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Driver Update Addresses Radeon Frame Latency Issues

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the forget-the-clips dept.

AMD 108

crookedvulture writes "AMD has begun addressing the Radeon frame latency spikes covered previously on Slashdot. A new beta driver is due out next week, and it dramatically smooths the uneven frame times exhibited by certain Radeon graphics processors. The driver only tackles performance issues in a few games, but more fixes are on the way. In the games that have been addressed, the new driver delivers more consistent frame times and smoother gameplay without having much of an impact on the minimum or average FPS numbers. Those traditional FPS metrics clearly do a poor job of quantifying the fluidity of in-game action. Surprisingly, it seems AMD was largely relying on those metrics when testing drivers internally. The company has now pledged to pay more attention to frame latencies to ensure that these kinds of issues don't crop up again."

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108 comments

Open Source drivers? (2, Insightful)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622693)

When will Nvidia and ATI release proper open source drivers instead of us having to install a binary blob to get our hardware working? That would really help if there were drivers that could ship in the kernel to handle ATI hardware instead of the closed source options.

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622727)

When will Nvidia and ATI release proper open source drivers instead of us having to install a binary blob to get our hardware working?

Does Sus Volans answer your question?

Show them numbers on how this would benefit their bottom line without risk of wasting work for no return, and I'm sure they'll listen.

Re:Open Source drivers? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622813)

It's not just bottom line. At this point and time, they would financially benefit from open sourcing their drivers. The problem really lies in a huge tangled web of license agreements from other parties that they can't straighten out. For almost any commercial product to go open source while the company is still in operation is a legal nightmare, and that's why it almost never happens.

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

nadaou (535365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623911)

... and yet it happened with Java. It happened with StarOffice.

It is possible, even if it's just the parts that can be and not the parts that can't be (like StarOffice's DB was)

Stop making excuses for a can't do attitude.

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624869)

... and yet it happened with Java. It happened with StarOffice.

I don't wish to trivialize StarOffice's database integration, but you're talking about ripping out one library and stuffing in another, it's not as hard as rewriting everything and if it is then the original code was shit. And Java was even less of an issue in some ways, because it was designed to be maintained.

Re:Open Source drivers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622817)

When will Nvidia and ATI release proper open source drivers instead of us having to install a binary blob to get our hardware working?

Does Sus Volans answer your question?

Show them numbers on how this would benefit their bottom line without risk of wasting work for no return, and I'm sure they'll listen.

The *numbers* say that shipping all the niggers by force back to Africa would free up enormous public resources and pay for itself in the medium-term.

But nobody is willing to do it no matter how good of an idea it is. Not PC and so forth. Open source drivers is like that.

Re:Open Source drivers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622781)

Never. Nobody plays games on Linux. Not yet anyway.

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623119)

nice try troll.

Re:Open Source drivers? (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622947)

When you get all the patent holders for the patents they are violating to execute license agreements and hold harmless agreements. You think it's only software where patents are stifling things? Everyone in the industry kind of willfully looks the other way, as long as the other guy also willfully looks away, and as long as there's no source code for anyone to drag anyone else into court over.

Realize also that the interfaces used on the bottom end to interface the software for the hardware disclose substantial information about the hardware as well. Imagine the following question in the press: "if you say you support 'B' in hardware, but are actually doing 'Q' and 'R' in hardware when you are asked to accomplish 'B', isn't the claim that you have 'hardware accelerated B' only technically true in order to have that marketing checkbox checked?". There are similar uncomfortable questions.

Apart from those, the interfaces to the hardware can disclose additional hardware patent violations, which would normally be covered by the "willfully looks away" already in progress.

if you actually did come up with something clever, but which wasn't patentable for whatever reason, your competitor could just copy it, and then you would have lost your market advantage.

Finally, most hardware codec decoding, e.g. for H.264, is partially looped in software s that the license can be tied to the software instead of the hardware, and therefore be optional, and not add to the unit cost as a hardware royalty item to Sorenson (and others). By this fiction, they become an optional software royalty item where the company using the hardware in their design can choose wheter or not to use the capability, and thereby be required to pay the royalty. If it became easy to use the hardware capabilities from Open Source software, then this fiction disappears. You can argue that standards should all be royalty free or not be standards until you are blue in the face, but you are looking at approximately 100,000,000,000 DVDs total in the world, all expecting H.264 to decode them, and that requires a royalty payment.

No, these drivers are never going to be fully Open Source at the same time they give access to all the hardware capabilities.

