Question AMD Recommended Driver Or Optional Driver?

yullbarez

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Jan 17, 2019
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Hi, i'm looking for most stable driver for my R9 280X. AMD site has Recommended Driver that has WHQL and the Optional that one the newest Driver. Which driver the most stable?

Thanks.
 
Hi, i'm looking for most stable driver for my R9 280X. AMD site has Recommended Driver that has WHQL and the Optional that one the newest Driver. Which driver the most stable?

Thanks.
I'm really not so sure you can rely on 'WHQL' to mean more stable. Not when you consider the problem driver releases from AMD recently, even those billed as WHQL. For an older card like yours I'd try to stay with an older driver if possible, certainly pre-Adrenaline 2020 series. After all, most of the things being done benefit the newer cards...Polaris, Vega, Navi...so why expose yourself to those problems.

But if you need the later driver because it has specific support for your newer games then I'd say try the latest, 20.2.2, first. It is ever so much more stable for my Navi card, and I'm pretty sure it holds for older cards too since much of the trouble seems related to the Radeon Settings.

I'm also pretty careful to do a 'clean install' with DDU when making a big leap or regressing in driver versions, and especially if I've had any troubles or if changing to a different GPU.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
I'm really not so sure you can rely on 'WHQL' to mean more stable. Not when you consider the problem driver releases from AMD recently, even those billed as WHQL. For an older card like yours I'd try to stay with an older driver if possible, certainly pre-Adrenaline 2020 series. After all, most of the things being done benefit the newer cards...Polaris, Vega, Navi...so why expose yourself to those problems.

But if you need the later driver because it has specific support for your newer games then I'd say try the latest, 20.2.2, first. It is ever so much more stable for my Navi card, and I'm pretty sure it holds for older cards too since much of the trouble seems related to the Radeon Settings.

I'm also pretty careful to do a 'clean install' with DDU when making a big leap or regressing in driver versions, and especially if I've had any troubles or if changing to a different GPU.
WHQL is more stable than beta. Beta means there was no testing or verification for Windows. WHQL means it has passed and should be inherently more stable.
 
WHQL is more stable than beta. Beta means there was no testing or verification for Windows. WHQL means it has passed and should be inherently more stable.
That's not really true... WHQL is a certification Microsoft grants that means the drivers meet certain standards of COMPATIBILITY with respect to the the operating system, for which they tested.

Testing for COMPATIBILITY is different from testing for STABILITY.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
That's not really true... WHQL is a certification Microsoft grants that means the drivers meet certain standards of COMPATIBILITY with respect to the the operating system, for which they tested.

Testing for COMPATIBILITY is different from testing for STABILITY.
https://www.techpowerup.com/articles/other/26

Be it 100% stable or not a WHQL is a certified driver which has been tested and should be more stable than a driver that is considered a Beta and even per AMD themselves is considered "as is" meaning if it works it works if it does not it does not.

This driver is provided as a beta level support driver and should be considered "as is"
Like most software beta drivers are used to test potential fixes and people who would install them should expect more instability than official WHQL drivers and be ready to report issues with these drivers.
 
Be it 100% stable or not a WHQL is a certified driver which has been tested...
But not tested for stability... and by stability i mean the way we think of it as users of our video cards. Like, playing a game does it do crazy things like overheat with wild swings in fan speeds, stutter, down-right crash to desk top or black screen, fail to launch certain games. That is, the hardware's stability whether it be the hardware itself or the way the driver coding interacts with the hardware.

The certification kit tests for things like how the install process proceeds, using security correctly, putting files in the right folders, updating registry all in ways compatible to the Windows operating system. Also, how the driver will interact with the OS after install. You could call some of that stability if done wrong, but it's not the kind of stability we're usually talking about.

Ultimately, I don't think it's right to see this as something Microsoft put in place to be some kind of last-ditch quality control mechanism to make sure hardware designers build good hardware and code device drivers efficiently and effectively. MS does it to make sure they don't bring down the teetering house of cards that Windows always seems to be and to advance a common look and feel to how the OS functions.

Also: where are you getting the BETA drivers from AMD? I only see release ones on their web site.
 

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