Article AMD Radeon GPU Drivers Reportedly Still A Mess – Black Screens, Stuttering, Flickering, Inconsistent Clocks & More

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Guru

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May 5, 2017
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Its blown out of proportion. Yeah, seems a certain number of people are experiencing some black screens, but it's a very small number. Apart from those black screen issues which are serious, all the other stuff is just normal variance of issues, especially after driver updates.

I own a GTX 1060 6GB, I used to have green screen issue all the time, especially when watching youtube videos, all of a sudden the video would turn green, sometimes going out and in to full screen fixed the issue, other time you had to refresh the window and restart the video. That issue didn't go away for good 4-5 months.

The high clock speeds while in desktop and not doing anything even in balanced mode, and sometimes even in efficiency mode that wasn't fixed for months, etc... The gears of war bug that took a whole year to get fixed, etc...

I mean people are blowing things out of proportion, while in fact I think these are just normal, common issues like we've always had and always will, on AMD's and Nvidia's side.

And WCFTech are a terrible click bait scam blog, who post fake "information" all the time, they "know" all the details of all the next gen architectures, all of their stuff have dad's and cousins working in AMD, Nvidia, Intel who feed them information! /s
 
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Juiblex

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Sep 26, 2016
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Funny, the only 2 times in the last 15 years where I had driver issues on a weekly basis were with my Nvidia 8800 GTS 320mb and now my Nvidia 2070 Super. All the time between that I had ATI/AMD cards and never had problems. I like Nvidia when they work, but in my case, they don't. The 8800 gts would hard-lock the computer playing Galactic Civ 2, and the 2070 Super hard-locks once a week playing Eve Online. Granted the driver I have now has not locked up in the last few weeks with Eve so maybe they fixed it, but yes, I regret buying Nvidia.
 

railven

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2010
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Yeah, the black screen issues are so random. I was trying to get a used 5700 XT for cheap but didn't realize my friend had bought a extended-warranty. So he returned it for a 2070 Super and I get no Radeon to call me own :(

From my reading the new "cause" is third party software. I guess the solution is to disable everything not AMD. Why anyone would think this is a solution I wouldn't understand.

At this point word-of-mouth is already doing heavy damage. Even the pro-AMD posters are adding to the flames. I get their intentions are good, but making posts with laundry lists of things to do BEFORE installing your new card is only going to scare non-tech savvy buyers away.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Maybe its coincidence, maybe its not, but the one thing that Raja really did right was make sure that AMD's drivers were on point during his tenure.

This whole fiasco is demonstrating how many fires you have to keep a lid on when executing on GPU development. Its a shame too, AMD/ATI was just starting to shake the whole "Good hardware crap software" rep from the old days...
 

railven

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Mar 25, 2010
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I've read people are having success just installing the display driver through Device Manager. So it's kind of evident the issue is their new software package. I don't keep my basement PC up to date since Steam put out streaming.

I get the feeling the new software introduces too much stuff that interacts with your PC on different levels. Wattman as an example seems to have been broken since inception, and the solution was to use MSI AB or Sapphire Trixx. Now even that is being condemned.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Quick fix for AMD on this one might be default everything to *off*.

When the user activates something that doesn't play nice with their system, it should be fairly obvious what broke something, allowing the user to go back to the default off setting.

Shame.
 

amenx

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
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Funny, the only 2 times in the last 15 years where I had driver issues on a weekly basis were with my Nvidia 8800 GTS 320mb and now my Nvidia 2070 Super. All the time between that I had ATI/AMD cards and never had problems. I like Nvidia when they work, but in my case, they don't. The 8800 gts would hard-lock the computer playing Galactic Civ 2, and the 2070 Super hard-locks once a week playing Eve Online. Granted the driver I have now has not locked up in the last few weeks with Eve so maybe they fixed it, but yes, I regret buying Nvidia.
Trade it in for a 5700xt. I'm sure there are lots of people who would give you there Navi card for it. :D
 

railven

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Mar 25, 2010
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I think AMD has to sort of open up the door to their software. The black screens can possibly be due to hooks (granted I'm not a software dev). Some of the videos I've seen remind me of when you click off your game, and have focus on something else. For example, alt-tabbing out of a game will drop your clocks. The new software has metrics which have to be polling something. It is very possible they are taking focus away from the game window. (Throw in some users have showed screen shots of the software package using excessive memory, excessive CPU, and excessive bandwidth).

