Are the AMD drivers really that bad?

chameleoneel

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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.
Well you've been lucky. I've had virtually every kind of PC part fail, over the years. My current motherboard is a Z170. It died after two weeks. Just didn't turn on, one day. The replacement has been great ever since. But, its another example in a long story of various hardware issues, not related to drivers.
 

Svetgar

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Well you've been lucky. I've had virtually every kind of PC part fail, over the years. My current motherboard is a Z170. It died after two weeks. Just didn't turn on, one day. The replacement has been great ever since. But, its another example in a long story of various hardware issues, not related to drivers.
I don’t think it is luck as much as not creating problems for myself. I built my system with the goal of stability and silence, not running benches and flexing my epeen. I know I can over clock my gpu, but I won’t because the extra few FPS aren’t worth the trade off and I’m not even going to notice them anyways. As for hardware failures, those can happen anytime. Your board died because they do that sometimes. My memory started throwing massive errors after 2 years for no discernible reason. A component randomly failing is part and parcel of consumer electronics, not an indicator of anything.

That’s why I’m so unclear about how much of an issue the AMD drivers are and why I asked. Are the people with massive issues the same as the ones who push their hardware to its limits?

It’s a hard question to answer because you don’t know if the guy screaming about stability is the same one running a massive overclock on the edge of the performance envelope, or a noob trying to power his card with molex adapters and a cheap fire hazard power supply, or a normal guy like me who just wants his stuff to work out of the box with no tinkering.
 

pendragon1

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70 page thread at AMD forum re persistent Navi driver issues. Hope they get it sorted out :D.
starting to wonder if my new card is in that group. been happening all week where i get a black screen and driver recovery while watching youtube, hardware accel on or off doesnt matter. prior to this i havent had a single driver issue for my 7770*, cf 7770s, 280x, 470 and 580.

edit: * added cards i forgot about and its been much better since going back to 20.1.3 on wednesday.
 
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IdiotInCharge

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I can comment that AMD drivers have historically been a weak point, and that historically, architecture changes (such as RDNA) have exacerbated the issue.

I can also comment that the RX460 4GB I have, now in its second system, is doing quite well. The only thing I wound up doing when it was in my main system powering extra monitors was staying at least a driver release behind -- new releases could occasionally get messy!
 

defaultluser

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I can comment that AMD drivers have historically been a weak point, and that historically, architecture changes (such as RDNA) have exacerbated the issue.

I can also comment that the RX460 4GB I have, now in its second system, is doing quite well. The only thing I wound up doing when it was in my main system powering extra monitors was staying at least a driver release behind -- new releases could occasionally get messy!

Right, if you don't mind buying out-of-date cards, ou'll get fine drivers from AMD :D

AMD 7000-series GCN 1.0 cards: took about a year for performance inconsistencies in the new GCN memory controller to be resolved.

6 months for AMD to acknowledge the problem, then 6 months of driver updates to fix it.


GCN 1.0 was the entire reason frame time tools like Fraps/FCAT were more widely introduced.

Polaris - took 6 months to get stable drivers.
Vega - took 12 months to get stable drivers.
Navi - it's nine months in and not stable yet.

Sounds pretty consistent to me.
 
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primetime

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starting to wonder if my new card is in that group. been happening all week where i get a black screen and driver recovery while watching youtube, hardware accel on or off doesnt matter. prior to this i havent had a single driver issue for my 280x, 470 and 580.
sounds like an issue i had with a 580 long time ago and lasted for several weeks....for a while the drivers were under volting the gpu compared to what it needed. I could probably force mine to do that by under volting too far. I bet the glitch doesnt even effect the original stock design cards.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I bet the glitch doesnt even effect the original stock design cards.
Which is painful, as generally you don't want AMDs stock designs. Reviewers have been advising for years, on cue with each release, to 'wait for the aftermarket coolers'.

You don't just need to decide if you want to buy a particular AMD GPU, but in relation to its release, also when to buy...


[the RX460 I bought was at the time, the cheapest AMD GPU with 4GB of VRAM that didn't need an external power lead; for that purpose, it has served admirably, but it was purchased well after release]
 

primetime

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Which is painful, as generally you don't want AMDs stock designs. Reviewers have been advising for years, on cue with each release, to 'wait for the aftermarket coolers'.

You don't just need to decide if you want to buy a particular AMD GPU, but in relation to its release, also when to buy...


[the RX460 I bought was at the time, the cheapest AMD GPU with 4GB of VRAM that didn't need an external power lead; for that purpose, it has served admirably, but it was purchased well after release]
I have a stock card....dont plan or need to overclock for 3-4fps :) and ZERO problems but no i get and agree with your statement
 

primetime

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The people who actually make and update the drivers for AMD or possibly even nvidia as well....I suspect they focus their attention on original stock versions of the release cards...All the different variants of cards with different firm wares and hugely different hardware revisions its a wonders they dont have more issues than they do.
 

