Latest AMD Catalyst™14.12 drivers continue SL rigged mesh woes

Firestorm users: don’t miss my review of the 4.6.9 release.

Update, March 21st: AMD have release a new set of Catalyst™ drivers, version 15.3 beta, which include a potential fix for the rigged mesh issues – see my notes here.

Update, February 28th: Singularity have issued a supplemental update to address mesh rendering issues.

Update, December 13th: Yoho Waco offers a work-around for this problem – see his comment following his article. As an Nvidia user, I cannot test the workaround myself, but feedback indicates it works. I’ve also added Yoho’s workaround with additional information as an article in its own right.

Update: I have been informed (see the comment following this piece from JC de Bes, that this issue also extends to the most recent  Omega drivers release.

Whirly Fizzle dropped me a line concerning the latest AMD Catalyst™ drivers update, 14.12, which is apparently being pushed out by AMD via automatic update.

As those on systems using AMD graphics cards are likely to be aware, there have been ongoing issues with the Catalyst drivers which have impacted Second Life, notably with regards to rigged meshes which, since the deployment of the 14.9.2 drivers by AMD, cause rigged mesh to be invisible unless hardware skinning is disabled (see BUG-7653).

The 14.12 Catalyst™ drivers currently being deployed by AMD do not address this issue; worse, as it is being pushed via automatic update from AMD, it may see an increase in issues being experienced for anyone using an AMD GPU, regardless of the viewer they are using, and even if they have recently rolled back to an earlier version of the driver.

The latest AMD Catalyst™ 14.12 drivers currently being deployed via automatic update continue the issue of driver issue: with Hardware skinning enabled, rigged messhes will not render (l); disable it, and they'll render OK (r) - click for full size; image courtesy of Maestro Linden

The latest AMD Catalyst™ 14.12 drivers currently being deployed via automatic update continue the issue of rigged meshes being invisible with Hardware skinning enabled (l), but visible with it is disabled. Image courtesy of Maestro Linden

The two ways of dealing with the problem / avoiding it, are to:

  • Either turn off hardware skinning off in the viewer (Preferences > Graphics > uncheck Hardware skinning), which is hardly ideal, or
  • Roll back to pre-14.9.2 Catalyst drivers via the AMD download site. Those affected should consider using (at the latest in terms of release numbers) version 14.9.1 – but be aware this driver has issues of its own (see BUG-7947 and BUG-7627). Therefore, the 14.4 drivers might be a better option.

Uninstalling  the current AMD video drivers may be warranted prior to installing older drivers, and there is a request within the JIRA report linked-to above that those affected by the issue also raise a bug report directly with AMD to help bring this matter more to their attention.

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42 thoughts on “Latest AMD Catalyst™14.12 drivers continue SL rigged mesh woes

  1. zzpearlbottom

    I can only remember when i had the old ATI that i would never use the official drivers but the Omega ones, can any see if those will solve the issue?
    Lucky it was long ago and i started using Nvidia and never felt any regrets since then:)

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      1. James

        I tried to disable the Hardware Skinning but my FPS drops to 5. I get well close to 40 FPS with Hardware Skinning enabled. So I either see no mesh at all, or lag constantly. I guess I won’t get on SL until this is fixed because i’m not going to redo my graphics drivers again.

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      2. Dauntless Dragon

        I just tried the “Catalyst Software Suite – 15.4 Beta” driver; mesh appeared now. with hardware skinning and ambient occutions active. just a first look though. I’m using the “AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series”

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  2. Rogue Bravehert

    Add me to the list of those negatively effected by the most recent AMD/ATI driver release. To add injury (not just insult) to injury, the latest Catalyst driver package also seems to load USB drivers labeled 3.0 drivers, even on systems, like mine, that do NOT contain USB 3.x ports! I’m guessing it’s NOT a coincidence that my I now have audio drop on one side of a Skype conversation, being conducted with a USB headset. Sometimes its my voice that can’t be heard and at other times it’s the voice of the person I’m talking to. Let’s see what else… My internal SD Card Reader (Also USB-dependent) is now no longer recognized.

    The SL Graphics Issues alone are enough to avoid upgrading to the latest AMD/ATI drivers. If these other problems are also caused by this update, as I believe they are, people should ABSOLUTELY NOT upgrade their drivers, if they want to retain a functional system! GRRRRR

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  3. TC

    Just to clarify, the new AMD drivers are branded Omega by AMD themselves, those are official.

    The unofficial Omegadrive tweaks stopped being produced a few years ago, that site just carries news now.

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    1. Estelle Pienaar

      It’s a shame, that LL can’t get AMD graphics cards properly to work. I have had an hd7990 for 2 years, it’s still today as good performing as a 970gtx. Only on SL it was even worse performing than my on-board Intel GPU!!! Everyone who answers to the question “should I buy AMD or Nvidia for SL use” with “it doesn’t matter” is potentially making an SL user waste his or her money!!!

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      1. ZR

        Yes after this disaster of a driver by AMD I’ll be swaying my preference towards Nvidia in the future. They don’t seem to have a reputation for breaking games with driver updates.

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        1. Wes

          Would have to Disagree with you there these drivers are the best thing to happen to AMD hardware in months and oh by the way when these drivers are tested on other platforms from Wildstar to WoW, there improvements are measured in leaps and bounds on other games. The fault is with LL for using outdated openGL code that should have been replaced 3 years ago. So the only 3D environment that has an issue with the omega drivers is SL where all the rest including steam games, LOL and MMORPG games don’t have an issue with them.

