AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

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AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 4:25 pm

With the release of Catalyst 12.6 Beta, AMD announced that they are finally dropping their monthly driver release schedule and will instead update when a release "delivers a substantial benefit to our end users." I'm glad that they're finally doing this and will hopefully result in higher quality drivers. Full announcement is here: http://blogs.amd.com/play/2012/05/31/amd-catalyst™-12-6-beta-whats-new/
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 5:20 pm

From the 12.6 beta release notes:

AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 cards no longer hang when system goes to sleep

Wahoo! This was the only thing that's really been putting me out with my HD 7970. Now to test whether it works...
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 6:51 pm

My Radeon HD7770 seems to do an excellent job recovering from sleep.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 8:40 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 9:02 pm

clone wrote:no one was forcing anyone to update...... AMD is likely doing this to save money and no, discontinuing an active driver improvement program and changing it to a reactionary one will likely not end positively which is a shame given AMD's drivers were arguably getting better than Nvidia's (cards that exploded and cards that burned out in SC2 due to driver issues anyone?).

the monthly update process seemed to cause more pr problems for AMD anyway so it's a win win with saved money and a better looking product presented the same way Nvidia does it.

Except video card drivers are large, complex pieces of software with the ability to bring down your whole system when things go awry (WDDM went a long way to alleviate this, but parts of the code still have to run in ring 0). A monthly release schedule for a piece of software can make sense depending on the scope, project resources, and team ability, but the level of validation necessary for a device driver is substantial and doesn't really make sense to try to do every single month. And from what my friend told me while he was on the Catalyst test team, it wasn't really working out for AMD either.

Yes, it's valid to be concerned that AMD's response to issues might be more delayed, but their monthly driver release didn't really help fix issues any faster (how many driver versions was the SC2 mouse cursor bug in? And how many revisions later did it suddenly reappear?). I'm fairly confident if you compare how long it took AMD to resolve any particular bug and how long it took nVidia to resolve any of their particular bugs, you're likely going to find the timeframes to be about the same. Except, AMD ends up getting more PR flak because they keep releasing official drivers that don't fix the problem.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Thu May 31, 2012 9:25 pm

.
Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:42 am

clone wrote:AMD's drivers were arguably getting better than Nvidia's (cards that exploded and cards that burned out in SC2 due to driver issues anyone?).


lolwut?
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:11 am

There were reports of nVidia cards overheating when you sat in the menus of Starcraft II for too long. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia ... ,9802.html

Whoa - anybody else notice that they started naming desktop Trinity parts in the release notes with the supported dual graphics configs?

AMD Radeon™ HD 7560D (A8-5500)
AMD Radeon™ HD 7660D (A10-5700)

I guess we could have surmised the graphics components' names from the mobile variants, but I'm vaguely intrigued by Trinity. Not that I want to buy it, just that it's interesting.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:23 am

derfunkstein wrote:There were reports of nVidia cards overheating when you sat in the menus of Starcraft II for too long. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia ... ,9802.html


...and exploding?

The only exploding issue I remember was with the 590GTX and it wasn't really a driver issue.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:28 am

I dunno about exploding, but cards were dying. If you take dead hardware and add a dash of hyperbole you get explosions, I guess.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:47 am

I do remember back in the day with the original Radeons, that ATI released driver updates without a schedule, and they were terrible. Switching to a monthly release seemed to fix the problem, as their drivers got a lot better after that.
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Re: AMD Dropping Monthly Catalyst Releases

Postposted on Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:05 am

absurdity wrote:I do remember back in the day with the original Radeons, that ATI released driver updates without a schedule, and they were terrible. Switching to a monthly release seemed to fix the problem, as their drivers got a lot better after that.

Don't confuse correlation with causation. The monthly driver release timetable was part of an overall effort to improve driver quality. If they no longer have the manpower to support that effort, quality will likely decline regardless of whether they continue to release monthly. OTOH, if the issue was insufficient time to do proper QA on monthly releases, quality could actually increase (but I'm not holding my breath).
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