AMD: Our Drivers Don’t Suck Anymore
Ashley Allen / 4 years ago
AMD is making a big push for 50% of the graphics card market share next year, but one major obstacle it has had to overcome is PC users’ perception of its drivers: “AMD drivers suck!” is a common slight. The company is still trying to shake a reputation for releasing broken drivers, which dates back nearly a decade, but Terry Makedon, Manager of Software Strategy at AMD, believes that the recently unveiled Crimson ReLive driver line will do much to repair the company’s standing in the graphics card market.
“Why do you care about software? The number one reason is performance,” Makedon told PCGamesN. “Stability is the unwritten rule. A decade ago we had issues with our stability and we would have game crashes and we lost a lot of customers because of that. So that’s why we kinda focused on stability as job one.”
“Stability is something we need to nail, we need to control,” he added. “And by stability I mean when a game comes out not only are we highly optimised for it in terms of performance but we’ve tested the shit out of it and we know there’s no stability issue.”
While AMD has seen a 35% increase in GPU shipments this year, the company is actually performing worse against NVIDIA, which is soaring following the release of its GeForce 10 Series graphics cards; the latest Steam Hardware Survey shows a 3% drop in market share for AMD’s graphics cards. A sign that AMD’s software legacy is still present in the minds of consumers, perhaps? Makedon thinks so, and unfairly, too.
“Performance was always kinda there but in the last two years I have seen our stability drastically increase, and the main point of that is the user satisfaction ratings,” Makedon said. “So I go on forums all the time and I constantly see the comments of “AMD drivers suck!” And the truth of the matter is that’s an NVIDIA user that hasn’t touched our stuff for five to ten years.”
It seems that most of the current attacks against AMD’s drivers come from NVIDIA GPU users as part of some petty graphics card war, while current Radeon owners are actually very happy with the software, as evidenced by its current 4.5 out of 5 user approval rating.
“I’ve never given any company a five because if you give a company a five that means you’ve done everything you can, don’t worry about it, you don’t need to improve,” he explained. “It’s really coming through from our users a 4.5 out of 5. I’m blown away.”
Issues still occur, though, and when its drivers do suck, AMD is on them in a flash, often issuing patches for serious issues within hours.
“We can get a hotfix out in one or two days,” said Makedon. “If it’s catastrophic, if it’s a bluescreen in a popular game, we’ll have a fix out in a few hours.”