Why you shouldn’t immediately point fingers at Radeon Software:
TL; DR: While Radeon drivers do have issues, it's mostly compatibility issues with people's systems. People simply blame drivers because it's the big red software in their faces.
After living with my AMD GPUs day in and night out for the past 7 years of my life, and after libraries worth of forums I read and went through trying to troubleshoot problems I’ve had, I kinda learned that it’s rarely a driver issue.
And after being in this subreddit recently, reading many posts, and seeing people’s problems, and what a big percentage of the problems ends up being, I felt like this post is necessary (with the advice of a fellow redditor).
I’ve seen countless times, and been personally through the experience, where people would be so fed up with their Radeon experience, because of various bugs and issues relating to all kinds of GPU problems. And although this has some essence of truth to it (Radeon software is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination), it turns out way more often than not that these bugs and issues are caused by some sort of external system issue, not even remotely close to being caused by the drivers. But due to the nature of GPU intensive tasks (such as gaming), the problems usually appear when putting load on the GPU.
This trend has built up a very bad reputation for Radeon drivers, and made it such a great fear and hold back for many AMD shoppers. Pushed countless others to either switch to the competition, or make them highly consider it. And while as I said, their software is not perfect, it paints an unfair picture that the competition’s drivers are. Which they aren’t. And that’s one of the reasons why I feel this post is necessary.
Now to one of the traumas that scarred me for life. Buckle up, it’s about to get heavy.
I've had two of my worst ever computer experiences in my lifetime. Both on different Radeon GPUs, nicknamed The Goner MSI RX 480 Gaming X, and nicknamed The Savior Sapphire Vega 64. I still have daily nightmares about the nights I couldn't sleep troubleshooting problems I had with those 2 GPUs. You name it, I've seen it. Games crashing within the first 5 minutes of loading in a game. Not a single game in my steam/origin library would work without crashing. If a game managed to open up, it would be a stutterfest, the absolute most horrendous gaming experience you would've ever seen. You’ve seen Blue Screens of Death? I’ve seen windows desktop, operating perfectly normally, besides a tent of color splashing the screen with blue, green, or magenta. Nothing but a restart would fix that. I’ve started up my machine, on freezing winter mornings, browse the web going through my notifications for merely five minutes, and suddenly feel warmth crawling up my right wrist. I glance over the temps of my GPU. It’s at a toasty 90 degrees C. At a whopping HUNDRED PERCENT (%100) load, and zero RPM fans! Yes you read it right, %100 load, while doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, GPU related, just browsing chrome, nothing open in the background, and the GPU goes to %100 load and starts heating up. I’ve had my GPU randomly shut off, for milliseconds, every few seconds. The GPU would literally act as if it was hardware unplugged from the system for 0.01 seconds, and continue to operate. Nothing would solve this but disabling the device from Device Manager. I’ve had my GPUs (multiple ones on the same platform) idle at very high temps, for absolutely, literally, no apparent reason. (Turns out it’s a PCIE motherboard issue). Listen to this one, at times, even watching videos or streams on chrome, would crash the PC. Bro... I'm talking I couldn't fap my daily faps on P*rnHub... I had to use my phone for that, because I literally could not open ANYTHING graphics/video related.
I lived that hell (most of it anyway, a number of these problems occurred due to the next issue), for one month, and then decided it's time to return the RX 480, and live on the internal graphics of my Devil's Canyon, overclocked out of its blithering cores, The Almighty Devil, the i5 4690K. I had that thing overclocked to 4.6GHz, and it had been overclocked like that since the beginning of its life. Which was the reason I never suspected anything.
Either way, I returned the RX 480, and lived six, long, cold, miserable months GPUless, the loneliest times I've ever lived, that era taught me how to appreciate a GPU properly, it taught me how I grew to be an ungrateful piece of sc*m, unappreciative bloody idiot, who took his GPU for granted.
August 2017, The Savior drops. The Vega 64. I had it preordered, and immediately got it after release. Lo and behold, I plug it in with high hopes and youthful bright dreams........ deja vu hit me and it was vietnam and The Goner RX 480 days all over again. I swear on my soul, every singular individual problem I've had with the RX 480 was IDENTICALLY being reproduced. Like it's the devil in my 4690K sarcastically bullying me.
I never doubted the Almighty 4690K, it was the guardian devil that powered my dreaded dream machine, how could I ever doubt it?
Until that one full-moon night, I was desperate, on Linus Forums, I posted asking for help, detailing every issue and broken visual I had, with tears rolling down my letters on that post. A guy replied and said, and I quote: "You mentioned your 4690K is overclocked to 4.6GHz. That overclock is way too much for it, especially paired with an overkill GPU, mind checking that out and updating back?"
I never considered it would be the overclock. Simply because I've had the overclock run on my previous R9 270X, for 2 years, and then solo for a few months. Then the RX 480 crisis happened. But then continued to run the CPU with the overclock for 6 more months before the Vega 64.
I’m telling this like I’m reading a history book laid open right in front of me. I immediately shut off my PC without even closing chrome. I head to the BIOS, reset to default settings, F10, load to windows, open GTA5, and for the first time in over eight and a half horrible months, I was able to play for three and a half uninterrupted, smooth, unforgettable gaming hours. Pure ecstasy, my mind and soul were so elevated, I was so relieved, all those nights.. all the tears.. all the troubleshooting. Just to find out the problem was the beating heart of my machine. The Almighty Devil was pushed way beyond its limit, it had forgotten who it really is.
In more technical terms, it was all because of the HUGE mismatching between an old gen, mid-to-low tier, 4 corer, overclocked to its knees, being pushed to process frames coming from an RX 480, or later the Vega 64. The Devil was just unable to keep up with that amount of load at that high clock. Important to note, that I ran the 4690K with that overclock for over 2 years with the R9 270X, and only had a 1440*900 display at the time. It was only when I upgraded to the RX 480 and 1080p 144Hz display, that made the Devil choke so hard it couldn’t function at that clock.
That's the story of the devil.
Another shorter story but with a similar hell experience. (This one caused a number of the issues I mentioned at the beginning). This time it was because of a small adapter I used, DVI-D to DisplayPort. In my mind I never suspected it, (because it's not in my face, I don't see it daily, and I forgot I even had it), plus, it's just an adapter right? why would it cause any problems...? RIGHT?
Until that one video I watched from Linus, where they were trying to run hi-res at the time, and they couldn't find a reasonabley priced cable that supported the hi-res at that time anyway, and so they just used adapters (very similar to the one I've had), and they faced very very similar problems to the problems I had. Only difference was, they were using Nvidia cards! They reached out to the company they had the sponsor with, and the company provided them with proper cables, and boom! it all worked like magic! Same happened with me, I got rid of that stupid adapter, and the system magically worked properly again! :D
Sorry for being overly poetic and touchy feely instead of being technical and straight to the point. I’m usually hyper excited around this time of year when new #Red hardware is coming out. I’ve just been reading a lot of heartfelt reports of Radeon users, almost giving up on their red love. Just hang in there, and look outside the box! It work sometimes! :D
submitted by Iboolguy