Today, whilst noodling around on the interwibble, minding our own business, we stumbled across a rather interesting forum post entitled “An Open letter to ATI/AMD/Terry Makedon (CatalystMaker @ Twitter).” Well, ok, we didn’t exactly stumble upon it, more like it was brought to our attention by an admittedly partisan individual, but we found it interesting all the same.

The letter, written by a Mr. ShtSh00ttr, who claims to be “new to Overclock.net,” despite a join date of September 2009 and 462 posts, is a bit of a tirade against ATI’s Catalyst drivers, and a call to action demanding that certain issues be fixed…or else

“After pondering it a bit .. I thought about us all joining forces and our collective strength in numbers and sending CatalystMaker a REASONABLE wishlist of fixes & features,” the post begins. 

ShtSh00ttr reckons he/she belongs to “a large # of people that are buying their [AMD’s] top end products (GPU's, CPU's, Mobo's)” noting threateningly “and we have a collective bargaining chip that is compelling.” 

The post author goes on to say that if readers could simply gather their thoughts “in a clear and concise manner that’s *REASONABLE* we can have a say in the shaping of these drivers and software.”

The poster goes on to provide a list of demanded fixes he claims would make him feel “more confident in continuing to plunk down a lot of hard earned money toward their [AMD] products in a time of economic downturn where these items are NOT necessities and we CHOSE to patron ATI.” [Sic]

ShtSh00ttr’s list of demands is as follows:

  • Honest estimates and updates of driver releases.
  • Eyefinity fixes for the inability of CCC to remember my fourth (virtual or real display) that is not a member of an Eyefinity Group.
  • Honest accounting of when we can expect micro-stuttering to be resolved (example jane Nash in Vantage ).
  • Final resolution to the ATI Overvolt tool not remembering settings after a reboot.
  • OpenCL support packaged into the CCC package/release.
  • Improved Crossefire & CrossfireX scaling. [Sic]
  • Random grey-screens, vertical lines.
  • Horrible Eyefinity support in 3 monitor mode (blinking/blanking/locking) let alone < 25 fps at 5040x1050

Now, far be it from us to believe everything we read on forums, but some of the above claims do indeed appear to have some merit.
Veteran card tester and techie extraordinaire, Derek Brush from Icrontic.com told TechEye that whilst no company could provide accurate schedule estimates for bug fixes – because, that’s the irritating nature of bugs – other items on the list did provide “valid concern.”

Point number two, for instance, on Eyefinity fixes is something Brush agrees to be true, noting that “if AMD is going to market Eyefinity as a deal breaker, the firm should make it work properly.”

Brush did not, however, agree with Shtsh00tr on point number three, the micro-stuttering issue, saying he had “no idea what he's talking about, the Jane Nash test runs fine on my cards.”

In terms of the ATI Overvolt tool not remembering settings after a reboot (4), Brush told Tech Eye he didn’t even bother using ATI overclocking tools, preferring MSI afterburner instead, but admitted the point sounded “like a reasonable concern.”

When it comes to OpenCL support (5), Brush noted “I'd like to see this implemented too - ATI is being slow in getting OpenCL officially supported.”

Another valid concern which, to its credit, AMD has already admitted to, was the point about random grey-screens and vertical lines. The problem really only arises at extremely high framerates in non-demanding software in crossfire mode, making it fairly minor, but nonetheless, it should be fixed.

When TechEye contacted AMD for its side of the story, ATI spinner Chris Hook noted:

““The comments submitted by this individual fall into two categories: a wish list of features, and bug reports. Most of the wish list items are already on our roadmap and will be rolled out over time. As for the bug reports, we are aware of a small number of users experiencing the "grey screen" issue and AMD has already publicly stated that we are preparing a driver workaround. The other reports are not known issues.”

He went on to say “, our customers acknowledge that AMD has the industry’s best, and most frequent driver update policy, with monthly Microsoft WHQL certified driver updates. The press reviews of ATI Eyefinity have been excellent and, along with our internal testing, don’t reflect the experience described in the article.”

Hook concluded, “As is the case with any graphics manufacturer, from time to time a small number of users will experience minor issues that are in most cases addressed in subsequent driver updates.”

Hopefully that will indeed be the case for the mysterious Shtsh00tr, who is apparently “tired of waiting around with no info on what is important to me after plunking down $1,500 on graphics alone.”

“My money is just as green with nvidia">NVIDIA,” he quips.