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How I finally fixed most of my 5700XT issues

Hello there! You might have noticed that in this article about driver issues on the 5700XT, I kept updating the article about the current situation and that my last update says I still had issues with the graphics card.

Funnily enough, I had to rewrite this article since it was intended as a big rant on AMD. I was going to rant about the current situation because no driver update fixed my issue, hell I’ve even tried to reinstall Windows 10 to be 100% sure! I’ve tried to get rid of anything that might have interfered with the card like the MSI software for my motherboard and so on.

But during the redaction of the rant article, I was listing my hardware configuration :

  • Motherboard: MSI B450 Gaming Pro AC
  • CPU: Ryzen 2400G @4Ghz
  • RAM: Ripjaws 2x8Go @3200Mhz
  • SSD: Intel 760p 256Go nvme
  • Graphics card: Sapphire 5700XT Pulse

Was my CPU the root of my issues?

Then it clicked, I wondered if it was the CPU that was the culprit. I was planning to upgrade it with the Ryzen 3700X for some 8 cores goodness but I kept pushing the upgrade back waiting for CPU price to fall.

After checking some resources, I’ve noticed that the Ryzen 2400G had only 8 PCIe lanes available for the graphics card as there are 8 dedicated for the integrated GPU even if disabled. Checking this using GPU-Z proved that yes, my graphics card was on PCI-Express x8*. But I dismissed this theory quickly because aside from some bottleneck in speeds, no major issue would occur.

*Note: Modern graphics cards will throttle themselves to PCI-Express 8x or 4x as long as they are not fully solicited, this is to keep power draw low. To force your graphics card to go full throttle, using GPU-Z click that “?’ button then click “Start Render Test”.

But as the days went on, I couldn’t get that thought off my mind. Sadly I couldn’t really find a nice deal on the Ryzen 3700X. After a lot of research and reconsideration of my priorities, I’ve decided to go for the Ryzen 3600 + a 1To nvme SSD because I was running out of space on the current setup, I ended up spending almost the same as the 3700X but to be honest I think 8 cores would have been overkill especially that my desktop has become a gaming machine and nothing more.

The 5700XT worked smoothly after the upgrade

Anyway, got the components, made the upgrade, reinstalled windows to be sure that everything was well working. Booted up some games and started testing. I deliberately didn’t try overclocking the CPU to be sure everything was stable. After almost one week of testing, with no issues, I can safely state that I’m having no issues. I didn’t want to bother with trying to throttle the PCIe to 8x to try to replicate the issues. I honestly had my fair share of issues and I’m finally very happy to be able to enjoy my games without issues.

The Sapphire 5700XT Pulse was a nightmare software wise. I know it’s not entirely their fault, but consumer-wise it’s very frustrating. I’ve even considered to RMA the card or sell it. I still can’t believe I could play Half Life Alyx with no issues while still equipped with the 2400G. I’ve even noticed that the graphics were set to low on that CPU to compensate for some performance issues (I guess it was also a bottleneck for the graphics card). Starting Half Life Alyx on the 5700XT with the Ryzen 3600 was a very different experience, a lot of details were disabled to save performance I guess.

Another odd fact is that HDR seems to work on my Philips TV. I can’t really vouch for it because I’m suspecting that Windows 10 is also playing a part in the messy HDR situation. On my old configuration though, when I activated HDR, the PC just threw at me a Blue Screen Of the Death and refused to boot correctly.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, for whatever reason, the AMD 5700XT Saphhire didn’t like being on PCI-Express 8x. I imagine that at AMD’s side, they couldn’t really test all the possible hardware configurations. But this is very strange, especially when we consider that if we put the graphics card on a Thunderbolt case (like the Razer Core for example), the issue might occur and the user will struggle with no clue in sight.

Keep in mind that this article reflects my experience and conclusions. Your experience might differ. If you’re having issues with your 5700XT and tried everything, you can let me know in the comment section, I will be happy to help.

