Are the AMD drivers really that bad?

Svetgar

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
 

Ricky T

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Even some of the biggest fans of AMD on YouTube such as corteks, good old gamer and moore's law is dead have admittedly been running into a lot of black screens. It was funny the other day on jayz2cents where the screen turned green and then when he tried to run a game and actually had a blue screen. Even tech deals on YouTube routinely says that AMD drivers for RDNA are fussy. I certainly don't want to get into a back-and-forth with people as I don't have an AMD card of my own but yes they certainly appear to have some driver issues. There will always be people that seem to magically avoid all issues though.
 
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cyklondx

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Recently i also have been getting black screens with driver crashing, and being stuck in low clocks | on radeon vii - they are still messing with stuff.
 

RamboZombie

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Well, i had a bluescreen the other day.. RTX2080 owner...

So thinking that the other side has perfect drivers is an illusion.
 

Tapper

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My kids both have rigs with AMD GPUs and play a lot of games. They have had no driver crashes. One is a Sapphire Radeon RX 5500 XT Pulse and the other is a PowerColor Radeon RX VEGA 56 Red Dragon both on windows 10.
 

kasakka

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AMD subreddit is full of people having driver issues and those seem to have started a few driver updates ago. Seems AMD fucked something up pretty badly there. Personally I only have an old 390 which has worked just fine and I haven't noticed any real difference compared to the Nvidia GPUs in my other computer.

GPU drivers are some really complicated pieces of code so it's not unexpected to encounter issues no matter if you have AMD or Nvidia GPU. Some might have smooth sailing, others might have very bad issues.
 

TurboGLH

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I've always found that the stories about AMD driver issues were overstated, I've had a decent number of issues with the drivers for my 1080ti up until recently as well

Still, my son has a 5700, and the drivers on that have been unpleasant. I've tried, and had to roll back, the last three driver sets for black screen, crashes and VR issues.
 

sirmonkey1985

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AMD subreddit is full of people having driver issues and those seem to have started a few driver updates ago. Seems AMD fucked something up pretty badly there. Personally I only have an old 390 which has worked just fine and I haven't noticed any real difference compared to the Nvidia GPUs in my other computer.

GPU drivers are some really complicated pieces of code so it's not unexpected to encounter issues no matter if you have AMD or Nvidia GPU. Some might have smooth sailing, others might have very bad issues.
you also have to be careful with just looking at that information.. people not having issues are likely never to say anything while people with issues are likely to be more out spoken about them and then you get the typical reddit bandwagoners that just repeat everything they read without actually looking into it. not saying AMD's drivers are perfect but i feel people go a little overboard trying to throw AMD's driver team under the bus and then white knight nvidia when they've had just as many issues over the years..

personally all the issues i thought i was having with their drivers were caused by external stuff not related to them. that being said i think i'm still on 9.3 because the one thing AMD is god awful with is the software addons to their drivers and every yearly update has had tons of issues that have taken forever to be fixed. you can technically just install the drivers without the software stuff but i've yet to have an issue with any game using these drivers so i'm just going to stick with them til i'm forced to update.
 

Archaea

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Gamers Nexus has been showing AMD drivers to be unstable on new AMD cards for a while now. Thsts not even really news. You wont find that nearly as often on Nvidia. AMD gets the kinks worked out as time passes.
 

primetime

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
Most of what you read is just idiots that dont know how to build and troubleshoot basic pc builds. I have used AMD cards for the last 10 years or so 7970 to 280x to RX580 to Vega64 and have had ZERO BSODS from faulty AMD drivers. :)
 
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blackmomba

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Drivers are in a weird place ATM

For usability and features I'd say they're around an 8 maybe even 9 on 10 (Relive being a mandatory install keeps it at 8 for me)

this weird ass blue black green pink screen that's been affecting vega and onwards is definitely a thing though unfortunately. Hope they get it sorted but it seems like a challenge considering how long it's been going on
 

primetime

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Drivers are in a weird place ATM

For usability and features I'd say they're around an 8 maybe even 9 on 10 (Relive being a mandatory install keeps it at 8 for me)

this weird ass blue black green pink screen that's been affecting vega and onwards is definitely a thing though unfortunately. Hope they get it sorted but it seems like a challenge considering how long it's been going on
Or you could just be describing faulty hardware from 99% of the time non reference models
 

RazorWind

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
My experience with a fleet of 290Xs and one RX590 is that the drivers aren't as hyperbolically bad as everyone says, but they're behind nvidia. It's mainly more about how usable the UI they stick you with is than stability. The UI kinda sucks. Keep in mind this is with GCN cards, though. I couldn't tell you if it's better worse on the new RDNA cards. Also, the confusion regarding the 5600XT was kind of a turnoff to me. I'd be worried I'd get one of the ones that doesn't have the good memory, or good BIOS if I bought one of those, I think.

