Sapphire Nitro Radeon RX470

About a month and half ago I purchased a RX470 and I want to write my experience with the card so far. I am not happy.

Originally I wanted to have a nVidia GTX 970. But the RX 470 had 8GB RAM instead of 4GB and, more interestingly, the double precision float operations should be significantly faster. I had terrible experiences with ATI Cards and Linux drivers in the past, but I thought, since they have made some progress, it should be also a problem of the past.

I was so wrong.

So, I picked up the card and build it into my computer. Display was ok, GRUB and the BIOS displays are ok but somehow my Ubuntu doesn’t come up with it.


Found out, AMD/ATI are not supporting Kernel Version larger than 4.8 - The DKMS driver doesn’t build, because of an API change for linux/fence.c.

So I had to install Ubuntu 16.04 with Kernel 4.8. I had to uninstall my production system. Those are the kind of things, that make your users very very very pissed.

After some some tries I managed to install the driver and was quiet happy for about a month, when a planned kernel update killed again the functionality. Of course, I forgot.’
So, again my production system was down. I though, well some time has passed, they have updated the driver for sure. Again, wrong. Even worse, AMD suggest to work with Ubuntu 16.04.02 and, quote

the recommended best practice is to install from 16.04.2 media but disable installation of updates.

Yeah sure. Are you kidding me?!???? You are honestly recommending not installing updates!??!?

I’m now stuck with the system and trying since two hours to get it back running and it’s just a nightmare.

So, my conclusion so far: The hardware is cool but right now, the support for Linux drivers, even the mainstream versions, is still unacceptable. I really hope they will improve their drivers for Linux.

Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0