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622989)

DVDs are MP4 not H.264. You are thinking of BD (and the failed HD-DVD)

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623015)

The argument still holds for non-BluRay DVDs: MPLA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG_Licensing_Authority [wikipedia.org] - counts as "others" from which patent licenses must be obtained to enable the software loop-out.

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623215)

Nope DVD's are MPEG-2.
MP4 is the container for h.264, "DIVX" was h.263, MPEG-2 was h.262

Arguably you can stick 2-4 movies of h.264 codec on the same disc that you can stick a 1 hour h.262 codec at the same SD resolution. Most "DVD" video are dual-layer, while most discs DVD+/-R discs used by consumers are single layer. Cheap BD players can actually play DVD's with h.264 content on them. So the choice is either 4 times the pixels (HD) or 4 times the length. You can store on a dual layer BD 50GB, that's a little over 10x a single layer disc, so 10 hours of SD video, or 2.5hours of HD video

Re:Open Source drivers? (4, Informative)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623661)

DVD"s are MPEG-2, not MPEG-4.

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623069)

Realize also that the interfaces used on the bottom end to interface the software for the hardware disclose substantial information about the hardware as well. Imagine the following question in the press: "if you say you support 'B' in hardware, but are actually doing 'Q' and 'R' in hardware when you are asked to accomplish 'B', isn't the claim that you have 'hardware accelerated B' only technically true in order to have that marketing checkbox checked?". There are similar uncomfortable questions.

So stop fibbing! Either say "Hardware assisted B" or say "Q and R in hardware" say both if you like.

Apart from those, the interfaces to the hardware can disclose additional hardware patent violations, which would normally be covered by the "willfully looks away" already in progress.

So can an electron microscope and/or a bus sniffer, which is something anyone who might hold a relevant patent will likely have and already use to examine your hardware and driver.

Finally, most hardware codec decoding, e.g. for H.264, is partially looped in software s that the license can be tied to the software instead of the hardware, and therefore be optional

Put the lot in hardware, and for the 'lesser' chip that "doesn't have it", blow a fuse to disable it.

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625857)

So stop fibbing! Either say "Hardware assisted B" or say "Q and R in hardware" say both if you like.

If B can be accurately computed by running QRQ, and your QRQ process is faster than the software B, you are accelerating B. There is no lie, there is only the false assumption that each hardware supported feature must have its own dedicated transistors.

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623403)

No, these drivers are never going to be fully Open Source at the same time they give access to all the hardware capabilities.

I think "never" is a bit too strong of a word, maybe if you're talking for the current cards, perhaps, but Intel has seemed to be able to provide open source Linux graphics drivers. [01.org]

True, true, they don't make the same cards as the high end guys do, but it's closed minded to even think that disparate computing model w/ discrete GPUs is going to last forever.

IMO, I'd rather do everything in software rasterizer -- Pixel & Vertex shaders still don't give me the same sort of control I had doing everything CPU side... We use hardware for the speed, but it's just a crutch -- a band-aid -- have to write the whole GPU pipeline myself anyway except now it's shaders instead of CPU side code, and with the slow main RAM to GPU bottleneck in the way, it prevents all sorts of wonderful physics -- No, don't get me wrong, you can do awesome stuff on the GPU, I've written whole applications in there, majority of game state and all physics in the GPU with CPU side code just providing the raw data streaming and control input / networking, but it's still terribly limited and a PITA to code that way. Heterogeneous computing will let us do some really awesome stuff, but what we need is just tons of parallelism in the CPUs / FPUs and a fast frame buffer -- then it would be just like the good ol' days. It's coming. The line between GPU and CPU is blurring. And when that happens, You can kiss your "never" goodbye.

Hey, remember when the FPU wasn't always just a given? Heh, yeah, had to chose between SX vs DX, and even then only special programs utilized the advanced "math co-processor", and most programs had to be written as if it wasn't there because you couldn't rely on it being present. Hey, remember when you couldn't count on the computer being able to perform multiple threads in hardware? Hey, remember when computers were single core?

Hey, remember when GPUs and CPUs used to be separate things?

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Re:EraTown cn h qun 7 - eratown.vn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623733)

desudesudesudesu

Re:EraTown cn h qun 7 - eratown.vn (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624231)

Good morning Vietnam.

Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622721)

Probably one of the most important divides in engineers (the world?) is the ability to read the data, acknowledge your mistakes and fix it. It seems like most companies spend more time doing damage control than damage remediation. Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Slashdot cannot be fooled (with apologies to Richard Feynman).

