• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Worth upgrading drivers for AMD HD 6850?

FearoftheNight

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,101
0
71
Hi guys. I haven't really paid much attention to my drivers since I got my HD 6850 last June. Is there any reason to upgrade to the latest ones?
 
Last edited:

Obsoleet

Platinum Member
Oct 2, 2007
2,181
1
0
I've used every WHQL driver from 9.10 -> 12.6, and many betas.

I can tell you that 12.6WHQL is by far the best driver ever released by AMD for the 5000 series. My card does a lot of different types of tasks, if there's a non-niche bug (and I seem to find all the niche bugs), I haven't seen one yet.

There are a lot of enhancements all the time. 12.6WHQL is stable and the most full featured yet.
Best driver since November 2009. Which is a 'duh' statement, or SHOULD be, but that was not always historically the case. It is now with AMD's new WHQL release procedure (12.6 is the first of that practice).

Update.
 
Last edited:

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
To fix the typographical error where the 8 and 5 were transposed. Those type of things can drive OCD people bonkers.
 

FearoftheNight

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,101
0
71
title changed. what kind of benefits would there be? I'm not sure it's worth the effort for a 3% performance increase or something.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
If you have to ask, then it isn't worth upgrading. Why risk breaking something to fix something that isn't broken.
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
12.7 Beta pushes my 7970 better than any other driver used.

12.7 beta saw a 5% or more boost in many of my games over 12.4

3DMark11 score (I know, not that important) saw a 250 point jump, and Heaven improved by 4-5 FPS on average.

Worth it for free performance, why not? Up to you.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
25
91
12.7 Beta pushes my 7970 better than any other driver used.

12.7 beta saw a 5% or more boost in many of my games over 12.4

3DMark11 score (I know, not that important) saw a 250 point jump, and Heaven improved by 4-5 FPS on average.

Worth it for free performance, why not? Up to you.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 12.7 betas only benefit 7xxx cards right now. OP has a 6850, so he's better off using the latest stable release, 12.6 (which is an excellent driver as well).

I agree 12.7 is fantastic though. In BF3 I managed to crank MSAA from 2x to 4x, with everything else remaining on High-Ultra at 1080p. My 7870 is pushing these settings wonderfully now.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
25
91
This is so wrong! Why would you even say something like this?
Glad I'm not the only one. It's baffling how many people insist on using outdated drivers.

When upgrading, you're not "fixing what isn't broken". You're improving it. New driver releases typically include support for newer games that old drivers aren't going to provide, let alone general performance improvements.

I guess it's alright if the only games you play are years old, but if you have any interest in new games, you're limiting yourself and being vulnerable to a lot of potential problems by using outdated drivers.
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,573
1,334
126
title changed. what kind of benefits would there be? I'm not sure it's worth the effort for a 3% performance increase or something.
Drivers are fixed regularly to accomodate quirks of newer games.

For best results, you drivers should be at least 6 months newer than the latest patch on the newest game you're playing. (That seems to be the longest it takes nVidia/AMD and game publishers to get their shit together, given the half-finished, Golden Beta state most games are released in these days.)

If that means you don't need to install the latest patch, fine. If you start playing World of Warcraft, World of Tanks, MechWarrior:Online or any other game where new content, patches, maps, etc., are regularly updated/added, then you better get on the patch bandwagon.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Ah, yes, the ever-lasting argument about upgrading drivers like an out of control OCD patient:

"You need to continually upgrade the drivers to fix the (unknown) problems with your (unknown) game when using your (unknown) card."

At least in this case we know the card. And it's older, so far less likely to suffer from any driver bugs than newer cards. Oh, and we can infer that the OP isn't having any issues with any games. Hell, it can't even be said with certainty that the OP plays any games. So the one thing we know, and the other thing that we can infer, both suggest that the latest drivers probably aren't necessary. Would they break anything? Probably not. Would they fix anything? Probably not. Would they improve anything? Probably not to any perceivable amount.
 

Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,375
292
126
Ah, yes, the ever-lasting argument about upgrading drivers like an out of control OCD patient:

"You need to continually upgrade the drivers to fix the (unknown) problems with your (unknown) game when using your (unknown) card."

At least in this case we know the card. And it's older, so far less likely to suffer from any driver bugs than newer cards. Oh, and we can infer that the OP isn't having any issues with any games. Hell, it can't even be said with certainty that the OP plays any games. So the one thing we know, and the other thing that we can infer, both suggest that the latest drivers probably aren't necessary. Would they break anything? Probably not. Would they fix anything? Probably not. Would they improve anything? Probably not to any perceivable amount.
OCD? Probably Not. x3 above.

You know nothing of the OP and you seem to push this blanket statement based on some unknown reason.