The black screens can be related to the hooks they are using for the new overlays. Chromium already revealed black screen issues are related to something to do with the AMD textures where they've decided to black list AMD hardware, and it seems this applies to a wide range of AMD hardware so it could explain why the new driver package is affecting Vega and Polaris users not just Navi.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/f2mwuw
What AMD should really do is just accept their software package might be borked and either release it piece meal to users to test (or a controlled subset of users) or start over.
 

kornphlake

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Dec 30, 2003
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I have a RX 5700 in a recently built system, it's the first AMD card I've had since a 3D Rage card circa 2000, I'm not an Nvidia fan boy, but the last several graphics cards I've bought have been Nvidia simply because at the time they represented the best value (the newest being a GTX460 I bought used for $40 during the mining craze). Since 2000 I've had as many computers with integrated graphics as computers with discrete graphics, I haven't really been into gaming or productivity for the last 10+ years. I don't overclock, play with fan curves, or flash bios, I just run everything out of the box for the most part. The only issue I've had so far with the RX 5700 is Forza Horizon crashes the computer, but Nvidia users have the same problem so I suspect it's a problem with Forza Horizon. I can mantain 60+ FPS on my 60Hz monitor for now in every game I've played with settings on ultra. In 2-3 years when the newest games can't hit 60 fps on ultra settings I may consider tweaking something, or I may decide to live with high or medium presets instead.

My guess is the users who have problems are individuals who are trying to use advanced features in the drivers and squeeze more performance than stock out of their AMD cards. That's no excuse for a check box in the driver software causing black screens, an option in the driver software should do what it is supposed to do or it shouldn't be included as an option. However I'd be interested to know how many users are having issues with everything at default settings, out of the box bios and no overclocking. I accept my sample size of 1 may be an outlier, but I also recognize that a high percentage of unhappy customers will publicly complain whereas only a small percentage of satisfied customers will publicly praise.

Now that I think about it I have noticed I loose audio over HDMI when the computer resumes from sleep. I don't use audio over HDMI except for when I first bench tested the components and didn't have external speakers hooked up so it hasn't bothered me. If this is fixed in future driver revisions I'll be happier I suppose.

edit: I have the non XT RX 5700, it seems like most of the complaints are about the XT version, I'm not sure if it's relevant or not, but I thought it was worth clarifying.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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Oct 20, 2014
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Maybe its coincidence, maybe its not, but the one thing that Raja really did right was make sure that AMD's drivers were on point during his tenure.
If you're talking about 2013 to 2017 I think I'd have to disagree based on how bad their DX11 drivers were with overhead, which made AMD cards impossible to recommend to anyone on a budget who wasn't running an i5 or i7. I still remember a video Digital Foundry did showing a GTX 750 Ti outperforming an R9 280 when paired with an i3-4130 thanks to AMD's driver overhead problem.
 
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GaiaHunter

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Jul 13, 2008
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I've had no black screen problems with my 5700 XT.
I generally don't use chrome but the beta branch I use is displaying youtube videos fine.
No flickering problems while using 2 monitors either.
I run MSI afterburner pretty much all the time for the in game overlay.
The problem I have is aggressive downclocking on some DX9 games (mainly Guild Wars 2) at 1080p (just use VSR to 4K). Recent games like Red Dead 2, SW Fallen order, Borderlands 3 run great.
 

Head1985

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Jul 8, 2014
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Since 2012 a had GTX670/970/1070/1080Ti and never had any driver problem.I have now new 5700xt nitro + and had tons of bugs and black screens.Black screens are worst because it happen random and i need reset whole pc.Sometimes 2x per hour and sometimes i can play 2hours without problem.
i found more bugs:
Forcing AA in older games in drivers is bugged
using radeon anti-lag in some games causing stuttering
custom fan curve causing stuttering(depends on game in some games more and in others less.Only way around this is use morepowertools and adjust fan speed there)
custom profiles and settings for some games dont work(only global settings works)
Zero rpm mode is bugged when using custom fan curve
Simply one big mess.

