ATI/AMD driver stability


Junior Member
Aug 12, 2008
Hi all,

I want to buy a new computer soon and I am a little undecided on the video card. I have a budget of 2000-2500 EUR so I want top notch.

The thing is I will probably keep this system for 2-3 years so stability is the most important thing for me.

The way I see it I can choose between a NVIDIA GTX 280 and the newly released AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2.

The AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 seems a better solution, but...

I and all the friends I know have had problems with ATI drivers (before ATI was taken over by AMD). Constant blue screen, games not working at all and so on.

My question is: is this still the case?
Are NVIDIA drivers better that ATI's ?
Or they are mostly the same?

One more thing. Has the driver situation on linux changed or NVIDIA is still the king?

Thank you for your time.


Junior Member
Aug 12, 2008
I'm not trolling.
This really happened to a friend.
I don't know if the particular card was damaged but until he changed it he kept getting those, multiple times per day.

Again, It might have been that particular card in which case it might happen to NVIDIA cards also.

I'm just trying to find the truth.


Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
AMD's drivers are as stable as anything else out there, driver stability isn't a concern these days.

As for Linux, AMD has been making great strides with their binary drivers, but NVIDIA still seems to get better performance out of their drviers.


Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
+1 to Virge's post. Driver stability is much better for AMD than they used to be. Nvidia's drivers are stable as well. But for both, there will always be something, somewhere in some game that doesn't work quite right. It is a given. You can't expect to have 100% stability 100% of the time in 100% of the games you play.
Nvidia still offers better Linux performance.


Jun 23, 2001
I've had much better luck the last 4 years with ATI drivers than I've had with Nvidia drivers personally, especially on Windows. Under Linux, it has only been the last year or so where the drivers actually started being decent and improving.


Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
Well, statistically, more blue screens on Vista are caused by nvidia cards than ATI.
ATI really improved their drivers when moving to Vista, they completely rewrote them and then ported those improved drivers to XP and Linux. Nvidia took a bit of a tumble after the Geforce 7 series in driver quality.

Nvidia and ATI are so and so on Linux. Nvidia's driver quality drops off after the 7 series (in performance and stability), yet at the same time nvidia works around certain inadequacies with the driver model in Linux while ATI sticks to the driver model. Generally, ATI is actually outperforming nvidia under linux (and their drivers perform about on par with their windows versions) now, but it's hard to say who offers a better experience.
ATI is improving faster under Linux, but they stick to the pretty poor driver API. Nvidia overrides it, which does create some problems (occasionally nvidia loses all hardware acceleration for certain features), but also works around issues the driver api has (like being able to run a 3d desktop simultaneously with a 3d game).