Please tell me in the past 10 years how many failed driver updates have you had? Anyone who trouble shoots problems, rule #1 update drivers.

The above statement is like saying. I don't have to tune up my car it still goes forward.

You know drivers these days do a lot more than games? h.264? Have you heard of it? Gpu acceleration in browsers? The browsers update and require updated drivers. Ever think of that???

The reality is the OP wouldn't have a 6850 if he didn't do some gaming!
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Please tell me in the past 10 years how many failed driver updates have you had?
I've had a few. Not enough to think that there will be a major complication, but enough to not try to fix things that are working well.

Anyone who trouble shoots problems, rule #1 update drivers.
To which problem are you referring? No problems have been mentioned.

The above statement is like saying. I don't have to tune up my car it still goes forward.
Video card drivers wear out (like oil and oil filters)?

You know drivers these days do a lot more than games? h.264? Have you heard of it? Gpu acceleration in browsers? The browsers update and require updated drivers. Ever think of that???
Again, I have to ask, where are these problems mentioned in the above posts by the OP? I see no problems mentioned, so the assumption is that things are working fine.

The reality is the OP wouldn't have a 6850 if he didn't do some gaming!
This is more than likely true.
 

jackstar7

Lifer
Jun 26, 2009
11,679
1,941
126
For a single-card, single-monitor user then new drivers should be fine to install.

It's the more exotic setups that usually lead to driver-related issues.
 

Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,375
292
126
I've had a few. Not enough to think that there will be a major complication, but enough to not try to fix things that are working well.
What is the definition of working well? Why avoid bug fixes? You're not a Luddite?

To which problem are you referring? No problems have been mentioned.
The lack of information is not equal to a lack of problems or features!

Video card drivers wear out (like oil and oil filters)?
No that was not the point of the analogy. A engine can fall out of adjustment. So can a computer.

Again, I have to ask, where are these problems mentioned in the above posts by the OP? I see no problems mentioned, so the assumption is that things are working fine.
What about lack of features? You seem to gloss over I was referring to a lack of features that the OP may be missing out on.

This is more than likely true.
So why argue in the opposition? Do you have a agenda?
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
It's impossible to have an intelligent debate when most or all of the "reasons" are based on problems that don't seem to exist.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
I believe one thing that new drivers can do is just increase the average performance for your existing older games. that's always a nice benefit.

So even if your drivers aren't broke and don't need to be fixed, well, would you like some free extra FPS with that?
 

Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,375
292
126
It's impossible to have an intelligent debate when most or all of the "reasons" are based on problems that don't seem to exist.
What about features? Again you ignore that!!!. (intelligent debate?)

Edit: It's a simple as this, why wait for problems when you can proactively apply patches and updates? Do you wait for a virus to update your protection? Do you wait for your computer to overheat before you clean out the dust? Microsoft/Firefox/Chrome/etc expect you to patch your system for both features and problems, why should drivers be any different?
 
Last edited:

DLeRium

Lifer
Feb 19, 2001
20,158
20
81
Please tell me in the past 10 years how many failed driver updates have you had? Anyone who trouble shoots problems, rule #1 update drivers.
Troubleshoots problems professionally? You don't just start updating things. If you look at IT work for any large corporation, they don't just deploy updates for the sake of deploying updates. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. You might get marginal boosts out of driver updates if you haven't updated for a year, but I'm pretty sure you aren't missing out on much unless you know of a specific huge bug like say BF3 not running at all unless you have 12.6s running.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
What about features? Again you ignore that!!!. (intelligent debate?)

Edit: It's a simple as this, why wait for problems when you can proactively apply patches and updates? Do you wait for a virus to update your protection? Do you wait for your computer to overheat before you clean out the dust? Microsoft/Firefox/Chrome/etc expect you to patch your system for both features and problems, why should drivers be any different?
You haven't mentioned a single "feature" that would be gained by updating the drivers.

You haven't mentioned a single problem that would be solved by updating the drivers.

All of your examples above are clear problems that require a solution. See the point above this one.

There's a reason professional system admins don't go around blindly updating drivers.
 

Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,375
292
126
Troubleshoots problems professionally? You don't just start updating things. If you look at IT work for any large corporation, they don't just deploy updates for the sake of deploying updates. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. You might get marginal boosts out of driver updates if you haven't updated for a year, but I'm pretty sure you aren't missing out on much unless you know of a specific huge bug like say BF3 not running at all unless you have 12.6s running.
Large corporations are often ravaged by exploits for the very same reason. No I don't work for IT, but I've often butted heads at the places I worked for them holding back driver updates/patches for whatever reason. It's a stupid culture that more often than not leads to a whole system being taken down.

Statistics say there are many DNSChanger infections in companies (IRS, H&R Block, NASA, etc), but no need to fix it till today when the fake DNS servers go dark.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY