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Catalyst drivers are "FAIL"? Please elaborate!

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Wrigleyvillain, Nov 11, 2010.

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  1. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Ok, look, I see this phrase thrown around a lot. There is definitely an impression that AMD has great hardware but awful drivers compared to those from Nvidia and it is vocalized often. Even still today when much improvement has been made compared to the Catalysts of old. Moreover, I rarely see the statement that AMD driver suck challenged. So, for those of us who aren't just green team zealots (I really hate the "F word"), and especially those of us like myself who have owned a few different ATI and NV cards recently, I would really like to know what you think and what has been your experience.

    As for myself, for as much I love PC gaming I'm not even close to well-informed about game development/programming and don't know a Z-Buffer from a tessellation engine. But what I do know is that I like great looking (and running) games which means high AA and AF settings. And in my experience, while the NV drivers look better in a few select TWIMTBP titles (and this isn't true across the board) in most of the games I play (everything from BC2 to The Witcher to Unreal 1 to Batman:AA to BF2) the AMD drivers have superior image quality and certainly no worse performance (tho of course these aren't all apple-to-apples comparisons).

    I do like NV's interface better and also the AA options are more varied and thus robust (can specifically choose 2x to 8x SSAA, for example) but other than that I am kind of at a loss to understand all the general disdain for Catalyst.
  2. blu3flannel

    blu3flannel

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    It seems to me that they've gotten into a "release first, fix later" habit which has degraded their reputation. Other than that they're actually pretty decent.
  3. f22a4bandit

    f22a4bandit

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    I've personally never experience problems with AMD drivers on my 4850 for the past two years.
  4. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The image quality between the two is pretty much identical. The only time you can notice a difference is if you pause the game and really study the differeneces. When you are actually playing the game there is no difference.

    But the thing that really still annoys me about ATi drivers is that they still have not implemented a way to set different driver settings profiles for individual games. Instead you are forced to use global settings that apply to every game. So if a game doesn't support AA, I can just set a profile in the nVidia control panel to force AA at 16x for that game and it will only force 16x AA when that game is run. With ATi I have to force AA globally, so it is applied to every game I play.

    Plus, as you mentioned, the interface is absolute garbage for ATi.
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  5. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Interesting, thanks. Though I thought they always has a bad reputation (which back when was much more obviously deserved). If anything, I would think it has improved but they still are looked at negatively at least compared to the competition.

    Agreed there too, forgot this in my OP and knew someone would mention. There is now Radeon Pro for this at least.

    http://www.radeonpro.info/
  6. human_error

    human_error

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    It's just fanboys being fanboys. Each camp will usually pick something (real or not) to claim the other camp does badly to make their chosen manufacturer appear superior.

    A few years ago (HD2xxx time) it was that ATi cards were hot and weak. Then it was "well nVidia has faster cards lol" and now that ATi has awesome hardware they only have 1 thing to try and attack people with and that's drivers. You'll get anecdotal "evidence" from fanboys claiming they always had problems with their ATi card and that everything has been sunshine and rainbows since they went to nvidia.

    It's the same the other way round of course - the current "issue" thrown at nvidia is that their cards are all hot, power-hungry monsters which need a nuclear reactor to run and sound like a jumbo jet on take-off. Fanboys on both camps will continue pushing lies about each other until there is only 1 company left.

    I just wish Intel had launched larrabee as a consumer product so that we could have Intel fanboys in the mix to liven things up in the ever-stale ATi/nVidia war...
  7. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    I guess I feel that if it was as simple as "fanboys being fanboys" I would see the anti-AMD statements challenged more often than I do and said fanboys called out as such...
  8. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no problem with them. The new Nvidia installer looks alot like the ATi installer now. One thing I do like with the NV control panel over CCC is all of the graphics options are listed on one page. That's about it.
  9. 1Kurgan1

    1Kurgan1 The Knife in your Back

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    I havent ever really had any ATI driver issues, so not sure what the fuss is or has been about.
  10. human_error

    human_error

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    I assume most people are just bored and don't rise to the trollish challenge of a fanboy. These driver rumours have been around before (x19k days) and they will come around in the future - ignoring them is just the easiest option these days.

