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Drivers & Software


(info for people) Black screen / game freeze issue on every driver since 22.6.1

It is not asking for help from my side. I know that AMD needs to do something about this. 
But this theme is for people that may search for information. 
This issue appears in optional drivers as AMD made changes in DirectX renderer and then in OpenGL renderer (this one is less impactful for common gamer, but it impacts developers). These changes caused decent FPS gains (especially OpenGL ones), and people love them. BUT! These changes also caused plenty of bugs. Some of them is combined burden of AMD and game developers*. And some of them MUST be fixed by AMD before they make another WHQL driver. 


Anyways, on theme of topic itself.

This recurring issue highly likely have several cases of severity. But they all basically almost same in nature. All of them usually happen when you have game in background or minimized (like currently watching youtube in browser or something else) and then coming into game with Alt-tab or unfolding minimized game. It is not happening every time. More than that it happens not that often at all. But often enough that it can happen up to several times per active playing day. 

Issue severity gradation.

1. Game freezes - system sound still there. At moment of frame freeze there is momentarily sound stutter. Alt-tabbing is easy and responsive. But you cannot play game without exiting it and launching again, as every time you will foreground game - it will freeze again. If you overlay anything on top of game, it will render fine as long as there is something overlayed on top. But at moment you foreground game - it will hang.

2. Game freezes - sound is still there. But Alt-tab isn't responsive at all. You able to Ctrl+Alt+Del, but there is HUGE delay between presses and screen coming up. After you come out of game other parts of system are still fine. As soon you return to game, it will hang up in same matter. You still can close game and open it up to return to playing.

3. Black screen - sound is still there. System is responsive, but it is impossible to actually get image back by either resetting drivers or power cycling monitor (with DP it causes reconnection). Normal power cycle works fine with Power button on case.

4. Game freezes - sound freezes. Sound almost like BSOD. There is equal chance that normal power cycle or hard reset will be required. With hard reset there is chance of device being turned off and system loading with basic (safe mode) resolution.

5. Black screen - sound freezes, system unresponsive. Only possible solution = hard reset. Also there is some chance that after few minutes PC will reset by itself for some reason. This one also can be caused by unstable overclock, so be careful. 
When hard reset is being required, after turning PC back on there is decent chance that GPU got turned off as device and Windows have minimal resolution. Driver don't launch as device was turned off. After turning device on - driver will turn on with intializing error report. You can also reinstall driver to fix disabled GPU as device.

Currently you can either bear with this issue. Or use 22.5.1 (latest WHQL) and wait when AMD manage to fix this problem. 
Basically this problem is one of the reasons why there is no WHQL driver in such a long time. But are you willing to lose extra performance they trying to achieve? It is tough question to answer for AMD. Because from their standpoint, there is no way back and road must be complete. 


*Like Elite Dangerous bug when ship goes from space travel to landing pattern, game throws an error, and it is impossible to enter again because your state was saved at moment of planet terrain generation. And this terrain generation cause shader error as Frontier (game developer) hadn't still added support for native double precision calculation (from people investigation) in their shaders. Issue can be if not avoided, but counterplayed by installing custom shaders for game (with some additional performance uplift as well from what i heard), but... Yeah, this is one of the things should be addressed for example. Problem starts when it should be determined what party is at fault. AMD made changes that caused such situation to appear, true. But game developers didn't update their shaders to support new feature even though they could. Who is at fault more in this case? 

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