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622983)

It has taken them at least 3 years to do so though, and they had the data and the reasons for the stutters then. Meanwhile most game devs running into this have added various workarounds to reduce the problem.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630101)

I kmow I'm feeding the trolls, but the only platform that was having this issue was the 7xxx series GPUs, which are only a year old. Nice try spreading FUD.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622997)

Of course /. itself is also subject to this. They spend more time with PR like the feedback form from a couple years ago than fixing actual problems like the fact that it STILL does not have unicode support. Such a failure for any modern community based website to not have unicode support.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623019)

They need a new standard: WFPS. Worst Frames Per Second. Find the slowest frame, and how many times that frame can be calculated in one second. Average is a bad way to judge things; perhaps part of the benchmark includes the view pointed at the sky with only 10 polygons, where it would obviously render at incredible speeds, driving the average FPS up. WFPS would give you a much better idea of what the system is actually capable of when under a full load.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623343)

Why not give us average, median, variance, skew... or paint a probability distribution onto the box ?

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (4, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624437)

The Frame latencies by percentile [techreport.com] graph they create now is the right way to look at this data. It's a sort of probability distribution function for slow frames. Nothing simpler will capture the complexity of the problem. You can't usefully boil the universe of rendering latency issues into any single number.

The worst frame will vary based on card and game, and the tools available to reviewers are not practical to find them. And what this debacle has shown is that even though they're limited, the tools being used by reviewers are sometimes better than internal QA at the manufacturers.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623177)

You're assuming it's about ego. More likely they still have code that was produced by a contractor where they don't have the rights to redistribute or where they have a license which is only for their use, not for 3rd parties. Anybody who cares about it is likely to be more interested in the code being released, the people that wrote it likely don't get a say in it. Plus, I doubt most people really care one way or the other and are unlikely to even look. Assuming they can even program.

AMD has been releasing what they can, and the ingrates around here bitch about them failing to reduce all the code, regardless of whether or not AMD owned ATI at the time that the software was written, assuming that AMD can just wave a magic wand and own all of it.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625495)

I wonder if they also fixed the problem introduced in one of the Catalyst updates that makes my monitor on and off 50 times during booting or rebooting. Or maybe that driver conflict issue with Google's MapsGL that causes a BSOD? Both of those are very annoying, and even if they can be avoided to some extent - the problems that cause them shouldn't have been introduced into the drivers in the first place. AMD, how about it?

Well, at least I can keep my fingers crossed.

Regional question (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625647)

This is going to come off sounding kind of trollish/regionalist/xenophobic, but I'm curious if the location of silicon valley has a lot to do with this. Different areas and regions have different cultures, and in my line of work I have to deal with a lot of people in California. The immediate reaction to any problem is finger pointing, not looking for a solution, which is a stark contrast to where I live where mistakes are OK as long as they are owned and rectified. Everyone who transfers here from California undergoes a culture shock where we don't put up with the finger pointing shit, and over a couple of months to a year they adapt. Granted, I mainly work with the Los Angeles area, but I saw it in Oakland to an extent as well.

Am I just being stupid here or is there more to this?

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626341)

I still think this is all nitpicking and blowing things out of proportion. I've played games on the 7000 (7870 and 7970) series of cards and never noticed this "problem". This was never mentioned on any other review site before, and all of a sudden it's a huge issue and you shouldn't buy AMD cards, etc, etc.. It all stinks of hysteria.

Re:Kudos to AMD for owning up to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42627663)

I worked for (until recently) a custom laptop reseller, and out of the 60-80+ emails or phone calls a day that I got, usually I could count on 7-10 a day being about the AMD 7970, and how even after removing drivers for integrated and discrete GPUs, using driver sweep, reinstalling, repeat/rinse/ad nauseum the card wild still genuflect wildly, or run hot, or not at all, or lag at 15-25 FPS. This has been happening since release. There were entire forum threads about it on NBR in one of the Sager sub-fora until AMD told NBR to mod and shut certain threads down.

as a Radeon 6870 owner (1)

issicus (2031176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622741)

I thought I was going crazy, I guess this is why getting that SSD didn't help.

Re:as a Radeon 6870 owner (4, Informative)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622757)

This only applies to the new GCN architecture (most high end 7000 series cards) and not the older VLIW4/5 cards (which includes low end 7000 series cards and 6000 series cards)

Re:as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622763)

uhh ... turn in your geek card.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (3, Informative)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622857)

Since when is disk I/O speed or access time relevant to frame rates in a game?

Disk I/O determines how fast a game loads, or how short the wait between levels in a game etc. Frame rates (or latencies) are determined by the trio CPU + memory bandwidth + GPU. Sure some games may load data while you're in the midst of the action, but in that case likely bite-size chunks that shouldn't affect frame rates significantly (and unrelated to the issue discussed here).

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622915)

Ermm.. wrong. A 5,200 rpm disk has to load considerable amounts of texture files per second and does cause frame grab and latency issues because the 3d card is waiting for throughput. Also auto settings for VM (eg 18gb if you have 12gb ram) takes time too, so experiment by shutting VM off.
Going SSD even as game storage only can speed things up. Other frame problems can occur with the I/O chip that actually controls all I/O operations. A damaged chip can test OK, but will falter if it gets too hot or too demanding. Then, a slow monitor (8ms or more) can also cause problems. Winding down your res from maximum can be used to troubleshoot some of these issues.
Hopefully the new driver may fix frame probs on Far Cry 3

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623161)

If your game didnt suck balls - it was already preloaded into RAM, which was loading textures and stuff into VRAM.
So you also should handle your geek card over.
You switched off VM, which consumed f*** load of RAM. You kil VM process. It frees RAM. Precaching works as supposed to.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624391)

If your game didnt suck balls - it was already preloaded into RAM, which was loading textures and stuff into VRAM.

You are presuming that all the data for the gaming environment will fit in memory at the same time. These days this is quite often not the case. A game like GTA4 doesnt have any loading screens but its a large world with many gigabytes of texture data.

...but the person you are replying to doesnt make much sense for sure.. these frame latency issues have to do with the memory management of the video card, where the variance of the time per frame for condensing free blocks and garbage collection was quite high. They were trying to be too clever, minimizing wasted memory by using often expensive alloc/free semantics. This is the correct thing to do when being clever means that everything will fit in VRAM so not much alloc/free going on, but becomes a problem when thats not the case (see any managed programming languages garbage collector for other examples of this problem.. they work great until they tank hard)

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623649)

What the hell. Games never locextures to the gpu directly from the hard drive. That's what your ram does. Most games would only require say 100mb of ram tops if the textures came direct from your disk.

If you have 12gig of ram THEN YOU ARE NOT SWAPPING. No swapping means you could disable virtual memory completely.

And what is this mystery I/O chip you are speaking of?
The north bridge, and the south bridge or something else magical?
If either the North or south bridges fail or over heat you've got a instant crash. Mind you I've never heard of either failing under load but fine when idle.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (2)

FireXtol (1262832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624355)

All memory in Windows is virtual. The swapping uses a page or paging file.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42624603)

If you have 12gig of ram THEN YOU ARE NOT SWAPPING. No swapping means you could disable virtual memory completely.

Just curious, but where do you get your 64bit enabled games? In the Taskmanager they all have this ominous *32 behind the name which hints as them being able to juggle 4G of address space.

In lots of online enabled games I met people complaining about but a bad graphics engine or laggy connection. Because they had a great cpu and graphics card they thought it could only be the game engine (and called me a liar), but I didn't experience these problems on much weaker cpu and old graphics card. I only had a single digit frame rate there while stumbling into town meetings which saturated my internet connection with updates on the people to be seen. After these initial shock it usually stabilized. After the texture caches got sorted out it and all character info was retrieved everything was fine. I got a dedicated, regular defragged drive for those games and it was abigger benefit than upgrading cpu and graphics card.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (4, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622953)

Since when is disk I/O speed or access time relevant to frame rates in a game?

When the engine is trying to grab data in real time from disk.

This is most assuredly *not* every game. But it is some games, or games in some scenarios. In MMO's you don't have enough RAM memory of all of the possible character armours these days, so you have to dynamically grab only that which will be on screen, same with any zone streaming in data from whatever area you have around you.

I can see why people would think this is a HDD speed issue. If you have burst loads of up to say 200 MB/s on a HDD, but average around 20, well then a regular drive will hiccup periodically whereas the SSD won't even bat an eye. As you say, that isn't actually *this* issue.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623797)

That is why placeholders exist - or even NOTHING at all exists where armour and other textures, skeletons may not be already loaded into ram. It doesn't affect frame rates - just what you see.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630223)

It does if you try and wait for whole model parts to load at a time between frames. Not everyones multithreaded rendering is as wonderful as we'd like.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624875)

Diablo 3 is like that. Putting the key files through mlink on a SSD disk or even USB key will bring incredible advantage.

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (2)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623513)

Shitty console ports love to stream textures

Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42627741)

It's not just "shitty console ports." Many modern games do this to avoid having loading screens (or at least reduce them), including PC exclusives.

