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Drivers & Software

neallord
Adept I

Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

There are four ways to install drivers.

Either through the Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer website or AMD driver website.

Windows 10 automatically installs 17.1.1.

Device manager installs 17.1 <--- not 17.1.1 but YES 17.1

The MSI website has 18.7.1 available for my MSI RX 570 Armor 8GB.

And then there is AMD's latest driver available 19.1.1.

Which one does the consumer install? I have noticed that later drivers can be a bit unstable and have issues. There is no common answer of what we should all install. The latest drivers are generally considered the best, but on my second PC the R7 370 can't run overwatch on 19.1.1 for example without crashing.

If anyone from AMD can give us a definitive answer that would be great.

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5 Replies
kingfish
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Re: Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

It is always better to use the drivers furnished by the OEM manufacturer. Especially if it is a laptop. AMD offers 'generic' drivers that may conflict with graphics that are custom designed.

colesdav
MVP

Re: Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

Hi,

Because AMD and Microsoft can't be bothered to sort it out, that's why.
You can try various settings to prevent Windows 10 from installing its own version of AMD GPU Drivers at or following Windows 10 start up. Good luck with that.
The only way I know that works is to completely disconnect from the Internet.
Windows 10 is installing really old AMD Drivers on my PC, how ancient depends on which GPU I have installed at the time.
Windows 10 can install those drivers within minutes of reboot after the user removes them as part of AMD own installation procedure.
AMD's own Installer does not even detect those Microsoft Windows 10 drivers have been installed.
Only way the user may detect their installation may be a briefly flashing black screen (which might be described as not that unusual if you run an AMD GPU) or if the User specifically monitors Microsoft Device Manager.
AMD Own installer will overwrite the 'Microsoft AMD Drivers' - which can make the user attempt to remove the old drivers pointless in the first place.
Simply overwriting previous installed over previously installed driver can result in unpredictable behaviour according to their own installation notes.

The long version is here:

Why is Microsoft Windows 10 64bit automatically installing &gt;1.5year old Crimson ReLive (17.1.1) ...

I submitted many reporting forms, videos showing it happening, you name it.
It is not even acknowledged as a problem on any AMD Driver Release notes I have seen.

Before you do anything you should install latest Windows 10 Updates you can. Make sure you create a backup first.

Windows 10 has no supported backup system and it does not work anyway.

I tried 3rd Party Backup Solutions such as Macrium Reflect, Acronis or Easus Todo backup. They are also unreliable for me.

I suggest you download Clonezilla, install it on bootable media and use it to produce an exact clone of your windows installation on a new hard drive.
That way if AMD Driver related BSOD causes PC Crash / Freeze and corrupted irrecoverable Windows 10 installation you will not be faced with loosing all of your programs and data. You shoulkd be able to use your cloned drive to boot into Windows immediately and pull off any recent data from your failed Windows 10 installation.

For Laptop the situation is complicated because some laptop manufacturers like HP have their own approved drivers. Also if your laptop mixes pre-GCN iGPU with a discrete GCN GPU you may well have problems with the Adrenalin Installer. It will detect the prescense of the non GCN GPU and refuse to proceed with the installation.

For PC, the only way I seem to be able to get AMD Drivers to uninstall and install is to download the required driver from AMD Website. Download the correct version of DDU from Wagnardsoft, then disconnect from the Internet completely - remove ethernet cable and disable wifi. Quickest thing to do is just switch off your router. Then boot Windows 10 into safe mode. Then run DDU to remove anything from AMD and/or Nvidia. Then reboot windows into normal mode, still disconnected from the Internet. Then install your previously downloaded AMD Driver. Then install it and then reboot windows again. Then and only then should you reconnect to the Internet.

At that point you might be able to "witness the firepower of your fully installed and operational Adrenalin Driver" on Windows 10.
It may well still crash etc but at least you may have an idea of what you installed in the first place.

Windows 7 64bit support ends completely on Jan 14 2020:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-will-end-on-january-14-2020

AMD provide no new Windows 8.1 64bit Drivers for people thinking of escaping Windows 10 that way until it ends on 10 Jan 2023.
I use Windfows 8.1 64 bit mostly, although even it is beint 'Windows 10 telemetried' as much as possible and .Net Updates have been awful.
Nvidia still provide Windows 8.1 64 bit drivers for pre-Turing GPU's. I contacted their support and they claim they will provide Win8.1 drivers.

I moved to using Ubuntu 16.04LTS and try Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as my main OS a while back.
Now in Ubuntu 18.04LTS, installing Nvidia Drivers is done automatically via a settings menu.
You get an Nvidia GUI. You can set Graphics Options and GPU performance modes, fan speeds, etc.

In Ubuntu, AMD GPU's have no GUI at all. You have to hack / poll Ubuntu Installation variables / files  or install OpenSource ROCm drivers and use a tool called rocm-smi to control your AMD GPU. Installation and uninstalltion of AMDGPU drivers is difficult and has frequently failed.

Good luck.

Bye.

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neallord
Adept I

Re: Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

Well in this case 18.2.2 works fine for me, but 18.2.2. or 19.1.1 on my R7 370 have been a nightmare. Installing the default drivers 17.1.1 and 15.11 seem the most stable solutions through Windows update. The 18.7.1 from MSI keeps asking for an update after installation after not checking the box for "keep drivers updated".

I really wonder what AMD is thinking regarding their drivers, with Nvidia hardware i never even had a single problem. I like AMD, but their driver support is weird.

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neallord
Adept I

Re: Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

I indeed use DDU in safemode to install latest drivers, but still i wonder why Microsoft keeps pushing 17.1.1 through Windows update, i mean it's a stable driver, but it forces me to play Doom 4 "2016" in OpenGL 4.3 API.

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colesdav
MVP

Re: Device manager, Windows Update, GPU manufacturer or AMD drivers?

Well I can only guess but I would assume Microsoft think that 17.1.1 was the last stable driver from AMD that is appropriate for your GPU.
It isn't the latest recommended driver though.
Someone at high enough level within AMD should be talking with someone in Microsoft about it I would guess.
I mean, a modified  AMD Polaris RX580 is used in the XBOX One X (projerct Scorpio), for example so they must talk with each other at some level.
Microsoft do produce Windows 10.
It is ridiculous.

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