          Liked by 1 person

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            1. Estelle Pienaar

              By catering for users with outdated hardware, SL performs crappy on PC with up to date hardware. If you gotta let people down, should you dissapoint those who invest a lot of money for a good experience or those that can’t be bothered to update their 10 year old computers? People with good hardware – even Nvidia – will leave SlL instantly after a new user experience because it feels technically so outdated compared to other platforms. This is one important reason for low new user retention that Oldbies don’t see and consider…

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              1. Mona Eberhardt

                I understand. You, me, many other people have bothered to put together machines with good specifications, which allow us to get good performance in SL and other graphics-intensive applications.

                However, there’s a problem with both “sides” of the SL user base: People like you and me (with the “good” machines) can tend to view things from our perspective, with scant regard for the perspective and budget of the other side, i.e. the people with the sub-par machines.

                The people with the sub-par machines may very well be living in countries (like Brazil) where import taxes on computers are ridiculous, sending the machines we consider affordable well out of their reach. They may also have less disposable income than you or me. Or they may have other priorities.

                Another thing to consider is that even “up-to-date” machines can lack proper OpenGL support; Intel’s integrated graphics chipsets are an example of this, and people with laptops are stuck with them. I know people who quit SL when it became too heavy for their aging machines. Some of them came back, some didn’t.

                Also, don’t forget the age of the platform itself. We’re on a patched-up, heavily-modified ’90s engine, with all that this entails.

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              2. Vivienne

                Umm, which “comparable platforms” are you referring to? Are there any? And do you really think that “people” join or not join SL or any other VR because of the “technology” (outdated or not) behind it? Mainstream is not even able to differ between a light switch and a cigarette lighter, you know. Things only must work as expected and serve a purpose in very first place. And that´s not a matter of technology, but human interface design.

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  4. Pingback: Firestorm Release 4.6.9.42969! « Firestorm Viewer – The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc.

  5. Chu

    As someone who used ati cards many years in SL, I know the frustration. The issue is not with AMD, but rather the outdated openGL version that LL sticks with. AMD does not support it-and rightfully so-its outdated. Nvidia however still does and this is why you constantly hear that Nvidia performs better with SL..well yeah, they still support the old openGL that LL uses for the viewer and that is the only reason really. For that reason alone, go with Nvidia for SL. I eventually wised up. AMD makes amazing things nowdays…that are DirectX-centric. Little cheap cards that render as well if not better than expensive ones, but they suck for SL sadly.

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    1. Eqinox

      Thing is it is not all LLs fault sure they are using out dated code but ask your self this if Nvidia can clearly make drivers that play nice with this out dated code while at the same time as playing nice with all the new code used in current games why is it so imposable for AMD to do the same? It seams AMD is more to blame for being utterly lazy when making its drivers because it is there responsibility to ensure comparability something Nvidia clearly has nailed. Personally moving from Nvidia to AMD was the worst computing hardware mistake I have ever made

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  6. mizlucie

    i have recent amd catalyst card n sl looks great to me? have mesh home n tried several mesh outfits n everything fine? maybe i’m doing something wrong? 😄

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  7. kaine katarn

    been planning a new pc in the new year was gonna go for a high end amd card and chip because they have dropped the price massively lately. but may have put it on hold for a bit longer to see if amd get their act together

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    1. Eqinox

      Well the choice between Nvidia and AMD is a hard one and it really depends what you can afford and what you plan to mainly use the card for be it SL or normal gaming or a mix. Nvidia have great cards and rock solid stable drivers that play well with both SL and normal games but the draw back is that they cost allot more where as AMD have a really bad record with unstable drivers that play ok with normal games but have a fit when you try to use SL.

      Personally I have always been an Nvidia user for around 13 years and have never once had a problem with SL but about 6 months ago I got a little money to replace my ageing GTX550ti with a PowerColor’s HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition with the Tahiti core and it was awesome I all of my games were running at butter smooth 50 to 60 fps at around 3 to 4 times better than the old Nvidia card but as soon as I fired up SL I was getting micro stuttering and realy low FPS comparable to and some times worse than that of the old GTX550ti. The anger and frustration set in given that the HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition is comparable to a Nvidia GTX 770 in performance but falls flat on its face with SL … The reality is waiting for AMD to make good drivers is like waiting for ice to burst into flames it is never going to happen and 6 months after buying the card there drivers are just as bad and if they do not blue / black screen your PC they break something in allot of games / SL. My advice is stick to Nvidia

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  8. Laura

    Catalyst AMD here and I updated yesterday and my entire AVI didnt show up because of the fact that my avi is 100% mesh. Im infuriated because I can’t understand why this is such a problem. When I think about it its definitely LL. I play Tera, LOL, WOW perfectly. It looks amazing but with SL no go. And that was just after the update of the driver. I agree with both Wes and Chu.

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    1. dawnde

      hi ty so much for this, but could u by any chance give a clearer installation process i couldn’t find ./SecondLifeViewer/ in my pc. us mere mortals would appreciate it 🙂

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        1. Inara Pey Post author

          Sorry! 🙂

          The “.” is shorthand for the directory path “above” “\SecondLifeViewer” – if you’re using a 64-bit system this is usually “C:\Program Files”, or if you’re using a 32-bit system, it is generally “C:\Program Files (x86)”.

          So the “.” saves on having to type something like “this will be either C:\Program Files\SecondLifeViewer or C:\Program Files (x86)\SecondLifeViewer, depending on your version of Windows”.

          There are additional instructions now available (if anyone else needs them!), but glad you figured it out 🙂 .

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  9. Pingback: AMD mesh/shadow issue workaround | Apollo's Photo Blog

  10. kim

    I tried this and it works to an extent, but some mesh objects seem weirdly distorted and out of shape. Anyone else get this/ know solutions?

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    1. Inara Pey Post author

      15.3 were a beta; the number may have rolled to 15.4. as i’m an Nvidia user, I tend not to track AMD updates – so hope the latest work for you!

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