Discussion To Tom's Hardware: investigate AMD and their newest Drivers

smithchrism

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Hi there,

I hope someone with Tom's Hardware is reading this. There is a problem and something needs to be done.

AMD's graphics cards and drivers have had SERIOUS problems which are being ignored. The issue(s) seem to have started the last 3-4 months of 2019 and have gotten [much] worse with the Adrenaline 2020 drivers.

Several of us, it appears to be mostly the 5700 and Radeon VII series cards (not sure), are at the point we are having severe problems and can barely get games to run without doing unusual stuff. We are posting like crazy in AMD's community forum(s) as well as sending feedback directly to AMD with little to no affect.

What we see is typically games will play 10-15 minutes. After which the monitor screen blacks out for 2-3 seconds and the player is dumped back to the desktop if they are lucky. Sometimes, the screen stays black with the only way to recover is to power cycle the system. When we are playing games and/or watching YouTube videos, it is common for the screen image to flicker in and out.

In order to get a game to run, we have to disable various features of our card's such as disable Freesync, HDR, or other such things. We paid a LOT of money for this stuff. We should be able to use what we bought.

Another option for some of us has been to go back to an older driver. For me, I've gone back to version 19.12.1 (I think that is it) which is the version of Adrenaline prior to the 2020 release. That hasn't resolved everything though; I can play Battlefield 5 for however long as I want as many times as I want with no issues. However, if stop playing and let the monitor go to sleep and then wake up after system inactivity, I have to reboot my system before I can play the game again which has been reported.

These issues as stated started a bit toward 2019 and have gotten worse. AMD's forums are getting overrun by frustrated users reporting these issues at an ever increasing rate. It's not the same people reporting the same thing over and over; new users are joining the forums and reporting the issues in a major way. Yet, up to this point things are NOT getting better. I'm not convinced AMD is even paying attention.

For my part, I've pretty much decided to pay AMD back via the wallet; when Ampere comes out I'm heading back to Nvidia.

With rumors of a new, "big Navi" coming out soon with major performance increases and such, I feel for and am worried about potential new customers AMD may have. Plus, it would be nice if existing users can get some relief.

Perhaps an investigative article by Tom's posted on the front page would help? As part of the article research, Tom's would contact AMD to get their feedback. This contact along with the article will hopefully scare AMD and force them to take their drivers more seriously.

Just a thought. Kick it around Tom's.

Thanks,
Chris Smith
 
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Mrgr74

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Hey Chris,

First off and just for the record, I'm not affiliated with Tom's (or AMD) in any way (Other than being a new(er) member here) so this is just my own take on things. Also my apologies if I don't actually bring anything new to the discussion. Secondly, I am very sorry to hear you're having issues as I was given a 5700 XT for Christmas this year, which was a replacement for my aging, but still great 1060 6GB and have had 0 (zero) issues. To say I was stunned going from 1080p medium to 1440p ultra on every single game I've thrown at it, is an understatement. So perhaps my views are somewhat skewed as a result.

I've been using AMD/ATI/Radeon products since the Rage Pro. Before that, was dedicated SVGA. Not meant as an excuse in any way shape or form, but AMD is known for their driver issues. In fact, I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if this was somehow intentional, even if by this time, meant more as a running joke, than a legitimate nerf to their own products. That being said, AMD has, at least in my uneducated opinion, always eventually worked out their driver issues. Those for the 5700 and VII not withstanding as the 5700 series itself, is still a fairly new(ish) card. I will concede that were I to have had the same issues, (crashing & the like) that I would want AMD to fix those issue(s) before releasing new hardware and thus potentially opening yet another can of worms in the form of drivers for them. As we all know, the best hardware in the world is worthless if it does not work correctly. (Regardless of brand in general)

So my question is this, is there is a correlation between the 5700 series having issues and the hardware they are installed in (namely the various AMD & Intel motherboard chipsets as I have an X470 for my 2700X which has been flawless, but had nothing but problems with my X370) or is it the hardware on the card itself? I'm curious if 3rd party cards (ASUS, XFX, Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) with their custom cooling/Bios tweaks/OC's play a part in the issues vs the ref. AMD 5700 series? Regardless of brand, there's always going to be the one bad apple in an otherwise perfect orchard.

