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Driver Clarification

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I'm not apart of much forums as I used to be back in the day, so I was hoping you guys here can give me more information. I also didn't know what to title this. 

For the past 12 years of my life, I would install Windows, and grab the latest WHQL drivers from the vendors site and install drivers. This would increase the display resolution from something like 1024x768 to what ever the monitor was, and allow Areo effects in Windows 7. Pretty basic and straight forward. Things have changed since then. Not only Windows will pull a driver from their servers, but the drivers you get on the site come with additional software which has Temperature monitors, screen recording, Twitch output and other things I don't use nor I really care for. Regardless, I still grabbed the latest WHQL drivers from the site and just dealt with the bloat that came with it. I expected the default drivers which Windows installs to be "good enough" drivers; nothing I'd run a game with.

Back before the world went to Hell, I bought and built a Ryzen 3700, 32GB of DDR4 Ram with an RX5700 to take full advantage of my Valve Index. Did what I usually did, disabled Windows trash presets, and installed Steam. I only had a week to really use it but I recall it working fine. However, When Half-Life Alyx came out in March, I was getting a bunch of blue screens regarding VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE regarding atikmpag.sys Since I was usually playing HLA when this happened, I thought this had to do with a new Game being pushed at 144hz at highest settings. I downloaded and installed the optional drivers and lowered the settings and refresh rate, This didn't 100% fix it, but I was able to beat the game. 

Weeks after I ran benchmark tests with Unigine and everything was acting fine. There was no tearing, flickering or other artifacts like if I was playing HLA. I ran the scene in VR and although there were some flickers, the machine didn't crash.

Fast forward to last night. I decided to clean out the machine and update it without it going into Windows 10 build 2004 (it was still using Windows 10 build 1903) after that completed, I logged in with a sluggish desktop and another VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE but now regarding amdkmdag.sys. I decided to cut my losses, pulled the latest Windows ISO with my daily driver (This machine with an RX480) and just reinstall Windows. 

As of last night, I reinstalled Windows, and removed the more obnoxious Windows bloat. I created a restore point and was about to repeat what I've done for years. However, in Device Manager under display I saw my RX5700 with AMD drivers already installed. I checked the information and the date (5/15/20) and version number (26.20.15029.27017) is a 100% match on my RX480 rig which has the Radeon Software installed.

The Ryzen system at the moment is running a lot better than it did, but I'm now wondering if I should still bother installing the driver from AMD if it's the exact same thing I have and the driver from AMD comes with things I don't want. I've read that it's possible to grab the driver without the software but the page I went to had a banner for the bloatware.

This would be a no brainier, but being the hell I went through with this machine I'm kind of skeptical. I sort of just want a very limited amount of software installed right now. I wanted to get some thoughts before moving forward.  

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Had older ryzen 5, had to do a bios update now i have a ryzen 3700 with nvidia card.

Very fast and no problems.


I have a tool from MSI that updates the motherboard/chipset drivers.

And another tool from nvidia that installs the latest graphics drivers when they are released.


From my experience you should always go to the latest drivers from the vendor, not the windows ones, they actually fix things from time to time.

Also giving up on reinstalling windows could be good idea :) maybe you unlucky but is pretty stable lately , i didnt had to reinstall in ages.


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I can confirm what I have isn't the "Microsoft Basic Display Driver". It reports the exact same driver that's on this machine with the Adrenalin bloat. The WHQL drivers are fine as I don't play the newest titles. (I still play Portal 1 ffs) 

I found a thread on how to install the optional drivers without the bloatware.



Here's an alternate way too that may be easier


Run the AMD Cleanup Utility and uninstall everything if you already installed the drivers. Then download the drivers as you would usually.

Open that .exe with 7zip and you will see Bin64,Config,Packages and Setup.exe. Go into Packages and extract "Drivers". Go into Device Manager and then expand "Display Adapters". It should say something like "Microsoft Basic Adapter". Click "Update Driver", "Browse my computer for driver software", then browse for that Driver folder.

I'm going to try the current drivers and if I get artifacts, I'll try this method. From what I'm reading, it's actually the bloatware causing the drivers to be stupid. It's also funny to see usernames like "antibloat" and "onlywantdrivers", lol. 

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