AMD Driver Woes Leading To Customers Having Radeon Regret?
To say that 2020, so far, has been a rough road for AMD Radeon would be an understatement. From the tumultuous launch of the Radeon RX 5600 XT and the kerfuffle from last minute vBIOS updates to push performance even higher to the recent driver issues coming to a head and exploding across headlines everywhere. The issue even led to Jim of AdoredTV making the statement that he could no longer recommend any AMD card until the issues are resolved.
The title of this might read like something you would find on Twitter, with a hashtag like #RadeonRegret, but it was borrowed from a Reddit post from a user who recently picked up a new Radeon RX 5600 XT. He experienced the dreaded black screen issue that he quickly found out was pretty common. There are going to be numerous "I don't have any issues" posts to follow in the comment section and for what it's worth, that's a good thing for you. But, those who experience problems it's not. I've had enough people come to me over the past month trying to get help sorting through these issues, from friends to even my wife.
Her computer was running a Ryzen 5 2200G, black screen problem that required a hard reset even after a safe mode DDU and fresh install. So I thought maybe it was a bad cable, so I swapped that out for different kinds only to have the problem creep back up. Added in an RX 460, same problem. Changed monitors, same problem. Put in an RX 480, you guessed it, the same problem. I even went to the closet and pulled out an HD 7870 to no avail. After the reporting from others went out last week I swapped it out for a GTX 980 Ti, which is absolutely ridiculous for office work, but it hasn't had any issues since. Anecdotal? Yes, but it was our experience here in my house and if you've ever been on the phone with a client going over a proposal that will close a 5-digit sale and you have to put them on hold to pull the plug and boot back into your computer you'll know what a hassle this could really be. [It could even lose you the sale - very bad news when it's over a stupid graphics card - Snr Copy Editor]
A quick look through r/AMD will land you with quite a few of these issues and even r/Radeon is topped off with a post attempting to debunk the 'anecdotal' situations only to be followed by a bevy of posts stating otherwise. If it was indeed 'not a big deal' then I doubt that an AMD Product Manager would have wasted his time starting up a thread a week ago to gather more information from people affected by the black screen issues on Radeon RX 5700 Series. The Survey Monkey link is no longer active so if you missed out taking it then you'll have to go back to the old way of posting threads or reaching out directly to AMD or your AIB vendor.
The only real problem with the survey was that it was limited to the RX 5700 Series, but that simply isn't the case. Vega owners are just as affected and thanks to cards like the $699 Radeon VII being EOL it's making the RMA process extremely difficult for those who are convinced there's a hardware issue. According to a post earlier today a user who submitted an RMA back in December through the AMD store has been getting updates that his replacement keeps getting pushed back, he'll now not receive his replacement until the end of March. While the issue isn't as pervasive on Polaris or older GCN architectures it does still appear.
Surely AMD will get a handle on this situation as it appears that many people are fixing it themselves, although it's on their system and isn't guaranteed to work for everyone. According to most of the 'fixed' types of posts are revolving around turning off Radeon Software to curb the black screen issues. Another common issue regarding inconsistent clocks can supposedly be fixed by disabling ULPS by using MSI Afterburner do so. There is, of course, the possibility that the many reports of the issues are causing more and more people to join in making the situation look worse than it is, but if AMD is indeed about to drop 'Big Navi' then these issues are going to need to be ironed out. Bugs and driver issues like they're seeing right now are one thing on low cost and budget-oriented products, but it's a whole different story when customers are dropping over $400 on high-end enthusiast products.