I think after month of troubleshooting i fixed my black screen bug with this:
Under display/overrides i incresed voltage and disabled HDCP
Under general i disabled everything under preferences
I uninstaled bitdefender antivirus
i turned off hw acceleration in firefox and chrome
with morepowertools i decreased target hotspot temperature from 89°C to 85°C
i increased soc voltage in morepowertools from 1.050v to 1.1v(reference cards have 1.2v)
WIth this i didnt have black screen for 2 days so far and thats my record.But if amd dont fix this is next month i will never ever buy AMD card again.
 
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Glo.

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What I am interested is if those bugs, and instability issues are affecting only Windows drivers, or also - Linux users.

Why the bloody hell two people with the same spec can experience completely different things? One can have constant driver instability, black screens, bugs, and the other one, with exactly same computer hardware have zero problems?
 

amenx

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Dec 17, 2004
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What I am interested is if those bugs, and instability issues are affecting only Windows drivers, or also - Linux users.

Why the bloody hell two people with the same spec can experience completely different things? One can have constant driver instability, black screens, bugs, and the other one, with exactly same computer hardware have zero problems?
On other forums, I've seen a couple people saying their cards had no issues in Linux, only in Windows. Other people say their issues only stopped if going back to much older drivers or installing the driver via device manager. These people are blaming the bundled features in the drivers for their issues that have no option to exclude them during install other than using device manager.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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Just to confirm, this only is happening on Navi cards correct? Can we confirm which models as well?
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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Just to confirm, this only is happening on Navi cards correct? Can we confirm which models as well?
That's correct. Polaris isn't affected by these by all accounts that I've seen. The return volume is what concerns me, as anyone from the DFW area can go to Micro Center and see a cluster of returned/clearance used 5700 and 5700XT cards in the cage at the front of the components section. I always check it, last time was maybe end of January, and I saw :

1 2080ti for $1090 (bleh, nice AIB OC model, but bleh)

Bunch of poorly priced 2060/2070/2080 random cards, maybe a half dozen in total.

And then about 18-20 5700/5700XTs, and one lone Vega 64. The 5700s were mostly in the 290-320 range, which doesn't seem that hot. I love Micro Center, but their clearance/return price is usually not a fantastic bargain, though the occasional bargain sneaks by.

Anyway, I always grill the folks for sales info and product availability for major stuff, usually just CPUs and GPUs, but occasionally mobos or Ram/SSD when price crunches are happening (like now, SSDs and DDR4 have leapt up of late, and their selection was fairly spotty on Ram especially).

The manager, Cary I think his name is (amazing dude!) wasn't available but I talked to the MOD, and she said they've been selling LOTS of :

1650 Super
1660 Super
2060
2060S
2070S
2080ti
5700XT

And then getting a LOT of returns on the 5700/5700XT, like perhaps half of them, along with the usual 'test driver/second thoughts' returns. 5600XT was too new to be a factor when I was there. The sales associates have been cleaning up with the extended service and replacement plans, with some people bringing cards back because they were worried about random issues and didn't want to miss their original return window, only to find out you can indeed buy the replacement plan after you have already bought the item, up to 10 or 14 days IIRC.

Still, this is neither conclusive nor irrelevant. There is only one MC for the entire ~8.5M population greater DFW Metro sprawl, and now that Fry's is basically on a death march they're even stronger than before. For a store of this magnitude to have clearly high volume return numbers for a particular product is a worrying sign, as it turns out it mirrors what Hardware Unboxed have heard from their sources. And MC's return numbers wouldn't reflect 100% of any issues either, a definite number of people would go with RMA and MFG support and that wouldn't show up with the MC numbers.

Sucks, I was kind of hoping to mess with the 5700 to 5700XT flash+OC, as it seems like such a bargain. But I don't need to keep one for myself, and don't want to get stuck with a bogus card if my luck is poor. So, perhaps I'll save my $300 until AMD comes out with a refreshed driver pack with maybe a 'light' just the essentials fork with core functionality and less fluff.