    Both camps have had driver issues - ATi had the code 43 error about 18 months ago where 1 gpu on a 4870x2 wouldn't work due to an install issue with drivers. nVidia had the whole fan profile bug a couple of months back which overheated and possibly damaged some of their cards - both are as good/bad as the other as every company has occasional mistakes, which is down to the fast-paced competetive nature of the GPU technology sector.
  11. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    I'd say it would be after something went real bad with the drivers at one stage and some people won't let go.

    Just like Fermis are supposed to run hot which is BS.

    My Brother's GTX480 runs around 70degC and my 4850 with a stock cooler ran at 110degC

    And I do remember my Brother telling me about a nVidia driver where his GPU fan did not work.
  12. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Yeah they released a broken driver related to fan control at one point but it was fixed right away.
  13. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    There are problems with both nvidia and ATI drivers. With ATI drivers I most often hear about problems with crossfire. SLI has problems too, but apparently not as many.

    I've had my fair share of problems with cat drivers. One set of cats, after a random reboot started artifacting so heavily that I couldn't see the desktop. Thank god ATI released a new driver that day because at the time there was only one version of cat that supported my card!

    I couldn't get PowerPlay to go into 157/300 mode for quite a long time. By complete accident I got it working after flashing my card to increasing the overclocking limits. Whether that's related to cat or BIOS, I do not know...

    Currently I'm having an issue with underscan defaulting to 8. Apparently thats a common issue with cat 10.8, which wasn't fixed in 10.9 either. It is fixed in 10.10 but that driver has a couple issues including a default saturation issue.

    I've also had random micro-stuttering that didn't happen with similar nvidia cards. The micro-stuttering will randomly stop (and start) and I haven't figured out why.

    Also the profile switching on per game basis was so annoying to me that I wrote a program to fix it. I never heard of that Radeon PRO thing but it looks big and my program is small.
  14. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yeah, I know about this, but relying on a 3rd party application to do something that should just be part of the driver is a big fail, IMO. And there is always the possibility that ATi will change something in the driver and break RadeonPro.

    I think another thing that tends to cause ATi a lot of flak is that they aren't as open with Beta drivers as nVidia. They tend to use actual driver releases as beta testing for the masses, and then have to release hotfix after hotfix to fix bugs. I think they are on like their 4th hotfix for this months driver...

    Also, in the past Crossfire needed game profiles before it would work at all, having not run a Crossfire setup for almst a year I'm not sure if this has been changed. So new games would often go a week or so before recieving the hotfix or new driver release that enabled crossfire. Though recently they have been better about getting a hotfix out pretty quickly after the game is released, at least for major games. With SLi the driver doesn't have to support the game for SLi to work, so the instant a new game is released people with dual card setups would see at least some kind of boost in performance over one card with better improvements usually coming with the next driver release.

    Also, if you use an older style DVI to HDMI adapter the drivers will not pick up that there is an audio device connected. I'm not entirely sure if this is a hardware issue or a driver issue though. However, I really think it is actually a driver issue, since the adapter should be capable of at least 5.1 sound passthrough(they still work with the GTX400 series card for example but are limitted to 5.1, so it is obviously not some hardware change that happened with the move to 7.1).

    Plus for some reason ATi drivers tend to not properly handle HDMI output, and tend to completely screw up the Under/Overscan more often than the nVidia drivers. So the user has to manually adjust the settings more often with ATi than nVidia.

    And I know what I bought my HD4670 there was no official driver released that supported it for about 3 weeks. I couldn't get the driver directly off the ATi site, I had to use the beta driver included on the CD that came with the card. That is a pretty big fail. But I don't really hold that against the drivers in general.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
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  15. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    ^ All great points.
  16. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I have used both and have to say Nvidia does a better job on the driver application interface. CCC sucks, hidden options that are almost like you have to suprize attack to get to them = fail.

    It is almost like finding easter eggs to get some options to open up unless you want to go through a whole "wizard" to change one simple setting. Like overscan, or GPU scaling, or color and temp.


    The driver stability and performance though has only gotten better. I know Nvidiots who love to poke at the drivers for the "performance increases" after a card is released, but OMG, nvidia does it too. the find ways to optomise the shaders, among other things and you get a performance increase, or they load specific things.

