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  • blackmagnum - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Finally for the people working/ gaming on an AMD graphics notebook. Hope this will be enough of a challenge for Optimus. Good news. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately this is not the case. The Enduro issue has actually driven more sales for Nvidia. AnandTech, please take a look at NBR forums. The number of decisions posted by NBR members saying, they have decided to pay an extra $300 for working Optimus far exceeds decision to buy 7970M equipped Clevo notebooks. This is after the member inquires on what is the best use of their money.

    On NBR it has been concluded for the most part. Even though on paper the 680M and the 7970M are equal, it makes far more sense to pay an extra $300 because 680M works. 7970M getting less performance on half the games compared to last gen's 580M?

    I am really quite surprised and upset that gaming hardware community forget how expensive mobile parts are. 7970M users aren't upset because a $100 card isn't performing right, it's $200!!!! Our notebooks cost $1600 and more with a 7970M...
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I would like to add, as a 7970M owner and been trying to get this problem resolved rather than going green...

    ANYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING A CLEVO P150EM and P170EM BETWEEN 680M AND 7970M, BUY THE 680M.

    Seriously, don't buy 7970M. AMD has had 6 months to provide drivers since 7970M been released and we've received only one tweet. The 660M-680M are far better buy, and better value for your money than the 7970M right now. I would not expect AMD to fix this. It's a good chance, AMD may just chalk this up to, we'll fix it with 8xxx, F*** the 7970M users.
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I have a Vaio SA with a switchable HD6630m, I've already sworn off AMD mobile products. I don't care about whatever excuses they have, and apparently, neither does Sony. The Ivy Bridge successor to my laptop uses a Kepler GT 640m with nVidia Optimus. I got the SA to get away from general laptop build quality issues with my m11x R2, but if I had known I would be giving up Optimus for a far inferior setup, I would of just dealt with the other issues. Reply
  • extide - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    You don't have the described issue. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    I don't understand what that has to do with this article though. Does your notebook or the other ones who complain already have Enduro as described in this article? Because the article makes it seem to me as if this is still in the future for a few months at least. So how can they have issues with something that doesn't exist, yet? :-) Reply
  • arcticjoe - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    I think you mis-understood something. Enduro is currently used in multiple AMD cards, and it has severe flaws. This article is about newer version of Enduro that is supposed to come out in the near future. Reply
  • Pablito Que - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I bought an AVA bare bones P150EM With the Radeon 7970m.
    I wondered about updating the graphics driver the moment I got it, but I called AVA Direct first because I had heard there were problems with the drivers in doing so.
    -- This goes for any Computer with the IVY bridge mother Bd--
    whether P150EM or 170EM

    This is what he told me:

    "The drivers pre-installed on your computer are drivers made to interact at best performance with the intergraded graphics card on the mother board(HD graphics 4000). DO NO ATTEMPT TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE UPDATE ON AMD'S WEBSITE. THEY WILL NOT WORK PROPERLY. We try to make this clear to all who purchase the P150EM and 170, but they do not listen and think they've got it figured out. They go ahead and download the updates and the card fails! Everyone who calls us complaining about performance has tried to update the drivers when we warned them not to."

    Since I have had my computer, I have had the drivers that it came with and with a 3720QM running ar 3.6Ghz. and 8 gigs of RAM at 1600Mhz, I'm getting Metro 2033 at 29.9 fps with 1920x1080 and all setting maxed out minus Anti-alaising. My card has just the stock drivers and it out performs the 680M on a number of major games and was over 50% cheaper than the 680M. There's NO logical argument anyone could make for choosing the 680M over the 7970m, especially driver support issues! If AMD's lame stock drivers already out perform Nvidia's best, then what will happen when the refined drivers are released? And when I say that the stock drivers out perform Nividia's, I mean in terms of frame rate from game to game- which is the ONLY thing that matters in the end.

    Referrence: Notebookcheck.org
    Reply
  • neoczar - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I am one of hundreds that inhabit the NBR forums who have been unfortunate enough to get the P170EM platform with the 7970M. What began as a promising article (mentioning all the difficulties with the initial P170EM the writer reviewed) degenerated into reporting what the AMD guy promised would be implemented "soon". The question remains: What has AMD done for its customers who purchased the current flagship card?

    In case the writer hasn't noticed there has been a back-and-forth cyber-war of a sort going on with AMD over this for a few months now, with Enduro SEVERELY crippling performance in muxless designs like the P170EM. To say that the 7970M performs worse in WoW, SC2, Dota2 ..etc than a card 2 generations old is an understatement. Clevo/Sager began documenting the issue then were instructed by AMD to delete the threads on all relevant forums and we've been getting stonewalled since then. Clevo/Sager have reverted to "There is no issue" stance and AMD is simply quiet while doing damage control by all the smoke this article aims to spread.

    I ask the writer: So after all walls of text, has the P170EM gotten any better with the 7970M since the last time you reviewed it? Play any game, ANY game, and let us know about the frame rates. I'm not sure I can post links here but there are quite a few that show you the magnitude of the problem, and AMD's utterly woeful driver team.
    Reply
  • randinspace - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Hmm... :\ Jarred, how optimistic are you that AMD is actually going to be able to deliver this time?

    As a total package I'm more comfortable with AMD's 7000 series GPUs than NVIDIA's 600 series, so I've got a LITTLE hope in this case, yet the way things have been going the past few years choosing a solution that relies solely upon them (AMD) is beginning to feel like not only a compromise (Phenom II vs Core 2), but a complete crap shoot (I had to buy a discrete GPU to solve a persistent issue I was having with a PC running an A8 and now I'm stuck with a dead socket that's outperformed by Intel's last 4 generations!).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I have a P170EM with the beta drivers, and AMD says they're basically undergoing final QA before release this month or next. I brought up this issue over a year ago, so obviously AMD is moving slowly, but it looks like they're about ready to address things. Finally. I wouldn't go out and buy a 7970M solution today with the intention to wait for the public driver updates to start coming, but rest assured we will be testing with the public drivers when they launch, and when they update again we'll test again.

    I should also note again (as I did in the article) that the GCN architecture cards have not had the best performance consistency since launch until the latest drivers -- and that's on the desktop. Everyone running GCN on laptops is basically looking at drivers that are 3+ months old (unless they have a laptop that doesn't use Enduro, in which case they ought to have been able to update to the 12.7 Catalyst release).
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Jarred download MSI Kombustor (its a very small download and has a GPU utilization graph so you can see the Enduro issue very quickly) and run it with default settings (DX10 and DX11 modes work ok and give you 99% utilization and good fps). If your utilization is bellow 99% then these new drivers fixed nothing. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Note that there are no "DX10 or DX11" modes -- everything is OpenGL as far as I can see. So even though the EXE name is msikombustordx11.exe, the rendering is done via OpenGL. That could be a problem, as up until Enduro OpenGL wasn't even supported by AMD's dynamic switchable graphics, but it appears to be working (mostly?) now.

    Utilization for the Furry and Stessy Test (GL4) starts low for the first ~10 seconds (and there were a couple rendering glitches) and then jumps to 98% with no more flashes or rendering errors. FPS at 1080p 2xAA is 13. Other tests show a similar low GPU utilization for the first few seconds and then jump to 90% or higher. I'm not sure what's going on, but I don't think the GPU utilization is accurate right at the start.

    Anyway, saying "anything below 99% in Kombustor isn't right" seems rather extreme, particularly since Kombustor is based off of Furmark. What about GPU utilization in games? Let me run a few tests, but if you know of any specific games where there are problems, I can try to test those.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Thanks for testing Jarred. I think (i'm at work at the moment, cant check) there is a tab for a "burn in test" which allows your to switch rendering between openGL and DX9/10/11. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Okay, that helps -- I wasn't sure exactly which test you wanted. Here are the full results at 1080p:

    OGL2: 92% utilization
    OGL3: 91% utilization
    DX9: 90% utilization
    DX10: 99% utilization
    DX11: 99% utilization

    There's still a ~5 second gap between starting and full load showing up, but that appears to be a "works as intended" sort of thing. Batman: Arkham City incidentally is showing 99.7% GPU load at 1080p Extreme settings.

    If you have specific games you'd like me to check, let me know. I'm going to see about digging into this a bit more today.
    Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Thank you! Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Batman is one of the games I get unstable utilization (60-90%), so 99% sounds very promising. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    So just a quick update:

    At extreme settings, GPU utilization is 99.7%. At Medium settings, however, GPU utilization is much lower: around 47%.

    I ran a similar test with DiRT 3. At Ultra High, I got GPU use of around 90% on average. Drop that to Medium and utilization drops to more like 50%.

    I guess the question is whether the GPU utilization is low because AMD is specifically trying not to use more GPU than needed (e.g. once you break 60 FPS, there's no much point in rendering faster on a 60Hz LCD panel), or if there's some other reason for the low GPU use. I'd also guess that it can be fixed with drivers; how high a priority that is remains to be seen.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I wouldnt mind if utilization dropped when 60fps limit is reached, the problem at the moment is that I get the same 20-40 fps (just lower utilization %) whether I am in Ultra or Low settings. So in BF3 MP on High settings I could get higher fps with 6970m than with my 7970m, when on paper 7970m should be nearly twice as fast. Reply
  • gamoniac - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the info about 20-40fps. I was thinking it would be desirable for the GPU to run optimally (not 99% all the time) once 60fps is hit, but if in fact the games are rendered at such low frame rate, it is a problem. Perhaps Jarred can post the FPS info as well. Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Again great work Jarred, your help is like a boat in the middle of the ocean for many here.

    Maybe you can forward the GPU usage %s to AMD, who knows if they are aware of this.

    some other games you might test are:
    Crysis 2
    Witcher 1 and 2
    Skyrim
    BF3 (specially multiplayer)

    What everybody here wants is that GPU can be assigned, fixed, forced, you name it to work 99% at any setting or game we want it to, to forget about power saving. Maybe thats easier to get faster than a working "60fps minimum performance" solution.

    and again thanks! I will definetely buy from anadtech in the future, just for this.

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    That's not going to happen. The frames are transferred over PCIe, and that's a limited shared resource. Uncapping it would just take away bandwidth and increase latency for the other unimportant stuff, you know, like textures and geometry. Reply
  • arcticjoe - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    Nvidia can do it, why cant AMD? Otherwise its a little unfair for consumers who pay ridiculous money for a top of the range card that also has a major with a design flaw severely limiting its performance. Reply
  • Woodchuck2000 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Any chance of Anandtech investigating this issue? Reading through the support forums, it doesn't look like user complaints have made a difference. I suspect that if a site like Anandtech publishes some hard numbers, we'll actually see a fix for these issues. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    There have been no driver updates since launch for Clevo 7970M users, so of course there haven't been any fixes. AMD is basically saying step one is to get support for Enduro laptops into their regular Catalyst driver updates, and once that's done end users should see fixes at the same time desktop drivers get fixes. This has not yet happened, but it's supposed to happen by the end of the year. Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    There may not be any official releases for Clevo, but you can install most mobility releases on a EM series laptop, including the latest 9.0 leak (Catalyst 12.8). They all work in games, but the issue with GPU under-utilization remains the same in all releases so far.
    Also, 7970m was released in March - not being able to use it properly for the majority of its lifecycle as the top mobile AMD card is really pathetic.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I don't know if others are having better luck, but at least when I tried installing the non-Enduro Catalyst drivers on the P170EM it did nothing good. I think I got the updated Catalyst control panel but still running old drivers. Hacking drivers to get them to install is not the same thing as having proper driver support. Enduro has a lot of lower level stuff going on in the drivers that regular discrete-only cards don't have to consider. If they work at all, I'm surprised, but I wouldn't expect 100% optimal performance from them. Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    You've nailed AMD's major problem on the head with this statement. No official drivers for the 7970M since launch, what 4 months ago? With a whole portion of the owners practically screaming that the GPU is garbage in the latest games? The only 7970M owners who are happy are those that can completely disable Enduro via the BIOS. That's absurd. Reply
  • krumme - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    For the past 3 years amd have had the best, most efficient, arcitechture for for mobile market, and even still for this generation something that can compete with kepler.

    How on earth they can bring themselves in a situation not having a product similar to optimus is one of the biggest management failures. Is simply unforgiving. What were they thinking on?

    Instead of focusing on fx crossfire with absolutely no economic importance, they have let this obvious technology take 2 years later than it needed to. With amd insight, they should be 1 year ahead of nv here. Pathetic management, and it was obvious 2 years ago.

    AMD strategic decisions is always some technical extreme long term roads. Like APU could save their mobile business. Man, its sad to watch. Engineering thinking when it fails.

    There have been a lot of people leaving AMD lately, and lots of tears for that. Well, they might be technically good, but business people they were not.

    RR have a lot to do at AMD to clean up this mess.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    "With amd insight, they should be 1 year ahead of nv here."

    Wait, exactly why would anyone expect AMD to have better insight than NVIDIA? Or Intel? Isn't this the same company that underdelivered on Bulldozer? And K9 basically never happened because it was so far off of what was needed? AMD has the potential to compete and even exceed NVIDIA and Intel, but while they have done so on occasion there's no reason to say they should consistently be ahead.
    Reply
  • krumme - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Jarred you are pissed at AMD, and it shows everywhere :)

    AMD have CPU and manufactoring competence inhouse that should easily see all the nessesary steps involved in designing a solution. The competence base is broader than NV. For this kind of problem, thats is an advantage, as you have the competence base to adress the situation.