Seriously, stop installing WinRar

This article has only one purpose, to freely promote a quality, free software and open-source . The issue? It seems rather not popular for the mainstream audience.

Please note though that I’m not affiliated to this software nor with their authors. This article is to pay respects to an excellent piece of software that I find useful everyday.

If you don’t like long stories, just click on the link below to head to the official 7zip website:

7zip’s official website

Download and install it, then click on the Window’s start menu, lookup for 7zip, right click on it and start it in administrator mode by clicking on “Run as administrator”, once the 7zip window will appear, click on the top-menu “Tools” then “Options” and finally on the plus “+” button as highlighted in the screenshot below. Finally, just click “Ok”. This will setup 7zip as your default compressed files manager.

7zip options window with file associations

Here your go. You can now enjoy an unlimited free software that’s lightweight, fast and awesome. For those who want to read my story, continue below.

Why 7zip is better?

Let’s start with the simplest point, it’s FREE. 7zip is free and open-source software, which means that all of its source code is made public and anyone can view, modify and alter it. The advantage besides your saving you money is that you are sure that you have a software which does not potentially collect your private data. Also, that there is a community which will maintain the software and will ensure that that it is “compliant”.

“Yes but WinRar has an ‘infinite’ trial period so I don’t pay anything.” Yes, you do not pay anything, but that does not mean that you comply with the WinRar license agreement. In addition and above all, it is a closed software, you have no idea how it uses your data for example.

However, this argument may not hold up for you. So to justify a little more my rant in front of the aberrant use of WinRar in spite of a free competitor such as 7zip, here is a situation I’ve witnessed the other day.

A friend in front of me wanted to open a .rar file, he double clicks, it has the famous window of “Your trial period is over etc..”. He extracts his files, closes the software and realizes that he still needs the file so re-opens and still has the trial period window.

You would say to me, it is just an additional click, or it could have extracted via the contextual menu of the file, but I will answer “Why when there is better!”.

7zip offers the possibility of doing the same thing more quickly. But not only in terms of interface, also in terms of decompression speed. See for yourself this performance test that I found on reddit

7zip vs WinRar performance test

On this test, 7zip is faster and offers better compression rates compared to WinRar.

But why 7zip is so unpopular?

This is the question I asked myself, and I remember seeing a video (I can’t find it anymore) about WinRar which lit a lightbulb in my mind. WinRar’s strategy and the endless trial period also keep it popular. Indeed, people install it, bypass the little message and that’s it. Being so popular, this software is installed at the enterprise level. However, a company cannot afford to use “endless trial” software and that is where they will buy WinRar licenses.

This article is therefore intended for you, everyday user and for companies who waste money on such software.

DOWNLOAD 7ZIP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

[Announcement] beldy.tk becomes beldy.tech

Hi there! I’ve decided to switch from the previous free domain beldy.tk in favor of a new extension that’s more coherent with the blog’s subjects. Beldy.tk is now beldy.tech.

You might have noticed that beldy.tk (pronounced tek in french) sounds similar to beldy.tech (which is basically tek too).

Anyway, I hope to keep up writing more articles. I’m trying my best to provide more quality-content with future articles.

#TIL How to support dark mode in pure CSS

Today I’ve learned how to support dark mode in your website with pure CSS. All this while enabling only it if the client prefers dark mode.

As you might know, dark mode has become the new trend of 2019. Actually, it was the trend around the 2004-2006 when I started fiddling with websites if I recall correctly. But that’s not problem, we love dark mode on everything!

All modern operating systems like Windows 10, Android 10, Mac OS X (and iOS) have a build-in dark mode*. You can enable it in your settings and voilĂ , all your apps, are now in dark mode. But as soon as you navigate in a website you’ll be like…

*Note: Ubuntu and more generally Linux supports all kinds of themes including dark themes, but I can’t find resources about this CSS feature on Linux-based systems, if you have any information about this, please let me know.