    As far as bug fixes, Nvidia has few, as they are not trying much new. Like eyefinity, like DP, it took them forever to get a integrated HDMI audio device, now that they have it, guess what? Users are having the same issues that ATI user had for a while with the device, and how 7 and vista handle audio.

    ATI was first with tessellation, but Nvida didn't want to support it, ATI was first with F@H and Nvidia hardware was unable to run it, ATI was first with many other thigns. Nvidia has Physx (only runs on the GPU on 13 games).

    I choose ATI for the superior image quality on hardware video, and cost of performance.
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  17. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Seriously? I thought they fixed that ages ago. That's deal breaker category for me.

    I'm not sure I'd say "other than that" after that first part. That first part is pretty awful.

    I love to rag on both companies for their issues, cause they both have major issues worth ripping on them for, but at the end of the day it's the red team's issues that keep me sticking to nvidia. I'm not even confident in their hardware quality. Between the cursor issue and various crossfire incompatibilities caused by differing "batches". Sure I'll use AMD for a build or recommend it to a friend based on raw price/performance, but my standards are just higher for my system. Having to skip every other driver or dealing with bugs that last over a year just isn't tolerable for me. I remember it took 6 months for them to fix the flash related freezes I was having with one client. I almost had to buy a nvidia card out of pocket to solve that issue.

    If I get sick of dealing with those issues on other systems I sure don't want it on mine.
  18. Steevo

    Steevo

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    There is no "batches" problem with crossfire. Other than use two cards of the same series. SLI is the same.

    Flash related issues are because flash sucks. I have Intel IGP systems, Nvidia, ATI and it sucks on all of them. My phone hates flash too.

    But siverlight works perfect.

    Some users are like a cracked out whino, the update drivers that have nothing that pertains to their hardware then complain when it doesn't do anything or breaks something. The cheese is old and moldy.

    Cursor issue with eyefinity, only when using DP. So that is like uhhh .1%?

    ATI is using higher quality hardware than Nvidia is. Newer faster memory chips, better vreg hardware, better coolers (Nvidia just started using vapor chamber, on this series and the 480 is still a hot as F card).

    Our own threads have shown multiple users baking cards in the oven to fix them.
    Multiple core/PCB cards death.
    driver related cooking of cards.
    ATI was the frist to implement power throttling to prevent card death.
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  19. jmcslob

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    I love my ATI/AMD GFX but I no longer update my drivers unless it is necessary...
    Ive had major driver issues in the last year...Such as long load times for games that had previously loaded quickly...Same games started to lag as well....

    I still prefer ATI tho
  20. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Maybe of all users, but it's 100% of Eyefinity users that have/had/get the cursor corruption...because guess what...you gotta use DP for the third monitor, no matter what. Adapters don't fix the problem.


    Makes the whole technology fail. It's "awsum" to hype broken products, you bet.
  21. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    And yet it seems to effect many amd users here.

    "flash sucks" is not an excuse for anything, especially when the rival was not having an issue.

    Crossfire issues caused by bad card batches are well documented, if not publicly acknowledged.
  22. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Thanks guys keep it coming! :)
  23. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Works perfectly fine for me. It takes a little time to setup the profiles, but they've been working for quite some time. I can't remember when it didn't work to be honest.
  24. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Yeah, you can even use overdrive to specify clocks, too. It's just not the most ingenious implementation, for sure.
  25. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Not mine, not of many others. Perhaps you feel it is of all users as the only threads you are searching for are those pertaining to your particular problem.

    That being said, out of hundreds of thousands of cards sold, .1% have issues.

    Do you have all matching monitors?

    I tried to help in another thread, but you ended it by acting stuck up, and saying that ALL users had the issue.

    However. A google search for eyefinity review shows alot of results and out of the top few, none had issues with cursors, adding cursor to the search reveals most users having problems have overcome it by now (as of 10.3) and some overcoming it by enabling cursor trails.


    It seems that the 3D effects applied to the desktop have a large role, but in some as you mentioned the timing issues of the monitors and the calculations of the refresh rate have issues on others.
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