    But if its not brought into play its of no use. But thats a management problem. This is not an engineering problem.

    They were designing gfx for the desktop market, While they should enlarge portability and entertainment. And it shows for the rest of the portfolio. We now why rr is the new boss.
    Reply
  • edryr - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    This article is just pathetic.
    Why aren't there any mention of underutilization on all gcn based gpu using enduro ? Why no mention of any amd's movements like deleting all posts regarding thoses issues ? Why no comment on games runing smoother on 570m because of lack of skill from amd ?

    Pathetic...
    Reply
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    conspiracy theorist much? Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Sager (a Clevo reseller) made a thread in Notebook Review where they admitted the issue and wanted the community to participate in solving the issue by logging the underutilization issues. Many people spent a lot of time to collect potentially valuable information regarding the issue.

    Suddenly Sager informs that they have been requested, by AMD, to ask the NBR moderators to remove the thread. Sager hasn't mentioned the thread since and now their stance it that there IS NO PROBLEM.

    You got to admit that this episode is rather weird. Also, AMD hasn't made any official announcements, comments, remarks etc. regarding the enduro issues. Also, one thread concerning the issue was closed on AMD's own forums, supposedly due to offensive language or something, though the comments on the thread stayd both civilized and relatively polite.

    The enduro issues affect all current generation 7000M series AMD cards.
    Reply
  • kiol - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Civilization 5 @ 26 FPS, Battlefield 3 @ 36FPS are not "very respectable" frame rates as you put it, specially when you get better frame rates from previous generation cards. You know that Anandtech

    This whole article seems like an attempt from AMD to hide the whole issue or make it seem less severe.
    They have already closed threads and censor resellers from even talking about it.

    They say drivers aren’t fully optimized for performance AND particularly with the 7970M

    AMD's new generation mobile flagship graphics card is not optimized for performance??? so which one is it?

    very disappointing AMD, sorry you don't pay near $2000 for a laptop to get "respectable performance" and a hope for a better drivers.

    by the way the same problem exists with Alienware, fortunately they are able to completely disable Enduro "technology"

    but as it is Enduro effectively downgrades and cripples AMD's graphic cards. So
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Civ5 performance is low (still), but BF3 at 36FPS on 1080p Ultra settings is hardly something to complain about. Really, HD 7970M is more of a competitor to GTX 580M (should be slightly faster) whereas the 680M is the latest and greatest. For our full set of games (and there will be more in the full review), here's what I've got at our Enthusiast (max) settings and 1080p. (Note that NVIDIA 680M numbers are with older 304 series drivers; I'll be updating to 306 series before final review. The 580M are with even older drivers, but I don't have that system so I can't update to the latest drivers--and there's a real chance the latest drivers could drop performance in some titles on Fermi.)

    Batman: Arkham City
    7970M: 52
    680M: 83
    580M: 49

    Battlefield 3
    7970M: 36.1
    680M: 42.7
    580M: 33.1

    Civilization V
    7970M: 26.2
    680M: 53.4
    580M: 41.7

    DiRT 3
    7970M: 61.1
    680M: 68.3
    580M: 43.8

    Portal 2
    7970M: 115.3
    680M: 160.5
    580M: 104.8

    Skyrim
    7970M: 47.2
    680M: 64.0
    580M: 51.8

    Total War: Shogun 2 (900p High, as Very High wouldn't run on 7970M)
    7970M: 78.6
    680M: 120.9
    580M: 90.1

    Against GTX 680M, right now it's no contest, but that's not really surprising. Against 580M, though, things are close -- and by close, I mean AMD wins by a fairly large margin in some titles like DiRT 3, loses by a large margin in other titles like Civ5, and it's relatively close in the others.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Problem with those numbers is that when you put 7970m in a system without Enduro support (like old clevo 1x0HM series) it performs pretty much on par with 680m, sometimes even beating it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I experienced similar issues with Optimus early on, particularly in games where you would see higher frame rates. My assumption at the time was that copying large amounts of data over the PCIe bus may have been part of the problem. (60 FPS at 1080p means roughly 500MB of data every second, just to update the display contents.) That might not seem like much, but where PCIe 3.0 can in theory do 16GB/s, real-world I would expect max utilization to be lower, and .5GBps is still a lot of bandwidth with everything else going on.

    Enduro could be having similar issues, and there's certainly overhead relative to doing things natively. The question is: can the issues be addressed with driver updates? For most items, I would say definitely, and that's why this article was done. I could have titled it: "AMD Is Finally Committing to Regular Driver Updates for Enduro" and left the content blank and maybe people would have understood the point a bit better. It's not that Enduro IS fixed; it's that Enduro CAN be fixed -- provided AMD keeps updating the drivers.

    If you go back three years and read what I was saying about laptops with discrete GPUs, I repeatedly castigated NVIDIA and AMD for not doing regular mobile driver updates, essentially stating that we (AnandTech) could not recommend any "gaming laptop" unless there was a guarantee of regular driver updates. Starting in Sept/Oct, AMD is finally making that commitment -- something NVIDIA did with their Verde program and Optimus over two years ago.
    Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    In BF3 the fps drops below 20 at times (see the link for screenshot). This does not happen when Enduro is turned off. Also in Witcher 1, for example, the fps suddenly drops very low and causes stuttering, and again, not when Enduro is turned off. If Clevo's could only turn the thing off.

    http://imageshack.us/f/716/bf320120727225130242.jp...
    Reply
  • Woodchuck2000 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I have a Clevo P150EM with an Ivy Bridge CPU and a 7970M. Running the release preview of Windows 8, I can't find an installable driver from the AMD website which enables 'Enduro'. Predictably, there are drivers for desktop GPUs. I don't understand why it's so hard to provide laptop drivers in the same package, particularly for laptops with a generic MXM card like mine.

    Enduro works okay on Windows 7, but the user interface is extremely clunky and obtrusive. Is there any news on when AMD's new drivers will be available to the rest of us?
    Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Enduro is not working ok on any Windows. You get much poorer performance on EM-series Clevos with 7970m than with laptops that have the option to turn off Enduro (Alienware for example). At its current state, Enduro is not working properly and it is making gaming experience worse to those who are stuck with it.

    Follow the issue on Notebook Review's Sager/Clevo forums, that has many threads concerning the Enduro issue:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/

    There is also a Facebook page that has been created to spread the news about the malfunctioning Enduro technology:

    http://www.facebook.com/Amd7000mEnduroUtilizationA...

    I own a Clevo P170EM and have long hoped for a solution to Enduro issues that would finally fix my currently crippled AMD 7970M.
    Reply
  • Woodchuck2000 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I almost wish I hadn't read those links!

    I was happy with gaming performance under Windows 7, in that it ran everything I threw at it quite happily. Knowing now that it should be even faster will annoy me now. Ah well...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    This is the whole point of the article, guys: Enduro is basically not working all that well in the current form and the UI is terrible, but the preview drivers that should be out either this month or next should finally rectify the situation. Last month I would have said anyone buying an Enduro laptop was going to be sorry; now, at least, there's hope. If AMD delivers on their driver updates -- and really, they have to or their mobile GPUs are something no proper technology reviewer could recommend. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Why recommend something or even give hope without any guarantee? This is just hearsay from you. As a consumer and someone who already spent $500 on a 7970M, the only thing I've heard from AMD is, a tweet, investigating the issue. Investigating? We know what the issue is, the driver for Enduro is broken! And they have known about it since it's inception, but never said anything, it wasn't until we started creating threads on every forum with a section for AMD drivers they tweeted that one small statement.

    Great they said something to you, but they still haven't said anything to us. And you still don't have drivers, preview of it to prove that this new update will even work!
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    They're saying something via us, if that helps. They're saying, "We're finally going to start updating the drivers." There were no promises of Enduro drive updates prior to this point, so this is a big step. As for the drivers being poor on release, well, that's hardly a shock for a brand new hardware architecture -- all the more reason to not buy anything without the guarantee of driver updates.

    I'm sorry people purchased Enduro laptops and got burned. I have specifically recommended against doing so in the past. Now I'm saying that AMD is working to correct the problem. Is it corrected now? No. Will it be corrected soon? Maybe. Would I purchase or recommend an HD 7970M laptop right now? Definitely not (unless it doesn't have Enduro).

    I would wait until at least the official public driver release, and probably one more release after that. By then 7970M is ready to be replaced by 7990M or something faster, but I suspect 7970M will be near the top of AMD's mobile GPU stack for at least another nine months. If they want us to recommend it, they need to fix the drivers.
    Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    This is a class action suite in the making. AMD has obtained a huge amount money for product that does not work, and has allowed 75% or more of the product's life cycle to elapse without addressing anything.

    AMD's next driver update is their last chance. If they do not fix it then I will be dumping AMD for NVIDIA period. I also have no problem joining a class action attack on that company. After years of buying AMD I will not just switch to NVIDIA, but I will become an avid enemy combatant.

    I want a fraction of the money paid for the product to be refunded in compensation for this fiasco. If the company thinks its OK to attack us by forcing forums to delete posts, then I say we go on the offensive and attack them back in return, and see how they like it.

    When they have lost a few hundred million dollars in damages, then maybe they will think twice about ever attacking their high paying customers ever gain. Respect us or expect to be attacked.

    This is a bloody warning to AMD. Yes it is a threat. Fix it or die. Corporate arrogance can be punished in ways they have not even begun to think about yet.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I hope you only mean "corporate death", this really doesnt justify personal harm...
    dont doubt that with or without FIX this issue is costing AMD a big market share, and an even bigger public opinion drop.
    I can even foresee some public TV report on this wich will further sink AMD.
    All this could happen if AMD doesnt sweat the hell fixing this and making people happy again..

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Did I not use the term corporate arrogance? Did I not mention class action suite? What part of that implies personal harm. Mere loss of market share might not be enough for me to address this corporate attack against their highest paying customers. Let them explain to a judge why such an attack was a requisite element towards the fix. Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Once some1 starts the class action - Im on it...

    /F
    Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on this. AMD released an incomplete product line that FAILED to do what it was SUPPOSED to do in it's advertising and marketing of the 7000 series GCN GPUs.
    Unlike Nvidia, AMD has chosen to be very slow in responding to it's customers' requests for driver updates and fixes to it's Enduro mess that it created. Not only slow, but downright rude, to say the least, because it is by it's silence been unresponsive to creating a workable solution for it's customers.
    Both AMD and Sager told me last month that "there is not problem" with the 7970m GPU.
    Nothing wrong with it? Are they kidding?
    I believe this is mainly due to it's lack of care and concern for it's customer base.
    We all bought 7970's and we are all greatly disappointed by what we got and are seeing in our games, and most of us feel that we should take action against AMD in some form or another.
    My action is, I will pay the $800 dollars for the switchover to the Nvidia 680M at my earliest chance- even though I cannot afford it this year, and then I will wash my hands of AMD once and for all. This is how it will hurt AMD- in the wallet, with it's current customer base going elsewhere from now on to it's primary competitor.

    Not to be a "Doubting Thomas" Jarred, but I am pretty much guaranteeing you that AMD won't have this Enduro mess fixed before the end of the year, if not at all.
    I have made this prediction for this year, and I also feel that AMD will just ignore us with more placation and vague promises long enough, so that once their new 8000 series comes out in the Spring of 2013, they will hope that we owners of the 7970M will simply forget about it, and not care anymore.
    I cannot wait for vague ambiguity and rhetoric from them, so I will save my pennies, dimes, and nickles, and spend it on a new 680M from Nvidia. At least I know that THEY care about their customers, unlike AMD which doesn't.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Would be nice if the article reflected a more detailed picture of the problem with AMD's enduro problem - with Enduro enabled 7970m performance is crippled, where is many games you get the same low fps on lowest settings as you do with ultra, so even my 6970m can outperform it and give me much smoother framerates.
    yes I can get 36fps in BF3, but if I lower my detail settings to low or increase my GPU clocks fps will stay the same, so its difficult to competitively play multiplayer games.
    It has now been nearly half a year since I paid £1700 for my top of the range laptop, but after spending literally hundreds of hours on re-installing drivers, windows, messing around with various settings I am now at wits end. Meanwhile AMD have been doing their best to pin the issue on someone else and when cornered with a mountain of evidence they've had a thread with many hours of logged data removed from NBR forum.
    As much as I hate other people saying this about any manufacturer, i can confidently say this is the last time I pay for any AMD product. Faulty product, with no support
    Reply
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I've said this for a long time, and I'm going to say it again.

    If you aren't happy with a product when you buy it, you should return it. You aren't guaranteed to have updates which will fix the issues you're having. The product was sold as-is.

    I like AMD, they have good products. Apparently their support for the Clevo with 7970M is a bit lacking, so I wouldn't buy that. It doesn't mean I'm going to boycott all of their products. If I buy something of theirs and it isn't working, I'm not going to sit around and hope it'll get fixed. I may return it and hold off buying a competitor's product for awhile to see if it gets fixed, but you're trying to pin this on AMD.