Brace yourselves! You can quickly adapt your website to support dynamically the user preference for dark mode. With a simple CSS media query (and some CSS tweaking of course) :

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
 // Your CSS rules are here
}

If you’re browsing Beldy with a device that supports dark mode, you might have noticed that the website is in dark mode now!

Browser compatibility chart

Other resources

Below are more sources about the subject:

#TIL How to synchronize the time axis of Highcharts with the client’s timezone

In the context of front-end development, you’ve probably dealt with Highcharts. This tool is very powerful, but sometimes you have to read the long pages of detailed documentation to get the result you want. That’s if you know what you’re looking for in the first place.

That was my case few days ago. My problem even though Highcharts was plotting my data correctly, the tooltip above the data points reflected the time in the client’s time zone while the time axis was in UTC.

After some research, it turns out that Highcharts can be configured to be in UTC mode or local mode as documented here.

To put it simply, you need to do the following:

Highcharts.setOptions
  time:
    utUTC: false
  }
});

Another important point, your points in the time axis must be in ISO format or as a Momentjs or Date object. If the format of your dates is a bit special, you can define the parseDate method shown in this example.

Be sure to let me know if I made a mistake in the article or if you have any suggestion, correction or question!

#TIL How to correct sorting on ngx-datatable

If you’re currently working with Angular 4, chances are you’re using ngx-datatable somewhere in your app.

It is also very likely that automatic sorting will not work. To remedy it I looked a little on my side and I came across these two resources:

Basically, you’ll need to add the following two attributes to your code:

<ngx-datatable-column [sortable]="true" [prop]="yourColumnName"></ngx-datatable-column>

Note that prop represents the prop attribute in your model object that you assign to the data table. If you haven’t defined it, ngx-datatable adapts it to the camelCase format as documented here.

Be sure to let me know if I made a mistake in the article or if you have any suggestion, correction or question!

Solve the problems of AMD 5700/XT graphics cards

EDIT 19/Feb/2020: Just a heads up about the current situation, I’ve updated to the latest Adrenalin software 20.2.1 and I’m experiencing less issues. But I’ve also noticed another odd behavior linked to the BIOS on my Saphire 5700XT, turns out that the overall experience is more stable on Performance mode than in Silent mode. If your 5700/XT comes with dual BIOS, try to test on the two modes and check if it helps you solving the issue, I will be very happy to get your feedback in the comments.

EDIT 15/Nov/2019: I decided to roll back to driver version 19.7.1 because after extensive testing, it turns out I’m still having the same issues sadly, I’ll keep you posted when a new release will be up.

EDIT 09/Nov/2019: The 19.11.1 driver looks stable after my tests, you can install it and enjoy the latest version!

Note: I would keep this article up to date depending on the driver considered “stable” for the AMD 5700/XT.

If you are one of the lucky owners of the new AMD Radeon 5700 or 5700XT (or partner version as in my case the Sapphire 5700 XT Pulse). It is possible that you are having problems in recent days with several video games.

Don’t worry, it’s not your new graphics card that’s giving up. It’s the drivers who are unfortunately riddled with bugs.

Do not use any drivers besides version 19.7.1

To check your current version of Adrenalin drivers, launch “AMD Radeon Settings” via your start menu. Then click on the “System” or “System” tab depending on the language of the software. Make sure your driver’s version is the 19.7.1 as shown in the screen print below.

The System tab in the AMD Radeon settings with the software version

Where to download version 19.7.1?

If you have a newer version of the driver, this is the very source of your problem. You must download and install the 19.7.1 version of the driver and test it. Your problems will be ancient history. Click on the link below and scroll down to the “Download Locations” section as shown in the screen print below. Be careful, keep reading the section below before you jump into the water.

