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.

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.

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