Re:as a Radeon 6870 owner (1)

Megor1 (621918) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623005)

Same here, had two of them in crossfire and it was always super unsmooth even though it claimed high frame rate 120+. I switched to NVIDIA and it's night and day.

Re:as a Radeon 6870 owner (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630407)

What you were experiencing is called microstuddering, and it affects both nvidia and ati.

So which graphics card should I get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622747)

Go with a cheap 7770, or 650 Ti, up to a 7850, 7870, 7870 Le, or 660?

What's the choice you would pick?

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622851)

Toms hardware answer this.

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622923)

The HD 7870 (now almost all brands are OC'd) is a good alternative to Nvidia which seems to crap its pants, especially in SLI mode. But wait till the new processors are out and pay for what you can afford.

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624459)

Go with a cheap 7770, or 650 Ti, up to a 7850, 7870, 7870 Le, or 660?

This lineup suggests a lack of understanding.

The 650ti runs 110 watts and $140,
... 660 runs 140 watts and $215,
... 7770 runs at 80 watts and $115,
... 7850 runs 130 watts and $165,
and 7870 is 175 watts and $210.

The only possible choice that isn't simply down to 'wattage requirements' or 'spot price' is between the 660 and the 7870 and my guess is that the 7870 will win most FPS benchmarks but its going to cost you more to operate over the long run (35W adds up over a year or two) and will probably be noticeably louder. In all other cases, the price differential dominates any decision that you think you are facing where you simply get th cheapest one that gives you enough performance.

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (2)

jakobX (132504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624569)

Only if you are running something like furmark 24/7 for the whole year. Most games will not even remotely stress the card so hard. Your card will mostly be in idle most of the time and in the case of new AMD cards they can even go to deep sleep when not in use and only burn 3W (useful for 24/7 machines such a s mine).

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624815)

Sure, because people that buy $100+ video cards and then have them idle all the time. The time they spend gaming or bitcoining or whatever the hell they needed the card for simply doesnt add up....

We are talking about the 660 being $5 more than the 7870, and you seem to be arguing that the 7870 wont ever use $5 more electricity over the lifetime of the card which by my calculations is about 41kWh (at $0.12/kWh.) If you plan on owning the card for precisely 2 years (a reasonable lifecycle for a gamers video card) then you can only draw that extra 35W for an average of 96 minutes per day before you've exceeded the $5 you saved. Many gamers play way more than 96 minutes per day.

But thanks for just guessing about the numbers, instead of actually knowing the numbers, because guessing is way more important than knowing.

Re:So which graphics card should I get? (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630425)

Everyone is just guessing unless we have the idle wattage usage numbers as well.

sweet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622771)

Does this mean I finally get to play Diablo 3?

Re:sweet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622829)

Does this mean I finally get to play Diablo 3?

Once you crack the DRM so that you the paying customer can have an experience as good as what the pirates have, yes, yes you can play Diablo 3.

Beta drivers improve 57xx too (3, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622783)

In addition the security hole with the aslr being disabled was also fixed last stable release 12.10.

This year ATI also stopped releasing a driver every month and instead focused on QA before certifying drivers.

ATI really is improving as they try to stay alive. Bravo indeed and my next card will be an ATI.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624861)

ATI really is improving as they try to stay alive. Bravo indeed and my next card will be an ATI.

My advice is to wait a bit longer than that. Every time there is news that ATI has substantially improved their drivers, I try an ATI card. Every time I try an ATI card, it makes me want to hurt someone, preferably someone at ATI. I propose that you wait until other people have bought the next generation of cards, and you have time to figure out of ATI has learned to code their way out of a nutsack.

Given that ATI is owned by the CPU company that fired their CPU designers, I am skeptical that things can "continue" to "improve" at ATI.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625603)

Been running ATI for years and never had any of the problems you exhibit. Maybe you should play games that aren't complete shit.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625671)

Been running ATI for years and never had any of the problems you exhibit. Maybe you should play games that aren't complete shit.

Maybe you should log in if you're not just a shill for ATI, and you have the courage of your convictions. When you say things like this without logging in, you only grant the other side in the argument credibility. Or perhaps that was your goal, in which case piss off, I don't need the help.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (1)

glsunder (241984) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625781)

I don't really have issues either, but the last fps that I played much was quake 3.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625979)

I am logged in, and if you think someone from ATI couldn't make a fake account then I don't know what rock you've been living under. Your posts are just as credible as anyone else's here. You might have a massive ego, but it won't change that.

My point is exactly as I typed it: I've been running ATI since the 9800 Pro, and never had a single driver related problem since then. If that someone grants more credibility to you than me then there's obviously no point in using logic and facts when replying to you.