IdiotInCharge

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The people who actually make and update the drivers for AMD or possibly even nvidia as well....I suspect they focus their attention on original stock versions of the release cards...All the different variants of cards with different firm wares and hugely different hardware revisions its a wonders they dont have more issues than they do.
When comparing GPU releases, it seems that Nvidia has far more influence on their partners than AMD -- same as in the motherboard space with Intel, really.
 

rgMekanic

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Multiple AMD cards here, no issues to speak of, although no Navi cards here yet.

My most finicky system is my racing rig, 5860x1080 144hz triples in eyefinity on DP, a 4th monitor on DVI, and VR over HDMI running off an RX580. On that system I'm quite picky on what drivers get installed. Solid tip, if you're worried about issues, run the WHQL releases and skip the incrementals.
 

Wooshoo

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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 think it's perfectly reasonable for some people to have issues with new cards like the 5600xt. Add to that the ram compatibility issues AMD had (mostly resolved these days) and bios stability (also mostly resolved) and its gets a little hard to tell when your pc is stable or how to troubleshoot when you dont know what is and isnt stable in your new system. I remember buying a 7870 at release that wouldn't play Skyrim without crashes for about 6 months. Dont get me wrong I accept the potential issues and buy amd because c'mon the 3900x is amazing. But I have been shuffling bios, drivers and overclocks around for stability for the past 9 years not every rando buying a computer for the first time is prepared for that.
 

Ricky T

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It is pretty funny that this came out today. He essentially says we should stop recommending AMD cards until they get their driver's situated. But hey we got people right here in this very forum that actually have the nerve to say people having issues are idiots. I guess in my previous post that makes all the reviewers that make their living on YouTube and get cards by AMD to review just a bunch of idiots too.
 

crazycrave

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It is pretty funny that this came out today. He essentially says we should stop recommending AMD cards until they get their driver's situated. But hey we got people right here in this very forum that actually have the nerve to say people having issues are idiots. I guess in my previous post that makes all the reviewers that make their living on YouTube and get cards by AMD to review just a bunch of idiots too.
Why would you Ricky T want to insult us thinking that reviewer is last word about anything ?
 

crazycrave

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Everyone says the MSI RX 5700 Mech OC was awful in reviews .. but I get questions all the time about the card as it was my point to prove them wrong as I see noting wrong with it other then it did not like the Corsair CX 650 M .. I plays best on my Corsair TX 650 because how the single 12v is 52 amps and the video card has one 8 pin connection .. that kind of really matters as that's what makes video card act up a lot but many love to blame the software .

 

Ricky T

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Why would you Ricky T want to insult us thinking that reviewer is last word about anything ?
And did I say anywhere that he was the last word on anything? Seems you're just reading whatever you want to read I guess. I referred back to every single reviewer in my earlier post mentioning that all been having black screens and other issues just like so many users have complained about.
 
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rgMekanic

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Anyone happen to notice that all these issues popped up right about the time Win 10 1903 rolled out?

Nah.. has to be AMD, Microsoft never fucks anything up /s
 

PontiacGTX

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well 99% of the time if he's saying how great AMD is, EVERYONE says he a shill and full of it. I think he doesn't have the best credibility one way or the other.
He used to have a contact on AMD even if he denied not sure he got one still . but If he complains about the RVII he got probably has some proof about what he says? but Vega 10 doesnt have driver problems. It is probably amd doesnt keep updating or messing with vega 10 Driver drivers anymore that are stable lol
 
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DogsofJune

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I have some quirks with a 5700xt. Unsure if it's a driver issue, or windows. Gonna swap it out for a 1080ti and see.
 

sabrewolf732

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well 99% of the time if he's saying how great AMD is, EVERYONE says he a shill and full of it. I think he doesn't have the best credibility one way or the other.
Almost everyone is screaming how bad the navi drivers are and how many issues there are with playability. AMD suggests turning off features to attain stability. Even AMD fanboys (Adored) are saying how bad the drivers are and that they cannot in good conscience recommend Navi. This is not one person saying they are bad. Reddit AMD forums are full of driver issues with navi. Jayz2cents, gamersnexus, and now Adored all say navi has driver issues. You're right though, all of these people are wrong.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Anyone happen to notice that all these issues popped up right about the time Win 10 1903 rolled out?

Nah.. has to be AMD, Microsoft never fucks anything up /s
AMD produces the drivers for the operating system, not the other way around.