Download Adrenalin 19.7.1 software on Guru3D

Download links on the Guru3D website

Uninstall the driver before installing this version

In order for everything to go well, you need to uninstall your current driver using Display Driver Uninstall which you can download via this link. Just like before, scroll down to the “Download Locations” section to download the software.

You will not be able to uninstall the driver of your graphics card directly. You need to restart in safe mode and launch DDU. To restart in safe mode on Windows 10:

  • Click the start button and then shuffle the settings button with a gear icon.
  • Click on the “Update and Security” tile.
  • Choose the “Recovery” tab on the left.
  • Then click the “Restart Now” button.
  • A blue screen will then appear with several options, click on the “Troubleshooting” tile.
  • On the next screen, choose “Advanced Options.”
  • On the next screen, choose “See more recovery options” at the bottom, then “Settings” and finally the “Restart” button.
  • Your computer will restart and you will have another screen. Press the F4 button to start in safe mode.

Phew, once in safe mode, you will see that the whole interface has become “big” it is mostly the screen resolution that is too small. In short, launch DDU, choose the device type first and then the device below as in the screen print below. Finally, click the “Clean and restart” button.

Display Driver Uninstall interface

Install the driver after restarting and ignore the new version

Once your machine has restarted, start installing the driver you’ve downloaded previously in the section above from Guru3D. During installation, the assistant will suggest you install the new version, ignore this message and continue to install the driver.

A final word for Overwatch players

For readers who play Overwatch, I would caution you against certain options not to activate or risk having crashes of the game:

  • Virtual Super Resolution: Reported as interfering with Overwatch.
  • Accentuation of image sharpness: Can interfere with Overwatch.
  • GPU scaling: Can interfere with Overwatch.

This software lets you control your external monitor’s brightness

Ever wanted to control your external monitor’s brightness via software on Windows? Well this great piece of software will help you do it in few clicks.

ClickMonitorDDC 7.0

The first thing we need to do is to download and install ClickMonitorDDC to see if your hardware configuration works. After installing it, launch it. If nothing shows up, check the task bar near the clock where you might see some numbers like in the screenshot below :

ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 taskbar icons
ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 taskbar icons

How to control my monitor’s brightness?

First, you need to click any of the icons you see in the taskbar. You’ll be greeted with the following window :

ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 main window with the monitor's brightness settings
ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 main window with the monitor’s brightness settings

Try to use the slider that says Brightness and if everything’s working as expected, your monitor’s brightness should change accordingly. This is of course as you may notice not the only feature of this software. You can adjust the contrast as well as the color profiles and other functionnalities that your monitor may support.

My desktop monitor for example supports volume control as well as custom color temperature settings (located in the bottom-left side in the scroll items).

Custom profiles for specific apps !

Another neat feature is that ClickMonitorDDC can also enable specific screen settings depending on the app you might be using. Click the little button located on the top-left corner, you’ll see a settings window as follows :

ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 settings window
ClickMonitorDDC 7.0 settings window

You can fiddle around with specific apps profiles, timers and hotkeys. To be honest, I was really surprised with how complete this software is.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a developer, a creator or any type of user, I’m more than sure that this great piece of software can be greatly useful for you. I’m using it on all my computers to quickly control my monitor’s brightness with just a click. If you like this software, please don’t forget to support the developer with a little donation.

Improve your work environment with FiraCode

As a developer, you give a lot of attention to your workflow. In this article, we’re going to discuss a really subtle workflow tool that can be a game changer.

TL;DR: Go to FiraCode repository, download, install and apply to your IDE. Follow the installation instructions here.

Your IDE’s font matters, A LOT

Right now, you might be looking with a lot of skepticism to this whole article telling yourself why font matters. It’s just an aesthetic choice and so on. But here’s a simple example :


Monospace fonts compared to Fira Code

I took two fairly known monospace fonts; Courier New which is the default monospace font on Windows (usually, don’t take my word for it) and Consolas which is the default PowerShell in my Windows 10. As you might already see, Courier New is the worst when we want to differentiate 1 from l and 0 from O.

