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This document provides general information about color depth and instructions on selecting the preferred color depth within AMD Radeon Settings. 

The contents of this document are organized into the following sections:


The number of colors that are used to show images on a display is determined by color depth, which is expressed in bits per color (BPC).  Most monitors support up to 8 BPC, known as 24-bit true color, where each channel of the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) color model consists of 8 bits.

A variant of the 8 BPC color depth is 32-bit true color, which includes a fourth channel (Alpha) for transparency.  Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 and Windows® 10 use 32-bit true color by default for displaying the Desktop and applications.

Displays capable of greater than 8 BPC are generally used for graphics design, professional photography, and cinema post production.  The higher color depth value allows more colors to be used, which can result in more colorful and vibrant images.  For the purpose of this document, only 8 BPC and 10 BPC (8-bit and 10-bit for short) modes will be referenced.

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Hardware and Software Requirements

Current AMD graphics products (GPU) process colors internally, in floating-point precision, with the 8-bit (or 10-bit) conversion occurring only at the output stage.

With a supported display the BPC required can be selected, if it is supported and enabled in the software application.  The software application must be running in exclusive full screen mode, otherwise the image will be rendered in 8-bit mode.

To see a list of supported displays and graphics card that have been tested and recommended for use with the software application, please refer the software vendor's documentation.

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Selecting the Preferred Color Depth

Follow the steps below to view and select the available color depth supported by your display.

  1. Open Radeon Settings by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting AMD Radeon Settings

  2. Click on Display menu option

  3. In the Color Depth area, select the preferred color depth for the desired display.  This selection is only available if multiple color depth settings are available for the display.

    NOTE!  The Color Depth option is only available if connected via Dual-Link DVI or DisplayPort.  Adapters or converters are not supported.
  4. The selected color depth should be applied immediately.

  5. Close Radeon Settings, when done.
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