Ready for Diablo III? Not with Catalyst 12.4 you're not.

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 6, 2012 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: radeon, diablo iii, catalyst 12.4, catalyst, amd

A recent forum entry from a Diablo III official agent informed gamers that if you were planning on playing Diablo III on the May 15th launch date, you had better not be using the Catalyst 12.4 drivers that were just released on April 25th.

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While AMD still has about 9 days to respond to this issue, for a support rep from Blizzard to flat-out say that "12.4 isn't going to be supported for use in Diablo III" is indicative of a larger problem - can AMD's somewhat smaller driver team hope to keep up with NVIDIA's as we get set for another way of pretty major PC game releases? 

Quite a few users are taking up for AMD in the thread including Mortac that says:

I find this to be a very confusing answer. What are we to expect for the future? You say that Diablo III won't support 12.4, but what exactly do you mean by that? Are we to expect support for future drivers down the road, say a few weeks after release, or are you telling us that we'll never be able to update our drivers again for as long as we intend to play Diablo III? If the latter, then you guys really need to think that through again. People update their drivers for several reasons, and you cannot possibly expect everyone to swap drivers every time they play other games that might require the latest version.

How this issue will be resolved before May 15th will be of importance to quite a few PC gamers so let's hope both AMD and Blizzard can get their acts together.

Besides Blizzard's long awaited Diablo entry, PC gamers can look forward to Guild Wars 2, DiRT Showdown, Max Payne 3, a new Ghost Recon title, BF3: Close Quarters, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite and many more in the coming months.  

UPDATE 2:22pm: An AMD representative has informed us that that bug referred to by the Blizzard forum support person in fact ONLY affects Radeon HD 2000, 3000 and 4000 users.  The 12.4 Catalyst software will work fine with 5000, 6000 and the new 7000 series of graphics cards apparently.  

Also, as Robert Hallock commented in our thread below:

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May 6, 2012 | 01:12 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

wow, very strange! Though I'm still rocking 12.3 due to laziness :P

May 6, 2012 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Eric (not verified)

With AMD drivers I find the old 'if you aren't running into something broken don't chance it' advice to be good advice. (This coming from a guy that says 'YEAH! Beta BIOS, why not?') I've just ran into too many things borked with AMD drivers that ran fine on the previous version that I don't trust updating them anymore.

May 6, 2012 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

lol! I'm all about the Beta BIOSes ;)

May 6, 2012 | 01:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Driver updates are a big issue for gamers, and should do an expose on driver problems for the gamer. The problems hardcore gamers have as well as the problems casual gamers have! Problems with Intel integrated graphics as well as AMD and Nvida GPU drivers. Computer manufactures, laptop and desktop, should be examined in detail, with emphasis on the manufactures that do not uprate their OEM customized graphics drivers often enough, or at all. It does no good for a GPU's OEM to sell a product if the Computer's OEM's do not provide reasonable updates to the graphics drivers that the computer's OEM's modify to run on their computers. For any computer rated in the future, the prospective buyer should be informed of the type of graphics drivers that come with the computer's GPU, generic graphics drivers or OEM modified graphics drivers.

May 6, 2012 | 01:43 PM - Posted by scajjr2

So they just come out and say 12.4 won't work with our game but don't say why?

May 6, 2012 | 01:44 PM - Posted by Robert Hallock (not verified)

Hello, everyone. My name is Robert Hallock, and I do product marketing for high-end AMD Radeon GPUs at AMD.

With respect to the subject of this article, we’ve recently found an issue where some of our legacy graphics products are producing certain artifacts in Diablo III with our latest release of AMD Catalyst™ 12.4.

This issue only affects users of ATI Radeon™ HD 2400, 2600, 2900, 3400, 3600 and 4500 graphics cards under Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Users of these products under Windows XP are unaffected, as are users of ATI Radeon™ HD 5000, and AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 or 7000 series products. We are working directly with Blizzard to investigate the issue with the highest possible priority and will provide updates as they become available.

For the time being, we recommend to keep Catalyst 12.3 installed and not switch to 12.4 for everyone that is playing the game with one of the mentioned products under Windows Vista or Windows 7.

May 6, 2012 | 05:25 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

Looking at the forum thread on blizzards side. IT IS REDICULOUS to simply say "we won't support THAT driver". If there is an issue, say it's an issue, if it's not going to run on AMD cards because blizzard doesn't like AMD, fine, but by no means should any dev as a service to their consumer tell them that they don't matter.

I appreciate as a consumer of AMD stuff, amd saying they are actually working on it and describing what the actual issue is. It is unfortunate things had to happen over twitter and in the spotlight, rather then from blizzard to amd on the forum thread as it should have been.

May 6, 2012 | 07:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

first mistake - buying an AMD graphics card

May 6, 2012 | 11:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

your an idiot.

May 7, 2012 | 12:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


May 8, 2012 | 03:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

LOL! Ouch! I love my 7850: priced only $20 higher than the GTX 560ti, small (fits into a micro-ATX easily), great running temp, needs only one 6-pin, 130W draw from the psu, Performance is impressive on Battlefield 3, Metro 2033, and GW2 beta. I read about it here first, & can't wait for Diablo III.