When it comes to our PC's, there's an almost endless amount of variables. 1 person may have the card installed in a PC that's godlike powerful, whereas the next person may have an otherwise old(er) system with the card installed and yet it runs much better than the more powerful system. I would love to know if there was a base root cause for AMD driver issues. Much like how some games don't run if you have certain RGB controllers installed as it was discovered to cause an unfair advantage in some circumstances.

Or is it really ONLY the drivers fault after all?

Anyways, for those of you having issues with your 5700, I hope they are resolved quickly, as the card is very nice.

I hope this didn't come across as too "fanboy(ish)".

Regards,

-Mrgr74
 
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To add to that, I've been mostly using ATI/AMD cards since the Rage 128, as I recall.

I've had exactly 3 Nvidia cards. Original Riva 128 4MB (PCI), GTX 660Ti, and GTX 1080. Everything else has been AMD.

Over the course of 24 years, I've never had problems with ATI/AMD's drivers. I've had exactly ONE problem with Nvidia's - that 660Ti would NOT, for ANY reason, remain stable in a Dell PC with an motherboard that had an Nvidia chipset. Weirdly, a Radeon did work fine in it. Black screens, reboots, etc. whether gaming or just doing things on the desktop. Both cards were rated at 150W, and the PSU was 850W,

That same 660Ti is working just fine in my son's PC at his mom's house, a Sandy Bridge based Dell, with the factory 460W PSU. Same driver version.

It's that odd behavior that makes me wonder if sometimes it's one of those maddeningly strange cases of certain cards simply refusing to play nice with certain hardware. I don't really know how to answer that. I guess I say this all because I find it utterly baffling when people talk about how lousy AMD's drivers are . . and I keep thinking "I never had a problem in nearly a quarter century."
 

smithchrism

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Hey Chris,

... snip ...

So my question is this, is there is a correlation between the 5700 series having issues and the hardware they are installed in (namely the various AMD & Intel motherboard chipsets as I have an X470 for my 2700X which has been flawless, but had nothing but problems with my X370) or is it the hardware on the card itself? I'm curious if 3rd party cards (ASUS, XFX, Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) with their custom cooling/Bios tweaks/OC's play a part in the issues vs the ref. AMD 5700 series? Regardless of brand, there's always going to be the one bad apple in an otherwise perfect orchard.

... snip ...

Regards,

-Mrgr74
Great post there mate and thanks for the response. Sorry for taking a bit to respond, life and all.

I will say this is not my first AMD card. I have had others. The card prior to this was a Vega 64. No issues at all in this setup and with my monitor, a Samsung 27" CHG70 Freesync 2 HDR monitor. All features (video, freesync, hdr, etc..) worked great on the Vega.

It's when I upgraded to the 5700 XT is when I had problems. In fact, things seem to have gotten worse with each new driver release.

For me, I noticed a forum post in AMD's forums where people with the same monitor as mine were having problem(s). Indeed, the issues seemed to be limited to the monitor I had. After time though, AMD released new drivers and the problem symptoms changed here and there. More and more people started to have them as well, not just us with this Samsung monitors.

The crap has pretty much hit the fan with the Adrenaline 2020 drivers released recently. Users with all kinds of setups and monitors are now complaining like crap.

For my part, I got to thinking about what all you said about how some people seem to have problems most others don't. It maybe some odd hardware setup or something. I've always suspected the problem was some feature(s) of the card/drivers. I did some investigation by enabling and disabling features.

I [think] I have found the source of my problem: Freesync. I have disabled that and all is well now. I'm going to head back to the AMD forums and post what I found. Hopefully, others can verify this.

I believe this is an AMD issue based on one solid thing: with each different drivers they have made changes which have resulted in different results. Prior to the last Adrenaline 2020 drivers, I could at least play a game as long as I never let my monitor go to sleep. Once that happened, playing a game was no go. I had to reboot my system. The behavior changed substantially with the 2020 drivers but there are still issues.