    AMD messed up, but you didn't hold them to it, and so now you're stuck with a bad product. Clevo has a 30 day full refund return policy. If all of the people with these problems would have returned these laptops with the 7970m GPUs, then Clevo would have thrown the boxes of them in AMD's face, saying they want a working product. That's putting your money where your mouth is, but you let Clevo and AMD have your money, which let's them believe you're satisfied.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Problem is that being one of the first adopters I was told that this was just a drivers issue and any week now AMD will release some new drivers and fix this problem. Issue was reported to AMD very early and initially they replied with "we are looking into this issue and it will be resolved soon". Since I had no reason to doubt AMDs word or abilities so I stuck with the product. This was 5 months ago, so now I am pretty sure there is a design fault somewhere and the card probably cannot be fixed without a hardware modification. Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Moreover, most people didn't even know there was a problem. They didn¨'t know that they weren't getting what they paid for. Not all games have this issue and the 7970M does perform better than some of the ancient cards people used before getting the 7970M.

    There is a thing called WARRANTY, that should guarantee you a fully working product at least as long as that warranty lasts (which is 1-2 years, not 30-days...)
    Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Yes, I agree with you, and I DID buy a two year warranty as a precaution against this type of thing, but Sager and the reseller said NO WAY to my request to have my 7970m swapped out for the far better, far more powerful Nvidia 680m.
    In short, my TWO YEAR warranty will not cover this, and is virtually worthless to me now. What good is a warranty that won't protect my investment?
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    do you have accident coverage? maybe your laptop can fall down your balcony.... just saying.... and maybe then you can ask for the swap paying the difference? LOL....
    I still think the 7970 is a good price value option, keep it and next year you might buy the 7990 or an 8000 and spende as much as you will buying a new 680M NOW... so take your calculator and run some numers before deciding.
    Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Exactly. It takes 2 to 3 weeks to install and test everything which is a painful exercise in its own right. Spending a little time to resolve issues is normal, and now the 30 day return time period has passed. AMD said - don't worry a fix is coming soon. By the time you realize AMD was full of shit the 30d refund period has lapsed. Coder543 is living in a dream world.

    AMD has proved themselves to be rather a cocky bunch of people, who are in dire need of a reality check.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    That's not fair. With all GPUs, it's expected that drivers are not rock solid at release. It takes more than 30 days usually for it to be working at full throttle, this goes for Nvidia as well. It took Nvidia months before they had drivers that didn't have FERMI running like a volcano. We were told drivers were coming. The 30 days were up, 5 months ago and still no drivers. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Who told you drivers were coming, AMD or Clevo? If it was Clevo, you should be taking it up with them. I think AMD's driver crew has been working feverishly for months to try and get Enduro 5.5 all gussied up and ready for release. Why did it take so long? Because this isn't just a quick fix; they're doing some fundamental changes that require a lot of work, testing, and validation. If everything works out (and that's still an "IF"), this is the first Enduro/AMD Dynamic Switchable solution that I can see being worthwhile. NVIDIA worked for at least six months to get Optimus ready before showing it to the world, and I'd wager pretty heavily that NVIDIA has a larger mobile driver team than AMD. Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yes, Jared I agree. They have been working hard to fix the problem, and we all want to see the results of that effort thank you very much.

    But why was it necessary for them to put pressure on forums to delete valuable data on this issue, and thereby effectively launch a direct attack against their highest paying customers? Tell me how this stance by AMD in any way helped towards development of this fix. As far as I know NVIDIA resolved their problems without any clandestine maneuvers against their customers.

    They changed the name to Enduro in order to further hide the issue from an unsuspecting public. That is a further salvo across the bow of their highest paying customers, and hoping to maintain sales by changing the name to "ENDURO", which says nothing about what the product actually stands for. It stands for what we refer to in commerce and law as: Bad Faith. Sager aided and abetted this fiasco, and continues to do so.

    I am a software engineer, and I fail to see how taking action against their customers helps the development of the software, and how the continuing adherence to BAD FAITH helps at all.

    Yes. Problems need time to fix that is true, and that is a fact of life we all have to live with. But we do not have to live with overt attacks against us from an arrogant marketing team.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    you DO have a point, i agree with you.

    Maybe this aint the best place for this, lets keep this article a source of help and not an open window to complain, just a thougt...

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    The good news is that we won't be deleting anything here, I can guarantee that. You might also consider asking NBR and the other places where threads have been deleted exactly why they did so. If a forum kowtows to the manufacturers and deletes negative posts -- especially posts that are full of data showing the problem with a specific set of hardware -- I'm not sure I'd trust the forums any longer. Actions like that are basically saying, "We want advertising money more than we want members." Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    DITTO. Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Maybe so, but there is a lot that should be said and was not said. Two issues needed to be differentiated - the fix itself, and corporate shenanigans, and the latter needed some attention. I will try to be silent now. Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Excellent points! Well said. Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    The problem with this is, I didn't know about the Enduro mess causing low FPS rates and utilization problems until after the 30 day return policy was up.
    I suspect the same thing can and will be said by others as well.

    Since we all had no idea initially that Enduro was causing all this when we bought our Sagers, it was only starting to snowball downhill with more and more reports coming in about this. Then I got to see it firsthand with the games that I played, and that was after the 30 day return period, so by then, I will stuck with it.

    I contact Sager about it, and they told me that there was no problem with the 7970M, so there was nothing I could do about it, short of swapping out my GPU card for the Nvidia, and that, they said, would cost me $800 dollars to do.
    Obviously, Sager was flat our wrong about it, and that makes things even worse for all of us.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link


    I find it curious AnandTech's reviewer wasn't more shocked that the 580M performed better than the 7970M in over half the games. If you look at the specs AMD posted, the 7970M is about 2X more powerful than the 580M. The in game results are just incredible, I really hope AnandTech edits the article to be more outraged that a machine that costs $1,500 today performs less than a $1200 machine in half the games. The current 675M is a rebadge of the 580M and costs signifitcantly less. What if the 7970 desktop performed less than last years 580 in over half the games? But I forgot, this is mobile, and us mobile users don't matter.

    On the popular NBR forum, threads are being closed and deleted because AMD has issued legal threats to some OEM/Brands who have been nice enough to try and gather feedback to help us owners. NBR was asked by said OEM, and NBR complied because said OEM, Sager, have been a great supporter of the forum and had great relations. They did this as a favor, so NBR is not to blame, nor is Sager.

    A post from NBR that clarifies that it was in fact AMD that requested the threads to be closed/deleted.
    http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/8637/34838071.p...

    Please check Rage3D. On Rage3D we've had an advocate on our behalf and AMD continues to ignore his inquiries and it's been 2 months with no results since AMD claimed they were investigating the issue. Clearly for AMD, mobile users are second class and do not deserve the performance they paid for, even though the mobile counterpart to desktop part is nearly 2X in price. The 7970M is a $500 piece of hardware and yet we just get spit in our face.

    I know on NBR, Rage3D and Guru3D, 7970M users are furious. And on this review, I get the sense, it's meh, AMD is working on it. No big deal attitude.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/686991...

    Sure the article title and the objective of the thread is biased, but I think overtime it will clearly show that mobile gamers right now, in their opinion between the two flagship titans, Nvidia 680 at $300 more is a better value, since it works.
    Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    You are absolutely right about this. For us sorry 7970m owners, it simply amounts to the old saying: "Penny wise, pound foolish", because since Sager said that if I wanted to swap out my 7970m for the FAR BETTER Nvidia 680m, it would cost me a total of $800.
    Gee, what would I rather do- spend an extra $300 now, or $800 later?

    Hmmm....wait...let me think...

    The choice is an easy one for everyone involved- spend the extra $300 for a far better GPU now, or spend A LOT more money later when you realize that what you just bought and supposedly "saved" $300 dollars on with an AMD, isn't what you bargained for.

    Either way you look at it, spending an extra $300 to save $500 makes a lot more sense.
    Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Take it from a guy who owns a Clevo P170EM with a 7970M built by Malibal. To say I am very disappointed in AMD's negligence in terms of providing support or even just a public statement or some kind of assurance for their non-functional technology, is a huge understatement. The thread we started in the AMD forums was locked because some AMD fanboys who don't own a GPU with Enduro problems (with no understanding of the issues whatsoever) started flaming us. The thread Sager started over at NBR was locked and deleted. The last time @CatalystCreator acknowledged the Enduro issues on Twitter was almost a month ago and hasn't mentioned it since. I've asked a few AMD reps on Twitter about Enduro problems that plague the 7900 series and one of them directed me somewhere else but then sent me a malicious link privately. (I have proof in my email.)

    But look no further than the NBR forums (NotebookReview.com) to see what my fellow 7970M owners have to say. Keep in mind that most of these guys are hardcore AMD bandwagon, fanboys. When the Enduro issues first surfaced, these guys stuck with AMD like they owed AMD something. Now read what their honest opinion is after they've seen and experienced the Enduro issues. It's not in our imagination, but we are getting brushed off while AMD sweeps this one under the rug. After all, why focus your money into fixing this problem or providing a recall when you can use that money and put it into R & D for the next generation of GPUs to rip off even more people?

    I'm not here to hate on a product I paid over $600 for, obviously. If I could defend it and be proud of it, like I hoped I would, I would really much rather do that. But I can't. I'm just a very disappointed customer who put faith and money into AMD's product and in turn was left hanging high to dry.

    My advice to those looking into building a high end custom laptop? Do you research. Don't go to these biased reviews sponsored by AMD. Go to the forums where real owners own the actual product. Watch out videos, logs, tests, etc. THAT'S where you can find FACTS.

    (I reckon my comment will be deleted for whatever fishy reasons, but at least I tried.)
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Your comment will not be deleted. We do not delete comments except for spam. Reply
  • prophet001 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    This isn't Clevo's support thread :/ Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Thank goodness, because we want AMD to hear about their Enduro issues. Not Clevo. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Amen to that. Clevo is not at fault for this. This is about AMD's complete lack of driver support for mobile GCN. I hope others reading get that through their head, this is not an OEM issue, this is completely AMD's 100% fault here. Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    this issue affects virtually all 7000 series laptop cards that use muxless design. Naturally this bottleneck is the most visible on 7970m because its the fastest card, so most vocal users will be 7970m users. Reply
  • sirizak - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    The only laptop that gets around this is the Alienware, as it has a hardware switch to force the dedicated graphics instead of the faulty implementation Clevo and AMD are serving up here.

    I'm just glad to see this sugject finally getting dragged to the surface here, Hopefully this might motivate AMD to come to the party with quick solution.

    It would be a shame to see a great product like the 7970m goto the junk pile because of their lack of support.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    There are no "quick fix" solutions for complex problems. As for the Alienware, the interesting thing is that it has hardware muxes so you can turn off the integrated graphics (so the display outputs get routed directly to the dGPU). Why would they do that when they have Enduro? Probably because they don't like the way Enduro works right now but they wanted to give users the option of getting better battery life. How's that for confidence? Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yep, just go to NBR or Guru3D. There are HP owners who are suffering from this and Lenovo and Dell that aren't AW. Anyone using Enduro is affected if they can't disable it in the BIOS. Reply
  • Pixelpusher6 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Wow I didn't realize there were so many problems with AMD's Enduro solution. I knew that Nvidia's Optimus solution was far superior but I didn't know about all the problems with Enduro for 7970m users. Once again I think this shows very questionable management at AMD. I have been saying for the last 6 months that AMD has been making very poor management decisions and this is another one of those. Instead of trying to sweep it under the rug the AMD support staff should be working with users to pinpoint the problem. I'm sure it is something that can be fixed with some new drivers, unless AMD knows something we don't and that is why they are trying to bury it. Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Before anyone brands me as "AMD-hating" please know that this is purely speculation on my part. AMD, being relatively smaller compared to nVidia, can only focus so much of their resources by looking into this issue. They can't be a step behind in the race for the next gen GPU. So the question is: will they split their resources to support their paying customers (me among many) or will they just sweep this under the rug and focus all their manpower to fix Enduro in the next series?

    AMD is lucky that I am willing to chuck this up as an expensive lesson learned. I am most likely not going to be buying AMD in the near future as I do have enough funds for upgrading my laptop. The same can't be said for other 7970M owners, though. There are many tight-budgeted college students who bought into AMD's flagship card.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Here's the thing: it takes time to correct course at a large company, and if management gets in the way it can take even longer. I don't get why people are outraged that Enduro 5.0 has issues when I said last year that Dynamic Switchable Graphics was broken and would remain so until AMD committed to regular driver updates.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4839/8

    Did we ever come out with an article saying AMD was doing driver updates for Enduro? NO! So everyone that bought Enduro between last year and this was apparently willing to take a chance on AMD.

    But now we have a demonstration of a fixed Enduro UI, and we have a firm commitment to two driver releases for Mobility Catalyst with Enduro support by the end of the year. And everyone is pissed about it and saying we didn't do our homework? Look at the introduction: "It has been just over a year since my last look at the technology, where things were so bad that I felt most users would be better off if they had only discrete AMD GPUs and no switchable graphics—or they could simply buy NVIDIA Optimus enabled laptops." I haven't changed my tune to recommending AMD Enduro over Optimus, but at least now there's a chance it will get there.
    Reply
  • pablo906 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I'm with Jarred here. You guys are bringing the pitch forks to anandtech over a product they said not to buy. Does this make any sense to any of you outraged owners? If you have anger and frustration don't point it at anandtech for not talking about your issue with Optimus, take it out on the people who are continuing to let your issue go unresolved. AT hasn't looked at DSG in over a year, and when they did they reported it didn't work. They haven't been reviewing laptops with the technology at all since then and have not changed their stance from, this doesn't work - don't buy it. With that being the case when they get a product in that is having the performance and utilization issue, they start off saying this still doesn't work, but there is hope that it may soon. I don't know what more you can ask for other than perhaps an AT writer lighting themselves on fire outside of ATI in protest over the issue. Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Can you point to the article where Jarred said faulty Enduro would cripple the 7970M's performance? I didn't care that Enduro wouldn't work right if I could shut it off. I didn't even consider the performance would be so horribly crippled by it, and AMD wouldn't even bother to even try to fix it. That's the worst part, 5 months of nothing. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Well apparently I and many others were too stupid to not have read your previous articles to know AMD sold GCN 7970M units they were touting to be the fastest, most powerful graphics card even though last gen's Nvidia 580M were destroying it. We bought laptops since that is what AMD told us. buy this product, you get this performance.

