Topic Title: 14.4 Non-Beta Catalyst Drivers, Temperature Spikes, Power Management, Odd Software Behavior, and Programming Errors
Topic Summary: Assisting AMD with 14.4 Driver Re-Development through Community Support due to negative performance after updating.
Created On: 07/22/2014 12:51 AM
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 07/22/2014 12:51 AM
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StepLadderInc
Peon

Posts: 4
Joined: 07/21/2014

Hello, My name is Pete, and I work for StepLadder Inc.

This account will be used by various members of our IT Staff.  We're a very strong proponent of Power Color AMD/ATI Cards in Hardware Crossfire Mode (Requires Crossfire Cable) for our Arts & Media Production workstations.

In our recent experience in working with the 14.4 drivers we've uncovered a series of problems within their programming implementation.  Please be advised we have not; nor would we re-author the drivers.

A little about us, our basic Art & Media workstations at this time feature any of Gigabyte and/or ASUS brand Crossfire Capable motherboards with either Intel I7 8 Core or Intel Extreme Core 2 - 4 Core Processors that perform at a minimum speed of 3Ghz and a minimum of 16GB of DDR3 performing at 1600Mhz bus speed.  We use Windows Ultimate 64 bit because it saves us a bundle on Windows Enterprise Licenses that we only use for select systems.  Every system we build is tested for a mimimum of 1 week and is assured to perform between 50 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celcius for all components.

As such several of our workstations now perform well above 70 degrees Celcius specifically for the AMD/ATI video hardware.  All other components have remained within their normal temperature range.  For all systems we presently use the Power Color 6850 with 256 bit memory path and one Single-Slot Longboard vended by Power Color and Based on the Chinese AFox variation of the same chipset to have the best possible heat dissipation and configuration within our Art & Media workstations because of the 14.4 driver update.

While the systems we use are Intel Based and AHCI as it has in the past been built into the Catalyst Drivers as they were in the 13.4 version, they are no longer so because some people with AMD processor based motherboards were unable to utilize the prior driver updates before version 14.4 that as mentioned upon the following link:

http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows%207%20-%2064#amd-catalyst-packages

...states...

"Description:

AMD has received feedback that some users are unable to install the Catalyst 14.4 driver on some motherboards with AMD chipsets. We have investigated the issue and have determined that it was caused by the AHCI driver component that was included with the driver package.

We have therefore removed the AHCI driver component from the driver package and will be providing it as a separate download."

It is important to know that we always uninstall previous versions so as to achieve the cleanest install impossible for all of the members of our art production departments.

We have noticed that our findings have been validated by other forum members having posted upon the following links:

AMD Forum Link # 01 -


AMD Forum Link # 02 -


...where both above links cite severe temperature jumps to 80 and 90 degrees Celsius.

We also noticed that other members had similar "odd behavior" with applications such as Skype as cited in the final link we're sharing...

AMD Forum Link # 03 -


In our case the issues manifested on two levels:

Issue # 01 -

The 14.4 drivers will compromise .NET that is a fundamental component of Windows and also further, provides some of the backbone for Security Features such as those surrounding the services of DCOM, RPC, Windows Firewall, and Windows Security Center thus leaving any system with the 14.4 drivers open to attack.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Because we demand that even our artwork meet engineering standards such as IEEE, ISO, ANSI, UL, and FCC Part 68 in all of their representations because we often do virtual walkthroughs of what someplace might look like after we've done some work on it, just as an example, we favor Intel CPU's solely because their mathematics are more accurate in the way they perform accelerations.

FURTHER... we do also endorse the use of AMD CPU's/APU's where their flexibility is an excellent fit for the End User and any type of significant engineering representations are not having to be required of said End User.  AMD CPU's/APU's regularly do not limit the amount of RAM that can be installed in a system, and they often offer a stronger of tolerance for those looking to overclock too.  For the nature of our work, AMD CPU's/APU's are just not a good fit because we demand precision in all of our projects.

The most signifianct problems with the 14.4 drivers is that they've undergone major architectural changes that now make them essentially, only compatible with AMD CPU/APU based motherboards.

We've found a number of solutions to prevent further corruption of anyone's OS to a degree; although eventual corruption is likely unavoidable; especially for Intel CPU users that are as follows because it is the overheating that causes everything from system shutdowns, to odd software behavior that the overheating catalyzes by compromising the system bus, and the way RAM processes data where the RAM will lose the information it is channeling resulting in the above symptoms mentioned in the above sub-sections "AMD Forum Link ( '01' through '03' ).

First, Lower Your Temperature via Changing The Following in Your Respective BIOS'es:

Resolutions # 01 - Power Management

Change the Power Management State to S1 as S3 (Suspend to RAM a.k.a. STR) is not your AMD/ATI card's friend.  This causes more data traffic to be processed because the system is provided more power in order to Suspend to RAM all of your information as you are in session and when you say to Hibernate and/or Suspend your systems' operation.

Resolutions # 02 - FAN Speed Auto-Adjustment

Many Systems have options to allow the system to exert control over your system fans.  By default all of the Catalyst Drivers within the Catalyst Control Center do allow you to enable Manual Fan Control within the Overdrive settings.  If you're in Windows, enable Manual Fan Control Immediately, and put the value at 100%.  Further, disable any auto control of your CPU/APU fans, Power Supply's fans, Case Fans, etc. within the System's BIOS so as to ensure that they all are operating at full speed.

Resolutions # 03 - System Security -

In the event you are using Windows Firewall and Windows Security Center as the base of your Security as is commonly the case even if you have much better (...and nicer) security software from a third party such as Avast, Kaspersky, Avira, etc, go into your services, and look at the recovery options for each; including any services installed by your anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, etc.  You will see in the recovery options that in the event of a failure, typically the first two options will restart the service, and the third option will be listed as "Take No Action."  Change the "Take No Action Item" to "Restart the Service."  While the services I mentioned will crash because the RAM will not be receiving/sending/processing information correctly on account of the AMD/ATI video cards overheating, they will at least, in most cases restart on their own.

We hope these suggestions are helpful to all people here in the forum; especially AMD that makes wonderful video hardware products, and has merely run into some hiccups with their 14.4 drivers that will hopefully be resolved shortly in their upcoming version where we at SLI suggest at this time they begin to carry two versions of their drivers at all times specifically being:

1 - AMD Drivers for Intel CPU based motherboards

...and...

- AMD Drivers for AMD CPU/APU based motherboards that clearly have different programming requirements that differ greatly from the needs of the Intel CPU architecture and related Intel based motherboards.

Best Regards,

StepLadder Inc - IT / IS , System Architecture , and Information Security Department

 

 

 



 



Edited: 07/22/2014 at 01:28 AM by StepLadderInc
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