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Old August 12, 2008, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6
Default ATI/AMD driver stability

Hi all,

I want to buy a new computer soon and I am a little undecided on the video card. I have a budget of 2000-2500 EUR so I want top notch.

The thing is I will probably keep this system for 2-3 years so stability is the most important thing for me.

The way I see it I can choose between a NVIDIA GTX 280 and the newly released AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2.

The AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 seems a better solution, but...

I and all the friends I know have had problems with ATI drivers (before ATI was taken over by AMD). Constant blue screen, games not working at all and so on.

My question is: is this still the case?
Are NVIDIA drivers better that ATI's ?
Or they are mostly the same?

One more thing. Has the driver situation on linux changed or NVIDIA is still the king?

Thank you for your time.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 12, 2008, 05:29 AM
yamawho's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rosemere, Qc, Canada
Posts: 895

I have used Nvidia from GeForce 2 to 6600GT and never had many issues with them.
I started using ATI with a 9800 Pro, then a few X800's, then X1950 Pro and finally the main gaming rig is running a HD4870. Having ATI providing service from Toronto was a big factor in my switching.

I have experienced minor driver issues with Nvidia and ATI over the years but again minor. The X1950 Pro was installed since it came out and just replaced a few weeks ago never had any issues with any game and ran great.

Myself, I would not purchase the HD 4870 x 2 because there will be a greater occurrence with driver issues since it had 2 gpu's on the card. I know of some that have had issues on 3870 x 2 for example and not on the single gpu models.

I think AMD has a winner with the 48xx series and we should reward them for thier inovation by purchasing an ATI card. Lord knows they need our business ...

Ref Linux support, I always use an old Nvidia card like a 5900XT when I play around with Linux. I hear the support from ATI is better now but I have not tried it.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old August 12, 2008, 05:42 AM
SKYMTL's Avatar
HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 13,622

Believe it or not, an ATI driver has never given me a BSOD. Nvidia's Vista drivers on the other hand have BSODed on me quite a few times in the last 4 months.

Personally, I prefer ATI's drivers for stability and Nvidia's for ease of installation since I have had some issues in the past getting ATI's drivers to install. They are picky little bastards.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 12, 2008, 07:27 AM
Dr_BenD_over's Avatar
Fallen Folder
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,412

My System Specs


I stopped using Nvidia because of a driver issue with G80 cards, XP and the Unreal 2 engine (Ut2004, RvS, SWAT4, all unplayable on certain maps, 1-2 fps) A year after these cards came out it still hadn't been fixed on XP. Then again I just went through 4 driver releases in Ati land where crossfire was completely broken on XP with 3870's (broke in 8.2, fixed in 8.6) You'll get bad drivers on both.
All's well that's Haswell
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old August 13, 2008, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6

Thank you guys, I've decided to buy a 4870 x2.
I can hardly wait to get my hands on it...
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