If uptime is critical to you, then I'd just get a 2060. You can say what you want about the pricing of the 20 series, but experience with a few of them tells me you're at least getting most of what you paid for, and in the grander scheme of things, they're not that much more expensive if you're not looking at the very top end of the product range.
 
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Jandor

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On Vega and RX 580 I have 0 issues and I have and had issues on Maxwell while I hadn't on Tonga GPU (older GCN same time as Maxwell).
Now, AMD seem to have a problem with RDNA. It is not clear if the problems are not hardcoded and need circumventing by the drivers. The drivers for RDNA not only are not good in gaming but it seems they have bugs in compute use (giving wrong results) where they are also less powerfull than foster GCN architecture
So if you want something stable now, just get a RX 570/580/590 or a Vega 56/64. Furthermore on a PC for working, get the professional drivers (published every 3 months + correcting bugs). Those are very stable, not optimized for gaming but quite good (very close sometimes better in games), have 0 issues on RX 500 series/Vega, have all supposed features for compute working. Can't say for RDNA (RX 5000 series).
The professional drivers are compatible with gaming cards but are lacking on those cards, the professional extensions (special professional drivers with special features).
Against anything Turing under RTX level, AMD is clearly of a better value. Great card for professional use : Radeon VII ; it's more expensive but great for the price.
 

crazycrave

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I was an early tester for B350 and Ryzen 3600 as to run the AGESA updates and everything learned was to help others in there builds . I been on RX 5700 since Sep as I own two different models and they both need a different power supply as this MSI RX 5700 Mech OC only has one 8 pin connection and it likes my Corsair TX 650 over my CX 650M because the TX has a more powerful 52 amp 12v single rail and can deliverer a stable system .

Driver 20 . 1 . 3

 

noko

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
Both have issues but I believe AMD's are more serious and disruptive. The black screens/blue/pink/(seen green even on mine) is mostly with dual monitor setups but not all. In my case it only occurs when changing the memory clocks (I do this often between gaming, mining etc. Computer is on 24/7). I would have to recommend you go with Nvidia and the more tolerable nuisances with their drivers if you want the best chance for stability and least amount of unpredictable issues.
 

etegv

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You have to re-install Windows. I would get random BSODS (maybe like 2 or 3 in like 4 years of owning a card) that went away after I reinstalled Windows. My friend recently purchased a 5700 and I think he had an issue where he couldn't install the drivers. I told him re-install windows, and the issue went away. He has had the card for like 4 weeks now with no problems.
 

etegv

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Most of what you read is just idiots that dont know how to build and troubleshoot basic pc builds. I have used AMD cards for the last 10 years or so 7970 to 280x to RX580 to Vega64 and have had ZERO BSODS from faulty AMD drivers. :)
I would get this one issue where I'd get a BSOD and then would not be able to re-install the drivers (even after running DDU). I had to -reinstall windows. But I only got that issue maybe 2 times with my r9 290 (3 1/2 years of owning that card). I remember getting 1 or 2 BSODs with past AMD cards, but they would go away after a fresh install of either the drivers or Windows.

I had the most fun gaming on that r9 290. I've owned like 4 AMD over the past 10 years and never had issue gaming/performance wise. I never had to RMA something. I don't understand this hate for AMD drivers. I think some of their problems would go away with a fresh install of Windows.
 

Auer

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You have to re-install Windows. I would get random BSODS (maybe like 2 or 3 in like 4 years of owning a card) that went away after I reinstalled Windows. My friend recently purchased a 5700 and I think he had an issue where he couldn't install the drivers. I told him re-install windows, and the issue went away. He has had the card for like 4 weeks now with no problems.
OP mentioned building 2 new setups so fresh install.
 

etegv

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OP mentioned building 2 new setups so fresh install.
Ok, then he should have no issues. All my problems went away after a fresh install. I think some of the complaints are a bit overblown.
 

crazycrave

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I been playing WoT since Beta and I have always played mod free .. so how I play on an all AMD rig at the current moment .. If I can tune one then you can also . I am 100% sure there was some Nvidia players getting messed up lol ..