Re:Beta drivers improve 57xx too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630845)

by Anonymous Coward on 01-18-13 8:05 (#42625979)

I am logged in,

Oh, so you just know you're full of shit, so you won't spend karma to back up what you say? Either way, you're full of shit if you won't expose a username.

and if you think someone from ATI couldn't make a fake account then I don't know what rock you've been living under.

You're exceptionally stupid if you don't think that it matters if someone logs in. But you do know; you're a shill.

Never had significant problems with ATI either (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42627801)

And I get money and free heating out of my ATI re: BitCoin mining.

Currently using a 6750 on Windows 7.

To accuse someone of being a shill simply because they post as AC (as if /. IDs are somehow validated) smacks of someone who's losing it...

Download link else stop wasting my time. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622833)

That's great. Now how about you fuckers run this story again when the drivers are actually available? It's nice to know that they'll be available in the future, I already assumed that from your previous coverage.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (-1, Flamebait)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622871)

Oh no, somebody please help this lost little boy who can't figure out that AMD hosts their drivers on their website!! Will nobody think of the mentally retarded children who can't think or google??

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622971)

Why don't you read what he actually asked before shooting your mouth off. This is the 4th(!) time the AMD frame rate issues story has been posted on /. and the second promising a fix in future drivers... the op didn't wonder where to get drivers, but how many more times is this same story going to be posted before an actual fix is available.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624879)

Oh no, somebody please help this lost little boy who can't figure out that AMD hosts their drivers on their website!!

No, they don't. They host some of their drivers on their website. nVidia hosts their drivers*, Intel hosts their drivers, but AMD only hosts their desktop drivers.

Get back to me when AMD hosts all their own drivers, so that you don't have to go a notebook manufacturer's website and get an outdated driver for your graphics card.

* nVidia used to not host mobile drivers, but has now for years.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625931)

Drivers for my notebook are on the AMD site.

Poor you.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42630881)

Drivers for my notebook are on the AMD site.

But, just like AMD doesn't care about me, I don't care about you.

You don't care if I care about you, and AMD doesn't care if I care about them either, obviously, because they don't provide a download for my platform. Consequently, I don't care about AMD. I have never recommended their graphics cards, and now I can't recommend their processors. But I also have to take anyone who thinks they're great less seriously because they forgive not only their gross mistakes but also intentional abuse of their customer base.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

echnaton192 (1118591) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623135)

RTFA. Next week.

This story is about "problem solved, beta works, driver coming up". It was not clear whether the problem was in the hardware or only driver related. So I assume it will interest people (even nvidia-users as myself) that the problem is already solved.

First story was "we have an issue here. Just look how much smoother nvidia is. We describe the problem technically and show it to you."

To me, it is news: Look, ATI tries to do good drivers and addresses problems rather then denying them and it did work. So ATI is a viable option again, if the hardware is up to challenge.

When buying a card for 500 bucks to get the best bang for the buck it is important to get the fastest card technically and drivers that make the game look optimal. And I read such articles to get the good feeling that there is a choice. Or the nerdrage if the alternative (or even worse: the brand I chose) is crap. We as nerds need to store those infos for the next guy who asks if it is OK to buy xyz or the next time we buy new hardware.

For example - if somebody asks me about sony, I would answer that the products are mostly OK, but that you never ever want them to repair your product. Too expensive when not covered by guarantee and simply not up to the competition.

If I were ready for anything than the best look possible with a specific game, I wouldn't pay 500 bucks for a graphics card and would buy the console version of games for my ps3 that I almost never use. That is why it is news - while the release date itself is of no concern to me.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624467)

The issue was the drivers, specifically to do with the CPU cost of memory management of VRAM.

Re:Download link else stop wasting my time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623167)

Perhaps the new 13.1 drivers released today will work for you?

Now fix Windows 8 (1, Funny)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622855)

Now they need to fix the Catalyst driver to stop crashing on Windows 8. This is getting annoying, especially the BDOD that pop up every other day.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42622937)

Now they need to fix the Catalyst driver to stop crashing on Windows 8. This is getting annoying, especially the BDOD that pop up every other day.

Have an even better idea: ditch Windows 8...

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (3)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623029)

I use AMD graphics on Windows 8 and haven't had a single BSOD or desktop application crash on me thus far. However, I have had a few "Metro" apps crash and the AMD driver looked like a prime suspect from the call stack... (namely the Weather app and the Store app)

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623585)

Not just Win8, I've had to roll back the latest few updates on Win7 because they caused Windows Explorer to crash and restart every few minutes.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42628613)

I had this exact same problem with radeon drivers and Win7.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623605)

The problem is not the graphics driver. The problem is windows 8.