    I don't see why it's out fault and why it was taking a chance.

    I am grateful for Anandtech's diligence, but the anger I think here is more aimed at AMD than Anandtech. Some like myself just wish there was more push aimed at AMD to get this fixed now, rather than saying there is hope of rumored possible future update.
    Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    "I am grateful for Anandtech's diligence, but the anger I think here is more aimed at AMD than Anandtech. Some like myself just wish there was more push aimed at AMD to get this fixed now, rather than saying there is hope of rumored possible future update."

    This. At this point any false hopes of AMD fixing anything is better off whispered. We have reached out to every outlet we can think of. We have been ignored. All of a sudden AMD takes the platform provided by Anandtech and says that a fix will come soon? This is why I said this has AMD's hand all over it in my comment. It sounds to me like AMD is using Anandtech to further silence us. To silence us long enough until their next line of GPUs are out.

    AMD to Anantech: "Just hang in there, tell them help is on the way."
    Anandtech to us: "You hear that guys?! Hurray!"

    You know what that sounds like to us abandoned customers? Like damage control, another false hope. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I am merely relaying my real experience that others can definitely relate to. Put yourself in our shoes. No public statements. No acknowledgements. No signs. Nothing. With this article you want us to put down our "pitchforks" and torches? You want us to just go away and wait in our little corner? Damage. Control.

    And if this was a known issue since day one, why is @catalystcreator say they're just "investigating" it. Why did Sager just investigate it also? Why did Sager go silent? Why did @catalystcreator go silent?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Or how about this scenario, since we're just making stuff up.

    HD 7970 released, along with other GCN products. Management says, "Okay, desktop parts are out; get the mobile stuff shipping ASAP." Engineering gets the hardware ready and the driver guys say, "We're still working to address some concerns with drivers." They're told it's good enough for now and they start shipping. Then the forums light up with people saying, "OMG 7970M is terrible!" Management goes into a frenzy and tells the drivers people to fix the problem after marketing promises things will be fixed "soon". Unfortunately, marketing is writing checks that the drivers team can't cash.

    Eventually, there's a meeting where the drivers team says they need to invest three or four solid months of work into fixing the underlying issues. Marketing knows that you can't come out with a statement like that, so they tell everyone to go silent and just wait for things to get better. Finally, the drivers are nearly ready and it just so happens that AnandTech has a 7970M review they're working on. It's a good opportunity to show that things are about to change, so they take it.

    Heck, let me go one further. Here's an excerpt of what I sent to AMD (the whole email is about 4X as long):
    -------------------
    My conclusion for now, unless something can be done to address the situation in the next week or two, is that mobile gaming enthusiasts are far better off with NVIDIA GPUs, even if it means spending more (AVADirect charges $274 extra to upgrade from 7970M to GTX 680M). And actually, given the choice between a GTX 580M/675M Optimus and HD 7970M Switchable, it's $120 less at AVADirect to get the GTX 675M and you'd end up with a more consistent experience and regular driver updates.

    To address the problems, AMD needs to get their switchable graphics solutions integrated into the regular driver updates, and users need to be able to update the AMD and Intel graphics drivers independently. Until that happens, I am extremely hesitant to recommend any AMD switchable graphics notebooks -- I'd rather have a discrete only HD 7970M or even 7730M/7750M/7770M with driver updates than to get switchable graphics without driver updates. This is pretty much the same thing I said a full year ago, and as far as I can tell virtually nothing has changed as far as the UI and driver updates.
    -------------------

    AMD's response was that they were working to fix the issue and they had pre-release drivers to show me, with the understanding that these drivers will be available sooner rather than later. And they showed me exactly that: updated drivers that they're saying will work for all Enduro (and PowerXpress 4.0 and later) laptops. They're not out now, but we have a deadline of October 31 with the potential to see them as early as this month. If AMD doesn't deliver, you can bet I'll have more to say on the subject.
    Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Oh yes they were working on fixing the problem, and in the meantime behind the driver team's back, a covert sting operation was instigated to purge information in the public domain, that was focusing on the severity of the problem.

    Apparently while a fix is being engineered, it is not permissible for anybody to discuss the ramifications of the problem, and it is absolutely forbidden to discuss it in public.

    Well I will discuss it where ever I please despite AMD position on this issue.

    Reply
  • Seanzky - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Understood. You keeping on top of this is appreciated. Though, I no longer care about this per se, there are way too many over at NBR who deserve what they paid for. So, thank you.

    I hope you understand why my initial reaction was of AMD using you as a vehicle to further quiet us down. Many here have echoed the same things I've said and that was to either completely ignore us or to shut down threads where we bring up issues to resellers.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Since we are imagining possible scenarios i might as well do..
    Only one thing is clear for now, and that is that ENDURO technology is responsible for underutilizing the dGPU and consequently rendering low FPS for some games and/or game maps and/or game configurations.

    Now as a scientist i first analyze the empiric data and then try to formulate an hypothesis, and then test it to prove or discard it. Having avidly read many users info and comments, my current understanding of the problem is this:

    I DO NOT think this is hardware issue. Why? well, the proof is everywhere, not only the 7970M performs flawlessly and very well in Alienware with enduro shut off, but also in clevo machines it performs perfect in some games and even in most games affected it performs normal in certain maps, multi or non multiplayer settings, etc, etc. The most common complaint is that FPS go up and down along with GPU utilization.
    My understanding is that a hardware piece is inherently DUMB as a rock, and that its performance is only dummer as its operator (in this case Enduro) and the instructions it receives to operate.
    Another evidence on this subject is that different catalyst driver versions do affect the performance, maybe not in the way we want, but it doesn just "stay the same", either worst, better or weird would be proper terms.

    That said and taking the comments of the most knowledgeable people around, the issue IS driver related. The fact that Nvidia had very similar issues some years ago when they launched Optimus, just adds to this notion.

    Another fact that can be interpreted in many ways is AMDs and most resellers silence about all this:
    We can go all paranoid and think there is a huge conspiracy to shut us down and make this problem go away.
    I can even picture some black clothed NVIDIA agent pouring a misterious liquid on the hardware or hacking AMDs drivers with a hidden flaw to cause all this.... the options are infinite...

    Now, taking into account Anandtech's article, Sager's few deleted comments, mythlogic's comments, even short and very scarce AMD posts (Mark AMD), wich can be regarded as the most "official" position on the matter, the conclusion for me is this:

    1) AMD has been slow to detect, understand, adress and moreso recognize this issue or its mere existence. This is not necessarily bad, only unfortunate (for them and us customers).
    2) AMD took the usual attitude towards these kind of issues and remain silent, doing nothing at first hoping it was a mere configuration or driver installation issue and that other users would help the affected ones.
    3) After seeing the issue was real, not fixable by users and configuration combos, not even reseller drivers, and that even some resellers were complaining to them and in open forums, AMD decided to put some people at work and asked their associates (i.e. sager and others) to back up their silence policy for the time being, releasing a few short phrases to gain time. "We are working on it"
    you can argue this decision but i aint something so weird as it seems. I would say this happened only 1 month ago or so.
    4) Viewing some light at the end of the tunnel AMD starts to release some info to their resellers and reviewers like Anandtech, in order to have them quiet and informed that they are "on to it". They still remain silent either because by now they might as well and because the fix is NOT ready or complete and they do not want to enter any debate without answers. This is happening now.

    So as you see there is no need to be paranoid, there is much more simpler explanation to events.

    Some would say AMD should have detected the issue before launching the 7000 cards, but seriously speaking this aint so true.
    Why?
    Well you need just read some of the first reviews that came out for 7970M, i dont think any of them were biased, they even mentioned enduro and its need to be improved. But if you test 20 or more games, you run only 1 or 2 minute benchmarks for them, you dont have someone playing hours and switching to multiplayer modes and what not. Also many games perform correctly so there really wasnt and still isnt an instant crash of sorts to detect a major issue. Also, the card works, even if it underperforms some times, so detecting this anomaly wasnt so easy to begin with. Not saying AMD is to be absolved of all charges, but i really dont see them as the villains many are picturing, they have been just too slow, too dumb and too arrogant, but then again who isnt sometimes?

    Whats your fckng point you ask?????

    Simple, the issue will be fixed to a good degree, not 100% probably, not for all games, but no card works flawlessly in all games, thats a whole different topic.

    so have hope and dont crush the only option we have to avoid total monoploy in the graphics world.

    What can we do then? sit back and wait?
    NO, absolutely not, the ball is rolling and growing and we need to stop it soon or it will become an avalanche.
    You can cry.
    You can shout and spit.
    You can test and inform your results.
    You can post or just read.

    Whatever you do will be more or less usefull and might help getting this boat to port.

    best regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • transphasic - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Yes. Agreed. I do not take issue with Anandtech at all, nor am I upset with them one bit here. I am also grateful at the work and info that Anandtech has been doing to inform us about this.
    In fact, in a way, this whole AMD Enduro fiasco has been a great help to Anandtech, because as of a month ago, I didn't even know that this website even existed until now. You can thank AMD in a backwards sort of way for helping me and probably a few others as well for making Anandtech's existence known to a great many more people.
    Anandtech has helped me out with people like Jarred, who provided much-needed info, so thanks for that.

    I AM upset and angry (obviously) at AMD for creating a product that we only now are regretting buying in the first place. If I/we had only known that this is what we would be going through, then NONE of us would be owning the 7970m, and we would all be siding with Nvidia, and talking about how great their 680m GPU is.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    what you say is all true, but many here are really missing that there is no real alternative to the 7970M, the 680M i so much more expensive that its on another league, and the 675 and 670 are old techonolgy and not really a lot cheaper or better.
    SO right now almost all 7970M buyers are faced more with an upgrade than an alternative. At least for me the option to spend 300 extra its not a valid one.
    If 7970 wouldnt exist i would have probably gone for a 650M notebook and saved 500 or 600 bucks.

    That the 7970M can be as good as the 680M si really amazing, as for myself i prefer to BET 300 that the drivers will be fixed (i actually did because i bought once the issue was known), and for the time being play games not affected or not so badly affected by enduro.

    Of course there is no justification for AMD and its whole public management of this whole issue. They have already lost many customers and will loose many more if they dont rise to the ocasion.
    Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Great so a fix is coming soon it appears - about time thank goodness.

    But do you really expect that we should turn the other cheek as regards AMD's overt attack against its customers? The driver will fix the problem, however, my immediate focus has now switched to what needs to be done in response to AMD's attack against ME. That arrogance needs to be dressed down a notch or two.

    This has gone far beyond a driver fix issue Jarred, and it appears you think we should just swallow that corporate arrogance and move on.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    As I posted elsewhere, it takes more than AMD to delete a forum thread and/or posts. For instance, if I started deleting all the negative comments on this article, I would expect most of the people who posted to be pissed and move to another forum. Put a different way, if Sager opened a thread and then AMD asked Sager to close it, while it's bad of AMD it's also bad of Sager -- and hopefully NBR wasn't complicit in the deleting of threads. Reply
  • Seanzky - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Well, they were. And guess what, the thread started at AMD forums obviously got locked pretty quickly because we couldn't keep it civil. Mind you, we (the 7970M victims) did everything we could to keep everything civil despite them (the fanboys who had no interest or business other than to troll us) baiting us into a flame war.

    This is besides the point. I'm just glad things are in motion and that things are moving toward the direction that's in our favor, finally.
    Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Enduro being broken is one thing. Current gen card that is surpassed by previous gen hardware by a large margin in some cases is something completely different. Reviews of the card that showed a false huge improvement that hasn't materialized for 5 months is something else. I last tried AMD when I bought a Gen 1 Athlon that gave me nothing but headaches for 6 months until I literally threw it away and bought an Intel proc. That time I messed with drivers and bios updates until well after the return period, and I did the same thing this time. Except there weren't any new bios or driver updates to play with this time, I just kept waiting. 5 months without a driver update on a brand new flagship card? Really?

