AnsweredAssumed Answered

TDR driver crashes - why does underclocking solve them?

Question asked by necrophyte on Sep 7, 2016
Latest reply on Sep 7, 2016 by jakslap

ive been experiencing TDR driver crashes ("display driver stopped responding and has recovered")  for quite a while already, and the only solution that really works each time is to lower the gpu clock by some 20mhz or more.


my notebook has a mobility radeon 5850 with gpu clocks @ 500mhz and memory clocks @ 900mhz and an i7-q720m + 8gb ddr3 ram; using crimson 16.2.1 (most recent driver for this gpu); all clocks are default clocks, ie. no OC. though this issue has been ongoing for years already, so there have been plenty of drivers i tested, it is not just the current one.


im still using this notebook since im waiting for a new gaming one i am about to purchase this fall, and i mostly play some older games on it to check them from my steam to-do list of games i havent played, yet. performance is great considering this is a 6-year-old notebook. so i do not really need a fix for it, although id be very interested whether there is a real one (except lowering the gpu clock).


but this is not about my notebook/gpu specifically, id rather like to get a general answer from the technical staff with a real explanation on why lowering the gpu clock always prevents these issues from happening.

ive read through masses of threads in the internet, be them just recent or already 10 years old, both about ati/amd and nvidia gpus, both mobile and desktop ones, and there have been numerous solutions, but the only one that really works (for me) is to lower the gpu clock (not memory, unlike many suggested). also im curious about why some games do not cause these issues at all while others may trigger TDRs constantly (no matter how old/new or demanding these games are).


here are some examples that had major TDR issues: company of heroes, amnesia, cs:go, diablo 3, dead space (& 2), moh: airborne...


while these games did not have any TDR issues: crysis (& 2), oblivion, assassins creed (all since 1 up to revelations), bfbc2, bioshock, cs:s, hl/hl2/ep1-3, dark messiah, dishonored, far cry 2, metro 2033, metro ll, portal (& 2), prince of persia (all), rage, stalker (all), thief 3...


these are just a few examples, mostly AAA games so everyone knows them well. as you can see, there is no indication that older/newer resp. demanding/light games would cause these issues more likely or less, its just a random mix. even games with the same engine (eg. source engine) may cause (cs:go) and not cause (hl2, cs:s, portal, dark messiah etc.) them.


would be really interesting to know...