 
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Svetgar

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. About the AMD professional graphics drivers, would those work alright for playing games?
 

P1x3L

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I'm more curious about AMD's DirectGMA so I can dedicate different GPUs to different VMs on the same display! Hopefully it gets some love soon.
 
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Had a 5700 XT and my experience with it was quite rather unpleasant. While playing a game the card would produce a solid green screen crash and the entire PC would freeze prompting a reboot. Same thing happened on my friend's PC as well. I took the card back to the store for testing for a week and they were unable to reproduce the fault I described to them and the card was returned to me.

Decided to sell it because I did not want to be stuck with a product that would fail half the time while half of the time it would work flawlessly.

I have heard stories about the 5700 XT not working properly depending what kind of hardware the PC uses.

Never had any issues like this with older AMD/ATI cards, it seems like AMD's drivers are a hit and miss for some users.
 

DrDoU

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Never had a problem with nvidia drivers. Only one with amd and ddu took care of that. As stated if you listen to people bitching about drivers none of us would have a functional video card.
 

chameleoneel

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
"Are they really that bad" --- in general, no. I had a 7870 from 2012 until last summer. And before that, a 3870. The only prevalent issue I had was the random mouse pointer corruption in windows 7, with the 7870. I have also had Nvidia cards in the past, such as 7900GTX, 6800 non ultra, Ti 4200.

However, there does seem to be some prevalent issues with AMD's new 56/57 series. But I do not have one. So, I cannot comment about it, directly.

This sort of idea bout zero tolerance for crashing or other problems, means you'd have to avoid computers altogether. I have an RTX2060 and can't exit Dark Souls 3 in 4K, without it hard freezing at the desktop or crashing with a log dump, at the desktop. Driver updates and/or rollbacks don't fix it. Lower resolutions for that game work fine. I'm too lazy right now to refresh my windows install. But, the current install is only about 5 months old and has only had this RTX2060.
 

AlphaQup

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I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.
Professional cards and drivers do exist for a reason, they are tested much more rigorously and certified by software vendors for guaranteed compatibility (this is one reason for their increased cost over their consumer counterparts), and no cards you have listed as potential candidates have that level of support. I'm thinking you should be looking into Quadro's or Raedon Pro's. If this truly is the way you feel (zero-tolerance for troubleshooting/downtime is how I'm reading it, not trying to put words in your mouth), I think you've already justified a dedicated workstation rig separate from your gaming rig.

But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
That's part of your problem right there, I stay clear of all computer related subreddits for a reason; too many folks have agendas (the fanboyism runs rampant in the tech related subs), and too many people parrot what they saw somewhere without researching for themselves. r/watercooling is about the only one I visit (pretty pictures and whatnot) but it stops there.

Also, as mentioned above by sirmonkey1985 , people with issues are MUCH more vocal then those with a positive experience.

EDIT: Sorry OP, got ahead of myself, I see you're looking into professional series cards. Good to see :D I do still stand by a secondary rig for work purposes though.
 
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drutman

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I have a 5 yr old 390X and the drivers are excellent, free sync, Radeon image sharpening and anti lag are supported even. I find game updates tend to bork more than Radeon drivers do. I am on 19.12.2 and am not disappointed.
I didn't expect them to continue to support the new features on an old card, well done AMD, they could have planned obsolete me but they did not. I run 100-144 FPS at 2K with no FPS issues with just a slight dial down in eye candy which is not degraded to my 54 yr old eyes.
 

defaultluser

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The drivers for Navi are still broken. Much like Vega's mess, these are going to take a whole year to solidify!!

The GTX 1660 Super outperforms the RX 5500 8gb for the same price.

The GTX 1650 Super outperforms the RX 5500 4GB for LOWER price.

The RTX 2060 (now selling for $330) matches the price/performance of the Rx 5600 XT Ultra-Overclocked Edition. The original spec part is only 10% faster than a $230 1660 Super, for $280 (not worth 50$).

It's a wonder why folks bother with the Navi driver pain, when the price/performance isn't there anymore?
 
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Svetgar

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Does all it work with Freesync? I'm not sure what else they offer that I would want, but I'm finally going to retire these old Dells and get a 144hz monitor. I'd like the Freesync to work.

