In our recent opinion piece 'Gamers are ditching Radeon graphics cards over driver issues' we discussed how a portion of Navi-based Radeon owners have been suffering from black screen and other instability issues. We haven't gone through this, but many gamers have. This is a real shame considering GPUs like the Radeon RX 5700 series tend to provide killer value.

The latest Radeon Adrenaline 20.2.2 drivers are all about addressing these with extensive patch notes that will hopefully minimize the problems for Radeon RX 5500, 5600 and 5700 series owners. Highlights in the fixed bugs section include:

  • Performing a task switch with some Radeon Software features enabled or some third-party applications with hardware acceleration running in the background may cause a system hang or black screen.
  • Improvements have been made that allow for more responsive fan ramp up or fan ramp down times on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • When Instant Replay is enabled, a TDR or black screen may occur when launching games or applications.
  • A black screen may occur when toggling HDR on in the game settings of Battlefield V.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may experience an application hang or black screen during certain parts of the game or intermittently during gameplay.
  • Some video content in Chrome may appear as a black screen or be unresponsive on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products when hardware acceleration is enabled.

Those have been sorted out on the new 20.2.2 drivers though AMD acknowledges in the release notes that "some users may still experience black screen or system hang issues during extended periods of gameplay," and they're actively working to detect and fix those.

Typically we like to give both AMD and Nvidia a few months to iron out bugs when releasing a new GPU series, especially when they're based on a new architecture, as was the case with Turing and Navi. Nvidia went through a fair share of teething issues with Turing, but they went on top of most major issues quickly. AMD, on the other hand, has had several months to sort out Navi and this is coming way too late, which will no doubt bite them back.

As discussed recently, we haven't run into any major issues after countless hours of testing new Radeon GPUs in our labs, but one useful piece of advice that has saved us from having to troubleshoot software glitches is to use the Display Driver Uninstaller tool (DDU) to remove previous driver installations before installing updated drivers.