May 8, 2012 | 03:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Then again, it sounds like a good way to sell new cards.

May 6, 2012 | 11:50 PM - Posted by Billgatez (not verified)

Typical AMD video card drivers.

May 7, 2012 | 10:45 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

I've been buying AMD cards for years now, from my 9600, x800xl, 4850, now lightning 7970.

I have had maybe 1 or 2 issues over the 20+ year timeframe. One of them with my lightning, the game was written in 32-bit code and didn't support the VRAM. I downloaded a new EXE and it worked, it took 1 minute to fix it. Other issues would just be some random scaling or sound issues, again it wasn't anything breaking, I had to go to CCC and fix a single settings once, maybe twice in over 20 years.

The issue isn't the driver, the issue here, and that the majority of people have is Application Support. Crossfire setups require profiles and special code to get the graphics to work properly with the many different engines out there. The other one is just games that haven't had a patch or are brand new and just released, and neither nvidia or amd has had time to release a driver.

The DRIVER is fine, the issue is the software support. I would love to see AMD step it up and release things quicker, it was 3 months before an official 7970 driver was even released, that is blatantly unacceptable. That being said, it is important to shout at the right team for the right issue, rather then just saying the drivers are bad.

If you have an image, the drivers are fine, if you have image issues when running an application or game, it is the game/application that needs to be worked on.

May 7, 2012 | 12:08 AM - Posted by Joe (not verified)

Ever since I got my AMD Radeon HD6850 I have had problems. I have had more blue screens in Windows 7 then I have ever had with any other graphic card.

AMD makes good hardware but the worst drivers I have ever seen. When I decide to upgrade my graphics card it will NOT be an AMD card.

May 7, 2012 | 01:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, true, but the AMD runs really (i mean really) smoothly on Windows XP, i've had problems with Windows 7, and many of them are produced by windows 7

May 7, 2012 | 12:15 AM - Posted by Branthog

Am I remembering incorrectly? I seem to recall a time when games just worked on video cards. I mean, sometimes there were bugs and they were fixed, but you didn't have to expect that drivers would be *customized* per-game just to *work*. And you didn't have to worry about playing a new game and installing a new set of beta or alpha drivers that were required for it t work while simultaneously excluding the ability to smoothly play *other* games unless you wait days or weeks for the optimization to be rolled-up into the next release?

Oh well, my next purchase is going to be one or two NVIDIA 690s. After a decade of going exclusively NVIDIA, I went ATI two years ago with the 5970. Most expensive card I'd bought so far, at $720. Today, I'm having to RMA it due to visual artifacting (only at the desktop and in 2D, but not in 3D such as playing BF3).

Both lines have their flaws, but at this point, the upcoming 7990 is going to have to pour my drinks for me to lure me away from the 690.

As for this specific problem -- aren't the 4000s four years old? I think it is reasonable to start to expect diminishing support by about the fourth year on a piece of consumer hardware.

May 7, 2012 | 01:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have had a problem since upgrading to catalyst 12.4. The overdrive (overclocking) option disappears from the CCC. I am trying to uninstall the driver and software and downgrade to catalyst 12.3 since I didn't have the problem then, I am not certain it is working as it should.

This will be my last AMD card.

May 7, 2012 | 01:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Honestly, it is about time nvidia releases its 660 and below series, amds drivers and products will still be bought until that happens.

May 7, 2012 | 08:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Basically AMD drivers are junk in my experience. Which is a shame because they make great hardware. Having to jump through hoops just to get the driver installed(cleaning out old drivers etc...) then having performance being worse in some games, graphics broken etc... Then having to revert back to an old version. Before AMD I used to believe in running the latest drivers, but with AMD it is far too much of an effort for which 9 out of 10 times is no performance increase or a performance/stability decrease.

May 8, 2012 | 06:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Having to jump through hoops just to get the driver installed(cleaning out old drivers etc...)"

Since when you had to clean out old drivers? A decade ago? Or perhaps it's just something called user-error.

May 8, 2012 | 08:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I do wish AMD put a little more effort into making sure their drivers presented a good user experience. They make good hardware, but I'm getting pretty tired of seeing the "this driver doesn't work with your hardware" error on every startup, and every time I try to launch CCC. I know it's conceptually possible to clear out everything (manually, with third-party utilities, cause AMD's uninstall/repair does nothing to help), but it's a huge PITA. At the point I actually _need_ to configure something in CCC (which, as mentioned, doesn't run at all any more), I'll probably just go back to nVidia.

Anyway, figured I'd add my 2c.

May 23, 2012 | 01:43 PM - Posted by Dethstar (not verified)

The worst thing about AMD GPU is the more you spend the worse you are abused. I have been trying to maintain my multi vendor strategy for years but the 6 series were the last for me. I have stopped completely. The driver support has been absolutely horrendous, particularly for multi gpu configurations.

When they take months to release proper drivers for games like Skyrim, Diablo III and performance actually goes backwards for some configs (Dual 6990s or 6990/6970 trifire) with each new release you know you made a mistake. I just hope I can get shot of the one of I have left. It just seems that whenever I put something up I get questions (ebay etc) which I am too honest to answer in a way that encourages a purchase.

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