AnsweredAssumed Answered

Vega Frontier Edition Virtually Unusable

Question asked by rrubberr on Mar 25, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 5, 2018 by jargon

Around Christmas, I bought an AMD Vega Frontier Edition card to replace my Titan Z, since the frontier edition was $250 off of its MSRP. I thought that, being a professional card, its drivers would be at least as stable as those for my 'consumer' oriented, and 4 year old Titan.


Ever since switching to this card, though, my system has been completely unstable. In 'professional' applications, like using Substance Painter for creating textures, Luxrender, Cycles, or AMD Prorender for rendering, and Blender / Cinema4d, I have experienced extremely frequent driver crashes under heavy workloads, many of which cause the system to hang and reboot, a far cry from the 'Graphics driver has stopped responding and recovered' message that came up in the very rare occurrence that my Nvidia drivers failed. Crashes like this had never been an issue with my Titan Z, such that I had only experienced non-TDR related crashes twice in its whole lifetime.


Gaming tells a similar story. In games like BF1 and GTA V, I experience frequent glitches where, when I position the camera at certain angles or directions, the screen flickers black, then when I move the camera away from whatever caused the issue, it returns to normal. This makes both games completely unplayable, as you might imagine. In BF1, switching to Direct X 12, restarting the game to enable it, then joining a match results in a driver crash with an eternal black screen, forcing me to reboot the machine using the reset button.


I have seen this exact same behavior with both the 'Professional Mode' and 'Gaming Mode' drivers, with versions 17.8.2 all the way to 18.3.3. None of these drivers addresses the problems I am experiencing, but some drivers do seem to mitigate gaming glitches, making BF1 playable, though subsequent driver updates seem to restore the issue. For my professional applications, which is the main focus of the machine, no driver version has mitigated the issues in any of the programs. The problem is so bad that, initially, I had to use Substance Painter to create textures on my laptop which has Nvidia discrete graphics, then send the files over the network to be used in the render. I was also forced to stop using OpenCL for rendering under Luxrender and Cycles, instead being forced to use my CPUs, completely defeating the point of the card. I have just reinstalled my Titan Z in the machine, as, you may imagine, this kind of instability is not acceptable for professional work. These driver issues all come from an install of Windows 10 that was completely fresh when I put the card in, so there is no possibility of driver conflict being the cause.


Don't get me wrong, I was extremely excited to get my hands on this card, and when it works without crashing it performs great, running much faster and much cooler than my Titan Z, as well as not having to deal with the problems that come with SLI, the issue being that the majority of the time it doesn't work.


So I come to ask the question, am I doing something wrong? Have I just had by coincidence terrible experiences with AMD cards? Is there any way to make this card work? Or do I just have to try to sell it?



  • Supermicro R1200B Chassis
  • 2400 Watt dual power supply
  • Supermicro x9DRi-LNF4+
  • Dual E5-2690 V0
  • 192 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ECC RAM
  • AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
  • Dell P2415Q 4k Display
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • AMD Driver Versions:
    • Radeon 17.8.2 - 18.3.3 Gaming & Pro
    • Radeon Pro Enterprise 17.Q4 and Q1 2018