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suggested user driver update policy

Question asked by firespot on Sep 25, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 20, 2014 by jtrudeau



What is AMDs 'general' recommendation regarding OpenCL driver updates? Stay at the current driver if working, or updating to newest?

To give more specific reasoning for that question I have a scientific application which is run under 4 platforms for testing purposes (but only on Tahitis in production mode):

C / C++ (VS 2012)

OpenCL - AMD GPU (Tahiti) + AMD CPU platform (CPU is Intel's though); Catalyst 13.9 / SDK 2.9

Intel - CPU (SDK 2013)

Nvidia - GPU


Code is always the same, where a few macro tweaks make the code C/C++ and OpenCL compatible.

The program runs very much fine under C/C++, Tahitis and Nivida GPU. An earlier version always crashed on the AMD CPU implementation, and the latest version now also under the Intel CPU implementation (at a point very similar to the AMD implemenation). I have invested a _lot_ of time into the crash reason (the crash is 100% reproduceable), and at least for the Intel implementation I concluded that it's due to bad code generation (incidentally, are both AMD and Intel using LLVM and any bugs therein may propagate to both?). I have also observed that in general (various platforms affected, though in different ways) the option -cl-opt-disable seems to cause more troubles.


I hesitate upgrading current drivers (e.g. the Intel from 2013 to 2014 to test if that works) because in the past I have experienced that when multiple OpenCL platforms are available on a system this is quite a sensitive constellation, and upgrading one driver can break overall binary compatibility for other platforms as well (been there, done that). Has anyone experienced anything similar? What's the recommendation with respect to that?

Most importantly now: a new production system gets setup. I can stick to 13.9, which has for the Tahitis not caused troubles yet, or upgrade to 14.4 (or even the newest 2.0 support when officially out). Googling easily reveals comments over the net that people report troubles with some driver version (whether that is due to faulty programs written or faulty drivers I cannot judge). What's AMD's 'official' suggestion here? Stick with a driver if that works for one, or upgrade to newest in the hope of getting other problems fixed but possibly risking that a functioning program then stops working?