AMD's forums are becoming more and more packed with irate users looking for fixes from AMD. The 2020 drivers are still fairly new. I hold out hope AMD will fix the problems. The thing is, AMD really have not acknowledged the issues much if at all.

I hope the above makes sense. My fingers are about to fall off. I've been gaming hard for the last bit and I wanted to get in here and reply to this.

Thanks,
Chris Smith
 

smithchrism

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To add to that, I've been mostly using ATI/AMD cards since the Rage 128, as I recall.

... snip ...

It's that odd behavior that makes me wonder if sometimes it's one of those maddeningly strange cases of certain cards simply refusing to play nice with certain hardware. I don't really know how to answer that. I guess I say this all because I find it utterly baffling when people talk about how lousy AMD's drivers are . . and I keep thinking "I never had a problem in nearly a quarter century."
Thanks for your reply as well mate! See my other reply above for my "solution".

In the meantime, I know what you mean by "certain" cards and hardware configurations having some odd issues. I have been building PC's for 25 or so years. I have seen my share of oddness to be sure.

Based on my experience on what I'm seeing plus the loads of issues being shown in AMD's forums, I am prepared to say there is nothing wrong with my setup nor do I have a "problem" card.

As far as why you or someone else may have never had a problem, I can't really say. Things can be weird in this PC world we live and play in. I must say though I wonder how many of us use all the features of a card or perhaps do you have all graphical features cranked up in a game? I had all features enabled (HDR, freesync, etc..) I and all in game settings maxed out when I was having my issues. Like I said, I have freesync disabled now and all is well. Perhaps some of us trip over issues because we use all features and push our systems? Just a thought, heck if I know.

Thanks again!
Chris Smith
 
Ok, that's even weirder still, that everything worked great with the Vega 64 - that was a power hungry, and if the reviews from buyers I've read are correct, somewhat moody, card.

This may seem like an obvious thing, but, did you perchance use DDU to uninistall the previous Adrenalin before installing the new one? It shouldn't be necessary, but, especially when a card has been changed, even within the same chipmaker, well, my paranoia tends to kick in.

Still bizarre that turning off FreeSync did the trick. That's utterly baffling.
 

dorsai

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The OP did not state which brand of 5700xt he is dealing with...this is important info...and while it may not cover all of the issues 5700 owners are dealing with it's obvious at this point some vendors are skimping on cooling these cards properly.

Something that simply can not be overlooked is the issue with a certain vendor shipping 5700's under the TUF brand with no memory cooling at all. There's simply no excuse for this and to make matters worse those same cards are still on sale today...every one of those cards going out to an unsuspecting buyer is a potential post like this one where AMD drivers are blamed for game crashes and black screens that are in fact a hardware issue.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJU8jKIYtS4&t=647s
 
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Mrgr74

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The OP did not state which brand of 5700xt he is dealing with...this is important info...and while it may not cover all of the issues 5700 owners are dealing with it's obvious at this point some vendors are skimping on cooling these cards properly.

Hi @dorsai

Good point there. Heat, as we all know is the bane of electronics.

To clarify on my end, I have an:
XFX RX 5700 XT RAW II
32" MSI Optix MAG321CQR running 1440p @ 144hz w/Freesync on.


I would like to know what the OP's card is as well.

@smithchrism - Very happy you were able to narrow down your issues to Freesync being on and causing the issues with your particular monitor, though it sucks that you are having problems. Good little bit of investigative footwork on your end. What are the users over on AMD's forums saying since your post?
 

smithchrism

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This may seem like an obvious thing, but, did you perchance use DDU to uninistall the previous Adrenalin before installing the new one? It shouldn't be necessary, but, especially when a card has been changed, even within the same chipmaker, well, my paranoia tends to kick in.
Originally, I didn't do that. Someone else in the AMD forums suggested that recently so I unstalled via DDU then installed the newest Adrenaline drivers. No change. A lot of people forget or don't realize AMD makes an uninstall utility. It will remove all drivers and the registry entries left behind. I uninstalled my driver, used the utility, and reisntalled newer driver rebooting each time. Still didn't help.