But... anyone who jumped on that bandwagon this quickly... will never believe theres anything wrong with their precious windows 8.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623737)

Why make a moronic post like that, the issues with the drivers are well documented and known and they most assuredly are from the drivers.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42624251)

I suggest both of you Win 8 users revert back to Win 7 temporarily until all the "kinks" in the new OS are fixed.

Re:Now fix Windows 8 (2)

jakobX (132504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624579)

Im not getting any crashes on my win8/AMD machine. Have you tried upgrading your motherboard BIOS? There were some problems with old BIOS versions and the 7xxx series when going to sleep mode.

This has been a problem on all cards (1, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42623091)

And I mean ALL ATi cards since the early Radeon 7000's. And the problems aren't just isolated to Windows. You can't get a decent read on the vertical blank timings because their cards are simply shitty and will randomly have frame drops and latency. nVidia seems to have somewhat followed them in their path lately but they were pretty good before.

This is generally not a problem for gamers to lose 1 frame or have a couple of them a bit later (you can't notice it) but when you're doing psychophysics experiments, it becomes a huge fucking problem.

Not on the infinite upgrade train (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623693)

Where's my updated legacy drivers, AMD? Or have you just abandoned us forever to horribly outdated drivers that won't even work in the latest GNU/Linux distros?

I am not interested in paying money to replace a card I bought at retail only a little over a year ago which serves me quite well, thank you.

Same here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42623741)

Back to nVidia I go.

Re:Not on the infinite upgrade train (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42628087)

How the fuck did you buy a 4xxx card retail in mid-late 2011?

easy fix for fps averages (1)

amnezick (1253408) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624075)

To get a better idea of how smooth the experience is just add two more values:
- average of positive values of first derivative - this will show how fast framerates go high
- average of negative values of first derivative - this will show how fast framerates drop when they drop.

When they intersect 0 on the Y-axis you have some key moments to look at and see what could have caused a spike or a drop.
Also if both these averages are high (for +) or low (for -) then gameplay is not smooth. If they are close to 0 (changes are very small) then gameplay is smooth.
If avg+ - avg- is not close to 0 then framerates went mostly up (>0) or mostly down (<0) and there is another problem to look at.

So there. That's why you should study some basic calculus

Really? (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624151)

Really? These people who want to put a binary into your computer, as a fully privileged user, interacting with every part of your system in order to improve graphical performance - with full access to all design documents, chipset manuals, and source code - couldn't work out that FPS could potentially be "spiky" and that just a single figure wasn't an accurate representation of how a human perceived their extraordinarily complex and expensive graphics, and that's why things didn't look or work smoothly?

And it took them YEARS to work this out? And only really weeks to "fix"?

I haven't used or purchased or recommended or approved a purchase that used ATI/AMD cards in years. The last one I personally used was an Xpert@Work many, many years ago. It was cheap and cheerful but did the job if you were prepared to put up with the driver hassle (never really got any sort of performance out of it on Linux, but that was true of a lot of cards back then).

Not because of a framerate issue that I ever perceived but because I just stopped trusting them with my computer after numerous driver issues and being "abandoned" once I had an old card. This just reinforces my belief that it was the right decision.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624343)

And it took them YEARS to work this out? And only really weeks to "fix"?

Just because it is obvious to you doesn't mean that it is obvious to others. Really.

If there's a problem, kick up a fuss, complain, let someone know who can do something about it. This is true whether it is software, hardware, real life services, etc. There's always plenty for the people doing support to do, so if you want YOUR issues to be the ones fixed then you'd better sing up about them so that they get some priority. If you say nothing, everyone else will assume you're doing fine with no problems at all. That's the way the world works.

Re:Really? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624847)

Just because it is obvious to you doesn't mean that it is obvious to others. Really.

It's their job to get this right. ATI's only job, in fact, was to make GPUs and produce drivers which make them work properly. They made the hardware, but they still couldn't make the driver for their own hardware, and have been doing it wrong for years. That means they're incompetent. That's the way the world works.

Re:Really? (2)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626401)

No, they built and tested their drivers internally to match the expectations of the public. The public was testing min/avg/max FPS, so that's what ATI built. In other words, shitty benchmarks result in shitty drivers.

And to call ATI incompetent because they didn't notice an issue almost nobody else did is quite arrogant. Especially since once the issue was discovered, they promptly fixed it. That's not even remotely incompetent, that's fantastic support and I'd love it if most companies were that responsive and that aware of what their target audience wants.