    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Reply
  • KyleH334 - Monday, September 17, 2012 - link

    I appreciate very much your honesty! I'm very new to laptop gaming and bought a Clevo 17.3 inch Laptop from PC Specialist. I watched quite a few YouTube videos before plumping for the 7970m due to people singing it's praises! Obviously since then I have realised that this probably wasn't the smartest move. However I am hopefull that we will see some improvements in the near future :)

    Thank you for the time you have put in to get a response from AMD!!
    Reply
  • Pixelpusher6 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    "This isn't Clevo's support thread :/"

    -Well this article is about AMD's Enduro switchable graphics, which in it's current form there are some glaring problems. Reading this article one gets the sense that AMD's Enduro is pretty much on par with Nvidia's Optimus solution, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I think that Anandtech should give mention of the issue since it seems to be widespread, and maybe they should ask AMD for a response about it (do they plan to fix it?) and update the article. I mean if it worked fine why would Alienware completely disable it with their AMD graphics laptops?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Did you actually read the article? The whole point is that "Enduro 5.0" -- which is what every single Enduro laptop is currently using -- is basically a huge concern and I wouldn't recommend it. I told AMD that and they said, "Let us show you Enduro 5.5 and prove that we're about to fix it." The whole article is about what is coming with the next driver update, and I note several times that without driver updates Enduro is a dead end. So AMD is fixing that in the near future, but until then it's not fixed and even then performance may not be there for some users. Reply
  • Pixelpusher6 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Sorry Jarred was a little confused about different versions of Enduro and with all the different names. Anyway I think it is helping people that bought 7970m's that you are looking into this issue and reporting on it. I agree with you regarding the "it takes two to tango" bit with Notebook Reviews, just because AMD asked them to remove the threads about problems people were having doesn't mean they had to. That is why Anandtech is my one stop shop for completely unbiased technology information, it's because I know you guys don't engage in these types of behaviors. Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    The switchable graphics market is likely a niche market that will be gone very soon with the advancement of AMD's APUs. Those who actually desire a good laptop graphics solution would be wise to just buy a Trinity A10-4600M powered laptop and skip the switchable graphics, which is obsolete now. Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    So you mean the APUs can currently max Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2? How about Civ5 or Total War Shogun 2? Them APUs still got a long way to catch up with dGPUs. Reply
  • sirizak - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yeah this is rubbish, APU's are not going to be upto the task in a true gaming laptop for a long time yet. This is not an APU kit, at $2000+ it should give desktops a run for their money. Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    as Montage have said, there AMD's apus are very far behind in performance compared to current laptops with switchable graphics. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure what Beenthere is smoking, but APUs are only meant to replace low to mainstream dGPUs. They're hardly a performance option. An APU-based system should reduce cost and power consumption but it's not the messiah for the more serious gamer.

    There will always be somebody who wants the latest and greatest, and if NVIDIA can provide the support for this, why can't AMD?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    It's Beenthere guys. Go read his other pro-AMD, anti-Intel comment on Ivy Bridge and Trinity mobile articles if you don't know why he's not worth feeding. ;-) Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    AMD's APU is a pitiful solution compared to Intel Ivey Bridge + Nvidia 680M. Your suggestion is not even remotely comparable. Not even in the same stadium for performance. Reply
  • hmoobphajej - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Their APU isn't suppose to be a solution to discrete CPU + GPU. They're a all around solution to mobility that offers a adequate performance for computation and graphics. They're for the main stream users that don't want to play BF3 on ultra or any other demanding games in particular. The APUs are more or less aimed at what mainstream buyers would want; which is a computer for daily use, good battery life, smaller form factor, and a cheaper price. Not somehting a enthusiast gamer would want... which is a desktop. Reply
  • sirizak - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I've been following this for awhile now, I almost bought a 7970m gpu'd P150EM a month ago due to the pricing vs the 680m. I am still waiting to purchase this laptop. In Australia I can get one specced with 7970m for under $2000, GTX 680m is $2300, I have told lovely that I will come in under $2000.

    Until this the Enduro under utilization issue is resolved I will not buy this laptop, it is that simple. Otherwise it ticks all my boxes, quality matte screen, backlit keyboard, plenty of CPU and SSD choices, and an unobtrusive exterior. I believe there may also be issues with the headphone outputs of the P150EM. Thats not AMDs issue but another cross against this setup.

    This is not cheap kit, if you cannot get this sorted please pull the product, it's a disgrace and ruining not only AMDs reputation but also the reputation of all the Clevo resellers. ie. Metabox in Oz, Sager in the US.

    These machines are hitting a sweet spot on the price vs performance scale, it's a shame I can't justify spending my hard earned dollars on something that is inherently faulty.

    Disclosure: I currently run a Xfire 5870 setup on my desktop, but AMD's performance here is forcing me to reconsider my GPU vendor going forward.
    Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Don't buy the 7970m. Especially not on a Clevo. I do place some of the blame on them as most of the other gaming laptop manufacturers recognized this problem and installed the ability to disable Enduro in the bios, boosting performance by as much as 50%. Clevo did not. Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Hi all,
    first of all there some lads wich understandably are pretty mad with AMD and its 7970 product. I wont tell them to cool down, because they have been struggling with the issue for too long and even if a solution comes up now it will be already a bit late, since 1 year in computer hardware is upgrade time anyway...
    That said i have recently bought a clevo P150 EM with 7970M. Not being a hardcore gamer and never having bought a gaming laptop before i am prepared to be dazzled, even with all the issues stated, but mainly because of my comparison point...
    I do support and hope enduro fixes the main issues it has, mostly GPU underutilization %s when unwanted.
    Would it be so hard to fix 100% GPU utilization under catalyst?
    I say this because the whole issue seems to be caused by enduro's "best intentions" to optimize power usage, but failing big in doing so without affecting gameplay (ultimately FPS).
    Its very clear the 7970M is mismanaged by enduro when testing games in alienware (that can shut enduro off), so it aint so har to think this could be fixed somehow.
    The 7970M CAN perform, and DOES perform better that GTX 680M, when enduro is shut down, at least that gives everyone hope.

    I do think this article isnt AMD biased, it does fail in meassuring GPU utilization (%GPU usage in game tests) as done by many affected users to prove and show the MAIN problem, i hope this will be included in the promised game tests.

    It gives me at least hope because it clearly states AMD IS AWARE of the issues, and working to fix them...
    It also gives me hope to see the issue in mainly a driver issue.

    i quote:
    "The biggest news with the latest iteration of Enduro is that AMD is planning to make universal reference drivers available for all the Enduro laptops. It’s not clear precisely what that means, but potentially any laptop with Dynamic Switchable Graphics or later (e.g. PX4.0 and later) would be supported by AMD’s “reference” drivers. That’s huge, and if AMD can deliver it will assuage most of our concerns with their hardware/software. Hopefully none of the OEMs get bent out of shape or refuse to allow support, which is a problem we've seen in the past. We should see the first public release in the next month or two, and then another release somewhere in the November/December timeframe."

    good article!

    Voz
    Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Reading the article, one would never know the P170EM he has is much less powerful than an exactly spec'd MSI or Alienware system, all because of Enduro. Reply
  • sirizak - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Can we get a comment from Anand in here that he is taking this issue up with AMD? He may just have enough reputation to wake them from their slumber on this ongoing and damaging issue.

    Please Anand, help us fight the good fight!!
    Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I think the fact that Jarred works at AT should be more than enough. :)

    If AMD are having developmental issues, it'd be nice if they could open up their development more, get more external help. Not every gamer shies away from diagnosing a good problem, and there's a lot of clever people out there who can at least pinpoint issues with certain hardware configurations. All too often, complaints drown everything else out.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately AMD is giving the cold shoulder to everyone on this issue. Caveman on Rage3D has confronted a stone wall when inquiring about progress on Enduro. AnandTech did reach out to AMD and all they got was a rumored fix with two drivers for a 12 month period with proper GCN support. That's incredible...

    We have one tweet for the customers, that's it. Nothing more. If it wasn't for Anandtech here, we wouldn't eve know there is a suppose Enduro 5.5 in the works, if that is actually being worked on. Andandtech was not given a test build on the driver to see if it actually works.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    This whole article is a result of us "taking it up with AMD". I know people who already bought the product want it fixed yesterday, but that's just not the way things work, especially with driver development. Mess up the drivers in some small way and everyone gets BSODs. Heck, they could have everything ready for the drivers to release and just need to do a solid two months of QA before sending it out to the public. I won't share the specifics, but let me just say that if AMD had given me the beta driver and I had tried to do the install on my own, I'm pretty sure that I would have ended up doing a full reinstall of my OS and apps. That's not because the driver is broken, but the install routine wasn't fully optimized at the time (two weeks ago). That's part of what they're still working on, along with other performance optimizations. Reply
  • Seanzky - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Quick question, Jarred. I'm not trying to put you on the spotlight here, but maybe you know. Obviously, we've already tried reaching out to resellers and even Clevo. Do you think their silence to our inquires means they ignored us or do you think they actually relayed our concerns to AMD? Because if it were the latter, I would think AMD gave them the same assurance AMD gave you which the resellers would do well to relay to us. Your article, I call it the "great hope for Enduro", is the first I've ever heard of AMD working on anything remotely related to the issues we're experiencing. Honestly.

    What are your thoughts on those because I feel like resellers are somewhat avoiding us based on some of the feedback I've seen. I just want to know this isn't my imagination or paranoia.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I think the resellers were trying to avoid telling people that there are no immediate fixes available. I'm sure they brought it up with AMD, and AMD's response was likely, "We're working on it but don't have a definite time for when our fix will be available." When that happens, the best thing from the reseller's standpoint is usually to say nothing. I'm not saying it's best for the consumers, mind you, but it's better to keep your mouth shut than to admit to problems, and if anyone is really vocal you just let them return the product.

    As for AMD, I commented above just a second ago that I'm betting the driver team eventually had to come back and tell marketing and management that they needed a solid six months of time to fix and test the new drivers before they could address the problems with Enduro. Management was likely pissed, but what can you do when your drivers aren't working the way you want? It's not like you can just hire new people or do a quick hack that makes everything better, so you have to wait, and again silence is often better than promising something you can't deliver (yet).

    The fact that AMD gave me a firm deadline of October 31 for the public release of the drivers I'm using is really good news. Last year when I ripped on DSG (pre-Enduro but essentially the same), AMD told me they were working on getting regular driver updates "soon" and independent AMD and Intel driver installs "after that". I asked for some time frame and got hemming and hawing. This time, we have a date, we have beta (or maybe pre-beta) drivers in hand, and I really do expect AMD to at least get the 9.0 series Enduro Catalyst drivers out by the end of October, and hopefully sooner. I think those drivers will still have issues, but provided all of the framework is in place for future updates, things can only go up from there.
    Reply
  • Seanzky - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    I hope your optimism ends up right over my lost of faith in AMD. It would really suck, to say the least, if this was AMD taking us for another spin. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I've always stuck with non-switchable graphics despite the worse battery life because I wanted a guarantee of driver updates.

    This sounds terrible though. And deleting threads and not responding sounds a lot like people trying to cover up a problem. That makes me not very optimistic that a new magic driver will fix the problem.

    Best of luck. I've had excellent driver feedback/response from AMD in the past, so it's sad to hear things have gone way down hill.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    So do we all with high performance. But AMD is now implementing switchable graphics muxless design to even their high end products.

    Let's just hope AnandTech's inquiry into switchable graphics support is correct and AMD is taking this seriously.
    Reply
  • Seanzky - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    They really should take this seriously if they want to stop slipping away from that market share they're dearly hanging on to. There are many like me who shop for the best bang for my buck, but won't hesitate to drop close to a grand just in order to avoid "learning another lesson." Reply
  • dczyz - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Until they change their driver practice of only the laptop manufacturer supplying the drivers, I will avoid AMD for any switchable solution. Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    If you read the article, you'd see this is one of the issues that's supposed to be addressed. Anybody with an Enduro laptop should be able to use the generic drivers direct from AMD. This assumes that the OEMs don't make a fuss for whatever stupid reason, but if that happens, that's the OEMs' fault, not AMD's. Reply
  • dczyz - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I understand that argument, but I dont care :)

    I know that if I go with Nvidia, I can trust them to keep my drivers working and updated. Until AMD makes that commitment, no thanks.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    you "trust" Nvidia a bit too much, in the past this hasnt always been the case.
    Dont kick the man in the ground, let it stand back up and fight fair.
    We all know forums are NOT the place to make commitments, it almost always ends up with people yelling back to whatever one says.
    For me is much more reassuring to read a "public announcement" of sorts made by AT an Jarred here. Of course we cant reply or ask questions, but thats not really what we want. We want a working driver, and as long as they work on it I will not ask them to loose time asnwering to every question and complaint.
    I work in a hosting company and, no matter how much people you have, when there is a problem you want to adress it and not loose time trying to explain hundreds of people something not even you have clear at the time.

    The damage is already done, no doubt about that, but lets be patient and hope for the best.

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • extide - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Lol, obviously you didn't understand, as your EXACT complaint is being addressed! Reply
  • tspacie - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    It's a small thing, but they're not using LDA on the Clevo.
    GPUs can be linked when they are controlled by the same kernel-mode driver. They could use LDA on computers with an AMD iGPU and dGPU, but not when an Intel driver controls the iGPU.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    You'll have to take that up with AMD, as they specifically told me they use LDA for Enduro on all systems. Reply
  • tspacie - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Huh. They are either very clever, very strange or very wrong. :)
    Thanks for the response.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I keep being blown away that an enthusiast tech site that strives for accuracy like this-that rejected DonutMark for years because it's a joke, and still goes "eh, here's this dumb thing if you want it" would keep pushing Floptimus and AMD's equivalent.

    I have NEVER seen a knowledgeable consumer asking for switchable graphics. It STILL causes all sorts of pain...heck, we're STILL at the point that even with Nvidia, even WITHOUT Optimus, not all notebooks are supported by Nvidia's drivers. Throw Optimus in there and problems just shoot up astronomically. There are forums full of people trying to disable Optimus, flash BIOSes to get rid of it, etc. because of all the problems it brings, and AMD has never been able to match Nvidia's drivers even WITHOUT the complexity of switchable graphics.

    Why the HECK is AMD constantly supporting this garbage? If power draw is really such a big deal, lets get better power gating and the like.