Yes, Microsoft could have changed something that affects AMDs products, but that's still on AMD to fix.
 

DogsofJune

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AMD produces the drivers for the operating system, not the other way around.

Yes, Microsoft could have changed something that affects AMDs products, but that's still on AMD to fix.
Well, lets be honest. There have been issues in Windows that were beyond AMD to correct. Threadrippers as an example.
However, in the case of the video cards, and remembering a long questionable past with driver histories, I do think this is an AMD issue.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Well, lets be honest. There have been issues in Windows that were beyond AMD to correct. Threadrippers as an example.
Granted -- and those were / are infuriating.

However, in the case of the video cards, and remembering a long questionable past with driver histories, I do think this is an AMD issue.
In the case of Threadripper, AMD was doing something novel for the segment with NUMA, which Microsoft hadn't really prepared for on their desktop distributions.

I don't think the same may be said for AMDs GPUs; or at least, that it could be proven, given that the OS works well with many AMD GPUs and that it also works well with Nvidia and Intel GPUs.
 

ManofGod

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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?
Look, I, so far, have had almost no issues, with the one black screen at idle stuff being fixed. If you want, I can share my three builds configuration so that you may know what I have. However, if you do not want what I have and find others are having issues with similar builds to yours, just do the Nvidia cards although, I would just get 2 x 1660 Supers.
 

Revenant_Knight

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My RX590 and RX570 have been rock solid with no issues other than I don’t like the driver package layout itself.

My Navi 5700XT has been a royal pain.

Logically, it seems the newer the card the more glitches it has.
 

ManofGod

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My RX590 and RX570 have been rock solid with no issues other than I don’t like the driver package layout itself.

My Navi 5700XT has been a royal pain.

Logically, it seems the newer the card the more glitches it has.
That is why if he goes with the 1660 Supers, he should be fine. They are "older" cards, perse. I love my AMD hardware and it is all I have in my 3 desktop computer builds but, that does not mean others must do the same as I.
 

jologskyblues

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Hmmm. Smaller GPU driver team with less resources than the competition = QA suffers particularly on architectures still in their infancy but will probably get sorted out given time?
 

ManofGod

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Hmmm. Smaller GPU driver team with less resources than the competition = QA suffers particularly on architectures still in their infancy but will probably get sorted out given time?
Yes but, if he would end up with the problems and does not have the time to deal with it, why bother?
 

ManofGod

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Well, lets be honest. There have been issues in Windows that were beyond AMD to correct. Threadrippers as an example.
However, in the case of the video cards, and remembering a long questionable past with driver histories, I do think this is an AMD issue.
Threadrippers? Nope, just one and that was the 2990WX. All the other Threadripper CPU's did not have any real issues perse, in Windows. (Only the first gen had issues and that was not Windows but immature hardware and firmware problems.)
 

IdiotInCharge

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Threadrippers? Nope, just one and that was the 2990WX. All the other Threadripper CPU's did not have any real issues perse, in Windows. (Only the first gen had issues and that was not Windows but immature hardware and firmware problems.)
All of the 1xxx and 2xxx TR CPUs had issues related to NUMA, however, the 2xxx with CCDs that lacked local memory were hit the worst.

Thankfully AMD moved to a single memory domain for TR 3xxx, and those CPUs are droolingly competitive across all workloads where it doesn't already take the crown.
 

viivo

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The latest optional 20.x.x drivers from AMD are the first to cause real problems for me. My PC would frequently reboot while ingame, at the desktop, even while asleep. The first thing I did was DDU back to a WHQL 2019 version and no issues since.
 

rmfa

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Yes, unfortunately. I've been going back between the two (Nvidia/AMD) for ~20 years or so and as much as the AMD drivers have gotten better, they are still not as polished as Nvidia's. I'm not basing my comment on old hardware either. My most recent experience is Vega R9 Nano, Vega 64, GTX 1080 and RTX 2080Ti. I do agree that Nvidia drivers don't look as good as AMD's but that is the only win imo. Nvidia just simply works where you usually have to 'make it work' w/AMD.

Another thought, people usually just look at benchmark numbers and that does NOT tell the whole story. AMD has had and still has micro studdering that I personally cannot stand.
 

pentiumiiislota

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My 5700xt will black screen and reboot if i don't manually set fan speed at 50 percent each time the computer starts with latest drivers.

Otherwise i remember amd drivers being pretty good.
 

ManofGod

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My 5700xt will black screen and reboot if i don't manually set fan speed at 50 percent each time the computer starts with latest drivers.

Otherwise i remember amd drivers being pretty good.
Which 5700XT do you have? Did you try doing the washer mod because it sounds like it is overheating? Are the fans running properly on their own?
 
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