Oh, and the part where you claim ATI can't make a driver or that they are doing it wrong is flat out not true, not even close. Kindly go fuck yourself

Re:Really? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42631017)

And to call ATI incompetent because they didn't notice an issue almost nobody else did is quite arrogant.

Gross misrepresentation of the facts is a gross misrepresentation. They had a problem nobody else did, and didn't notice it, and that's why they're incompetent. Especially when people have been reporting this problem to them for years.

Oh, and the part where you claim ATI can't make a driver or that they are doing it wrong is flat out not true, not even close. Kindly go fuck yourself

Are you the butt-hurt fanboi who rounded up a posse to go mod down five of my comments? I've been experiencing windows crashes due to shitty ATI drivers since Windows fucking 3.1, so while I may go fuck myself later, it has nothing to do with you or ATI. Your internet bravery is pathetic.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42629281)

I actually wrote to Rory Read himself about this last month, just before Christmas, as a stockholder. He wrote back within a day or two and reassured me people were working on it, and it looks like he delivered. Not bad.

Search me why their stock is tumbling today... this is great news.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42627975)

"Not because of a framerate issue that I ever perceived but because I just stopped trusting them with my computer after numerous driver issues and being "abandoned" once I had an old card. This just reinforces my belief that it was the right decision."

You run into the same types of issues with nVidia. I won't deny having been burned by a few broken promises from AMD/ATI over the years, however my experience with nVidia hasn't been any better. Both hardware vendors scale back driver support on hardware that is more than three generations old. All of my GPU RMAs have been with nVidia, and even when they have worked properly have rarely met or surpassed my expectations.

As for the knocks on the AMD driver developers, this really could be due more to political reasons than technical ineptitude. Nvidia dishes out more cash on game developers for things like PhysX support and hardware branding on box art (money hats to game publishers), and so games do seem to launch with fewer compatibility issues for nVidia users and suffer fewer post-launch issues with game updates. Logically, one would think it would be the other way around since AMD holds a substantially larger chunk of the gaming hardware market (game consoles, chiefly), but I do believe that game developers will spend more time coding to nVidia specifications while AMD driver developers are tasked with a lot of reactionary changes to support the latest software, which is just bass-ackwards.

and other games? (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625015)

So am I right in understanding the resolution is that DX9 games may be fixed by if they get around to addressing that game (dx9 requires game-by-game fixes), whilst all DX10 & DX11 games should be fixed by a forthcoming (hopefully...) general driver fix?

Linux too? (1)

JC61990 (2653877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625435)

So will these drivers be available on linux systems too? i think im still using Catalyst 12.9

Why love Nvidia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626893)

Based on my experiences, their hardware, drivers, and control panel all have issues. Recent purchase of a 660 Ti, which I ended up returning for a 7950, presented me with several problems.

Nvidia's control panel lacks in many options which AMD's provides, or provides a worse version of the options. While AMD's control panel is bloated and slow on load up, it is better in almost all other regards when it comes to configuration.

The 660 Ti I received (This issue may not apply to all) had serious issues with contrast, brightness, and gamma. It could not reproduce blacks correctly no matter where I configured the settings (Windows or Nvidia's control panel, or on the monitor), the gamma was completely off and the range from white to black could not be reproduced correctly, and it would not work with Flux (With Nvidia's settings all being reset with regards to contrast, brightness, gamma, or color temp). I was using the latest drivers.

I have had none of those issues with AMD cards, and no crashes or frame rate issues unless overclocking too far. It may have been a bad card, but it could also be that some people are ignoring or don't notice those issues as they are focused on frame rates and preconceived notions that "AMD bad, Nvidia good".

I has nothing to do with the architecture (1)

non-e-moose (994576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42629677)

Writing anonymously as a former AMD-er: the performance has absolutely NOTHING to do with the underlying architecture. The root cause is a software development (if you can call it "development") culture which is completely incapable of moving at more than a snails pace. Thank you Ben Bar-Haim & associated Markham Bozos. I've met a lot of developers who are actually focused on quality at AMD, but they generally seem to be in the minority. Too many managers/directors of SW products at AMD seem to believe that the "look and feel" of the UI is much more important than actually being correct, let alone performant. I personally know for a fact that the shader compiler team is totally dedicated to correctness and high performance. But when they are [under] staffed at N, while the UI portion of the Catalyst driver is staffed at N^2 (or greater) the end result is inevitable. Goals are set on how "pretty" it is, rather than on performance and correctness.
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