Chris Smith
 
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smithchrism

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The OP did not state which brand of 5700xt he is dealing with...this is important info...and while it may not cover all of the issues 5700 owners are dealing with it's obvious at this point some vendors are skimping on cooling these cards properly.
I'm using a Gigabyte Radeon 5700 XT 8G. It's Gigabyte's reference card, not some custom unit they have jacked out with fans and such.

I hear you about the cooling. Out of the box, the fan curve on these cards is flat. AMD designed these cards to run quite. They run hot too. I initially used Wattman inside AMD's drivers to put my own fan curve in. However, Wattman was quite prone to crashing. I since use MSI's Afterburner software to keep the heat under control. It works quite well and I believe the heat is kept under control with noise levels being kept at a reasonable level.

I do NOT believe the problem(s) I'm seeing are heat related. With Freesync enabled and my current drivers, I can play as long as I want just fine without issues. I can even play mutiple times i.e. leave the game, do something else, then start the game again. The problems I have start after the monitor has sat long enough to go to sleep.

Chris Smith
 

smithchrism

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@smithchrism - Very happy you were able to narrow down your issues to Freesync being on and causing the issues with your particular monitor, though it sucks that you are having problems. Good little bit of investigative footwork on your end. What are the users over on AMD's forums saying since your post?
Currently, I'm using drivers 19.12.1. These are the last drivers that came out prior to the Adrenaline 2020 drivers. I must confess I don't know if disabling Freesync will work with the newer drivers. I'm seeing slightly different issues in the newer drivers.

In the new drivers, it doesn't matter if my monitor has gone to sleep or not, if I play a game the system typically drops back to the desktop after 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, the screen will just go back with the only way to recover is to cycle the power on my system.

I'm going to wait till AMD comes out with some newer drivers. If the problems persist, I'll disable Freesync and see if that helps. I'll report my finds in the AMD forums then.

Chris Smith
 

smithchrism

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A bit of an update on this.

AMD released some new drivers on 1/21/2020. I uninstalled my old drivers (v19.2.1, the last pre-Adrenaline 2020 drivers released) and rebooted, used the AMD driver cleaner and rebooted, then installed the new drivers and rebooted.

The issue(s) I was seeing with the new drivers, which were actually different compared to what I was seeing with the drivers I was using, appear to have not gone away. When I play a game (Battlefield 5 in my case...), I can play for a short time. While playing, the screen blacks out for 3-5 seconds and I am immediately dumped back to the desktop.

I disabled Freesync hoping it would help. It didn't. I played around with the various features of the driver, enabling and disabling/reenabling this and that. Nothing I tried would allow me to play BF5. I ended up uninstalling the new drivers and went back to 19.2.1 version drivers. I am now back to where I was.

I do have some hope. If you look in the readme file for the new drivers in the known issues section, there appears to be some items that, when fixed, may resolve what I'm seeing. In fact, in the known issues section of the driver, AMD is knocking issues out left and right.

Hope this helps a bit.

Chris Smith
 

smithchrism

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I'm using a Seasonic Prime Ultra 850 Platinum, model SSR-850PD Active PFC F3. It's 80 PLUS Platnimum certified along with all sorts of certifications. Fantastic PSU IMO.

I think you nailed it when you said I "shut off Freesync and it works" fine comment. Additionally, I had this PSU when I was using my Vega 64. I had no issues with that video card. Plus, depending on if I use older drivers or the newest Adrenaline 2020 drivers, I see different issues/symtoms.

I suppose I could open my case and verify all relevant power cables are fully plugged in and such (the PSU is fully modular so I would check the vid card and PSU connections). Plus, I could verify the card is fully seated in the PCI-E slot. Ultimately, I really feel this isn't the problem.

Chris Smith
 
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I've been just as frustrated as everyone else with AMD's driver stability with my 5700... and it only got worse with Adrenalin 2020 Edition. But the thing I've found that works wonders for stability is to do a 'drivers only' install. It appears the problems lie with Radeon Settings apps so it just makes sense getting rid of that part of the package will make it work right...or at least better.