This is just an example, but what I’m trying to explain is that we should not waste our time trying to figure out if the symbol we’ve written is easily intelligible from another. We are supposed to read and understand code as fast as possible to work comfortably.

FiraCode improves your work environment with ligatures

FiraCode is not just an elegant typeface, it uses ligatures (a very simple typeface concept) to make the developer’s life way easier. Below an example of simple code with the three precedent fonts :

Monospace fonts compared to FiraCode in VSCode

As you can notice, FiraCode with ligatures makes this JS snippet much more legible! Of course, you’ll have to try it in your IDE and see for yourself.

You can learn more about Fira code over here :

https://github.com/tonsky/FiraCode

And you can check the supported IDEs you can apply it to with the install instructions here.

Finally, please don’t forget to support the developer on Patreon for his amazing work.

OnePlus will regret removing the 3.5 mm jack

OnePlus will soon release its new 6T Smartphone. But even with all the hype, there is some tension because of OnePlus’s pretty dubious decision.

I was a fan of OnePlus, I even have the 5T I used to write half of this article and I confess that I am satisfied. But since the OP6, I started doubting the brand’s strategy.

This article reflects my opinion and my view of the situation. Feel free to share your personal opinion, I would be delighted to discuss it. I decided to write this article especially to clear my feeling towards OnePlus and other Android manufacturers in the market.

Who is OnePlus and where do they come from?

OnePlus is a company belonging to the BBK electronics group which also owns the oppo and vivo brands. Even though OnePlus claims to have control over their design process and strategy, they remain dependent of BBK. For this reason, for example, the OnePlus 6T looks very much like oppo R17.

It is also important to know that OnePlus does not have sufficient resources to do research and development or build and test their devices. You can see some kind of shortcut to operate in this way and recycle a design and hardware already established by oppo or vivo. But at the end of the day, profit is a decision-making element.

That was the most important point to clarify. Now let’s talk about the stupidity of this decision and incidentally the stupidity of the builders who follow the same optics.

The 3.5 mm jack port was an evolution

A few years ago, smartphones were not yet popular. Each Builder had fun making phones in his corner and every one had his own proprietary port. My first phone was a Nokia that had a circular charging port. The next one, Siemens had a single port for charging or for the hands-free headset. My Motorola also had a data/recharge port and a 2.5 mm jack port not compatible with some Nokia 2.5 mm headsets. But beware, Nokia had linear ports for their hands-free headsets too. It was just redicilous.

The worst though was Sony Ericsson. They had the most screwed-up port in the world. In fact, I never remember having a Sony Ericsson hands-free full headset, I had DIY my own 3.5 mm adapter to plug in my headphones. Because Yes, it was almost impossible to find accessories other than Samsung or Nokia.

Then the constructors started implementing the 3.5 mm port. For me it was paradise, listen to my music with my favorite headphones or connect the phone to any other device supporting an auxiliary input.

My last phone having a proprietary port for the audio kit was a HTC dual (Niki) and I bought so many headsets that I started looking for a Bluetooth A2DP headset to make my life easier. But if I had a choice, I would have chosen the wired solution.

In short, then there was Android, the 3.5 mm jack ports became a standard and everything went to the best.

Then came Apple

Oh Apple . . . I liked their products, especially the iPod and iPod touch. But it’s been years since their started making me crazy. Their elitist vision is only ruining everything around them.

Apple decided to “revolutionize” the world by removing the 3.5 mm connector because it was an “outdated technology”.

What Apple did was part of their marketing strategy. They wanted to both push AirPods to the general public while forcing accessory builders to use the proprietary “lightning” port as a single solution. Indeed, any Builder who will manufacture an accessory using the lightning port will have to give royalties to Apple otherwise they will risk a lawsuit that will ruin them.