    Heck, Anandtech should be decrying Intel and AMD's integrated graphics solutions entirely. In both cases, they use piles of transistors that could instead be used for extra cores and cache, or even better designs that might be possible with more transistors. OR they could at least cost less and use less power because they're not powering 200 million + transistors of junky video.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Whoops, a few spelling mistakes, and I mean to say why is Anandtech supporting this junk, not AMD...I know why AMD is, Nvidia, and apparently OEMs that would rather have all sorts of complaints about their systems not working but be able to post a longer battery life on the box. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Please give me a list of problems with Optimus that don't involve Linux. I've asked for this -- to you specifically -- numerous times in previous comments. And just for the record, you CAN'T disable Optimus with a BIOS tweak. The only way to get rid of Optimus on a laptop that has it is to buy a new laptop -- unless the laptop was designed to allow that (e.g. some Alienware models). An Optimus GPU has no direct connection to the display outputs, so if you want to turn off the iGPU you would have no display at all.

    As to what consumers want working dynamic graphics support: *I* want it, and most people that want a laptop that can both play games as well as last more than three hours on battery want it. Colleges and universities are full of students that carry around laptops, and those who play games all want Optimus or a similar technology. In fact, it's so desirable that even Apple has gone the switchable graphics route on MacBook Pro laptops for the past three years (though granted they only have to support a very small subset of hardware and their own OS).

    In an ideal world, we'd have a discrete GPU that can do basic work like an IGP while only consuming <1W. The problem is that when you have higher end GPUs that have 2GB RAM and all the other stuff, idling at 1W isn't likely to happen any time soon. They need to be able to shut off all VRAM except for a small amount, power down nearly all of the GPU (maybe 48 CUDA cores or 80 Stream Processors could stay active), and drop clocks way down. Then they need to be able to power all the other components back up without any delays and gracefully handle scaling of power use with demands. As complex as switchable/dynamic graphics might be, doing all of the above is even more so. That's why AMD and NVIDIA are working on Enduro and Optimus (though I assume there's also work being done to bring idle power use way down as well).
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I think MANY users are pleased with switchable grapchis, just no GAMER users are.
    But dont mix things, this article is some of the best news we can get about ENDURO and its improvements.
    I know is late for many, but dont trash it, you might as well get the thing removed...

    LETS BUILD
    not DESTROY....

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • extide - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I am a more knowledgeable consumer than you, own a P150EM with a 680m and am GLAD it has Optimus and that was a feature I WANTED.

    Optimus/Enduro when working CORRECTLY IS ACTUALLY what everyone WANTS. It is supposed to save battery and get the best gaming performance, which is what everyone wants. Right now it just doesnt work correctly in all cases, and that's what people don't want.

    As a side note I don't think Optimus on the 680m is actually working correctly, I think it is running the dGPU all the time and not shutting it down all the way, but that is a whole different topic.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    If it's running the dGPU all the time, your battery life should be around 60 to 90 minutes tops -- less if you're using the GPU to play a game. Also, at least on the P170EM, Clevo clearly hasn't invested a lot of effort into optimizing power states when the system is idle or under a light load. I'll have the full review shortly, but basically the P170EM (NVIDIA or AMD variant) draws around 20W while idle; it should be more like 10-11W, indicating there's a whole lot of extra power being used by the motherboard and other accessories. Big OEMs like Dell, Samsung, Sony, HP, etc. usually put a lot more effort into power optimizations and it shows. Reply
  • Hrobertgar - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    About 2 years ago, I bought a Dell XPS with 420M and switchable graphics, not because I wanted switchable graphics, I just liked the systems specs. The first thing I did was tell the system to use the dGPU 100% of the time, as I use it plugged into the wall 99% of the time (it just means I can travel with a game capable system).

    My experience was that when playing WoW unplugged it lasted for maybe 20-30 minutes. Fortunately that is a rare situation, but I can relate to the suggestion in the article that switchable systems should probably default to dGPU if its plugged in and iGPU if its battery power. I mean the entire point of having the dGPU is to use it, and if its plugged in to the wall then I don't care about power usage as a Laptop uses less than a desktop already, so why throttle beyond that.

    For those that think NVIDIA can do no wrong: A couple months ago I updated BIOS and drivers and somewhere in the process my frame rates cratered. Not being as fancy as many of you it took me a while to discover that one of the updates reverted to default iGPU 100% of the time. The new software prevented me from going 100% dGPU as before, and I basically had to tell it that internet and games should use dGPU, and I have added a dGPU usage icon to verify that is the case, and my frame rates were restored. I do not know if the issue was Dell or Intel or NVIDIA, but I do have an NVIDIA system and there was a small issue, with the switchable graphics.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Normally, with Optimus you can just set the global profile to use "High-performance NVIDIA processor" and you're done. Of course, some of the newer driver profiles have things like iexplorer.exe, firefox.exe, chrome.exe, and probably a bunch of other "light" processes set to the Integrated graphics (which will override the global profile). In practice of course, I prefer to simply set Optimus laptops to "Auto" and things work properly 99% of the time for me.

    YMMV, naturally -- personally, I don't want my laptop running the dGPU all the time if I don't need it, as it's simply more heat being generated. More heat means the fans work harder, creating more noise and also potentially wearing out sooner rather than later. But then, I have a desktop for regular non-travel use, so it's not quite that critical that my laptops perform optimally all the time.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    I cannot fathom how any knowledgeable person could think switchable graphics are a universally bad thing on laptops. If you're a 100% gamer, that's what desktops are for. If you're a heavy gamer, same thing. Desktops are cheaper, more reliable, easier to upgrade, and give much better performance. If you're so freaked out about it that switchable graphics seem like the devil to you, THEN GET A DESKTOP.

    For the rest of the population, switchable graphics allow you to get at least 2x and maybe more battery life while your laptop runs cooler and quieter for almost every non-gaming application out there. It's a big deal.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    What about people who travel a lot, or are in college or need a mobile platform. Should I waste money on buying a gaming PC and a laptop for mobile work, or just get a machine that does both instead?
    Current gen laptops are very close to high end PCs in terms of performance, - most can overclock their CPUs to 4ghz+ and GPUs are quicker than last gen's flagship cards (GTX 580 and Radeon 6970).
    Reply
  • johnxfire - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I've got a 7970M on my P150HM since my HD6990M died and I was too damned to send in my whole laptop to get it repaired.

    The 7970M without Enduro is a dream. Really fast, temps stay below 80c. Hopefully the P150/170EM owners will get to experience the fullest of their 7970Ms.
    Reply
  • king-dubs - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    It is already possible to enable Enduro 5.5 UI, as I posted here (step-by-step directions):
    http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?p=13370...
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    yeah, i've tried that - it changed a few things but Crysis 2 seems to be worse than before and BF3 maybe a little better than before. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I highly doubt this is a fix, and morel likely just a UI face cleanup, and AMD just stalling since they still can't fix it. But if you want to try it, here it is.

    http://www.rage3d.com/board/showpost.php?p=1337031...
    Reply
  • Montage - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    That is not the same as Enduro 5.5 and it doesn't work. Wait for the official or beta drivers. Hulawafu77, though pessimists don't get disappointed that easily they also can never be truly happy... Reply
  • DarkStryke - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I really feel for the suckers (as AMD is basically calling them) that bought into the 7970M enduro. Having a product out a solid 6 months, with a fix still realistically nowhere, talk about a company that doesn't deserve to see another dime from customers. Then you add on top of it the removal of support threads on third party forums because they shed light on a product which is complete garbage, and well, you can't make up better motivation for people to move to nVidia (whom is far from a saint themselves).

    I heard the same bull for months on the desktop, 'we're working on crossfire fixes soon', and well, that's still never worked as well as SLI.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Has it really been out and in customer hands for six months? Seriously? Because the first unit we could get for review just got here about a six weeks ago. I think the first shipments would have been around ten weeks ago. Six months since announcement is very different from six months since a customer actually had product in hand. The very first PRE-RELEASE hardware with IVB processors that we tested was only done in April, with the official launch on the 23rd.

    So best case, people have had Enduro with IVB and 7970M for 4.5 months, and the first reviews I can find of anything with 7970M are the M17x R4 posted in late May. That was likely first shipment hardware as well (before customers started getting units), but even if it's not that would mean we're down to 3.5 months. Unless I'm missing something, like maybe someone was doing SNB systems with 7970M? I'm curious: who can find the oldest official review of a notebook with 7970M?
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    It's been out for months. I know I've had mine for over 3 months now. And I got it after the debacle that took AMD more than a month I think to fix where the fail rate on the 7970M was 20%. So it's been out for about 5 months I'd guess. Pretty sure people had em in April. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Yeah It's been about 3-4 months, not 6 months. But the GCN core has been out longer than that I thought. This issue is not just about Clevo/7970M, this is about Enduro and 7xxx GCN, which is affecting Lenovo, HP and other OEMs also.

    Either way, AMD should have had drivers that work on day 1 release. Didn't have to be most optimized for performance, but c'mon, when it's slower in games than a GPU that is supposedly 2x slower? That's disgraceful.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Man I wish there was an edit button. But I believe AMD should have been honest, they must have known Enduro was broken for months before the 7970M launch. They should have told Clevo and their vendors, it's broken. Please do not use a muxless design in the meantime just in case, give us the option to disable it in the BIOS like Alienware did on the M18x or a switch on the M17x. Clevo only began to use muxless this round, I don't think it's coincidence with 7970M which is supposed to be supporting Enduro. They probably would have done it sooner as Optimus was already functioning with muxless. Last years models don't support switchable graphics at all and unaffected. They could have done that with current models if AMD was honest with Clevo.

    Maybe AMD did tell Clevo and Clevo decided to screw it, we'll implement a technology that doesn't work right now. For some reason I doubt that.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Broken is all relative. It works, but it doesn't work as fast as people would like -- meaning, a high-end GPU like the 7970M ends up underperforming. As far as being broken in the sense of driver updates, AMD hasn't ever shipped a mobile GPU with switchable graphics that would qualify as "fixed" -- only NVIDIA's Optimus has managed that. Enduro 5.5 marks the start of the next stage of AMD's switchable graphics efforts in that sense.

    Mind you, Sony, Lenovo, HP, and others have therefore been shipping "broken" solutions for several years. Though I suppose if you don't want driver updates, they've have only been seriously underperforming with GCN.
    Reply
  • arcticjoe - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    A lot of people, like myself, sold their previous gen laptops at discount prices so we could get the latest and greatest GPU. I sold mine for £800 (bought for nearly twice as much last year) and I've spent £1700 on this new 7970m based laptop, but sadly my old one outperforms it in several games. If I had known that there were these issues I would never had switched and if AMD were more honest about the nature of the issue I could had returned my card within the 30 day period.
    In my honest (and maybe somewhat biased now) opinion, i bought a faulty product because it does not perform as intended and definitely does not live up to AMDs marketing of being nearly twice as fast as 6970m.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Hey Jarred. Nice update on the article in the conclusion. I personally don't mind utilization say in ME3 is only 35% if I have 60 FPS locked VS, that is fine by me. But what is concerning when I see I'm getting 80 FPS in Max Payne 3 with 95% utilization, but 5 minutes in, it drops to 45% and now only have 30 FPS in MP3. That happens in a lot of my games, it's very annoying. Reply
  • iwod - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    I have always supported ATI and prefer their graphics. And it was the 6630M that finally drove me off.

    Would any of these improvement works on my 6630M? I think my Thinkpad E420 desperately need some drivers update.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    It looks like the ThinkPad E420 uses PowerXpress 4.0 (aka Dynamic Switchable Graphics), which means it should be supported with the driver release. I know I'll be trying the drivers on that old Sony VAIO C from last year as well. Reply
  • tobi1449 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Jarred do you know if this new driver is just for the lastest generation of AMD cards (and IB/SB graphics from intel)?
    Or can those who were unfortunate enough to buy a laptop with older AMD graphics (HD5850m) hope for a new driver (would be the first one since about 2 years -.-)?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    If you have a laptop with a 5850, you're probably not even running switchable graphics, right? Or if you are, it would have to be an Alienware solution I think. Anyway, for discrete-only GPUs, you should be able to download the Mobility Catalyst drivers already and update to 12.8 without issues. On the other hand, if there's some laptop I'm not aware of that had PowerXpress 3.0 and a 5850 GPU, you're probably out of luck outside of one launch driver update for Windows 8 (which would of course require you to upgrade to Windows 8...). Reply
  • Vozier - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    PEOPLE post your game findings and GPU utilization, all problems and issues must be adressed if we want a more complete solution with the new drivers.

    Nice to see your article update Jarred, we are happy to see our commented concerns are being heard at last. I am rallying people to post their underutilization issues here so you might test more games and contact AMD more directly to show them were the BIG FAIL is.
    GPU underutilization is the key issue, most gamers wouldnt mind losing battery life if AMD can give them the option to use their cards to the fullest.
    In your own table one can see that some games run on very low %s GPU usage even at ultra settings (skyrim), wich would mean the NEW drivers in enduro 5.5 still need a lot of work on that department. Is also concerning seeing low utilization when lowering the graphics details and quality.

    THANKS again for all your work JARRED.
    So far you are the only light in a very black sky many 7970M owners are drowning under for months.

    regards
    Voz

    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Well, for the most part my CF 7970M setup works, but less than 10% of the time I see -some- issue, odd characters flying across the screen etc.