You can't download a drivers-only install, though, so you have to unpack the download installation package to a folder. Then uninstall the old drivers and use DDU to clean up any and all old remaining files and registry settings. Once you restart (Windows sets up a default compatibilty mode driver to have a display) go into Device Manager and update drivers for the display adapter, steering it to the folder Packages/Drivers/Display folder in the folder where you unpacked the AMD driver and it will install only the display driver.

After it's restarted and running with the drivers your card is now using only BIOS settings, as stock as the board partner made it with none of AMD's software teaks. Since it's drivers only, you lose AMD's customizing tweaks (like Enhanced Sync and Anti-Lag) but you'll lose the stability problems they caused too.

And you also lose overclocking settings... but if you want to overclock and take control of the fans to set custom curves you can go get MSI Afterburner. It works perfectly at controlling fans (unlike RSettings) and although you have to leave it loaded in the tray so it can control fans correctly it's very small and unobtrusive.

BTW... Steve over at GamersNexus just put up a new video ripping AMD for things like this...bad drivers and bad product release strategies. They've got excellent hardware. I really hope they get this Radeon Settings Adrenalin Edition thing fixed up, but even if not I have a great card now with reliable control of fans and overclocking at least.
 
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smithchrism

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:::snip to save space:::

After it's restarted and running with the drivers your card is now using only BIOS settings, as stock as the board partner made it with none of AMD's software teaks. Since it's drivers only, you lose AMD's customizing tweaks (like Enhanced Sync and Anti-Lag) but you'll lose the stability problems they caused too.

:::snip to save space:::
Good read.

I have heard this before about installing only the drivers but leaving the Adrenaline Software out of the loop.

Question: if you do this do you still get to use Freesync? With the drivers I'm using now, v19.12.1 (I think, the last drivers to be released prior to Adrenaline 2020), I can play games just fine and do anything I want and as often as I want. The problem I'm comming up against is when I let my monitor go to sleep from inactivity, the system goes to a black screen if I try to play a game requiring me to power cycle the system. Does the new driver, installed in this fashion, avoid this?

By the way, got a link to the video on GamersNexus? I'm looking, they have SEVERAL videos making it hard for me to find the one you are referring to.

Thanks for the great post.

Enjoy the day,
Chris Smith
 
... The problem I'm comming up against is when I let my monitor go to sleep from inactivity, the system goes to a black screen ...
Black screen is the problem everyone's having with Adrenalin Edition, and that's what I have seen fixed completely with my Drivers Only install. Some have also said disabling Enhanced Sync and Anti Lag also work.

I'm really not sure if Free Sync is or isn't working...i have a 144hz monitor and my gaming at 1440p rarely goes above that for FPS. At any rate, I never seem to be afflicted with screen tearing.

One other thing people are doing is to install the newer drivers only while using the older Radeon Settings. The way to do that is to NOT uninstall or cleanup your older drivers (v12.1 in your case?), but still do the Driver Update from Device Manager. Unpack the latest install package as before of course. The older RS apparently still works with the newer drivers, but I've not tried it.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDyP9nDw_q0&t=92s
 
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smithchrism

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Black screen is the problem everyone's having with Adrenalin Edition, and that's what I have seen fixed completely with my Drivers Only install. Some have also said disabling Enhanced Sync and Anti Lag also work.

::: snip :::
Thanks for the response. Good stuff there.

I decided to give the "install drivers but leave Adrenaline out" stuff a try. I uninstall my Radeon Software + Driver, rebooted, updated the vid card driver via Device Manager while point the driver update to the proper folder(s) with the newest drivers, and rebooted.

I booted up Battlefield 5. Good news my monitor has an information display which shows if Freesync and HDR are working. They both were. Bad news after 10 minutes or so of gameplay, the screen went black and eventually dropped me back to the desktop. I tried to play again to verify what I saw. Again, after 5 minutes I got the same reaction.

So, this experiment didn't help me at all. I ended going back to the old drivers which more or less work for me as long as I see to it the monitor doesn't go to sleep. Or, I can disable Freesync support and everything always works fine.

I see AMD released some new drivers yesterday. Not much in the way of fixes; mostly a game driver release.