The issue garnering this class of attention, from HUB of all places (a fair but definitely pro AMD group) means that it honestly can't be dismissed or brushed under any rugs, it's gotten too big for that. That may be good news though, bringing the pressure to a boiling point may net us some fixed drivers finally. And imagine if they can squeeze 5-15% more performance out of Navi! I'm not saying it will happen one way or the other, but if that were to happen man it would kick butt. As is, Navi seems to follow GCNs weird footsteps of being amazing at a few things, pretty good at most general stuff, but weirdly fall on its face in some pretty common games and scenarios for no understandable reason at all. I saw a comparison showing the 1650 non super beating the 570 8GB in current Fortnite and BFV. Why? That makes no sense. Most games the 570 annihilates the 1650.

I've been recommending 5700 over 5600XT and 2060, I might be putting that on hold to see what shakes out of this. Some of us can happily grind through any number of wonky issues no factor, but a budget rig build for a high schooler or grade schooler's first gaming PC, or a small business client, I can't risk my reputation recommending potentially troublesome products. I flat out refuse to sell anything with a 'brown box special' D grade PSU (think Deer or Bestec, *shudder*), so it follows that I should help people avoid Navi until it's gold. I bet HUB or Gamers Nexus will retest before we know it with a ground up fixed driver and it will kick ass.

Then this will just be the odd quandary of late 2019-early 2020.
 
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Head1985

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Jul 8, 2014
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What I am interested is if those bugs, and instability issues are affecting only Windows drivers, or also - Linux users.

Why the bloody hell two people with the same spec can experience completely different things? One can have constant driver instability, black screens, bugs, and the other one, with exactly same computer hardware have zero problems?
Its probably 3rd party software.Reviewers using clean win install with only few games instaled and they didint report black screens.But if you actually use windows for daily normal use theres big chance for bugs and black screens
 

Tup3x

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Dec 31, 2016
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AdoredTV also seems fed up with all the issues.
Nothing is as annoying as random instability. AMD really needs to fix this. They are hurting themselves a lot with this.
 

RetroZombie

Senior member
Nov 5, 2019
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Well I had to remove my nvidia display cards from two systems because of that, i was getting the following problems:

- Random black screens​
- Cursor stop moving (image stalled/paused)​
- No picture (lost monitor signal)​
- Restart with blue screen​


I could be all day without any issue, or very frequent, normally a restart fixed the problem or made it return.

I think the problem is with in the Windows operating system, WDDM related for sure.
The cards are Nvidia GT710 and Nvidia GTX1060.

I minimized the problem a lot by disabling windows peek and the transparency, but some times even just with the browser open...

I'm now with the intel integrated graphics without a problem. The problems started a few months back can't precise exactly when.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,481
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Well I had to remove my nvidia display cards from two systems because of that, i was getting the following problems:

- Random black screens​
- Cursor stop moving (image stalled/paused)​
- No picture (lost monitor signal)​
- Restart with blue screen​


I could be all day without any issue, or very frequent, normally a restart fixed the problem or made it return.

I think the problem is with in the Windows operating system, WDDM related for sure.
The cards are Nvidia GT710 and Nvidia GTX1060.

I minimized the problem a lot by disabling windows peek and the transparency, but some times even just with the browser open...

I'm now with the intel integrated graphics without a problem. The problems started a few months back can't precise exactly when.
Could be part of it. I remember at some point a couple of years+ back, Windows 10 had a feature update that completely busted a ton of older GPUs that had previously been working fine. They still worked, but only at 1024x768 unaccelerated or something like that.

The Navi issues seem too scattered to be 100% any single thing. It may be a handful of things that manifest in various ways, making the bug hunt particularly tricky. It's not like AMD is unaware that a certain segment of Navi owners have had loads of trouble for months now, but in doing research there doesn't seem to be any perfectly predictable rule of thumb. One person will be on v1909 and running Chrome+Fortnite+Twitch, and be fine. Another with the same build will have the black or wonky color screen out into problem world. Some people can use DDU and it fixes it, some not. Some people can disable certain HW Accel and fixes it, some not. Weird.

As a long time IT and super PC nerd these are my most hated types of problems, the ones that defy straightforward diagnosis.
 
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