    And now I ran that Kombuster and saw that I was running on only 1 GPU. I don't recall ever having disabled CF, except for some testing a long time ago over at NBR.

    Catalyst control center doesn't even launch.

    Jarred, please pick this hot potato up, and bone AMD/ATI until we get resoultion with drivers. 13 pages of comments must show how upset people are...

    Thanks for a wonderful site.

    Over and out.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Oh, man... don't even get me started on SLI and CrossFire notebooks. I would never actually recommend one of those -- the minor and major issues that crop up with compatibility and such are just not worth it. Thankfully, GPUs like the HD 7970M (assuming performance gets fixed) and the GTX 680M are now at the point where only seriously high-end gaming really needs more GPU muscle. If you want a 3D laptop, I suppose that's another use for dual GPUs, but I am not at all sold on 3D.

    Most likely, you'll have to go through Alienware to get new drivers, as they do some pretty custom stuff for switching graphics modes and what not -- but then I haven't played with that particular notebook so maybe not? First things first, though, you need to get drivers installed properly so that Catalyst Control Center will launch. Using hacked drivers probably isn't the way to go here; I'd grab the official Alienware drivers and see if you can bring up the control panel. If that works, then you can see about trying other unofficial drivers.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Apologies, for not being clear; it was not my intention to imply that I wasn't using AMD/ATI drivers, or that I was using hacked drivers.

    I was trying to shed light on the fact that Dell (Alienware) had not provided drivers for me, that work to any acceptable level.

    If I use the drivers from the Dell website, I may as well throw my notebook (using the term notebook loosely when referring to an M18X) in the river.

    Have a nice day.
    Reply
  • spaceman44 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    So i have been experiencing some utilization issues with my 7970m. i'm not out to complain, (though i am super annoyed), just add my voice and some info to what seems to be the best place to actually get something done.

    Graphics Card:
    7970m

    AMD Catalyst Driver Version:
    8.951.6.0 not sure if this is 12.4 or what. This is the driver that came with the system when I got it about 2 weeks ago. I haven’t tried the new drivers (12.6 etc.) as from what I’ve read most people haven’t experienced much of a performance increase with said drivers.

    Operating System:
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, SP1

    Issue Details:
    Basically the same under-utilization issues that most people have already noted. I can run BF3 (campaign) on ultra graphics and get an average frame rate of about 20ish fps, with GPU usage around 80-90%. Yet when I put all setting on low the av. fps only gets up to 30fps. Is mostly noticeable when walking from an indoor unlit area into a populated open battle (operation swordbreaker after cutting wire). I can achieve mid 50’s when inside but fps drops to low 20’s, at times less, outside. GPU utilization is around 40-60% using low settings.

    I’ve checked the GPU usage during a couple of benchmarks and found the results to be interesting.

    Luxmark openCL (sala, medium)
    GPU only – GPU usage, constant 98%, score - 1152
    GPU & CPU – GPU usage, constant 47%, score - 858

    Heaven DX11 (basic) –
    All settings max – GPU usage 99%, 16-40fps (low 20’s av)
    All setting off/low – GPU usage 50-98%, 49-92fps (55-65ish av)

    Using these low settings it seems like the lowest frame rate is achieved during the least taxing screens, because of GPU usage dropping (to 50%). While during the most taxing screens fps increases greatly, I would imagine for the opposite reason, GPU usage increasing to 98%. on max settings it runs as you would imagine, fps dropping during taxing screens and vice-versa.

    Games with under-utilization issue:
    Battlefield 3, Dayz (I know it’s in alpha so I can’t complain too much but it seems to be affected more than battlefield for me), Heaven DX11 benchmark, luxmark openCL benchmark. seeing as performance is so bad i'm hesitant to spend money on anymore games until a fix is found.

    CPU Details:
    core i7 3820QM

    Motherboard or System Make & Model:
    clevo P150EM

    Motherboard BIOS Version:
    stock
    Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link


    Well since this was an article that has caused you to be assaulted by frustrated 7970M owners who finally found someone who listened to them i think that you also deserve some encouragement.

    Well done bringing this up and well done writing the original articles about the issue. Now I wish I had found those articles when i did my research before i bough my 7970M 3 weeks ago... But that's my fault and its between me and AMD now.

    Also thank you for you stubbornness staying with the comments and answering.

    Take care
    F

    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    I think we all appreciate that AT and Jarred has taken notice that AMD is seriously lacking with their support for switchable graphics. The anger was that the article just seemed too forgiving on the issue.

    But more than anything, this issue has been going on for too long.

    I am very appreciative of what Jarred has done. I have created threads on numerous forums and only Rage3D has responded. HardForum is still mute on the issue, granted I haven't contacted Guru3D's owner directly.

    But anyone who is putting pressure on AMD to fix the issue, is a friend of mobile AMD users.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    Guru3D? They always seemed to lean more than a little towards NVIDIA, but if you don't ask... Reply
  • TokamakH3 - Saturday, September 08, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I'm surprised Kyle isn't more vocal about this issue. He usually doesn't take crap from hardware companies, but his is more of a desktop site. Reply
  • loop1982 - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Thanks to AnAndTech for bringing this issue up.
    I have bought the clevo model with the 7970m 2 month ago.
    I have to say I made major researches before buying.
    For 3 weeks I googled for notebook tests.
    On no side there was any sign that there was a issue.
    Top ratings for gaming it got.

    So I'm not only disappointed about how AMD deals with problems and won't buy a product from them again (my time costs money, I cannot research hundred of hours before buying).
    I will also never trust any of the big and well known notebook tester websites again and won't waste time on reading their reviews. Still now there is no single word added to the reviews, the card is because of the price still recommended over the Nvidea.

    At least you got a new regular reader and I think I'm not the only one.
    Reply
  • SymphonyX7 - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Apparently, I'm the only satisfied ATI mobile GPU owner here. It's not to say they've had good support since I've been stuck with my stock drivers up until now since there aren't new official drivers for mobile GPUs that support switchable graphics. Despite have stock drivers, I really do commend the performance of the ATI GPU on my laptop. I've got a Lenovo Y460 with a 1st gen Core i5 (Arrandale) + Radeon HD 5650. It's been over 2 1/2 years since I bought this and it's been able to stick with the newer laptops of my friends that have a 2nd gen Core i5 + GT 540M and the 3rd gen Core i5 + 630M. Taking into consideration that the 2nd and 3rd gen Core i5s are much faster, I'm very satisfied with its longevity! It's neck and neck with the 2nd gen Core i5 + GT 540M and it doesn't leave much ground to the 3rd gen Core i5 + GT 630M. Unfortunately for my friends who have a newer mid-range ATI mobile GPU, I cannot comprehend why most of them are actually slower than my HD 5650. The ones with the HD 6630 and HD 7660G in particular trail behind and sometimes get obliterated in performance against my laptop.

    Also, I have a personal preference for the switching capability since my very first laptop had a primitive switching solution as well (my first laptop was an Alienware M5500 aka Uniwill 259EN OEM unit). I'd prefer turning on the discrete GPU when I want it and not let some software do it for me. It was a relief when my Y460 can actually switch graphics without rebooting. My M5500 required me to select my graphics before I turn on the PC. I had to choose between the Intel GMA 950 or the Geforce Go 6600.

    Alas, I'll be waiting for the next iteration instead. Haven't seen a mid-range mobile GPU that can net a performance gain of 50% or high over my nearly 3 year old HD 5650 in any game. I noticed only newer games had the most performance gain on mid-range staples the GT 630 and 640M. Hopefully a bigger leap in performance for mid-range mobile GPUs next year.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    The topic here is enduro, wich the 7000 series ATI cards have, of course you are not the only Ati user satisfied, but you dont own a defective model. Reply
  • cartmanasan - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Folks,

    I have been using an M17x R4 and the 7970m is simply unbelievable! YES I did have to disable the iGPU. But that does not mean the card itself performs bad. 7970m is slower than 680m only by 5-8% on average. nVidia had to scramble to get a card working at the performance level of 7970m. 680m becomes faster after using the GPU boost functionality (although this does happen automatically) which leaves little room for over-clocking. 7970m over-clocked easily provides a 10% boost in performance. (You will be impressed with the over-clocking ability of this card and how much headroom this card has if you are into this! ).

    nvidia had been reducing their support for 3D applications as well. I use Maya, After-effects and zbrush, nvidia have been forcing their customers to use the expensive quadro series and 7970m has been a saviour here as it has better and improved performance around these applications whereas 680m actually has reduced performance compared to nvidia's own older cards.

    With regards to previous comments: a 7990m is difficult as 7970m is aleady at a TDP of 100.

    Is ENDURO a big issue: Yes.
    Does this affect the card performance: Yes
    Is 7970m a bad card: No
    Does 7970m perform well: Heck yes. (only on AW at this point)

    I feel sorry for Clevo owners. Am sure this issue will get fixed so you can enjoy the awesomeness 7970m is.

    Request: Jarred should compare the performance of these cards when doing a comparison around 3D applications. I wouldn't be surprised if one is 100% faster than the other around CAD etc !!!
    Reply
  • cartmanasan - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Just to add to my previous comment : An over-clocked 7970m performs almost as good as a Desktop GTX 580 :-) Reply
  • Vozier - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    The whole 7970M and other 7000 series ATI cards and their enduro issues is more than discussed.
    I am missing some kind of statement mostly from CLEVO, HP and other manufacturers, that want it or not are losing sales on this debacle, since Alienware has become a good "bang for the bucks" alternative (who would have believed that would ever happen!) and selling more just for this.
    Needless to be said Alienware owners are more than happy with their 7970s, since they can really use them.
    I would think the manufacturers and resellers (who are also losing money on returns and card swaps) would at least speak their minds to defend their positions.
    Maybe clevo could announce a muxer for their new laptops? i dont know.....

    The lack of any kind of official statement is what really is messing with everyones mind, do they really think this will pass like water under the bridge????

    Is this silence a good or a bad omen????

    Jarred, do you have any insights on this branch of the issue?

    Voz
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Clevo/Sager does know about it and before this article was written, Clevo/Sager contacted AMD to try and find a fix for it. They continue to work with AMD on this issue. Clevo is a good company, they won't ignore it and will try to get it resolved. Not like Asus. Reply
  • Vozier - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Yeah, thats my guess too, but they have kept silent as late, same as AMD.

    Well, since these article is becoming a meeting point for different communities i share here a positive post from someone who has been in contact with AMD (more or less like Jarred and Anandtech)
    My guess is that good news are coming, better take your 7970M's out of ebay, because its about to be revalued....
    I bet AMD techs and workers are slowly leaking information that the fiz is coming, they probably cant hold it to themselves....
    so GOOD NEWS!

    ""Yes.

    Without committing AMD to anything because I've got NO OFFICIAL news for you, I would expect to see a big improvement in performance for 7900M Enduro users in a future beta performance driver. Timeframe is not confirmed but I would think in about a month but I'll try to pin it down more.""

    source: Rage3d ( caveman-jim, Tech Writer)
    Reply
  • loop1982 - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    As from my point of view Clevo and the others who have created a System that needs Enduro have no other choice than being quiet.
    Why do I think so?

    1. They cannot disable Enduro by Bios Updates
    2. They cannot fix the Enduro problem on their own
    3. AMD put the ball for Enduro support to the notebook manufacturers (for me that means they kinda commit that something is wrong, or they have no real team behind the notebook tribers side...)
    5. If they release a new model with hardware support to turn Enduro off, they can just directly make a recall of all other models because it's like commiting a mistake and problem in their setup.
    4. They are still selling lots of systems because the review sites still recomment the setup and the easily google able results (f.i "clevo p702 radeon 7970m test") don't directly point to any issue. You would have to google for Enduro Problem or under utilization but who knows about this before getting hit by it? No one!

    What so ever, the customers are the stupid ones here, we can only learn from this and hope that there will be a fix or a big lawsuite (which wont happen in my opinion).
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    One thing is for sure though. If the 7970 Desktop came out with the GTX 580 outperforming in more than half the games and yet touted to be significant improvement, AMD would have had that fixed in no time. I really don't understand why AMD slacks on it when mobile gaming is the future, not huge desktops. Even now, I think laptop gaming is more popular than desktop, there are far more people on laptops gaming no doubt. I even know more people gaming on MacBooks than I know people who have desktops! Reply
  • erick.mendes - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I havn't heard of XGP for quite a while... it was a POWER solution for mobile graphics for sure... Not punny discrete notebook GPU's ... You could house a full blow GPU on an external case, connected to the notebook thru PCIe 2.0 cable, then connect monitors to the external box:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/gaming-software-gr...
    That would make me give up my desktop... But AMD don't want to invest on it... : /
    It would extend notebooks lifetime, because all I would need to upgrade is the external GPU... Perhaps that's why it's canned... XGP would hurt planned obsolescence plans...
    Reply
  • spaceman44 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    hey guys

    just an update from my earlier post. i feel like i may just be explaining the obvious to some people here (i know i feel a little foolish for taking 3 weeks to look into these settings), but i've managed to get much better performance from my 7970m in a clevo p150em.

    you need to go into the advanced power settings. control panel (change to view by large icons) > power options > change plan settings > change advanced power settings.

    the settings you need to check/adjust for plugged in are:
    - switchable dynamic graphics - automatic GPU selection
    - Intel(R) Graphics Plan - maximum performance
    - PCI express Link State management - off (not sure if this actually effects the card or not but it's one that i changed)
    - ATI graphics power settings - maximize performance

    when i checked these settings on my rig the default settings for plugged in for intel, ati and pci were all set to maximize battery life. I'm not sure if this is just how my laptop came or if everyone's clevo is being sent out with these settings. it would be great if some other clevo owners could try this and reply back :)

    after i changed these i'm getting much better GPU usage, i've only really tested it on battlefield campaign and a bit of dayz. But the most notable difference is when playing BF3 on low or medium settings i'm now getting a GPU usage of 50 - 75% (before it was 30ish) and fps of 55-90 (mid 60's av). before i was getting 25-40 fps on low. with dayz i'm still getting 35-65% on max settings but now if i lower most settings to high and turn off AA (except FXAA) i still get 35-65% GPU usage but quite playable fps of mid to high 30's.

    by no means is this a fix for the problem, as i feel this card can perform better (i really do think it will be a demon of a card with sweet drivers). but these changes have improved my gaming experience a great deal.

    i really hope this helps out some fellow frustrated clevo owners!!!!
    Reply
  • Vozier - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    That sounds lkike the default windows configuration, i always change it to my desired configuration after installing OS. I dont have my P150 EM yet tho.

