number of cases so we are accelerating the QA and implementation of that.
So a specific portion of AMD's driver code needs some additional attention in order to perform optimally on the year-old GCN architecture—and AMD has accelerated an overhaul of it after discovering that the new revision can alleviate frame latency issues. Wow.