Do Not Use AMD 16.7.3 Drivers: Corruption, Hard Crashes, & OC Limit

By Published July 29, 2016 at 10:16 pm

We received a user report at 11:50AM EST on July 29 that the new AMD 16.7.3 drivers were limiting memory overclocks to 2050MHz, down from the original 2250MHz limit that we approached with our launch overclock. We spent the next several hours validating the new 16.7.3 drivers versus the previously certified 16.7.2 drivers, and reached-out to AMD via email for support.

During the ensuing tests – including some tests conducted after the below video was filmed – we discovered that the AMD 16.7.3 drivers cause blue screens as a secondary effect from hard crashes. As we state in the video, the overclock limitation on memory is not something to go “burn down the towers” over, as it seems likely a mistake, but we would strongly urge users to stay on 16.7.2 or roll-back if issues present themselves.

(Video pending upload)

After reaching-out to AMD, we received word that the company's driver QA team is “looking into this issue now,” further stating, “if we can confirm it's a problem, then the next question will probably be how quickly we can get a fix into a new driver release.” As of this writing, AMD has not confirmed detection of the issue on “their end,” but the company is minimally looking into the numerous user reports.


Above: Original memory OC limit; below: new memory OC limit.


We've discovered the following issues on 16.7.3 that are not present on 16.7.2:

  • Limitation on memory overclocking (down to 2050MHz ceiling from 2250MHz; for perspective, we previously hit 2200MHz stable on our memory OC). This is a minor issue as it barely impacts FPS, but one which should certainly be resolved as it eats into the fun of overclocking.

  • Hard crashes and system locks during gaming, specifically GTA V. The game will completely freeze, and all input fails to interrupt the freeze. The system must be reset by switch.

  • As a result of the above, we have received blue screens and prompted auto-recoveries during reboot. Note that we were never faced with a dead OS, and were able to eventually get back into the system by rebooting one more time.

  • Fail to colored (white, green, cream, etc.) screen on desktop. Complete system lock that requires hard reboot to recover.


Above: One of the many colorful failures brought on by 16.7.3. This particular one spawned on an Acer XB280HK. We will investigate if the same occurs on FreeSync displays.

Note that, as we said in the video, this is not some sort of evil attempt to limit overclockers – no pitchforks are required. Granted, that doesn't excuse a buggy driver launch. We'd suggest sitting on 16.7.2 now and waiting for the inevitable 16.7.3.x hotfix driver.

We have made sure that AMD is aware of the issue and are working with AMD on troubleshooting information to ensure resolution. We'll keep you all updated as news becomes available.

Note: We have now received additional reports from users on previous generation architecture, noting an absence of these issues. That makes reports on either side -- YMMV.

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Andrew “ColossalCake” Coleman

Thanks to reader Tye Roberts for notifying us of this issue.

Last modified on July 29, 2016 at 10:16 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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