What Did I Do? - Switchable Graphics Driver Confusion

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon Drivers Section' started by shpong, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. shpong

    shpong Member

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    GPU:
    Mobility Radeon 5400/4200
    Last year, at pretty much this same time, I was able to install updated drivers for both of my graphics cards separately, with AMD drivers that were not supplied by Acer.

    I have an Acer Aspire 5553g-5357 with both a Mobility Radeon HD 5470 and a 4250.

    The latest Acer supplied driver for both those cards is the AMD Chipset Driver 8.713.3.2000, available via the Acer support site. Somehow, last year, I was able to upgrade the 5470 driver to 13.251.0.0, and the 4250 to 8.970.100.1100. This produced a noticeable, positive impact on frame-rates.

    Basically, I completely forget how I did this, and I was wondering if you all could please help me. I would like to see if I can push my laptop's performance even further, considering I can't afford a new one, but I don't want to go through "driver hell" again.

    In my BIOS, I can select "switchable" or "discreet" graphics card modes...

    PLEAS HELP! I would be so grateful!
     
  2. atoneapone

    atoneapone Active Member

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    GPU:
    Radeon 6650M +6520g/ 1GB
    Don't really know about this , but If I had to guess, the 4200m is legacy and is unsupported with anything newer than what you got: (13.9 legacy drivers)
    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=382425

    But you may have overlap installed some 13.12whql modded sg drivers last year for the 5470 graphics (made by Leekm or "m", both are no longer found on guru3d.); I don't think you will see much of an improvement in gpu performance from 13.12 and what is available today (14.9.2)
    (imo, the improvements in lower end graphic cards like 5470 and similar will not see much game improvements from optimizations provided in newer drivers...so not really worth it.)
    , so I would just stay with what you have...and move on to newer computer with better graphics in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  3. Espionage724

    Espionage724 Guest

    If I were in that situation, I'd use Discrete mode and use the 5xxx card primarily, and then just download the latest driver, and forget about the 4xxx GPU. I'm "pretty" sure this is possible anyway.

    5xxx+ is currently only supported by AMD.

    The way (I believe) it works is that Switchable mode means the 4xxx card will be primary no matter what, but rendering can be done on the 5xxx card if you allow it to. This allows for a balance between power saving and performance; but the performance of the 5xxx card will be slightly reduced.

    Discrete should allow for the 5xxx card to be used primary, for both driving the display and rendering. This allows maximum performance on the 5xxx GPU. Power-saving isn't "as" efficient in this scenario. Not certain what happens to the 4xxx GPU in this case.
     
  4. shpong

    shpong Member

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    GPU:
    Mobility Radeon 5400/4200
    First of all, the drivers I installed were all 100% AMD. No modifications or anything. I did have a modified BIOS before but I found that to be buggy. BIOS changes wouldn't stick, for instance, the cards would switch between Mux and Muxless. This is irrelevant though.

    This is all slowly coming back to me. Choosing "discreet" mode does allow me to use the newest drivers with the 5470, but in "switchable" mode with that driver I can only achieve 1024x768 resolution.

    I think what I possibly did was select a CCC installation that worked with both cards, and then install the actual drivers separately, keeping the old "control center" but installing the newer driver?

    I decided to go through driver hell again, and what I have now is a computer running in discrete mode with the latest AMD driver, but with a Catalyst Control Center installation that has NO options and no ability to go back to "switchable graphics" with a resolution above 1024x768. The configuration before had what I assumed to be the latest graphics drivers for both, that would allow for total "stwitchability", since I could have the both on at the same time.

    If I understood my research properly, shouldn't the older 4200 series perform better with 2D graphics than the 5400, and on the other hand, the 5400 should perform better with 3D?

    Another thing that prompted me to upgrade was the fact that my fan makes this crazy loud mechanical sound sometimes. I've monitored everything on my computer and there are no changes in function that correlate with this sound. It just happens. Thought it was overheating, but it starts making this sound randomly at any temp. It goes for days without making the sound as well. There is also no dust to speak of. I've taken this computer completely apart and dusted off every part individually, but it still makes this sound. I think with that, I need a lubricating needle to reach whatever part of the fan is dry.

    One BIOS upgrade for this laptop fixed fan function problems, so I thought upgrading the graphics driver might be relevant...


    What is REALLY weird is that with HWiNFO, in switchable mode, I can monitor both cards, but in discrete mode, I can monitor neither. Also, when I installed this latest driver, my resolution in switchable mode peaked at 1024x768, and HWiNFO monitored just that one card, and then in discrete mode where I have full functionality aside from CCC, I can monitor neither.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

  5. FunkyMike

    FunkyMike Master Guru

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    GPU:
    ATI 6850m /Intel HD3000
    You have a fairly "complex" setup it seems.

    On one hand muxed mode is not supported past 14.4 by the AMD drivers for your 5470 card. 14.9.2 will put your card into "software dynamic" mode no matter the BIOS config.

    On the other hand you still need a working driver for your 4200.

    I am not sure if you are onto something with the CCC. I have looked into CCC and what kind of influence it has on the switching options but most of that gets handled by the kernel itself.

    I speak from a pure Intel + AMD experience but I would say that PXAA configs like yours should still work with the newest 14.9.2 driver if you mix match the drivers.
    IE. Installing a driver that is bound to work for the 4200 (maybe via device manager)

    then installing 14.9.2 + an SG fix for the tabs.

    This would theoretically allow you to at least work in dynamic mode.

    If you want muxed switching you might want to stick with 14.4 + SG patch.

    Your fan could just have a bad bearing.
     
  6. shpong

    shpong Member

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    GPU:
    Mobility Radeon 5400/4200
    I'm curious...while I am having no problems with just the discrete card activated, I wonder if I might see better game performance in switchable mode. Or, will a game merely use one card?

    I understand one card is meant for 3D graphics, and the other for 2D...
     
  7. FunkyMike

    FunkyMike Master Guru

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    GPU:
    ATI 6850m /Intel HD3000
    Stick to Discrete.

    There is no support for HD 4200 so you wont even be able to make use of any newish/new drivers.
     

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