    Seems like you got lots of improvements changing those settings, good news for the ones who will be waiting for the AMD official drivers, now we can play ate least...

    Will post your findings in NBR.

    good comment!

    Voz
    Reply
  • transphasic - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Are you referring to the settings somewhere within Catalyst Control center?
    Otherwise, I am not sure what settings you are referring to, because the Windows Control panel has none of the things that you are talking about, nor even CCC.

    Within CCC, I have all my program settings set to Maximum (High Performance), but there is no where else with which to make further adjustments. there.

    Can you elaborate further as to what options you are talking about, and where I can go to find them?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I think he means windows control panel, not CCC, you need to go to start and find the power options, its in the screen and appearence section i believe (right now i am in windows XP), were you setup your screen saver and desktop.

    QUOTE< you need to go into the advanced power settings:
    . control panel (change to view by large icons) > power options > change plan settings > change advanced power settings. >>
    Reply
  • spaceman44 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    yeah its definatly in the control panel. you can also get to it by right clicking on the desktop, go to personalize, click screen saver, change power settings, change plan settings, change advanced power settings.

    i wrote the other directions coz it's less clicks :) and btw this is for windows 7, though i think the second path would work for xp if thats what your running.
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    That's just in the profiles by default. Most people play games with high performance which sets all the settings you have by default. On Clevo notebooks, in the control center, the performance setting does the same thing. Makes no difference for Enduro, not a fix. Reply
  • erick.mendes - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    External GPU for notebooks using thunderbolt from Lucid. Now that's serious power:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/lucid-gpu-graphic...
    Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    7970M is nearly 2x faster than that. The current high end notebooks outperform any eGPU solution that has been proposed so far. Though it is interesting idea, but problem is, there are 11" notebooks with a 650M. I don't see a need for eGPU anymore, it was a good idea before Kepler and GCN, but now they are here, no need. You can thing and light notebooks with powerful discrete now. Reply
  • carage - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    I have a ViDock 4 Plus (Express Card 2.0 interface) with a GTX 670 4GB connected to my ThinkPad W520. The performance already whips a single GTX 680M. The only notebook GPU solution it doesn't beat is the GTX 680M SLI, which is not available in anything below $3,000.

    I think the ViDock is worth it.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    FINALLY the official news we all waited for

    Originally Posted by Marc@AMD
    I want to thank all those users that have been patient in this matter, and peristent in providing helpful information and feedback to the community.

    We have received some positive news from the Driver Development Team. A driver is planned to be released in the near future that will provide significant improvements to notebooks enabled withAMD Enduro™ Technology.

    Please stay tuned to our support.amd.com site for the driver posting.

    Source: AMD Game Forums - The Clevo 7970M Enduro/under-utilization debacle
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Just to update you (I'll have more to say in the P170EM review in the next two days I hope), AMD let me know that the initial public release of Enduro 5.5 should be in then next week or so. However, they are fully aware of the GPU underutilization issues and those may not be totally ironed out with the initial driver. They then plan to release a driver hotfix (probably later in October) that will address the GPU underutilization. The root issue appears to be related to transferring frames over the PCIe bus and some other areas, as when you're running at higher frame rates the problem becomes worse. So if you run DiRT 3 at Medium detail, you'll get 50% utilization while at Ultra you might get 95%, but frame rates at Medium will be lower than expected. If all goes as planned, the hotfix should take care of the problem. Reply
  • Vozier - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Great update Jarred, even if i came along it only yesterday!

    On the subject, we have a small debate on NBR about the "root issue". I defend that its driver/software related and other claim its a "hardware bottleneck" (wich IMHO would be a lot worst), would you bring any light to this?
    Since you mention:
    "The root issue appears to be related to transferring frames over the PCIe bus and some other areas,"

    thanks once again for all your help in keeping us all informed.

    cheers
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    I'm honestly not sure there's a way to say for certain, but the hotfix is definitely improving performance. That would suggest that the problem is mostly related to drivers, but there could still be hardware bottlenecks. I also have to wonder if the "GPU Utilization" figures are actually getting correct data; is it possible that whatever they're polling for GPU use could sometimes report incorrect data? Reply
  • Vozier - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Indeed, it might be the case that some reports are wrong, I myself have tested some games with MSI afterburner measures of GPU utilization.
    I dont know if it can help but i have found this:

    1) Recording a video capture with MSI AB or fraps gradually lowers GPU % to 30 or 40% lower than it was (after hitting alt-V or F11 in fraps), so videos made with these programs (and most likely any other video not made externally) will always show under 99% GPU and lower FPS.

    2) The use of PhysX also seems to lower the GPU utilization in many cases.

    3) In some games like crysis 2 or skyrim the GPU utilization varies in seconds depending on where you are looking at and wether there is a fight or not going on, this is the piece that seems to point to a hardware bottleneck. Also multiplayer games seems to be the most affected.

    4) The gpu utilization usually varies a lot during video interludes and such in games, so i dont usually meassure or consider it correct or relevant in those situations.

    It also seems to depend on the game, some games seem to have a "silent" Vsync of sorts that might produce lower GPU%s (NFS the run for ex doesn move from 30 FPS). Other games work perfectly (Diablo III for example never showed low GPU% with vsync off, in any game situation or fight til lvl11...)

    What truly supports the driver related theory is that lowering graphic demands lowers GPU %s, and thats really weird and no hardware bottleneck should cause that, IMHO.

    Bottom line is that most users want to improve FPS and performance to pair with machines that do not use enduro with the same card (i.e. 7970M), we dont really care if the GPU% is 1 as long as the numbers are equal to an AW or other notebook with the same card but no enduro. That IS the case for many games so i dont think the issue is hardware related, even if its clearly transfer related.

    thanks again for all your help and input..

    regards
    Voz
    Reply
  • HOODY - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    I think this would be great for AMD, and would let users download “regular” AMD updates again as before this idiotic manufactures only OEM updates insanity. As far as I’m concerned they can even make a driver that just disables the NVIDIA chip altogether. thanks for that info,

    it needs to also be placed in the 7690M XT forum http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Display-and-...
    Reply
  • HOODY - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    Someone mentioned to me that this was not for "powerplay switchable", shrug, All I know is the article only mentions "Switchable" nothing about powerplay, I haven't even heard or seen that term on any other forum about this switchable stuff. All it says is that the name ENDURO is now what they call Switchable.

    I'm also not clear just where this 7690M XT card would fall, as its just a re done 6770M, so I don't know if it would be picked up by AMD as a 7xxxx series or not either, I do know that AMD doesn't even recognize the card at all now. BTW this thing (7690M XT) is supposed to be @900MHz too, but its only showing @800MHz, so even that's misleading.

    I will be upgrading my W7 home prem to W8 Pro anyway come next month, and I assume HP will have some sort of driver cobbled together by than for us OEM'ers, it will be interesting how all this shakes out with so many complaints over this switchable stuff, I wish they would just go back to true dedicated video cards and let the card makers do the drivers. I mean man, with all this technology today, one video type either ATI or NVIDIA should be able to make a single card that is able to power down automatically when it senses battery power.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    PowerPlay is the technology that conserves power on the GPU when on battery power, even with the GPU still active. Basically, it lowers clocks and performance when enabled. Enduro is a separate technology to disable the dGPU completely (power it down) when it's not needed. Reply
  • HOODY - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    OK so than just what type is on my machine? and is this new driver stuff going to be useable on my setup? Or am I still stuck with OEM crap.

    Radeon 7690M XT and Intel 3000, the Intel is the chip the unit switches to if on battery, the Radeon is what it uses when plugged in or switched for games. I have it set to "fixed" for now so it uses just the Radeon. But it does still ask to switch to the Intel if I unplug it the wall and go on battery.

    This is a HP dv7t its still using the driver dated Nov 2011, I know about the russian site guy with the mod'ed drivers he comes up with, but they aren't exactly instalable either without having to mix and match, as one doesn't take the CCC, one doesn't take the newer Intel driver. I was hoping that this Enduro stuff was going to be the fix for people withnthis setup, to be able to again download drivers directly from AMD as they update, since waiting for these damned manufactures sucks.

    2670QM
    8g ram
    1920x1080
    W7 hp
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Technically, the HD 3000 (or HD 4000 on Ivy Bridge) is always enabled and running the video outputs. The 7690M only powers on when needed and it copies data over the PCIe bus into system memory or takes over some of the display ports or something funky. If you're able to configure dynamic switchable graphics, you have a PowerXpress 4.0 or later laptop and you should (eventually) get support from the Mobility Catalyst Enduro stuff.

    If you can only manually switch (e.g. based on power source), you're running PowerXpress 3.0 and are basically out of luck for drivers. AMD/Microsoft/Intel will probably put together one initial driver for Windows 8 to get you up and running, but I wouldn't count on anything beyond that.

    Note that I am pretty sure the dv7 is a PowerXpress 4.0 laptop, so you should be okay (at some point).
    Reply
  • TrantaLocked - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    Jarred, I have a question that I hope AMD will feel comfortable answering if you can get in contact with them.

    The new-ish data transfer process (you yourself wrote about it here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2934/nvidia-optimus-... that Nvidia used involved a hardware feature called the Optimus Copy Engine that allowed asynchronous data transferring over the PCIe bus. Before that was implemented, it was noted that as the frame rate increased in a game, the noticeable the decrease in performance became, just as it is happening NOW with AMD.

    My question is simple: did AMD implement such a hardware feature, and that the feature simply needs better driver support? I trust AMD is going to fix the problem, but it seems like this issue is exactly what was happening with Nvidia...as if the hardware feature that AMD *should* have implemented isn't even being used. It troubles me that if it was implemented that AMD didn't make sure such an important feature was being driven properly.
    Reply
  • Vozier - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Here's a small post with info about the underutilization issue fix:
    [QUOTE=caveman-jim;8864455]Word from AMD tonight is that internal testing is going well and there is hope for a public beta driver in the next two weeks or so, maybe sooner. Sorry nothing more, that's all my connections give me.[/QUOTE]
    26 SEPT.
    Reply
  • Dido767 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Helpppp....

    I can't find a way to get CS6 after effects to recognize my 7970m. I wasted hours looking for a solution but nothing!!! my dxdiag only see my onboard Intel 4000 adapter. The GPU sniffer utility that comes within the AE folder doesn't recognize the AMD as well.
    Is there some workaround that I can try??

    It's really frustrating because one of the reasons that I bought this laptop is for some graphic design projects and of course I want to the get most out of my card.

    Anyone? plz!!
    Reply
  • Pablito Que - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I bought an AVA bare bones P150EM With the Radeon 7970m.
    I wondered about updating the graphics driver the moment I got it, but I called AVA Direct first because I had heard there were problems with the drivers in doing so.
    This is what he told me:

    "The drivers pre-installed on your computer are drivers made to interact at best performance with the intergraded graphics card on the mother board(HD graphics 4000). DO NO ATTEMPT TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE UPDATE ON AMD'S WEBSITE. THEY WILL NOT WORK PROPERLY. We try to make this clear to all who purchase the P150EM and 170, but they do not listen and think they've got it figured out. They go ahead and download the updates and the card fails! Everyone who calls us complaining about performance has tried to update the drivers when we warned them not to."

    Since I have had my computer, I have had the drivers that it came with and with a 3710QM running ar 3.2 and 8 gig of RAM at 1600Mhz, I'm getting Metro 2033 at 29.9 fps with 1920x1080 and all setting maxed out minus Anti-alaising. My card has just the stock drivers and it out performs the 680M on a number of major games and was over 50% cheaper than the 680M. There's NO logical argument anyone could make for choosing the 680M over the 7970m, especially driver support issues! If the lame stock drivers already out perform Nvidia's best, then what will happen when the refined drivers are realeased? And when I say that the stock drivers out perform Nividia's, I mean in terms of frame rate from game to game- which is the ONLY thing that matters in the end.
    Reply
  • ZippityD - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Well, on my NP170EM I'm still having AMD issues with their 7970M card.

    I regret purchasing this card last summer. Unlike others who had problems upon updating, I began to have BSOD problems (turned out to be caused by the AMD driver) this January. The horrid trip through AMD's enduro systems has resulted in much stress and little help.

    Vote with my wallet from now on, I suppose.
    Reply

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