First, I should say a couple things:
- I don't have the fastest or bestest or most up-to-date hardware. But it powers my triple monitor (6048 X 1200 X 3) desktop just fine, and does what I need it to do.
- I am NOT having an issue with the display, but I like to keep my systems as updated as possible.
Every couple of weeks, for months now, I get an automatic notification of a new driver availability. The notice tells me I have driver version 15.301.1901 installed, and that I should update to version 15.7.1. I have gone through this update process numerous times on numerous occasions, and if it is failing, it is doing so silently - BUT, nothing ever seems to get updated.
If I go into the Catalyst Control Center | information | Software Update, it reports that I have AMD Catalyst Software Suite 15.301.1901-160226a-318062E installed (also called a "Driver Packaging Version" under "Software" tab - yet another name?. The similarity of the reported versions would lead me to believe that the Catalyst Software Suite and the driver are one and the same thing - but that seems a little puzzling to me: why call something by one name in one situation, and by a different name in another? This reasoning would indicate these are two different things conflated by a similarity of version numbering. Which is correct?
If I hit the "Check for updates now..." button, I get "The current version is up to date" as a response. This adds weight to the Software Suite NOT being the same as the driver.
Yet, if I follow the notice, I get a different window, just entitled "AMD Software" and it too reports that 15.301.1901 is "Currently Installed" and that 15.7.1 is the "Recommended Driver" along with a download icon. If I press the download button, it downloads something, then flips to a screen allowing me to "Express Install," "Custom Install," view the EULA or "Read more online." "Express Install" and "Custom Install" behave the same way (meaning neither results in any system changes), but "Custom Install" also pulls up a "Component Selection" window with some check boxes that allows me to choose what components I want to install. An inspection of this window lists eight components, consisting of the Install Manager, Problem Report Wizard, AMD Display Driver, and 5 more. Selecting any one component pulls up a message about that component.
Lo and behold! When I select the "AMD Display Driver" component, I'm told that the update contains Driver Version "15.301.1901.0000" and the message about it is "AMD Display Driver is already installed and up to date."
So what EXACTLY is going on here? Why am I constantly getting notices about driver 15.7.1 availability, if driver 15.301.1901 is the current version after all? If it's NOT the current version, why is the update packaged with an older/incorrect version? What's this business about the last four digits in the software package being ".0000" when that's not mentioned anywhere else, and why does my sys report "-160226a-318062E" when that's not reported or mentioned anywhere else either?
Why so many names and difficulties for something that should be straightforward and obvious?