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AMD's latest GPU driver fixes several more lingering black screen issues

(Image credit: AMD)

Black screen issues continue to be a thorn in the side of some Radeon graphics card owners. This has made GPU driver updates even more important than they might otherwise be, because each new one brings about multiple fixes. That is the case again with AMD's new Adrenalin 20.5.1 driver that is now available.

According to the release notes, the latest driver squashes four more specific black screen bugs. They include:

  • On a limited number of displays, launching a game may lead to an intermittent black screen that requires a system reboot to resolve.
  • When performing a task switch, Destiny 2 may experience an application hang or black screen.
  • Overwatch may experience an intermittent crash or black screen when joining a match.
  • TDR or black screen may occur when running the Vulkan test from Geekbench 5.

Most of the complaints regarding black screen bugs on AMD hardware have come from owners of Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards. It's still not clear why exactly this has been a lingering issue—complaints and fixes date back to at least December 2019.

Just this month, AMD put out a request for Radeon owners to submit bug reports to AMD if they are having problems, rather than solely posting to places like Reddit.

"Posting issues on Reddit and other community forums, although helpful, does not necessarily mean we’ll be able to spot your post or get enough information from it, so the best way to get issues resolved quickly would be to submit your report directly to us," AMD stated in a blog post.

It's a tricky situation, because it's difficult to diagnose how many black screen issues are related to AMD's hardware and drivers, versus other parts of a system. These things can also tend to make people paranoid that any issue might be related in some way, though that's not always the case.

For example, some people have found that disabling Microsoft's "performance-boosting" Game Mode in Windows 10 stops their games from stuttering or freezing. This is not just limited to AMD's hardware, but also Nvidia's GPUs.

In addition to the black screen bugs, AMD's latest driver fixes a host of other issues. They include:

  • Hitching may be observed in League of Legends on some system configurations after performing a task switch.
  • Sniper Elite 4 may minimize when invoking Radeon Software’s overlay.
  • The standard profile in Radeon Software may become applied when the gaming profile is clicked on numerous times in quick succession.
  • Lighting corruption may be seen when moving your mouse in Grand Theft Auto 5 with Radeon Boost enabled.
  • Texture corruption may be seen in the bottom right corner of the screen when moving your mouse in Shadow of the Tomb Raider with Radeon Boost enabled.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 may fail to launch in some Hybrid Graphics system configurations.
  • Memory Tuning may fail to apply on AMD Radeon VII graphics products.
  • “Unable to get requirements” error message may sometimes be displayed in the Upgrade Advisor tab.
  • GPU metrics may sometimes fail to load in the performance tab of Radeon Software.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Control may experience application hangs when launched with Radeon Anti-Lag enabled.
  • Radeon Software may experience a crash or hang on Hybrid Graphics system configurations.
  • Fixed an issue where AMD Link may experience random or intermittent disconnects.
  • Incorrect memory clocks may be reported in performance metrics overlay on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.
  • Some Hybrid Graphics system configurations with Radeon RX 5500 series graphics products may experience a blue screen on driver installation.
  • High memory usage may be experienced when Instant Replay and Desktop Recording is enabled on a system and a display on the system has timed out or gone to sleep.

Beyond the bug fixes, the 20.5.1 driver package adds support for the Windows 10 May 2020 update that starting going out to PCs this week.

You can download the driver through AMD's Radeon Software utility, or grab it from AMD's website.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).