AMD GPU drivers: WTF is going on?

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by chavvdarrr, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. chavvdarrr

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sofia, BG
    What's going wrong with driver guys in AMD?
    First they make 4 or 5 or 6 (?!) "hotfix" revisions to 10.10, then there goes 10.11 which doesn not support Barts (not officially), then there was a hotfix, here we have 10.12... and guess what - another hotfix...
    WTF is going on?
    Can't they just release a "normal" driver?
    Why these hotfixes? If you miss the schedule for next monthly WHQL - the hell of it, better wait 1-2-3 weeks , releasing every 2 days is a joke.
     
  2. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,079
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    O Canada!
    The hotfixes are for the new boards. The WHQL releases cver the entire product stack.
     
  3. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Have to say if I had a new board and had the choice of a hotfix today to improve my experience vs. whql in 2-3 weeks, I'd take the hotfix every time.
     
  4. CarstenS

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,798
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Location:
    Germany
    WHQL'ing is a lengthy, tedious and expensive process. And you want to use every minute available to fine-tune for your latest and greatest. Otherwise, we'd have a four weeks old driver without plenty of optimizations, but bearing a WHQL for HD6900.

    Personally, I'd take the hotfix anytime.
     
  5. chavvdarrr

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sofia, BG
    and releasing "hotfixes", or WHQL drivers which do not support just released new cards, gives tons of positive mouth-to-mouth PR :S

    "AMD drivers are great. Not."
     
  6. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,477
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Treading Water
    So they shouldn't release hotfixes? I think most of the sane world will kindly disagree with you

    If you prefer you can choose not to download them and wait a month for the official WHQL version. There problem solved.
     
    #6 AlphaWolf, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  7. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,079
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    O Canada!
    I'm not sure how or why, care to explain?

    Most of the time, though, the new boards are in the WHQL release. However, because of the qualification and WHQL certification pipeline (covering the entire current supported product stack) the codebase from a performance perspective is behind what the press see, so we generally release the press driver as a Hotfix such that the end users can get the latest performance (and it also puts the review codebase up for public scrutiny). The performance codebase from the press driver then makes it into subsequent WHQL releases.

    So, most of the time, you can take your pick - the WHQL driver or the latest and fastest codebase. Most high end users go for the Hotfix because its fastest and the press drivers usually have the same level of internal qualification (for the new board) as the WHQL releases anyway.
     
  8. chavvdarrr

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Sofia, BG
    So, you think the mess with drivers since 10.10 is good for AMD driver reputation?
    :roll:
     
    #8 chavvdarrr, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  9. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
    Moderator Legend Alpha Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    8,708
    Location:
    Cleveland
    How is it a mess when they immediately address issues as they're able to? Would you prefer to have to wait an entire month or two for the fixes?
     
  10. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,801
    Likes Received:
    2,172
    Location:
    La-la land
    I think his point was that repeated hotfix releases at the very least imply the driver is unreliable/of low quality.

    I myself kind of wonder why AMD and Nvidia persist in these unified drivers that just grow and grow and grow to ever more monstrous dimensions. They're now pushing 150ish MB, and surely that's got to make a mark on their server and bandwidth bills. Why do I have to download drivers that contains code for every damn board on their currently supported roster?

    Why not create a lightweigtht updater that automatically fetches only the binaries needed for my board? These enormous all-in-one installers are becoming ridiculous, and add to it the fact they leave all their unpacked installation files in a folder on the drive after the installer finishes... It adds up to a whole lot of junk in a year if you don't go and manually clean it all out.
     
  11. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
    Moderator Legend Alpha Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    8,708
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Like the one AMD has implemented inside of Steam? Or does the Steam one merely download the full installable and execute that?
     
  12. Alexko

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    4,496
    Likes Received:
    910
    This.

    Plus, no one's putting a gun to your head, you don't have to download and install the hotfixes, you can just get your monthly WHQL release.

    That said, hotfixes should probably just be called beta, because hotfix makes them sound as though your computer will explode if you don't install them at once.
     
  13. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Ok, I had to surf some NV forums to verify, but NV users are still (as I was with my last two NV cards) having to pick the best driver set for certain games. How can anyone seriously claim the NV situation is any better than AMD? Hell, people are regularly using Beta drivers still in NV land.

    I'm not trying to slam NV, but "hotfixes" and beta drivers to resolve issues with new cards and games are, IMHO, a very good thing. I don't care if you have a Fermi or a Cayman or a 8800 GTS, if a new game comes out and runs poorly or with artifacts and NV or AMD quickly releases a fix so you don't have to wait for the next WHQL round then I applaud them.
     
  14. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,495
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Repeated Windows updates don't imply that Windows 7 is unreliable/low quality. Infact it is the most popular release of Windows to date, I think XP took far longer to become this liked. :grin:

    Personally the only thing I care about is that once a month I get a new driver from Steam and it is easy and painless. I never bother with the hotfix drivers and im sure most users don't know/care either. The hotfixes are therefore a service to those who need/do care about having the latest up to date drivers and are a service to those people, not a disservice.
     
  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,801
    Likes Received:
    2,172
    Location:
    La-la land
    The second alternative, unfortunately. It pulls down the full executable. I believe it actually does it automatically in the background, even if you don't tell Steam to update your video drivers...
     
  16. Psycho

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    They should just find a better name for those intermediate/beta drivers. Hotfix sounds like "We just released with some serious bugs, so we have to get this fix out ASAP", while it's most often (improved) support for new games/hardware etc. A sneak peak of what to come in the next WHQL.
     
  17. ferro

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Hotfixes in general are not a mess. It is a mess right now because if you have a 6850 or 6870 you still have to use a 10.10 hotfix (exact hotfix number depending on your OS version), while 10.11 and 10.12 have already been released for other products. The 10.10 download page mentions that 10.12 will support 68XX, but apparently this is not the case?

    Moreover, the 6XXX products are lumped together on the AMD driver download page, whereas the 68XX needs 10.10 and 69XX probably needs some unreleased 10.11 version.
     
  18. Doomtrooper

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,328
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I agree with this, maybe Dave can help get this one fixed :)
     
  19. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,151
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Which is worse than Nvidia, how? Almost all of Nvidia's driver releases are the equivalent of ATI hotfix driver releases considering Nvidia only releases 4 WHQL drivers a year, I believe?

    It isn't like either company is overall better than the other when it comes to driver releases.

    Nvidia releases BETA/Hotfix drivers far more frequently than ATI which allows them to address issues quickly.

    ATI releases WHQL drivers far more frequently than Nvidia which allows them to generally avoid serious issues. After all, how many ATI drivers have had to be recalled and removed from circulation due to possibly destroying your video card or having some other serious effects?

    I don't recall you slamming into Nvidia for releasing a driver set that destroyed Nvidia cards, yet you're slamming ATI for doing frequent BETA driver releases as Nvidia has done for over a decade now?

    As well, I see far less driver swapping to get best performance from X game when new driver optimized for Y game is released. It happens on both sides, but I still see far more of it from Nvidia's jungle of BETA drivers. Which does not mean Nvidia's drivers are in any way worse depending on situation.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,457
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    WI, USA
    Good idea. I'm sure they have a list of reasons for "unified is best for us" though. One I can think of is that unified removes the need for the customer to know what product he has.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...