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Asus Radeon HD 7850 Direct CUII: OEM Driver or AMD Catalyst 13.1?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
March 9, 2013 2:07:04 AM

Hello everyone,

I have enjoyed browsing these forums for a few weeks and now it's time to ask my first question (hope I don't sound stupid, I'm just getting into past-entry-level graphics): Is it a good or bad idea to use the Catalyst Control Center 13.1 on the Asus branded card?

I recently upgraded my GPU from Diamond Radeon HD 6670 to the Asus Radeon HD 7850 Direct CUII-2GB-GDDR5. I installed the OEM Catalyst/Drivers from the OEM CD, which are:

Catalyst Control Center Version: 2012.0214.2218.39913
Driver Packaging Version: 8.95-120214a-132594E-Asus
2D Driver Version:
Direct 3D Version:
OpenGL Version:
AMD Audio Driver Version:

I'm mostly impressed with the performance increase from the 6670. However, I notice quite a bit of stutter or choppiness when running the Unigine Heaven Benchmark test. I have been curious whether it would be helpful or even advisable to switch to the AMD Catalyst 13.1 Suite or even maybe the 13.2 beta. I'm a bit uncertain because for one, the Catalyst Suite I have installed is Asus branded, and I don't know whether using the non-Asus console may createmore problems. I opted to stick with AMD in the first place because my MB chipset installed CCC by default and I didn't want to end up with a nightmare on my OS by uninstalling it to switch to NVIDIA. (I did do a full uninstall of CCC and display drivers with Driver Sweeper before installing new card)

The reason I upgraded in the first place was because when my system automatically updated my 6670 to CCC 13.1, I began having video driver crashes which eventually escalated to system BSOD's/system hangs (with colorful horizontal lines across the screen) which could only be remedied by a manual restart. I have always used Radeon cards and never really had a problem (at least software-wise, I think since a couple cards apparently have gone bad on me) until CCC 13.1 I also never really knew about the bugginess of AMD drivers until I started researching this recent issue.

So, long-winded story short - should I switch to 13.1 or stick to the software provided by Asus? Any knwn advantages/disadvantages? Might it help with the video stutter? (by the way, the Asus download site shows a downloadable software package and a separate WHQL driver, but the numbers are completely different and when I check for updates through the software I get nothing). Thanks in advance for your advice/help.

My System Specs:
MB: Asus Sabertooth P67 R 3.0
CPU: Intel i7 2nd Gen 2600 @3.4GHz - Not OC'd
RAM: Patriot Viper 1600 DDR3 16GB (2X8GB) - Not OC'd
OS: Windows 7 x64 SP1
Primary HDD: Samsung SSD 830 256GB
Secondary HDD: Samsung 750 GB 7500RPM SATA Mechanical Drive
Optical Drive: Sony Blu-Ray (BDU X10S)
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 7850 DirCUII-2GB-GDDR5 (Not OC'd yet)
Display: Samsung SyncMaster T24B350 (HD) (1920 X 1080 Native, Running at 1360 X 768)
March 9, 2013 2:43:12 AM

Wow :ouch:  , what a great long, descriptive post. Its been a while when I last saw these, kudos on this. ;) 
I just wish some more people were like you.

Anyway back to topic.
What you should understand is that even when a GPU is branded, like ASUS, you have no reason to not update CCC and the 2D/3D video drivers. There may be special software that came with your HD 7850, but as far as I understand GPUs, they use the same chipset, controller, etc, so always upgrade to the latest drivers when you experience problems, or just to have better performance.
If stability is more of a issue for you than performance, just keep using the driver version that you found the most stable.

-Hope it clears things up!, :) 
March 9, 2013 2:48:22 AM

Also, I am always using the Beta drivers and haven't experienced any unstabilities except when my computer wouldn't come out of sleep.
AMD drivers aren't as bad as people usually thinks of them, but the problems are more caused by a bad installation and incompatibility.

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March 9, 2013 2:56:21 AM

Thanks for the advice. That's what I figured, but thought I'd check first - better safe than sorry.

I'm going to go ahead and try the beta. If that's an issue, I'll downgrade to 13.1 and if wosrse comes to worst, I'll go back to the OEM software. It would be nice to know if anyone has this card & already tried it & whether they had any issues.

On another note - How can I verify whether the drivers I installed (the OEM ones) are the same as in CCC 13.1 or 13.2?

Thanks for the Kudos. I've learned that more information is better than not enough (frustrating to read posts & you're left wondering half the plot - even worse when the "issue resolved" post gives no details on the solution)! So I try not to be one of those...
a b Ĉ ASUS
March 9, 2013 3:54:36 AM

There are no "OEM" drivers. What comes on the disk with the card are just very outdated AMD drivers(because new ones come out every month or two). You should always download the latest drivers when you get a card, not use what's on the disk.