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Most stable drivers for single 7970?

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by the54thvoid, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. the54thvoid


    Dec 14, 2009
    6,542 (2.26/day)
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    Glasgow - home of formal profanity
    Hi guys, after all the waiting and waiting for Kepler I finally bought a Powercolor LCS 7970 :laugh::laugh::laugh: Price was very reasonable for a truly single slot card with a nice warranty.

    I'd been looking more and more at 2560 x 1600 benchmarks (I have 2560 x 1440) and the 7970 does very well at full eyecandy. There are too few reviews that use all settings at max (single screen) resolution but from what I've seen the 7970 has leg room at that resolution but the GTX 680 starts to lose performance (Metro 2033, AvP, Unigine are all good examples of masive memory usage).

    So I figured the 7970 gets my cash this time round.

    My main question is which drivers are most stable? I've read horror stories about them (I used crossfired 5850's in the past and had no issues, likewise for my GTX 580). I have no plan on crossfire with this card, so no posts about that (I'd class that as trolling).

    Your help is appreciated. And yes, I'll overclock it - so whats the best software (given that MSI Afterburner may casue driver issues).

    Thanks guys.
  2. RagingCain


    Nov 24, 2010
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    Jacksonville, FL
    12.3 WHQL seems to be okay, I am on 12.4 BETA and while for the most part they have been okay, I did have a few issues in Skyrim that I worked out.

    Battlefield 3 though seems to be hit or miss depending on who you ask. Its crashed on me several times on 12.2 / 12.3 preview but not on 12.3 WHQL and 12.4 Beta. Driver stability is completely dependent on what games you play, perhaps you can give me the titles and I can give you my feedback if I have tried them.

    I make a habit of installing the latest drivers always till there is a problem then rollback one. If you are coming from nVidia, I highly recommend you download a utility called ATiMan and use it between driver uninstalls. Don't listen to these new AMD users. They are all pushing uninstall drivers through AMD's utility or worse, installing drivers OVER old drivers is just as bad. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I wrote a quick start guide for overclocking the 7970 on overclock.net, and there is a lot of good information that gets mixed up, and if you choose the latest 12.4 Beta drivers with 12.3 CAP1 (latest) you will greatly benefit from that quick start guy.

    Its not very technical, but you can't seem to overclock them out the box unless you jump through hoops. AMD should market that as their slogan, getting you to jump through psychotic hoops since 2009.

    Guide: http://www.overclock.net/a/getting-started-with-radeon-hd-7970-overclocking

    Running 7970 Crossfired if you were wondering, running 2560x1600 too, let me know if you need some numbers. The VRAM usage numbers you may have seen aren't very scientific. All of these titles you mentioned ran on 6970s (2GB), 580s (1.5GB), 570 (1.28GB), and 5870s (1GB). VRAM bottlenecks display as 1 FPS or Crashing for example. The numbers are grossly exaggerated, or alternatively are being used / scaled by Drivers with cached data. This can be easily seen when they released the 3GB GTX 580. Games that were running ~1.2-1.5GB were running solid on the 1.5GB models, but like in Crysis 2 on GTX 580 3GB editions, the VRAM usage hit 2.3GB even on low resolutions such 1920x1080/1200. If the game doesn't crash on VRAM usage or stutter to 1~5 fps the entire benchmark, then its all up to the GPU and you are good to go.

    Most single monitor, 1920x1080, single 7970 users seem to have the fewest issues.

    P.S. I also had 5870s Crossfired so I know exactly how you feel about those GSOD and VRAM Voltage issues we had.

    Edit: One last important thing, if you do end up Crossfired, disable all the "enableulps" in registry. They haven't fixed our bluescreening from idle in CFX.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
    the54thvoid and zargana say thanks.
  3. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

    Mar 23, 2012
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    I have had 0 issues with the disc drivers. I recently updated to 12.3 and have had 0 issues. Beta is beta, I never use beta drivers.
  4. theoneandonlymrk


    Mar 10, 2010
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    Manchester uk
    i havent the same amd card but ive been using 12.4 dev preview ,without fault
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. zargana

    Mar 8, 2012
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    Nice article. Two days ago i had a some sort of crash but was really weird. I updated my onboard realtek sound drivers and the network drivers. After the pc restart my graphic drivers wasn't working anymore, everything was huge on my screen. I was using the 12.03 drivers.

    BTW i purchased my card last friday. Everything was fine until that weird crash. I don't still have a clue because i didn't do anything graphic related. Before my sapphire 7950 OC edition i was using sapphires 3870. Then i removed all drivers using traditional and nontraditional way. Reinstalled 12.03 but when i tried to bench it with vantage and 3d-11, both of the programs didn't work and crashed. I had set my card to 2nd bios setting which is 1000/1350. I decided raise the voltages with sapphire trixx but i found again an issue. Missing .dll.

    So i found that dll and copied in wow64 (big thanks to up-loader) and now i am using it 1000/1400@1,112v without problems. I tried bench it my gpu score on vantage was around 16400, unigine 53fps (dont remember the score) and 3mark-11 demo default settings was around p6900. Looks stable for now...

    I want to ask a question to the AMD staff;

    The 7 series cards are almost 4 months old and we still wait for a driver? Is this the best way for support AMD "flagship" gpu? And how many more months we should wait for better drivers from RC11?

    My system,mobo sabetooth990x, cpu 955be:3500@1,4v , sapphire 7950 OC 1000/1400@1,112v, 8GB kingston 1600mhz t1 ddr3, 2 hdd's x 500gb, Zalman zm600-hp psu.

    PS: If anyone decides to buy a 7870, 7950 or 7970 i will really suggest sapphire dual-x oc version of it. It's cool, silent... My house temperature was around 17-18 and the card temprature under-load at 1000/1400 on 3dmark was 55c degrees, fan at %50. Its hacking amazing.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

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