This strategy is much clearer when we look at the launch of the new XS and company with the port ligntning. Amazing coming from a company that decided to remove all the ports of the MacBook and leave only the USB type-C ports and… The 3.5 mm jack port.

Okay, I’m digressing, let’s go back to the main topic.

The 3.5 mm jack port is not obsolete

Everywhere, the 3.5 mm port remains useful. It is a port designed for a simple task that it accomplishes wonderfully. The fact that it is a circular plug allows it to rotate and thus minimize the degradation of the cable. So yes, you have the syndrome of the left or right earpiece that stops working (or worse, the micro button that activates) but it is due to the cable that is damaged more than the jack plug in itself.

USB type-C to Jack adapters exist, but there is a twist, it’s worse! On Android, manufacturers are not agreeing on the correct implementation. Some adapters are analog and non-standard others are digital and incompatible with some phones. Great, here we are back in time 14 years ago!

I urge you to watch this video to understand the magnitude of the situation.

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To summarize the video above, some USB type-C dongles make a digital to analog conversion. So they can work practically with all smartphones. Other dongles are non-standard and make a kind of analogue to analogue Voodoo and therefore can not work with some smartphones.

The big problem is that you won’t be able to tell the difference between a digital and analogue USB type-C adapter. You will need to test an adapter before you buy it. Does that remind you of a certain situation? ;)

Oh yes also, you can not plug your headphones while recharging your phone (Yes, there are splitters but seriously I’ve seen people leading a sad life with them) and if you have the misfortune to ruin your USB type-C port, good luck recharging your Phone!

Are there Bluetooth solutions? Definitely, I was one of the first to have a Bluetooth A2DP headset and the experience was good. But it stops there. Recharging the headset every evening (good luck if you forget to do it). Having disconnections or annoying latency and above all an audibly different quality, frankly it’s too much of a compromise.

Well, that reminds me of an anecdote. I had to make a 7 hours trip, my Bluetooth headset had a battery life between 7 to 6h. When I was out of battery, I had to stop my music, plug it into the power Bank and voila, no music for an hour. Great, huh? Oh yes, the headset could not recharge and play music.

You would say that by buying a new model of headphones like the gorgeous Sony 1000XM3 I would not have that kind of problem. But it’s stupid that I’ve already invested in a wired Bose QC25 to then throw €300 on a new high quality headset when you already have something.

Why is OnePlus going to regret this decision?

OnePlus has already attempted its hit with the “notch”. And a lot of fans were disappointed including me at the release of the 6. So I know it’s just about tastes and we can’t discuss tastes. But this decision gives off two points:

  • OnePlus is in the process of tracking the mass of builders who themselves follow Apple.
  • We could have inspired the essential phone that uses the slot space or Xiaomi mix 3 that moves the camera down.

Many OnePlus fans have noticed the lack of apparent innovation. The disappointment is apparent and frankly, the arguments that the CEO of OnePlus, Pete LAU, are a joke. “To gain more space for components”, for a larger battery or fingerprint reader under the screen? Seriously? Does the 3.5 mm jack connector take that much? Fortunately, Samsung succeeded in fitting the 3.5mm connector, the stylus and the big battery in their Note 9 then.

In short, OnePlus will regret this decision especially in their sales. People who buy Apple devices make compromises because they are willing to do anything for an iPhone. OnePlus has only one advantage, the price, and again! According to the latest leaks, this new OnePlus 6T will be even more expensive than the 6.

But the 3.5 mm Jack will disappear

Possible, if all phone manufacturers continue to push it towards obsolescence, it will disappear from the phones. But not PC, TV and other equipment that must remain compatible. This only creates confusion for the consumer who will have to buy a Bluetooth headset/headphones to use them with his phone, headphones for his PC, etc…

It is possible that you may not agree with me, in this case I understand. This is only a rant from an occasional blogger who spits out his hatred about the current situation of smartphones that are copies of copies of other copies.

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