"Are they really that bad" --- in general, no. I had a 7870 from 2012 until last summer. And before that, a 3870. The only prevalent issue I had was the random mouse pointer corruption in windows 7, with the 7870. I have also had Nvidia cards in the past, such as 7900GTX, 6800 non ultra, Ti 4200.

However, there does seem to be some prevalent issues with AMD's new 56/57 series. But I do not have one. So, I cannot comment about it, directly.

This sort of idea bout zero tolerance for crashing or other problems, means you'd have to avoid computers altogether. I have an RTX2060 and can't exit Dark Souls 3 in 4K, without it hard freezing at the desktop or crashing with a log dump, at the desktop. Driver updates and/or rollbacks don't fix it. Lower resolutions for that game work fine. I'm too lazy right now to refresh my windows install. But, the current install is only about 5 months old and has only had this RTX2060.
So, I would have to take exception at the last paragraph. My system has been running rock solid stable since I put it together back in 2016. No windows reinstalls or anything. Other than one time when the memory failed (which PNY warrantied quickly, props to them), I have had zero downtime, and in near 24x7 operation. I use a Xeon on an Asrock board with a Gigabyte 1060 6gb card. I don't overclock or screw with crap to try and eek out an extra 2 or 3 FPS. To be frank, Windows has caused me more grief with their updates than Nvidia has. I keep everything up to date and current, typically installing new drivers on the first of the month.


Professional cards and drivers do exist for a reason, they are tested much more rigorously and certified by software vendors for guaranteed compatibility (this is one reason for their increased cost over their consumer counterparts), and no cards you have listed as potential candidates have that level of support. I'm thinking you should be looking into Quadro's or Raedon Pro's. If this truly is the way you feel (zero-tolerance for troubleshooting/downtime is how I'm reading it, not trying to put words in your mouth), I think you've already justified a dedicated workstation rig separate from your gaming rig.



That's part of your problem right there, I stay clear of all computer related subreddits for a reason; too many folks have agendas (the fanboyism runs rampant in the tech related subs), and too many people parrot what they saw somewhere without researching for themselves. r/watercooling is about the only one I visit (pretty pictures and whatnot) but it stops there.

Also, as mentioned above by sirmonkey1985 , people with issues are MUCH more vocal then those with a positive experience.

EDIT: Sorry OP, got ahead of myself, I see you're looking into professional series cards. Good to see :D I do still stand by a secondary rig for work purposes though.
I loathe that the internet is shifting away from BBS style forums such as this and towards Reddit and Facebook. So much good knowledge (in all hobbies / areas, not just tech) is being lost. That's why I posted here. I figured I would be less likely to get a response from someone who honestly believes that his RAM must be RGB to be able to play games.

I've thought about getting a dedicated workstation, but really other than a better graphics card, my workstation and gaming rig would be near identical in terms of spec, so it seems wasteful and duplicative.
 

sabrewolf732

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Building 2 new computers right now and thinking about getting either 5500XT and 5600XT or GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Ti.

I use my computer for work and fun. I absolutely can NOT have it crashing or glitching on me costing me hours of work or time tracking down problems. I won't tolerate it, at any cost.

I used to have AMD cards way back, and I don't remember having any issues. But all I see on Reddit and other places is how horrible the drivers are, black screens, BSOD, etc.So what is the deal? Are there real issues, or is it mostly user error?
I have a 5700xt, the drivers have been very fussy. It's a great card though.

I have had no issues with the most recent release. If you can get a 5700 for ~300, get the 5700. If not get a 2060ko IMO.
 

primetime

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Had a 5700 XT and my experience with it was quite rather unpleasant. While playing a game the card would produce a solid green screen crash and the entire PC would freeze prompting a reboot. Same thing happened on my friend's PC as well. I took the card back to the store for testing for a week and they were unable to reproduce the fault I described to them and the card was returned to me.

Decided to sell it because I did not want to be stuck with a product that would fail half the time while half of the time it would work flawlessly.

I have heard stories about the 5700 XT not working properly depending what kind of hardware the PC uses.

Never had any issues like this with older AMD/ATI cards, it seems like AMD's drivers are a hit and miss for some users.
Did you tell the buyer it was having issues? It could have been a defective card! An honest person would have rmd it imo and then sold the replacement.....but idk i have never sold crashing hardware
 

The Cobra

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I have both a 2080ti and a 5700xt....There are good things and bad things with drivers. I prefer AMD just because of the nice layout for their drivers while the Nvidia Control panel hearkens back to the days of WIndows 2000/XP.
 
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