Rant #10: ATI Drivers

Posted: 10.1.2010


Okay, I'm going to tell you a story about ATI and their annoying as shit driver support. I came across this video the other day, and noticed it was uploaded nearly a full year ago. This guy was pissed off at ATI then, and apparently it hasn't gotten much better since.

For those that don't know, I've got a Radeon HD 5670 card in my computer (yeah, it does DX11, so pro), and I've been running the Catalyst 10.4 drivers for quite some time (they are drivers from April). For those who are also unaware, or have the privilege of running nVidia cards, ATI releases a new driver update every month, named xx.yy (where xx = the current year and yy = the current month), so 10.4 = April of 2010's drivers. These are five months old, and apparently are the best drivers out this year as every other update I've installed has either broken something or... well... horsefucked something.

Last week sometime I was updating various things and thought "Hey, the 10.9 drivers are out... let's try those." So I download them, install them, and the computer wants to reboot, as expected. So I let it, it loads back into Windows 7 Ultimate 32 (I was running 64 earlier, but I didn't like the performance it was giving -- the system would often hang randomly, usually after exiting games, for a few minutes and I had no idea what the ass it was doing). Anyway, I log in as I keep each OS I use (XP, Vista, 7) password-protected and only the girlfriend knows this password. Startup programs start loading, blah blah, I'm getting ready to load up Borderlands to see if 10.9 fixes the crashing... and the screen goes black. Yeah. Randomly. I was like, 'what the shit?'... and then the computer reset. Yeah... it fucking reset and I'm at the BIOS logo as it boots up. So I go through the bootup process again thinking maybe it was just a glitch. Log back in, and after about 45 seconds... the screen goes black again. FUUUUUUUUU. Four attempts later, it's still doing it. I can't even get into anything to ATTEMPT to figure out what's causing this, so to avoid writing a book about this cockamamie fuckdom of events, what I ended up having to do was load Win7 into Safe Mode and run the Driver Sweeper to remove all traces of the ATI drivers. As soon as I did that, I rebooted, and guess what? It worked perfectly. I then did a system restore to about 4 hours prior to this event (thank God for Steam games and Demos installing Direct X on their first run, all I had to do post-restore was re-update AVG Free). And guess what? NO PROBLEM.

So... WHAT IN THE LIVING DICKSHIT DID ATI DO with the 10.9 drivers that sent my system into a fucking meltdown? If I didn't have a multi-OS system, I would have been FUCKED, as I couldn't stay in Windows 7 long enough to begin to research the problem (though I was able to from the Safe Mode).

Apparently, ATI's driver and customer support issues have been complete feces for years. I much prefer nVidia myself, though it's been a while since I've had an nVidia card, mostly due to my preferred local store not carrying the good nVidia cards and being too lazy to order them from newegg.com. From personal experience, I've only had minor issues with the card itself (games randomly crashing, such as The Lord of the Rings Online [though I discovered xfire to be the main cause of that], and Borderlands, and sometimes Left 4 Dead / L4D2), and the above issue is the only MAJOR problem I've ever had with ATI... but you know what, because of the hour or so of headache their 10.9 drivers put me through last week, I'm gonna slap them with my cock and say


Make a free website with Yola