Unless AMD wants to show me something soon by fixing their drivers, I'm heading back to Nvidia when Ampere comes out. Then again, I'm mostly a one game at a time guy. Battlefield 6 isn't comming out till mid 2021 at the earliest according to EA. Being a pilot, I plan on getting Flight Simulator 2020 when it comes out. I'm betting my current 5700 XT will be more than sufficient for that. I'll probably save my money and wait for BF6 to come out prior to getting a new card. BF6 is what will force me to get the latest/greatest.

I liked that video. Thanks!

Chris Smith
 
... I uninstall my Radeon Software + Driver, rebooted, updated the vid card driver via Device Manager while point the driver update to the proper folder(s) with the newest drivers, and rebooted....
Did you also use DDU and completely remove all the last bits of Radeon Settings from your system? That's part of the process.

Also...what game are you playing that's causing you grief. I ask because Ghost Recon Breakpoint has a known problem with RX 5700 (maybe all the Navi chip) cards as well as several Nvidia... GTX980 I think is one as are 2070's.
 
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smithchrism

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Did you also use DDU and completely remove all the last bits of Radeon Settings from your system? That's part of the process.

Also...what game are you playing that's causing you grief. I ask because Ghost Recon Breakpoint has a known problem with RX 5700 (maybe all the Navi chip) cards as well as several Nvidia... GTX980 I think is one as are 2070's.
Hmm... Actually, I did not use DDU. Let me go back and try it again. This time I will use DDU.

In the meantime, I'm seeing this issue in Battlefield 5.

Chris Smith
 
...
In the meantime, I'm seeing this issue in Battlefield 5.
...
I'm playing Ghost Recon Breakpoint right now...or trying to at least. It's been very hard, frequent crashes with my 5700. In contrast, I've had great luck with BF1 and Rise of the Tomb Raider and can play those games for hours without a hitch, I wonder if BF5 shares the exact same game engine.

I'm thinking of getting Red Dead Redemption, it sounds really interesting and also a huge open world like GRB. It's just Ubisoft can't get the game stable, too much frustration.
 

smithchrism

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Well...

I uninstalled my drivers, rebooted into safe mode and ran DDU, then rebooted back to normal mode and installed just the drivers from device manager via device update, pointing the system to the proper folder for the drivers.

At first, I thouht I found success. Where in the past after installing the newest drivers I could only play 10-15 minutes, I played for upwards of an hour. When the screen went black and dropped me back to the desktop, I decided to play again to see if that was some kind of a fluke since the game ran so long. A little after an hour, the same thing: screen went back and got dumped back to desktop.

I've uninstalled the new driver and reinstalled the old drivers which more or less work for me.

I've pretty much had it. I'll just wait to see if AMD can come out with some drivers where they knock a LOT of stuff off the known issues list in their driver readme. Once they do, I'll try this again.

Thanks again for the help!

Chris Smith
 

smithchrism

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Hello,

Some of you may recall how I posted a thread requesting Tom's Hardare do an investigative store on AMD and their horrible drive. The thread can be found here: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/to-toms-hardware-investigate-amd-and-their-newest-drivers.3565616/

I thought I would add to this and create a new thread to highlights a new viddeo. Adored has posted a video detailing what he is seeing. It is well worth the time to review. For everyone who wants to know what is going on, here it is:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x-QSi_yvoU


Come on Tom's!! Let's get to work on that investigative article.

Chris Smith
 
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As much as I would like an all AMD system I have not bought into an AMD GPU for this exact reason. I was an FX user and upgraded to Ryzen in 2019 and have been happier with it even more than when I was with FX, but I like to tinker not pull my hair out. Yet reviewers have only labeled two cards, the ASUS Tuff and MSI Evoke as being "the bad cards." Yes, people like yourself and many others are clearly having issues with drivers. There are few reviewers willing to push AMD like Gamers Nexus which constantly brings up driver issues and instability. How could a product upwards of $400 dollars be this immature and still be released? Its like buying a Ford and constantly taking it to the dealer, and getting it back worse than before each time. I really hope AMD works this out because there are a lot of you out there going through the pains. But I won't support their GPU division until they get things together.
 

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