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Laionidas
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-10-2015
Location: The Netherlands
Views: 498
Message 1 of 6

E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues

So, I bought my Thinkpad Edge E555 less then a year ago. The left 'Ctrl' became permanently loose after only a few days, and little to no use, but that issue was solved excellently by Lenovo, by sending me a new drop-in keyboard.

 

Since November though, I have been having some graphical issues as well: it occurs in multiple games which otherwise run perfectly fine, and for which my system's specifications easily surpass both the minimum and recommended specifications. Some objects have black, partially black/broken or alltogether missing textures. It does not occur all the time, when it does happen, it happens to different objects every time in the same games (e.g. one time it may be quest markers, the other time it may be chests or weapons). Also, other games show blank or low resolution  textures on boot, at the start of each session, but these textures might pop up after half a minute or so.

 

An Ati/AMD support employee suggested reverting to Catalyst 15.7.1 WHQL drivers (from current issue Crimson drivers), and initially that did seem to contain the problem somewhat. After a while though, problems seem to be getting progressively worse. After playing for a while, games might show 'black skies' or untextured ground upon loading a new map. I've experimented with both the new Crimson Beta drivers, as with 16.3.2 WHQL. Initially the Beta drivers gave some decent results, as long as I turned off stuff like "morphological filtering". However, newer beta drivers, as well as 16.3.2 WHQL only made problems worse. Now I'm back AGAIN to 15.7.1 WHQL, but the problems persist.

 

The above, combined with the increased occurence with the recent summer weather, does make it sound like a heating issue, but that in itself would be odd. On the lowest possible settings, at a native 1366x768 resolution, with older games, that I've had no issues with in the past, with no overclocking, on an additional fan assisted laptop cooler, in Holland (and not the Sahara), it simply should not have heating issues. Most interestingly, when the artifacting occurs, the laptop will generally still feel cool to the touch.

 

I'm starting to wonder whether there might be something wrong hardware wise, and/or whether the infamous first edition Crimson drivers back in November might have caused some damage, since that's also when the problems started. Does anyone have any more extensive experience with Ati drivers or Thinkpad laptops, would it be a possibility on a vanilla APU (no modified hardware OR software) to have suffered from the Crimson bug in november?

 

My system's full specifications are:

  • Lenovo Thinkpad E555 Laptop (from October 2015)
  • 4GB RAM
  • AMD A8-7100 'Kaveri' with integrated R5 graphics
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bits

Example:

20160612212259_1Red Orchestra 2 (lowest settings)

sgegreen
802.11n
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎10-31-2011
Location: GB
Views: 473
Message 2 of 6

Re: E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues

We have an E555, the graphics performance greatly improves with a second 4GB SODIMM fitted.

This allows the APU to access memory in dual-channel mode which is much faster than the single-channel mode with the factory-fitted RAM.
Laionidas
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-10-2015
Location: The Netherlands
Views: 466
Message 3 of 6

Re: E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues


@sgegreen wrote:
We have an E555, the graphics performance greatly improves with a second 4GB SODIMM fitted.

This allows the APU to access memory in dual-channel mode which is much faster than the single-channel mode with the factory-fitted RAM.

Hmmm,.. I hear people mention the memory option before.

 

Can I really just add a 4GB module, is there space for that, and don't I also need to replace the currently present 4GB module for the dual-channel configuration to work properly?

sgegreen
802.11n
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎10-31-2011
Location: GB
Views: 462
Message 4 of 6

Re: E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues

Remove the largest cover on the base of the laptop to access the spare memory slot.

Both Crucial and Kingston can supply memory that is guaranteed to work with the E555, their websites allow you to select manufacturer and model, then show you all the compatible memory modules.

For example, on Crucial's site I selected Lenovo then ThinkPad then ThinkPad E555.

The part I selected was http://uk.crucial.com/gbr/en/thinkpad-e555/CT6223658 which should also be compatible with your E555.

You can buy these modules as a pair, but this is not normally required.
mazi
Punch Card
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎10-07-2015
Location: greater London
Views: 373
Message 5 of 6

Re: E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues

Your problems are really odd but I'd doubt it's a HW issue of the APU itself. So it would be interesting to know the solution in case a different memory configuration solves the problem.

 

I would assume it is a problem with texture data beeing corrupted when the GPU part tries to access specific parts of the memory. That can be memory HW issue or a driver issue. The APU drivers does work differently for memory acces than normal GPU drivers, since the texture data doesn't have to be copied over as same memory is used for CPU and GPU part, but it's hard to believe the memory controller inside the APU has a fault.

In case you found a fix it would be nice to know if it was just the latest drivers, a different mem module of same size or more memory in general.

I would be surprized if a 2 SODIMM configuration that enables DualChannel mem access would fix the problem, because that is fully transparent to the software and drivers. But yes - in case you try to play 3d games with an AMD-APU laptop a fast DualChannel memory configuration is a must! (search E555 and memory in this forum).

There also is a free software called memtest86 to check if there are problems with the reliability of the installed memory. But it requires making a bootable CD/DVD to run it on its own so the OS doesn't get in the way.

Please keep us updated on that issue..

 

 

Laionidas
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-10-2015
Location: The Netherlands
Views: 318
Message 6 of 6

Re: E555 A8-7100 R5 Laptop APU Graphical Issues

Well, the extra memory has sped up the system and increased graphics performance quite a bit, but I am still getting the odd artifacting here and there. It performs better when it does, but still occassionally does not perform at all, which wasn't really what I was going for. Regarding updated drivers: it still seems to be the case that the later APU specific Crimson drivers perform WORSE than the older Catalyst GPU drivers.

 

However, recently I have had to upgrade and reïnstall a few old netbooks (unrelated to the above issue). I noticed a massive performance increase between an upgraded version of Windows 10 and a clean install. Now, to some extend this is to be expected, and is also one of the reasons I (and many others) always prefer a clean install over an upgrade, but to be honest I never imagined the difference to be this big. Also, the (K)N version of Windows performed noticably better as well, which just goes to show how much bloatware is shipped with the standard version.

 

When I installed Windows 10 Pro on my Thinkpad E555, it had just been released as a new OS, and initially upgrading was the only way to be eligible for a free upgrade from Windows 7 Pro. I was concerned as well with driver compatability, since Windows 10 was so new, hence in the end I opted to stick with the upgrade, rather than going for a secondary clean install. Roughly a year has passed since, and now I am going to try a clean install of Windows 10 Pro (N). I'll leave the HDD divided in two partitions to maintain the Lenovo recovery section, but "C:\" will be formatted. I wonder myself whether that'll solve the issue and what'll do for performance overall, and'll keep you updated.

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